I find the whole maternity clothing market a very strange concept. I am normally the sort of gal who combines some classic investment pieces with high street up to the minute fashion in a very mix and match way (think Reiss dress with New Look pointed ballerinas or H+M jumpsuit complemented with Pigalle Loboutin's). On finding out I was pregnant I did what most women do and fired up my PC to scour sites (lets face it there's nothing in the shops so my whole shopping concept has had to change with immediate effect) and promptly shut my laptop down.
It is quite frankly the most disappointing experience ever and for the first time ever I get why Gap essentials become the staples of so many friends wardrobes as a pregnancy certainly rules you out of so many trends.
Cinched waists aside this Autumn I also have the dilemma that my pregnancy spans summer, autumn and winter so whilst that involves a lot of looks that will only ever be worn short term if I buy high street (and there's no guarantee I'll ever have another child so why pay exorbitant prices for higher end branded maternity clothing as it is irrelevant on one level how long it will last) it all feels a bit wasteful, both financially and actually clothes wise (I have visions of Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall piling up clothes that have hardly been worn whilst parading me naked around them reminding me of the effort that goes into fabric production and no doubt the sweat shop conditions in which they were produced).
Don't get me wrong, tops and jeans, no problem. They are after all staples. Dresses and more formal wear however is where I struggle (we wont tell Hugh about my floral bomber jacket, that doesn't count!). I have been to two weddings this year and both rather than being my usual fun shopping experience with besties and a cheeky prosecco were instead tears and tantrums at a laptop looking at tents aka trapeze dresses (lets face it you dont need a maternity one of those as there's enough room on them already), body con lace numbers or floral stretchy polyester all washed down with a sparkling water and not a friend in sight!
I have however found a way around my staples shopping as it were and have invested wisely in a few pieces that are absolutely not maternity wear but are made with quality fabric (and ethically produced so no need for the ignominy Hugh) that can be worn whether pregnant or not.
I came across Swedish clothing company me&i via a university friend of my husbands, Claire. She had taken a career break to have her family and whilst she was off had decided she wanted to still do something for herself so she became a sales consultant for me&i. It cost her just £100 to rent her rail of clothing from them (plus P+P) and she worked around her children doing house parties, one to one appointments at houses and events such as rugby club fairs and so forth. That way she controls when she works and earns 20% from all sales - nifty idea eh?!
It was only when I was bemoaning my shopping experience and Claire suggested a a party at my house (at least that way I could watch my besties drink prosecco and I could actually try on clothes) that I actually took any notice of the brand itself.
Their Autumn/Winter collection is bright, on trend and because the clothes are designed for real women then the give in them allows me to wear them even when pregnant (and because the fabric is of good quality they snap straight back into shape)!
|Multi-striped Round Neck Dress|
I settled on the rainbow wrap dress, multi-striped round neck dress and a cheeky pair of magic pants (a cross between yoga and harem trousers that have a fold up/fold down waist and ankle cuff so can be dressed up or down depending on what you feel like). Both dresses are perfect for wearing either on a night out or in a work environment and the fact that I can wear them beyond pregnancy is a massive bonus and makes them well worth the money (and circa £50 a dress they weren't that pricey anyway!).
|Suspicious Cat Tee and Magic Pants|
They also do a children's range (with turn up cuffs to allow little ones to get repeated wear out of tunics and tops) that is unisex and vibrant, but right now I'm not quite in that market!
To find your nearest me&andi Consultant or to enquire about joining their team please click here (vacancies currently exist across UK)
, by Babyurbeautiful