Since finding out I was pregnant, my style and outfit choices have naturally had to shift to accommodate my ever changing body, and this (if I’m honest) has been one of the aspects of pregnancy I’ve found most difficult to cope with, as superficial as that sounds.
Fashion is such a big part of my life, and clothes are very much a big part of my identity, and so there was part of me, in those first few months especially, that felt a bit like my identity was being stolen from me as I struggled to wear the clothes that made me feel like… me.
My body started changing almost immediately and (what felt like) without my permission. Suddenly I had lost the control, I had given my body up to house another, it wasn’t my own anymore. It probably sounds silly, but for me my outfits have always had the ability to alter my mood or outlook day to day, and so along with ALL of the crazy changes going on in my body and mind during the first few months of pregnancy, suddenly finding my favourite jeans unable to do up or the go-to dresses I always feel good in no longer working for me, was a difficult transition. In those initial stages I felt so out of sorts and unlike myself that I spent most of my time in the comfiest of garments. I covered up in baggy smock tops, threw on oversized dresses, and wore skirts with elasticated waists. Anything to feel comfortable, anything to take attention away from my now non-existent waist, anything I could hide in. My personal style, which before then had largely consisted of nipped in waists, short skirts, pretty fitted dresses and skinny jeans, had to be abandoned in favour of comfort.
As I’ve entered the second trimester, I have started to find my feet again, style wise. Slowly, I’m learning how to adjust my usual style personality to adapt around a growing bump and managing to inject little things in to an outfit which feel like me, amongst those comfortable pregnancy basics. But, it hasn’t been easy. There are certain things I have had to accept I just can’t wear anymore (goodbye jeans) and other things which I never in a million years would have picked up before which have become my go-to (empire lines and smock dresses). My style is changing, whether I want it to or not. It has to. Not every fashion item out there fits a bump. And the things I might have previously loved often have to be passed on. I’m finding myself shopping with ‘bump growth’ in mind all of the time. Will this stretch? Will I still be able to get in to this in a month’s time? Is it baggy enough around the waist? Whereas before I might have looked at the same item and wondered; Can I cinch that in with a belt to show off my waist?
But, while clothes have been a bone of contention and my pregnancy style continues to be up for debate, there’s one fashion item that never needs any debate, and no matter how I’m feeling always has the ability to make me smile. And that’s the shoes.
You all know I’m a major shoe-aholic. I won’t bother denying it, they are both my biggest pleasure and my biggest nemesis in life. But what I know is that no matter how I might be feeling about my body, or my outfits or my style disappearing before my eyes, a pair of fabulous shoes always has the ability to make me feel fabulous.
The shoes always fit as they say (until you get to the third trimester and your feet swell up but let’s not go there shall we?).
When the shoe brand Dolcis got in touch and asked me to style up some of their latest Autumn Winter collection, I jumped at the chance to show how just changing the shoes in an outfit, can change the whole look so easily. And of course to make myself feel a little more ‘me’ again in some fabulous footwear.
I was 16 weeks pregnant when I took these photos and it was the first outfit post I’d attempted in a good while. I still wasn’t feeling my best and because my bump wasn’t quite protruding yet I generally felt like I looked more squishy around the middle than pregnant. But the day I shot these photos was the day I announced the pregnancy on my blog, so my thinking was ‘I can let it all hang out now, it’s ok, people know’.
I asked my friend Kylie to help with the pics as GB was working away that week, and honestly she was brill – she made the whole thing so easy and fun and really made sure I felt comfortable with all the shots. Seriously if you’re after a blog photographer – she’s your girl.
We did have a bit of a nightmare, as we’d planned to shoot at Sugarhouse Studios and finally fulfill my dream of an Instagram profile picture in front of that amazing pastel tiled wall. But upon arriving we found the wall flooded with white vans in front, and what appeared to be the building being pulled apart (major sob!). My pregnant, tired, and hormonal self almost called the whole thing off there and then, but luckily Kylie is a pro and found us a new wall in the form of this red number. Not quite the pastel dream I’d hoped for, but a good compliment to the outfit all the same.
And so onto the outfit. Both this dress and blouse were things I had my eye on before I found out I was pregnant, and despite the dress becoming a little short when it was forced to cling over a growing middle, I was determined I could still make them work. They’re both H&M and the shirt especially is just such a steal at only £9.99! It was the sleeves I fell for, aren’t they amazing? It’s quite sheer so you do need something over the top and this pinafore dress worked perfectly. It’s made from a stretchy fabric so I’m hoping to get a bit more wear out of it yet, even if it is getting steadily tighter around the middle.
I styled three different looks with this outfit to show off my favourites from the new Dolcis collection…
Look 1 – Party (wearing Cage Heels c/0 Dolcis – £38)
My first look is how I’d wear this outfit if I was heading out for dinner or a night out. Suddenly a simple monochrome outfit is taken to the next level with these amazing fierce red and black cage heels. The ultimate party shoe, I’m reserving these for the Christmas season (and hoping and praying I can still handle a heel this size by then) where they’ll look great with any LBD or glitzy skirt. But in the meantime they’d also work really well with flared jeans or tailored trousers (if I could still get into those that is). The addition of a leopard clutch and these stilettos meant the humble pinafore dress was evening appropriate.
Look 2 – Weekend (Wearing Slip on Ankle Boots c/o Dolcis – £38)
The second look is probably how I’d wear this outfit day to day, with a pair of black patent chunky chelsea boots, my Raybans and a Mary Poppins style fits everything clutch. When I showed a sneak peek of these three pairs of shoes on Instagram, these patent boots seemed to hit it off as everyone’s favourite and I think I have to agree. I’ve been living in them since the weather turned and autumn made an appearance and they work with everything from dresses, to skirts in varying lengths and even those slouchy elasticated waist trousers I bought for particularly uncomfortable days. They’re also super comfortable, which is becoming more and more important these days as the back pain sets in, and they look a little grunge which I quite like. My next port of call is to team them with a loose midi slip dress with a T-shirt underneath.
Look 3 – Sporty (Wearing Reptile Print Plimsolls c/o Dolcis – £38)
The final look is a slightly more sporty vibe, as I was dying to show off these cute black snakeskin plimsolls. I love the slip on trainer trend but I have to admit to finding it tricky to track down a pair that are actually comfortable and don’t rub around the heels. But I’ve found them in these – with their platform sole and their memory foam insole (total godsend), they’ve been my new ultimate comfort shoe and get thrown on for everything from a quick trip to the supermarket to a lunch date with friends. I brought the pinafore dress into sports luxe territory with a while leather rucksack and my blue mirror shades, and felt so good I was even talked into a jumping photo!
Shop the Post…
One outfit, three totally different looks just by switching the shoes and accessories. What did I tell you? The shoes always add the extra fabulous!
I’d love to know which look is your favourite?
This post is in collaboration with Dolcis, but words and styling all my own.
Photos by Kylie Eyra Photography