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How not to look like a fat frump when pregnant

You will notice, because you are smart, that I almost never promote anything on this blog. “Oh it’s too much like hard work,” I say to the occasional food person who gets in touch wondering if I’d like a free packet of spelt. “I’m so lazy,” I say. “I’ll never get round to it, sorry.”

But the fact is that I’m not interested in food freebies. (Sometimes I wonder whether I’m interested in food full stop.) If I want something for free I will say to my husband: “I want some rare albino truffle please,” and he will make a phonecall and it will turn up on my doorstep and I won’t even have to write about it.

But clothes? Cloooooothes?? Special nice clothes for preggy ladies that don’t make you look fat or pinch your bump or squish your boobs?

“Do you want some?” asked my friend Celia. “From ME+EM. We want you to be a sort of brand ambassador.”

“FUCK YEAH” I screamed. I didn’t even stop to say “Oh but why me? I’m so shit and fat and ugly. You don’t want me, you want someone more glamorous and interesting.” No, I did NOT say that, I just asked how much stuff I could have. Should I hire a parcel van to drive to the shop? Because I can do one on my Addison Lee app…

Then I immediately started to fret about it, as I always do. That the clothes wouldn’t fit or wouldn’t be nice and I would take a lot and then not wear them but have to be nice about them anyway. And then I would break our special bond, the one where I tell you the absolute truth about absolutely everything and don’t try and sell you anything, ever.

Don’t worry. I am not leading you a merry dance. This shit is for real. It’s amazing. There are dresses here that make you look, if you’re under, say, 20-24 weeks like you’re not pregnant. Especially from the front. And after that, they just expand like magic so even though you look like a Sherman tank, you feel comfy.

Pregnancy wear is mostly so so horrible. Massive floaty things with a big print. But this is all terrifically chic. And THE best long-length jersey vests and long-sleeved t-shirts EVAH.


These are the things I got, which are particularly excellent and I recommend to you, pregnant or not. More original, I think, and better fabrics than Isabella Oliver or Seraphine – though God bless them both, eh? Where would we be without them.

On the ME+EM website they do a thing where they use skinny models for all the clothes, so you can’t really imagine how they would work on a massive pregnant arse and giant blobby tits, so this is my edit for anyone with a blubbery mess to cover up.

Just think of me like a very badass Gwyneth Paltrow, yeah?

Almost all of this comes in different colours and is available HERE. The sizing is very generous. I am 5’6” and weigh in at 10 stone 3.5 and fit into a small.

Crepe swing dress. MAKES YOU LOOK NOT PREGNANT. £104. You will wear it everywhere and it’s crepe so it won’t get bobbles.

Tuck neck swing dress. This is just so cool, such a nice shape. Great with long boots, ankle boots or little slippers. £115. I will be wearing this on Christmas Day.

Extra long layer T. The last word in long-length long-sleeved tops. Soft as a kitten. £42. There are also excellent vests at £19 each. Fucking BARGAIN.

V-neck box pleat dress. Very similar to one at Isabella Oliver but a nicer colour, a more slimming fit and less expensive at £104

An amazing thing. If you only get one thing when you are pregnant, get this. It is sort of drapey and concealing without being heavyweight so you don’t end up looking like a piece of soft furniture. It also has lovely long sleeves. I plan to wear mine until it has holes in it. Knit sleeve 3/4 jacket – £119

And a snood. Because I’ve decided that I hate scarves. Wide rib snood – £68

Happy shopping and have a great weekend.


Recipe Rifle goes shopping: CLOTHES BAGS AND SHOES

I spent so long during my pregnancy longing for it to be over that towards the end I suddenly developed a terrible fear that once I was no longer pregnant I would STILL be fat and miserable with aching feet, reflux and getting up 80 million times in the night to wee.

“What if…” I would fret during the long dark insomniac hours of the night “I have the baby and life is still shit? What if… all those clothes I have bought for myself to celebrate not being this incredibly weird shape never fit?”

But you have a baby – especially your second – and life improves immeasurably. Night feeds are a piece of piss once you can get in and out of bed reasonably easily. And, second time round, a bit of broken sleep is nothing. NOTHING. When you had your first baby you didn’t understand what it meant to be tired and it freaked you out. Now, being a little bit tired is normal. Having too much sleep is weird.

Anyway, so although I can’t fit into all of my new threads quite yet, I quite often open my cupboard and stroke them lovingly, as I channel daydreams about my future through them.

We’ll start with my favourite thing ever, which is actually a handbag. I bought FOUR new handbags in the darkest hours of my pregnancy, because they are a thing you can use no matter how fat you are. This is from Kate Spade and it’s the first “expensive” handbag that I’ve ever had – I say “expensive” because it was not wildly so – it was not £500, it was £178 in a 25% off sale.

Anyway I LOVE IT. If I had been braver, I would have got it in green. I still might. This will be irritating for my readers who are not in London, but you cannot buy this online – only in one of two Kate Spade stores – one in Westfield and one in Sloane Square. I think this is incredibly childish of Kate, but she’s from New York and they don’t half think they’re special over there.

BOUGHT THIS WITH MY OWN MONEY – it is called a “Little Curtis”

Next, my obsession with Hush, a sort of upmarket Gap I suppose. It’s a catalogue-based company and they really work that catalogue – it’s just really nice, I totally fancy all the models.

I bought a scarf from there, which is really brilliant – called the “Leo” and it’s neon pink-and-orange leopard print and even if you’re in your pyjamas it makes you look quite “current”. A note: it is huge, so when it arrived I cut it in half with the kitchen scissors as it arrives with artfully frayed edges anyway. So now I have TWO and very pleased with them both I am.

Here is a link to the scarf – I’m just waiting for a press image from Hush – I’d take a photo of it for you, but my photo will be bad and won’t make you want to buy it. 
So scarf here:
Another thing I have bought from Hush are these “New Vanessa Trousers”. I cannot vouch for them as I am still to big to get into them. But I love the look of them and desperately hope they “work” on me.

They are here:
I love these neon trainers from New Balance. If you feel like doing a sports-chic thing, wear these with ankle-length black leggings (mine are from this darling little place called Hennes) a coral or grey sweatshirt and a jazzy scarf. I saw next-eldest sister work this look a few weeks ago, (though her trainers were not New Balance, they were similar), and it looked AMAZING. 
This “Lady Penelope” dress is just so terrific. A lovely girl at a preggy clothes website called Babes With Babies sent it to me. I can’t quite wear it now, as it’s quite clingy, but I tried it on – manically – during my last three days with a bump and it’s very, very good for anyone pregnant up until about 7.5 months I’d say, (if you’re doing a thing where you are wearing tight things – “I’M PREGNANT NOT FAT”). It is not cheap, but it is very nice – it has a slit roughly to the knee up one side, which is very chic and not slutty. Excellent 3/4 sleeves, too. 

Babes with Babies is, generally, a very nice website. I don’t mean to knock Isabella Oliver or Seraphine, but their websites occasionally feel a bit… draughty and abandoned, if you know what I mean. Anyway, have a look. 
THIS denim dress from Mango is just ace – the fabric is really lovely – sort of slithery and flippy. There is probably a name for it that I don’t know. A problem with wearing full denim is that it can be a bit stiff and uncomfortable, but this is silky and lovely but doesn’t crease especially badly. It works as a kind of throw-over while pregnant and also later as a VERY “now” denim dress with a belt and your new neon Leo scarf (see what I’m doing here?)
Ok this is technically not clothes, but I am in love with this nail varnish from Mavala. I won’t show it to you on my fingers because I have the ugliest hands in England and it will put you off buying it. And nothing ought to put you off buying it – it’s terrific.

The jury is still out on these lime green asymmetric sandals from Zara because my feet are still a bit fat for them, but I like the IDEA of them very much. Generally-speaking, I like the idea of this “brights” thing a lot, because it means you can accessorize quite boring clothes like mad, meaning that you don’t have to freak yourself out buying neon trousers, or yellow dresses. 
And that concludes this post on clothes, bags and shoes. Coming soon: jewellery and baby essentials (not in the same post).