Irish Daily Mail - YOU




Women lose many things to pregnancy – muscle tone, sanity, sleep. Ten months of adjusting to new habits and quirks while watching your body change and evolve to house a tiny, growing human with more pressing needs than yours is, I’ll admit, one of the most physical and psychologi­cally challengin­g experience­s. Dressing your body for this transforma­tion should be equally as unpredicta­ble and demanding – but rather beautifull­y for me it has been a lovely, experiment­al adventure over the past 38 weeks.

When my nausea hit an all-time high and I defiantly tried to conceal my plumper breasts and waist, I remember my saving grace was the joy of a softer, spacious sartorial armour. I embraced empire line and tunic dresses, anything that gave my baby more ease and allowed me to indulge in thick slices of buttery toast and salty chips to settle my quivering belly. By months six and seven, when my gait had turned into a waddle, upsizing my wardrobe had become a sport. It was like playing a game in the fitting room, where I high-fived myself for finding a gem of a dress in a sea of ill-fitting others that would happily house my little girl, afford me the comfort and style of getting through a 12-hour day and still allow me to feel like myself.

The truth is, that’s the catch with maternity ‘style’ – it’s more of an illusion designed to fit a blossoming belly but it’s often mindnumbin­gly generic. When you’re battling delibitati­ng body changes, wearing a bra size you never knew existed and you can no longer see your feet, it becomes far too easy to lose yourself in a belted overthe-bump wrap dress rather than creating clever ways to master and style non-maternity labels.

I have, over the years, listened to friends curse the roster of default brands out there while planning rituals for setting their entire pregnancy closet on fire post-baby. Now I understand it.

Most women, except for the sizeable contingent with limitless budgets to buy a completely separate wardrobe for ten months, need oversized cuts with clever, crafty adaptation­s and adjustable straps – the sort of attire they feel like the best version of themselves in and still dip in and out of post-pregnancy. Nowadays, we don’t need to forfeit fashion along with everything else. Why should we?

Alas the time has come for me to take a few months’ hiatus but I will (I promise) be back with some inspiring ‘returnity’ style secrets and a new-found grá for a snug waist.

Thank you so much for reading my style musings over the years, in particular the last few months when I have been exploring and navigating my own sartorial journey.

Thank you so much for your kind words and sentiments and I leave you with the biggest thing I’ve learnt this year – style can, and always will, be subjective but (pregnant or not) a great pair of stretchy jeans, a waistless dress with snazzy come-hither sleeves and some gutsy self-confidence can solve just about anything.


It’s a surreal experience desiging a room for someone who does not yet exist. Part of me felt like I should wait to see her and perhaps allow her first newborn quirks to inspire my interior decisions. The other part, the anxiously impatient part of me, wanted to have it all ready for her homecoming. Determined not to let her gender define colours or tones, I wanted to create a warm, neutral space so I scoured the internet for brands that would reflect this sort of relaxed aesthetic. I am a traditiona­list at heart – I love the sense of love and heritage in a quilted or knitted blanket – and so brands like Scandiborn, Liewood and Sebra naturally caught my eye. I’m thrilled with the rattan light fitting, an organic cotton crib canopy and an old rocking chair gifted to me. I also made some cherished finds at Irish-owned

Bygge Bo, meaning ‘to build a nest’, dreamed up by

Amanda Cunningham Tapsell, which happily stocks and delivers all those irresistib­le, age-old, rustic-style Danish and Dutch brands from a charming little store in Meath.

Find her at

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