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As soon as you get too pregnant to fit into your normal clothes, you are doomed to a solid six months to two years of Difficulty Getting Dressed. And if, like me, dressing like a normal person was a struggle in the first place, that basically sucks. Pre-baby I didn’t wear any dresses apart from my school uniform until I was about twenty-four, thinking I looked stupid in them, until I went travelling to Japan in summer and all I had was jeans and sneakers and we walked everywhere and I realised: self, you are ridiculous. After that, I wore dresses in summer, and the rest of the year I existed purely in jeans, slip-on sneakers (because laces require time), and tank tops, t-shirts, or jumpers. Or all of the above. Then I got pregnant and UGH, everything was ruined. But here’s my brief advice for a basic wardrobe when you’re having a baby, if you are me. Stylish people may want to look elsewhere.

First, obviously, I needed jeans. I tried on many a pair but ultimately my favourites were from Jeanswest–I got two pairs, one in the size that fit when I was three months pregnant and one another size up (they were two for $100 at the time), which meant they lasted until I had the Rocket and then as I slowly downsized again. It took me six months after she was born until I fit back into my normal jeans. These were almost all I wore. They come in a variety of cuts and shades (more now than they did last year when I bought mine, so hooray!) I went for the dark blue because I look washed out in lighter blue and black is useless when you have a cat, unless you want to look like your pants are made of fur.

Then I needed some frocks. I picked up a few successful ones from the excellent ASOS, who ship free to Australia (they actually have an Australian warehouse now, too.) Above is the exact favourite black dress that I wore almost every day, just accessorising with brooches or necklaces or all those other things I no longer wear due to wanting my kid to retain her eyeballs. It’s less clingy in person (unless it’s a slightly different version this season.) These ones also look cute.

I also picked up a bajillion tank tops in a variety of colours from Giordano. (The website lists two colours, but instore they have them in all of the shades.) These fit perfectly until I was about eight months pregnant and imploded into a whale, and could barely fit in the car. (Target also have some nifty maternity tanks and t-shirts that then turn into nursing tops. They were great as tanks/t-shirts right up until birth, but I really cannot deal with the nursing angle. They just do not stay open around the boob. Frustrating. Perhaps I need double-sided tape.)

More excellent finds turned up at Mothercare, too–keep an eye out for their specials because the full-priced stuff, while ace, can be a bit eye-wateringly expensive for something you only wear for a few months. I had a voucher so I went a bit nuts–two frocks, two skirts, and bathers. Instore and online can have different stuff so check both if you can! I probably would have worn the above a whole bunch. Bathers were a great idea too, because swimming felt AMAZING. Mothercare had and has a tres cute selection.

I can’t offer advice on the bra front because I don’t think I ever got it quite right, what with them changing shape every time I lost eye contact with them, but Mothercare also has a big range, people who can measure you, and these cool two-packs that aren’t too expensive. Underwire doesn’t cut it when you’re pregnant, which is a bit sad for those people *cough* who wear push-up bras all the time, and who thus lose a cup size rather than gain one when I they have to start wearing normal bras.

Lastly, seriously, buy thongs. When you suddenly and alarmingly expand all over towards the end, you will be glad I said this.

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