Navigating Pregnancy in Sustainable Style

Congratulations! You’re pregnant, and now you’re trying to work out how to navigate your closet for the next 9 months. Stepping into a maternity-wear shop can feel like being in a bad dream, your pre-pregnancy jeans are probably bursting at the seams, and your wallet is already taking a hit from all the baby purchases…

So how do you navigate pregnancy in style? And how do you do it sustainably, without adding to the already huge amount of fashion waste? 

We've asked our favourite stylish mothers for their tips on dressing the bump, their essential purchases and what they lived in during pregnancy… We've also put together a Pregnancy Edit of our favourite once-loved pieces perfect for styling the bump.

Lara Fells, Founder and Designer St. Agni

Lara Fells, St Agni, Tip on maternity dressing

Maternity wear was a no-go for me. I refused to purchase any clothing that I couldn’t wear again after my pregnancy. I always try to be very conscious when purchasing, whether I’m pregnant or not, I only invest in pieces I love. 

I had a pregnancy uniform I lived in, which consisted of an oversized cotton poplin shirt, layered over a slip dress or knit pants if it was cooler. Shirts are a great option because you can wear them while breastfeeding too. I also bought an oversized black wool blazer that I could wear in the winter. 

Saasha Burns, Founder BEAR 

Saasha Burns Pregnancy Dressing Tips
We were travelling throughout my pregnancy, from Europe to California, then back for the Australian summer – I lived in a handful of lightweight, effortless summer dresses in natural fabrics.

Lucy Folk, Deiji Studios, Ganni, Maggie Marilyn and Matteau were my go-to brands. I look forward to wearing all these pieces again in this pregnancy. 

Sabina Pjetrvic, Producer (and our beautiful model)

Sabina Pregnancy Dressing Tips
I’m a mum/wife/Producer/avid bike rider that is currently 6 months pregnant with my second baby and I live in Byron Bay. Pregnancy dressing for me is about comfort and ease, especially with a toddler to chase after. I live in loose dresses made from breathable, natural fabrics and activewear. During pregnancy I feel our clothing choices are limited and really disliked the idea that the majority of “maternity” branded clothing is poorly made fast fashion that is only worn for 9 months.

I recently had the lovely experience of modelling with The Harmonic for their pregnancy edit and I was surprised by how many beautiful non-maternity dresses can work with the bump. Pieces from Lee Mathews, Sir and Matteau were some of my favorites from the shoot. I love the fact these pieces not only suit my growing bump but can be worn again beyond the pregnancy. I can’t praise The Harmonic enough, they have created an ethical fashion space that is contributing to this idea of circular use that includes the most stunning curated pieces for the multifaceted women. 

Rachael Calvert, Founder Marvell Lane

Rachael Calvert, Marvell Lane

Pregnancy is such a fleeting (yet beautiful) stage of your wardrobe life, so I didn’t purchase a “pregnancy” wardrobe. That being said, your body goes through so many changes and you’ll need clothing that fits. Purchasing versatile pieces that will take you from pregnancy to maternity is wiser. 

For example, I invested in a couple of linen button-up shirts that I could tie at the front or tuck into a bias-cut silk skirt (check out Bec & Bridge) or classic acid-wash jeans for a comfortable, understated look. The benefit of a button-up top is that it transitions to the breast-feeding stage (if that’s what you do) nicely. 

The other key items I wore during pregnancy are looser midi-length dresses. Full length dresses are nice, but can swamp you, even more so when you’re heavily pregnant. You’ll want to create shape by that stage. The reason a dress like this is key is because you can wear it multiple ways: as is, styled with a top underneath, or tie one of the linen tops in a knot under your bust to create shape. 

Libby Robinson, Co-Founder The Harmonic

Libby Robinson, The Harmonic, On Maternity Dressing and Style
I would suggest buying nothing for as long as possible, and wear what you have until the last possible moment. Then when you need to, buy things slowly and if you’re sizing up consider pre-loved pieces that you can re-sell when you’re finished with them.

Both of my pregnancies were in London and I lived most days in faux leather leggings paired with chunky knits, and body hugging knit dresses with an over-sized blazer. If I did go for something more flowy I either kept the hem shorter or paired it with a belt so I didn’t feel swamped, and still had some shape. Sleeper’s linen dresses were also a staple, I still wear them today. I can count the items on one hand that I bought during both my pregnancies that were ‘maternity’.

Vanessa Robinson, Co-Founder The Harmonic

Vanessa Robinson, The Harmonic on Pregnancy Dressing

Living in Byron Bay meant that I spent a lot of my pregnancy at the beach and living in swimsuits or floaty dresses. I didn't purchase any maternity wear as I hated the thought of having clothing that was so disposable.

My go to swim brands through pregnancy were Ziah, Hunza G and Marysia Swim. I lived in my Matteau Tiered Maxi Dresses, Deiji Studio Lounge Set, Jack + Jac oversize tees and Bassike elastcated pants.