...No thank you by imogen fox: Big belly blues

It's not easy to feel sexily pregnant in a kaftan. Unfortunately, high street stores are slow to offer stylish alternatives to the classic `tent' look

BEING pregnant shouldn't mean that mothers-to-be are condemned to shop for baggy, unsexy clothes in places they would normally shy away from. But it often does. Smocks and leggings are still the usual fare despite a couple of high street stores venturing into boot-cut maternity trousers (Next, pounds 39.99.) Retailers, it seems, just can't get their heads around the fact that women aren't actually embarrassed to be with child and don't want to disguise their bump. Expectant mothers want to feel attractive, but it's difficult when most of the high-street shops which do offer maternity wear seem to think they can offer tatty, badly-cut clothes just because pregancy is a temporary way of life. One particular high street floral dress accommodated the bump but ended up too tight around the rear.

So what do pregnant women need? Laura Tennant, expectant mother and Real Life's editor, wants "clothes that are smart and sexy, especially when it comes to eveningwear; and for work decent well-cut trousers, much like I'd normally wear." Better-end high-street retailers are disappointing in this respect. Surely it can't be that hard for the likes of Jigsaw and French Connection to do a smart, simple dress?

French catalogues do seem to have the right idea. Formes catalogue shows proper models looking good and is less homely than its British counterparts. Prices are fairly expensive: trousers from pounds 55, dresses from pounds 75 and bandeau belts which show off your tummy, and go over dresses or trousers for pounds 11. La Redoute's Cocoon collection is less pricey: tops from pounds 19.99, dresses from pounds 34.99, and swimsuits at pounds 19.99. "The Pregnancy Survival Kit" available from The Great Little Trading Company includes pregnancy basics such as skirts, leggings, dresses and tunics, in stretchy cotton lycra, pounds 129 +pounds 3.95p&p. Otherwise, get some easy summer stuff (non-maternity) from places such as Racing Green, who do lots of simple tunics and loose dresses for around the pounds 20 mark.

Next: 0345 100 500; Formes: 0181 689 1133;La Redoute: 0500 777 777; Great Little Trading Company: 0990 673 008; Racing Green: 0171 291 2405.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Lead Software Developer

    £35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

    Recruitment Genius: Trainee Case Handler / Probate Assistant

    £15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Trainee Case Handler/Probate ...

    Recruitment Genius: Outbound Telesales Executive - OTE £30,000

    £16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This precious metal refining co...

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Conveyancing Fee Earner

    £20000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Conveyancing Fee Earne...

    Day In a Page

    Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

    Climate change key in Syrian conflict

    And it will trigger more war in future
    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
    Is this the way to get young people to vote?

    Getting young people to vote

    From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
    Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

    Poldark star Heida Reed

    'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
    Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

    Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

    Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
    Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
    With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

    Money, corruption and drugs

    The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
    America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

    150 years after it was outlawed...

    ... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
    Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

    You won't believe your eyes

    Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
    Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
    War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn