So let's talk fashion shall we?
So far in my pregnancy I haven't really had to buy many Maternity items of clothing. My standard outfit even before I got pregnant was usually some sort of dress with leggings or tights, themed with cardigans and dolly shoes or boots. As I've always had a 'belly' of sorts I would have bought clothes that were lose around the tummy area and not 'bet on' so thankfully these items have stood to me nicely throughout my pregnancy. I'm still wearing the same dresses that I wore pre-pregnancy, I suppose I'm just filling them more now with my big round belly. The one thing I did buy were a pair of GAP Maternity Jeans and they were such a brilliant purchase. I've gotten so much wear out of them and the expandable belly band panel on them means that they grow with you throughout your pregnancy. I only bought them because there was a one day 50% off online sale at Gap and I ended up getting them for €35 including delivery from America. Other than that I've only really bought a couple of pairs of leggings from H&M and the odd top that I probably would have bought anyway. I know a lot of ladies who have had to spend a fortune on Maternity wear though. Some have had to buy a brand new work wardrobe alone (luckily I don't have to wear formal-clothes to work and can wear my own choice of clothes). I can imagine that it is a real pain to have to burn a hole in your purse on clothes at a time where you have so many other baby items to save for and buy. There are some low-cost options out there such as New Look (which to be honest I didn't find great. The jeans do seem decent though) and Penneys who have recently unveiled a small Maternity collection but what if I told you that somewhere like LIDL would eventually stock Maternity wear? Well, that's exactly what I am here to tell you.
The lovely people at LIDL contacted me and very kindly offered to send me some maternity clothing samples. I jumped at the opportunity and was delighted to receive my little parcel by courier only a day later. In the bag were two casual dresses, two tank tops, and a 'dressy' top. Straight away I knew what I would wear and what I wouldn't. There was only really one item (a large grey dress) that I couldn't see myself wearing, but everything else really pleasantly surprised me.
The Maternity range is by Esmara and it is being described as a 'summer maternity range' and I think that very accurately describes what will be hitting the shops. By the way, they will be on sale in LIDL stores throughout Ireland from Monday 5th May (that's a bank holiday). They will be offering everything from tank tops, maternity leggings and dresses to Maternity trousers and nursing bras. I haven't seen the leggings, bras or trousers so I can't comment on those but judging by the items I did receive it looks to be a very promising collection in general.
I've taken some photos, just to give you an idea of the kind of things that the collection will include, and how I wore them. Now, I'm no model, and the photos may not be of an excellent quality, but you get the idea right? And for anyone who is interested I am almost 35 weeks pregnant so these couldn't have come at a better time.
The green tank top! This is literally thirty minutes after the package arrived. Please excuse my ever-trendy PJ bottoms but this was a Tuesday night after a long day in work and I just wanted to try on the top to see how it fit. I can confirm that it was really comfortable and the material was great. It is a lovely expandable stretchy material but it has a nice thickness too. The quality really impressed me to be honest and I couldn't believe that this will be retailing at a price of €4.99. That is a great bargain in my opinion. It's similar to something I bought recently in H&M for about €10. I would definitely pick this up if you come across it. It would be perfect with jeans or tracksuit bottoms and it expands at the waist to accommodate your growing bump.
This is the 'ladies maternity dress' that will retail for €7.99. Again another really good item at a great price. I'll be honest, I wouldn't wear this if I was going 'out' somewhere but it was perfect for dinner in my mam's house on Easter Sunday. The Coral colour was really lovely though and it was extremely comfortable. It would be perfect for a casual dress, or lounging around the house. Don't get me wrong, it's a lovely dress but I would only wear it to a certain type of occasion. I suppose for me the issue was that it was a bit shapeless and the material was very thin but then again I am a curvy girl so perhaps it might be perfect for someone with a more petite frame? Having said all that it really served me very well on Easter Sunday and it was extremely comfortable, so big thumbs up from me for this €7.99 dress!
And finally, my favorite item. A nautical tank top. I absolutely love this top and would definitely buy it if I saw it in New Look, H&M or Penneys. At just €4.99 it is an unbelievable bargain. The quality of the material is really really good, it has a lovely length and would quite comfortably go past your bum if you wanted it to, and it's actually very trendy looking. I wore this with my maternity jeans and a black cardigan and I know I will be getting a lot of wear out of this both now and when the baby comes in a few week's time. Some people say that horizontal lines 'do nothing' for a lady and make her appear widder etc. That may be true but during pregnancy this would honestly be the last thing on my mind. The baby bump is there and I never really had any interest in appearing to look any smaller than I am. I love love love this item and I have a feeling it will be one of the items that flies off the shelves on Monday 5th May.
All in all this is a really great collection and I am impressed both by the price and the quality of clothes on offer. You could go in and stock up on a couple of tops, couple of pairs of leggings and a nice dress and it would cost you probably what a Maternity dress alone would cost in a different shop or outlet. I have a few pregnant friends and there have been several comments made lately about the lack of Maternity clothes on the market that are affordable. I think LIDL are really on the money with this one, and I think there is a great need for this kind of range that is of a great quality and at the same time doesn't pinch your pocket. My only advice would be that you might like to go for a size that is slightly smaller than your usual size (or just your normal size if you like to buy bigger for later in your pregnancy) as these clothes are a little on the larger size, and with the uncertainty of pregnancy and not really knowing how you will grow or look, this is never going to be a bad thing.
For more information on this collection or any other LIDL item you can visit their Facebook page or their twitter account and I am sure they would be happy to help you. What will they think of next eh?
I hope you will be one of the lucky ones on May 5th. Stock up on this lovely summer wardrobe range from Esmara at LIDL and look and feel great during your pregnancy.
If you have any questions please feel free to comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I would be happy to help.