The idea of maternity clothes can leave you reeling with horror, and giving up wine and coffee is tough enough without having to compromise your sense of style. But regardless of what you may have heard, it’s not all shapeless smocks and jersey wrap-dresses out there. We’ve rounded up the best maternity shops London has to offer, and it’s a brave new world for woman and bump.
Maternity clothes shops in London
If you’re new to the pregnancy game and the idea of maternity wear freaks you out; Topshop is the place for you. Its bump friendly collection is virtually indistinguishable from its usual trend-lead offerings. Think oversized shirts, growable ripped skinny jeans and a metallic silver top that was made for mocktail hour. The concession can be found in eight of Topshop's London stores.
The institution: Mothercare
The mother of all maternal shops. This comforting hug of a superstore has been calming down panicked parents since 1961. It stocks designs by Mamalicoius, Envie De Fraises, Rhona Sutton and many other brands. Mothercare prides itself on its expert bra fitting service, which will keep your boobs in the best shape throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding – you can thank them later.
It’s all about the over-the-bump jeans (especially the super skinny dark grey ones). Once you slip into these bad boys and pull the soft cotton band over your emerging waistline, you won’t look back. Just make sure your tops are long enough, as they look ridiculous from the hips up. Also worth trying on the Mama denim dungarees. The Mama range is available at 16 of H&M's London stores.
Okay, its designs are not strictly for pregnant women, but there’s no denying that the Swedish store’s penchant for a waistless dress and a coccoon coat is mighty tempting to the fashion-conscious carrier. They will see you through to labour day and after, all the while keeping you Scandi-cool.
Head to Knightsbridge for a snoop around Harrods’ brand new maternity concession, A Pea in the Pod, where you’ll find Rachel Zoe’s sought-after maternity range. Other indulgent offerings include Isabella Oliver leather leggings, Citizens of Humanity elastic waisted jeans and Madderson London’s beautiful frill sleeved evening dresses. This is the place to stock up on a few investment pieces to see you through, although not for the bargain-conscious.
This cool east London boutique stocks a fine range of end-of-line maternity wear; think of it as a mini TK Maxx for mums-to-be. Expect to find cut-price pieces by brands including Isabella Oliver, Noppies, Rock-a-Bye Rosie, Purpless and Heavenly Bump. The shop also hosts events for new mums and babies.
If you’re looking for a unique vintage piece to complement your new curves, head to Dalston for a dig around Beyond Retro, as this huge vintage warehouse space has clothes in all shapes and sizes. The ‘60s and ‘70s embraced a loose waistline, so make a beeline for beatnik shift dresses, pinafores and '70s smocks. Keep in mind your local dry cleaners will be able to knock a few inches off the hem or take up the sleeves for under a tenner if the fit isn’t quite right.
The celebrity favourite: Seraphine
This Kensington flagship store is the ‘biggest maternity shop in Europe’ – sounds horrific, right? Just see it as a one-stop shop. If it’s good enough for Sienna, then it’s good enough for us. Seraphine prides itself on maternity clothes you’ll be able to wear after the birth and it even has an extensive bridal range for if you find yourself planning a bang-on-trend shotgun wedding.
The chic one: JoJo Maman Bebe
JoJo Maman Bebe designs with a capsule collection in mind, making dressing with a baby bump as easy as possible. Think effortless wool capes and breton midi dresses. All pieces are designed at its HQ in the yummy-mummy mecca that is Battersea. It also offers a free bra fitting service and stock lingerie by brands such as Elle Macpherson Intimates and Bravado.
And for your little ones...
Be warned: after a visit to London's finest shops for children's clothes, your little ones may be better dressed than you. Explore the shops in our selection to find recognisable kids' brands such as Start-rite and Petit Bateau, plus miniature versions of grown-up looks from the likes of Dr Martens.
Treat yourself post pregnancy
La Maison Maille
Amongst rows of impeccably kept shops in the grand old Piccadilly Arcade stands La Maison Maille, a chic boutique for foodies. Beyond the black and gold exterior lies row upon row of mustard pots, vinegar and the world's first mustard macaron. Since 1996 Maille has produced limited edition mustards. One that's particularly sought-after is their seasonal black truffle and chablis, which is sold in sandstone jars once a year – conveniently just before Christmas. Prices start from £5.50 per jar, £6.95 for vinegar, and £29 for that truffle chablis. You'll also find gift sets, accessories, dressings and few other items instore. Plus, you can have a handful of mustards pumped straight from the tap, like you're at a condiments pub.