First thing I want to say here is that this isn’t the blog post I had planned for today.
I wanted to get up one of those quick lil fashion posts I do about the latest thing in my wardrobe. This time it was a new winter coat – a sugary pink little darling complete with a faux fur leopard print collar that I’d spent weeks pining over before finally squealing yolo and treating myself.
But when I went to edit the photos back, I realised that I looked less like the chic model gallivanting across the ASOS website, and a lot more like the pink bubble you produce when you’re chewing a bit of Hubba Bubba gum.
Hashtag street style goals.
Because the thing with my body right now is that it is an absolute fucking nightmare to dress.
Everything I thought I knew about what suited me and what made me feel good has completely gone out the window and I’m left catching sight of myself in shop windows like WHO IS THAT BAKED POTATO STRUTTING ABOUT IPSWICH?
Now, this isn’t a moan about how much I hate my pregnant body. Because yes, it’s changing a lot, and no, I have no control over it and that’s a bit woaaaaah, but actually? I’m digging myself naked right now.
I catch myself in a bra and maternity leggings and I’m like YAS GAL, LOOK AT YOU!
Not only am I feeling pretty bladdy proud of what my body is doing, but I also rather like my shape and my big ‘that lady over there is definitely pregnant’ bump.
(Lol at me referring to myself as a lady).
My tummy is the firmest it’s ever been (thanks baby, owe you one) and last month when we went on the ol’ babymoon to Mykonos, I felt freakin’ awesome parading around by the pool in my swimming costume.
In fact, I’d go as far as to say, this is the most, in my entire 28 years and one month on this planet, that I’ve ever liked my body.
But liking my body naked and liking my body in clothes is seemingly two very different things because fucking hell, everything (and by everything, I mean about 96% of clothes) make me look like I’m going to a fancy dress party as a six-man tent.
Cute if the dress theme is Glastonbury, not so cute if you just want to look like… y’know, yourself.
So I’ve spent quite a lot of time these past couple of months perusing Pinterest for maternity style inspiration, and sitting in my pants on my bedroom floor looking through a few fave preggo fashion accounts for outfit inspirations.
But I’ve also realised that a lot of people I’ve been comparing my body to and attempting to replicate outfits from, also had a very different body shape to me pre-baby-in-belly.
I’ve always held a lot of weight (and pizza) in my thighs and hips which means the whole oversized jumper and maternity leggings look doesn’t look quite so off-duty model on me as it does some of these fabulous fashionistas.
And actually, just because you all share the fact you’re growing humans, doesn’t mean you’re going to necessarily share the same body shape. Regardless of whether I’m pregnant or not, my legs are always going to be short and my boobs are always going to look like they’re threatening to take over my body.
So what might suit one preggo gal, isn’t necessarily going to suit me.
I guess the best way to describe how I’m feeling at the moment is to imagine you’ve had your body your whole life and then one day you wake up and LOL SURPRISE SOMEONE’S GONE ALL FREAKY FRIDAY ON YO’ ASS AND NOW YOU’RE IN SOMEONE ELSE’S BODY.
You might put on something that’s always been your go-to for when you want to feel sassy and awesome and on top of your game and all of a sudden it looks so heinous that even your cat is looking like up and down like u k hun?
It just kinda throws you a little bit, especially when your hormones are busy creating fireworks in your brain and you’re desperate to find some normality – to feel like yourself – amongst all the change going on in your life.
Things that I have found that really work for me: Longline blazers and trench coats, because they create the illusion of length without adding bulk. Men’s t-shirts, because they cover my bump without me having to go down the long-vest route which is about as Hannah Gale as wearing an all monochrome outfit. Wearing little heels because they make me feel like me and give me a little height which is no bad thing. And wearing thinner knits over chunky ones because they show off my bump, rather than hiding it in swathes of material.
So yeah, these are the first set of photos in over a fortnight that I’ve liked enough to actually post (soz Chloe for all the photos you’ve taken that have ended up reserved for my laptop’s trash can).
They make me feel like the chic pregnant woman I envision in my head, rather than like a balloon.
And they serve as inspo to myself that I can feel good about myself, and I can feel confident and brilliant and – dare I say it – cool.
You got this, Hannah.