Pregnancy Fashion – how to style a growing bump

 

It’s week 27 of my pregnancy and I have really been enjoying styling my growing baby bump. Up until around week 20 there wasn’t much of a bump there and I was dressing as I usually would, but now it seems to be getting bigger by the day and I’m looking at how to dress in my usual style but just including this little extra addition!

Bumps out and proud!

Gone are the days where people hide their baby bumps and women today are much more confident to dress with their bump being on show and I am personally here for this! We are seeing more and more fashion retailers starting to incorporate maternity wear into their product categories too which is great. We have a much wider choice available out there and we can still be wearing fashionable pieces throughout our pregnancies these days.

As my bump has been getting bigger, and trousers have become tighter, I have really not liked the feeling of waist bands against my stomach. This is a personal choice as I know some women like to wear trousers over their bumps but for me, I really don’t like the feeling of it at all. So how have I been getting around this? Well luckily we have had some warmer weather lately and I have been loving wearing dresses and all in one jumpsuits which are so much more comfortable.

2nd trimester styling

Here are some of my favourite outfits that I have been wearing during my 2nd trimester.

If you would like to read about my pregnancy journey so far I will link my previous blog post HERE and keep posted for my next blog post which will be my top maternity picks from the likes of Asos, Booohoo and more!

All in one – unitard

Strictly speaking this is not a maternity wear item as this is an existing piece in my wardrobe but it has been perfect to wear during my 2nd trimester! It has a lovely stretch to it and is seamless so there are no annoying waist bands getting in the way. I’ve been wearing this with a little cardigan as pictured here, with an open denim shirt over the top, with a tied shirt over the top of the bump and also with denim jackets.

You can pick up a similar unitard style from Boohoo HERE.

Pregnancy fashion

Cardigan – NastyGal & Trainers Pink Nike Air Force One

Pregnancy fashion

Jacket ASOS & Trainers Adidas Originals

Pregnancy fashion

White Shirt Boohoo & Sliders Primark

Broderie Anglais 

I wrote a blog post last Summer HERE about Broderie Anglais and it’s just as popular this year! I love this material and it’s really easy to style. You can pair a Broderie Anglais dress with cute summer straw bags and sandals, or you can even toughen up the look by adding a leather jacket with biker boots.

Pregnancy fashion

Dress from Asos

Drop hem dresses

A dropped hem dress is perfect for a growing baby bump as they have a bit more give to them. They are not clingy and are lovely in cool, loose, cotton like materials for hot weather. Recently we have had temperatures high into 30 degrees and this style of dress has been a saviour for me!

Pregnancy fashion

Dress from Boohoo

Pregnancy fashion

Dress from DLSB

Pregnancy fashion

Dress from Boohoo

Smocks

Smock style dresses are not just for pregnancy. I really love a smock style dress personally as think they are really flattering and easy to wear. They often come in a variety of designs too from polka dots, sailor stripes, leopard prints and more so there is always a great selection available.  Asos, Boohoo, Missguided – all of the usual online retailers are my go to places for these every year. Zara and H&M also usually do a good selection of these on the high street. 

Here are some of my favourite smock dresses that I have been wearing during my 2nd trimester.

Pregnancy fashion

Dress from Boohoo

Pregnancy fashion

Dress from NastyGal & Topshop sandals

Pregnancy fashion

Dress from Boohoo

Pretty floral dresses

It’s the perfect time of year for wearing pretty floral print pieces and I like to style these with Summer sandals or slides, finished with cute hair accessories to tie the look together. I love dresses with ruffles at the best of times but they are also great for those days when you don’t want your bump out on show quite as much.

Pregnancy fashion

Dress from NastyGal & Topshop sandals

Pregnancy fashion

Dress from Pink Blush Maternity

Pregnancy fashion

Dress from Wednesday’s Girl & Jimmy Choo Heels

Long length dresses

Again, a longer length dress is perfect for keeping cool in the Summer, but I also love a more body con, tighter style which I plan to wear in the transitional period when we start to move into Autumn, with boots and a blazer or leather jacket over the top.

Pregnancy fashion

Dress from Boohoo

Pregnancy fashion

Dress from DLSB

Pregnancy fashion

Dress from Pink Blush Maternity

So that’s my round up of the sort of styles that I have been wearing the last few months during the 2nd trimester as my bump has been getting bigger.

What is your favourite look from this selection?

Femme Luxe: October Edit

Femme Luxe Ciara ruffle bodysuit

Today’s blog post is another clothing haul from Femme Luxe who I have worked with in the past. I had so many messages when my previous review was posted (HERE,) telling me how much you loved all of the pieces. So, here is another Femme Luxe styling report! I can’t wait to show you the items that I picked out and how I would style them into each outfit.

Loungewear – Maria black tracksuit

Loungewear is an absolute must have in your wardrobe and it’s what you will find me wearing most of the time, especially when I’m travelling or at home. I’m always looking for new tracksuits or loungewear sets and usually feel that you need to invest in better quality pieces, at a higher price point, that you will get a lot of wear out of. So I wanted to test out this loungewear set from Femme Luxe and I was really pleasantly surprised with how soft the fabric is! I chose a classic black set and this is a really easy outfit to style with sneakers or sliders in the warmer months. This would also look great with some perspex heels for a more dressed up look.

This particular loungeset is the ‘Maria’ and I’m going to have to pick it up in some of the other colours as I really like this set. It’s available in black, grey, wine, khaki, and beige and is priced at £27.98 which is so affordable.

Femme Luxe have some great loungewear sets HERE in a variety of colours, textures and patterns so you have a decent selection to choose from.

Cargo Pants – Sunny

I’ve worn cargo pants in the past but they never looked quite right on me but I was excited to try these as I liked the fact that they were high waisted and a slim fit. And the result? I just LOVE these trousers!! They are really flattering and the fit is beautiful. They also have a nice stretch to them which I appreciate. I really like the elastic cuffed ankles as they taper the leg and finish off the silhouette perfectly. You can style these with a simple t-shirt or a fine knit jumper with trainers, or you could pair them with ankle boots for a more urban chic style.

Femme Luxe Cargo pants

These are the Sunny Cargo pants in Khaki green and they are available in a couple of camo print options as well as a stone or black colourway.

Femme Luxe also have a fabulous selection of trousers HERE – especially their denim range. I tried a pair of their jeans in my previous blog post which I was really impressed with, so I definitely recommend checking out their denim pieces.

Pink ruffle mesh bodysuit – Ciara

I have a thing for ruffle details on clothes. They are so pretty and add a lovely feminine touch to an outfit. So when I saw this Ciara bodysuit I had to try it. I have styled this with black jeans, a Gucci belt and a fedora hat which is perfect for the Autumn season. You could wear this body with light denim mom jeans or for a more evening look you could pair it with some cigarette trousers. This is a cute, fun piece to add to your wardrobe and mesh material is so on trend at the moment. I went for the size 10/12 and just to let you all know that this is also available in a white colour option.

Femme Luxe Ciara ruffle bodysuit

Femme Luxe Ciara ruffle bodysuit

Black polka dot, fishnet sleeve shirt – Iona

The final piece that I chose is this cute polka dot shirt. Another mesh piece and something smart to wear to the office but can also take you through to an evening out afterwards which I love. The mesh is soft on the skin which I was happy about as sometimes mesh fabrics can be slightly scratchy and uncomfortable. I’ve styled this with jeans, biker boots and a vintage Dior handbag. I think this will also look gorgeous with leather trousers or tucked into a skirt with tights – especially for the Autumn season.

It’s available in both black and white HERE and I went for the UK size 10.

Femme Luxe mesh polka dot shirt

Femme Luxe mesh polka dot shirt

Overall verdict

Femme Luxe are becoming one of my favourite online clothing stores as they have some really gorgeous pieces at affordable prices. I think from this selection that I tried, the cargo pants were the overall winners for me and I will be wearing these a lot throughout this Autumn as there are a few different ways I have in mind to style them. Follow me over on my Instagram page for my fashion related posts.

There are a lot of options to choose from on the Femme Luxe website whether you are looking for an every day outfit, to something for a night out. As I mentioned before in my previous post, they are adding new pieces to their website regularly so it’s worth keeping an eye out for new items that are uploaded.

What was your favourite item from this selection?

Have you purchased anything from Femme Luxe recently?

What I have learned in my first year of blogging.

It’s my first blogging birthday – Hannah Lu Loves is a year old! I can’t quite believe how quickly this past year has gone. It only seems like it was Christmas 5 minutes ago. I have loved writing blog posts, working on content and my photography so this first year has been fun.

I didn’t know how it was going to turn out or if anything would actually come of it. I only knew that I wanted to blog about the things that I have been doing or enjoying. I was always getting asked where my clothes were from or what make up I was using and I thought, what better way than to blog about it!

I have learned a few things along the way which I wanted to share with you, and these might be useful if you are thinking of starting a blog yourself. So let’s get into what I have come across in my first year…

Fabulous opportunities

The plus points of blogging in my first year have meant some really great opportunities. I’ve been invited to product launches, events and even a fashion show as part of London Fashion week which was amazing! I’ve also been sent lots of lovely products to review and test out which is something that I really enjoy doing. It’s so much fun to try new brands and to write my thoughts about them. I’ve bought things in the past after reading blogs and reviews so I know how useful it can be.

Receiving gifted items is amazing and I’m so grateful for this, but if you want to start blogging, I would advise not to go into it thinking that you will be constantly receiving gifted items all the time.  This is just a small part of the process. You need to genuinely love writing, producing content and focus on that, which leads me onto my next point.

It’s hard work!

Working a full time job, running a home, having a social life and blogging, let me tell you is not easy! There are days when I get home from the office, where I’ve been looking at a computer screen all day and the last thing I want to do is carry on with more typing.

I aim to post a new blog once a week and I haven’t always stuck to this. I have so many ideas buzzing around my head and have things that I want to write about, so I would love to increase this to twice a week. That’s a new goal I’m going to try and set myself for my second year.

You really have to be passionate and dedicated about blogging, putting in the hours if you want to go the distance.

Prepare to have IT headaches

I am not what you would call an IT whizz in the slightest. To be honest, computers and technological things hurt my head! I’ve literally had to teach myself how to use WordPress, (with the help of some YouTube tutorials along the way) and learn about plug ins, backlinks, coding, SEO, the works. They don’t make it easy let me tell you! SEO is a really important topic though for bloggers and if you want your blog to grow and be noticed you have to pay attention to this.

People don’t understand it

When you mention that you have a blog, a lot of people don’t really understand it. They think you are trying to be a model by having your picture taken, or that you are only in it for the freebies. It can be frustrating having to justify to others about why you are blogging. I decided not to tell many people about it as couldn’t be dealing with all of the questions. I enjoy doing it for myself and for my readers and that’s all that matters.

Expectations from brands

I have been approached by a lot of brands in the last year and those who I’ve chosen to work with have been lovely. Some brands will give you a free range on what content you put together and others will send you a criteria of what they are looking for. I have heard some horror stories from other bloggers though where brands have asked for drafts and made endless corrections and changes to their work. This I can’t get my head around. The brand must have seen their previous examples of work/blog posts so I they should have known what kind of content to expect from them surely?

Never let a brand dictate to you what your final published blog post will be like. Your post will not seem natural and will sound like a walking advertisement.

Be assertive with brands

There are some brands out there that will contact you asking to collaborate, but then expect you to work completely for free. You wouldn’t do this in your daily life, and blogging is no different – time is money people!

I don’t think brands always appreciate the time, and effort that goes into putting together a blog post and to expect you to do this completely free of charge is quite cheeky. Be assertive but polite with them and if you want to ask regarding payment, then it’s good to be clear and upfront on this.

Brands not using your images

This is something which has bothered me over the last year. I actually read a really great blog post on this. I’m not able to link it as she has called it a day with her blog which is a shame. She was saying how bad it made her feel when she had worked so hard to put together photography for a brand related blog post, but they never used her image on any of their social media channels.

This happened to me not so long ago with one brand, and it also really bothered me. It starts to make you feel paranoid – was my image not up to their standards? Why have they been using loads of other people’s images but not mine? Is it something about how I look?  – this is a dangerous mindset to get into but something that you need to be prepared for.

Who knows why brands don’t always use the images you have worked on. If you liked them and were happy in how they turned out, just remember that. Don’t allow this to demotivate you or make you feel bad about yourself. You will also get rejections from brands, and not hear back from them occasionally. This is also something to bare in mind and its important not to let that get to you. Something better will always be around the corner!

Staying true to yourself

Being authentic is one of THE most important things when blogging. If your posts are purely just product reviews, a blog can start turning into one big advertisement zone. I can often tell when people are talking about products just because they have been paid for it. I see it a lot on YouTube when people are promoting brands, when they cannot even pronounce the name of them properly and you can tell they aren’t really into what they are trying to promote. The whole thing can come across as a bit of a sham.

For me personally, I love writing reviews on products but I also want to talk about things that are going on in my life and about places I’ve been or  lifestyle hints/tips. Variety is key!

Promotion, promotion, promotion

Writing blog posts alone is not enough. The market is heavily saturated and you need to get noticed. I have found that using other social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter are essential for getting your name out there and gaining new readers. A good tip on Twitter is include hash tags of pages that help to promote bloggers and their recent posts. They will re-tweet for you which is a great way to gain new readers and interest.

Hopefully you’ve enjoyed reading about my first year blogging and I’m looking forward to the future and to see what else is in store for me!

Leather Jacket – Per Una at Marks & Spencer

Cream T-Shirt – Zara

Jamie Jeans – Topshop

Handbag – Jimmy Choo

The return of Tie Dye for Spring/Summer 19

Tie dye has been in fashion hiding for years. That was until it started popping up again on celebs such as Beyoncé and Justin Bieber wearing the colourful print. Prada, Proenza Schouler and Stella McCartney took it under their wing and brought it back to the catwalk and now everyone is getting in on the trend. It’s official – Tie dye is back!

California cool, t shirts are the easiest way to wear this trend but it’s evolved for the modern day and we are now seeing it in new ways such as on denim at Proenza Schouler or used on mini dresses or Aline skirts at Prada.

What is Tie Dye..

Tie Dye has always historically been associated with hippies, and the flower power era of the 60s and 70s. It’s best known for it’s use of bright colours and bold patterns such as the spiral, mandala and peace sign.

The process typically consists of folding, twisting, pleating, or crumpling fabric or a garment and binding with string or rubber bands, followed by the application of brightly coloured dies. The manipulations of the fabric prior to application of dye are called resists as they partially or completely prevent the dye from colouring the fabric. So each piece that is made in this way is unique and different and you will not have two pieces that are exactly the same.

Fast forward to today and tie dye has been given a modern twist and there’s a fresh take on the trend.

How to wear it..

You can go as bold as you dare with this trend. If you are not feeling as confident to wear a splash of bright colours in a garment then you can still enjoy it with accessories instead. Try a scarf or a handbag – I’m really loving the Prada tie dye bags at the moment.

Tie Dye trend Edit

Here are my top picks that are in the stores at the moment. 

Boohoo.com Tie Die denim jacket
New Look tie dye twist front beach cover up in blue
Polo Ralph Lauren tie dye t-shirt
Pretty little thing – Orange Tie Dye joggers
Ralph Lauren Tie-Dye French Terry Hoodie
House of Holland Frayed ombré denim midi skirt
Boohoo.com Tie Dye Oversized T-Shirt Dress
Prada Tie-dyed duchesse-silk skirt
Boohoo.com Tie Die denim jacket
New Look tie dye twist front beach cover up in blue
Polo Ralph Lauren tie dye t-shirt
Pretty little thing – Orange Tie Dye joggers
Ralph Lauren Tie-Dye French Terry Hoodie
House of Holland Frayed ombré denim midi skirt
Boohoo.com Tie Dye Oversized T-Shirt Dress
Prada Tie-dyed duchesse-silk skirt

What are your thoughts on this trend for the Summer?

Will you be wearing it? 

Leave a comment below and thanks so much for reading! xx

Johnny Loves Rosie – my go to place for accessories

Johnny Loves Rosie has been one of my favourite brands for a while. They always have such beautiful leather handbags and accessories so I was really excited to try out a piece from their new AW18 headwear collection.

Leopard print is such a huge trend at the moment and I am a huge animal print fan so this headband is going to be a perfect statement piece to wear this season. This is a classic band shape with a pretty bow on the side and it is really comfortable to wear. There is nothing worse than when you wear one that digs into you and gives you a blinding headache! There are a few bow headband options on the Johnny Loves Rosie website as well as pretty jewel encrusted style which will be perfect or the up coming festive season.

I have been wearing this piece with knitwear and jeans, as well as roll neck tops with leather leggings. It also looks fab with a winter teddy coat. It looks great with so many outfit combinations, I’m obsessed!

You can shop on the Johnny loves Rosie website HERE and these are a few of my top picks!

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