In full bloom: Why there is no need to sweat your summer maternity fashion choices

Thanks to a growing range of on-trend maternity wear, there’s no need to sweat your fashion choices this season, writes Carolyn Morre

There aren’t many women who could rock up to a red carpet weeks before their due date looking a million dollars in high street occasionwear, but as Aoibhin Garrihy has proven throughout her pregnancy, a bump is no barrier to great maternity style.

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Having wowed at the Iftas last month, the star revealed on Instagram that her stunning blush gown was from Mango, and the red carpet hit was just the latest in a winning fashion streak that has seen her appropriate non-maternity styles that work with her growing bump, and mix and match them with maternity offerings from the likes of Topshop and Mothercare.

Update: Aoibhin has since given birth to a baby girl.

The 29-year-old announced the news on social media yesterday, letting the world know that the new arrival is already "daddy's little girl".

Congrats to the happy couple.

There’s never been a better range of maternity fashion to chose from. Online is where you can browse these collections — the better to take a load off and peruse from the comfort of your couch — and with extensive offerings from fashion giants like Asos (great for occasionwear), Topshop (for the fashion forward mama-to-be), H&M (for their organic cotton jerseys), and Next and Dorothy Perkins (for their edits of maternity brands like Mamalicious and Katie Piper Collection), you don’t have to sweat your fashion choices if you’re in full bloom this summer.

A few cleverly chosen pieces can see you through whatever the season throws — be it a work presentation, a wedding, festival, or holiday. A new offering to the market — Irish brand the Pod Collection — has been developed by fashion buyer Emma Arblaster and new mum Hazel Kinsella. With a day dress, an evening dress, a smart/casual trouser, the perfect tee and a classic white shirt, the capsule collection fulfils every sartorial need of stylish expectant mums.

For fancier occasions, British brand Seraphine has the Kate Middleton seal of approval, while Beauty and the Bump (who outfitted Garrihy for the VIP Style awards) is an Irish-based maternity dress hire company which offers outstanding eveningwear from €90. So whatever you need to wear this summer, your bump won’t stand in your way.

1. Irish brand the Pod Collection offer a capsule solution to all your maternity-style problems. Their knee-length, tailored evening dress works just as well for a work meeting, a dinner, or a wedding, so at €109 it could be a sound investment.

thepodcollection.com

2. A great wrap dress will see you through months of pregnancy, and a bold print makes it a real style statement. You could team this versatile dress with some high-fashion accessories for a low-key occasion look, or dress it down with flats for work — €39, next.ie.

3. Pregnant or not, a stretchy T-shirt dress is a summer essential. The twisted knot on this New Look dress gives it shape and a nice bit of detail.

Team it with leggings and trainers, or go bare legged with metallic flat sandals for a stylish weekend look. €19.99, newlook.com

4. For instant smart points, you can still throw a great blazer on over anything, but if a T-shirt doesn’t cut it in your workplace, this airy, unfussy blouse with feature buttons is a great alternative to a classic white shirt. €19.99, newlook.com

5. While every woman says her maternity jeans are the best thing ever, for holidays or sunny days, you don’t have to sweat it in tight denim. These cotton culottes will keep you cool, and you can keep them casual or smarten them up for work. €29.99, newlook.com

6. Beyond the ubiquitous skinny maternity jean, you’ll find ripped boyfriend styles on Asos and straight-leg styles and ‘mom’ jeans at Topshop, so fashion conscious mums-to-be don’t have to get stuck in a maternity style rut. Straight-leg jeans, €55, topshop.com

7. A summer classic: The Breton striped tee. You could squeeze your bump into a stretchy non-maternity style, or you could give your body room to breathe in H&M’s Conscious organic cotton maternity cut top. €12.99, hm.com

8. Bare your bump by the pool with pride, in a bold palm print swimsuit by Mamalicious, €39, dorothyperkins.com

9. Who likes short shorts? Throw on a wide brimmed hat with this roomy romper and you’re ready to sizzle in the sun, walk to the beach, or hit up a local market. €22.99, hm.com.

10. A festival fabulous striped ribbed knit dress is a must this summer, so why let your bump get in the way of a wearable trend? Get the full 90s look with denim jacket and trainers. Dress, €25, topshop.com

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