By Kat Atkinson  

It dawned on me on a dreary Tuesday afternoon in very early pregnancy, sat in a bleak hospital waiting room with the heating cranked to 40 degrees and no windows... we’ve all been there right? Typically, appointments were running late so I began talking to a woman sat opposite me. After the usual pleasantries, she started telling me excitedly that this was her third pregnancy and she’d already got the ‘maternity storage box down from the loft’ like some sort of pregnancy ritual, much like getting the nostalgic Christmas decorations down and being reunited with old memories. I asked her: “what’s in the box? (Presuming she must mean pregnancy pillows, stretch mark moisturiser, perineal oil and all the other paraphernalia that comes with pregnancy that doesn’t even cross the naive pre-pregnancy mind). “Oh no” she chuckled. “The maternity leggings and T- shirts!!” She proceeded to tell me about all the different pairs she had as though she was almost as excited to be reunited with these leggings again as she was to be having another baby. “You’ll be needing lots of these, believe me” she said, as she grabbed her phone to find me the links.


Kat wears Frankie 

Although very kind of her to be sharing this wealth of legging knowledge, I felt like it hit me like a tonne of bricks.It’s a cliche, but fashion has always been a huge passion for me. It’s formed and shaped most of my adult life through working in it, writing about it and now teaching it. It brings me great joy being inspired to build outfits and experiment with different fabrics and silhouettes. The old saying is true, I’m definitely in a better mood if I like my outfit and feel like ‘me’. So, the prospect of being banded into the pregnancy camp and sentenced to 9 months in leggings and stretchy ruched-side T-shirts was daunting, to say the least.

Kat wears the Navy Coverall

 At a time when your body is changing beyond recognition, the future is scary and unknown and your hormones are sending you catapulting from one side of the mood spectrum to the other on an hourly basis, it’s definitely not the time to be wearing things that are so far removed from your everyday style that you feel like you have completely lost yourself in the midst of growing this child.

Kat wears the Denim Chambray Esme and Mabel

Luckily, I had discovered Beyond Nine in early 2022, way before a baby was even on the cards. Their ‘feel good’ ethos, size inclusivity and their staple collection of styles in different fabrics caught my eye. My collection began with a navy Coverall, swiftly followed by a green one. I said a tearful goodbye to my washboard stomach many moons before that so their coveralls were the only overall I’d found that didn’t accentuate the stomach area. From then, my collection grew and grew. I’m now on my 6th pair of the Mabel trousers, my 3rd Coverall, I’ve got a couple of Esme tops, 2 Dresses and a Jacket.

Kat wears the Rust Stripe Esme and Mabel

My particular favourite of my ever-growing collection are the iconic Mabel trousers. I don’t use the word iconic lightly, they are quite literally receiving cult- status in the fashion world with every body shape and size catered for with their flattering elasticated waist and subtle barrel leg. I own 6 pairs now, which seems excessive for the same style of trouser but each pair is unique and asking to part with a pair would be simply like choosing a favourite child... impossible. I enjoy the cupro material of my leopard print pair (that also comes with a matching Esme top for that zero effort pulled together look) they are fantastically cool in summer and have been my go-to for more dressy evening events due to their subtle sheen and silky feel. Next is the chambray pair, giving all the style of denim but without the rigidity and desperation to get them off after a long day.

Kat wears Daisy in Black

Kat wears the Mid Wash Esme and Mono Check Mabels - similar linked here 

 Again, these come with a matching Esme top, but I’ve enjoyed wearing each piece both together but equally as versatile separates which pair with most things with ease. I went for the ‘mid-wash’ pair but the ‘light-wash’ is now living rent-free in my head until inevitably I cave. I’ve then got 3 linen pairs, the eye-catching rust stripe (again with matching Esme top), the black linen and the check linen. I have a love/hate relationship with linen, as someone who has self-diagnosed herself as allergic to the iron, linen can often look messy and unkempt but these Mabel’s keep their shape even after a night on the ‘floor-drobe’.

  Kat wears the Isabel Dress

Not once pre-pregnancy did I ever think I was wearing maternity clothes, I simply felt good and knew if the time ever came where I was blessed with pregnancy I would be fully kitted out. Well that time has come, as I sit here 8 months pregnant with swellings in places I didn’t even know it was possible to swell but still, more importantly, not in leggings and feeling like ‘me’ every single day in my Beyond Nine wardrobe.