JoJo Maman Bebe is one of my favourite children’s / maternity shops, so when I was invited to their Kingston store for a VIP maternity shopping event I leapt at the opportunity. I have to admit that although Kingston is my closest JoJo store, it’s not one that I’ve been to often before, more often visiting the Guildford store.
The biggest selling point of JoJo Maman Bebe in Kingston has to be their extensive Maternity department. One of the most frustrating things when shopping as a pregnant woman is the lack of maternity clothes in stores. So often you’re forced to buy online, and not knowing the stores specific maternity sizing, combined with an unfamiliar new body, results in lots of clothes being returned. So having a whole shop floor of maternity clothes to choose from and try on is a real treat!
The maternity department is located on the first floor, which you can access by lift if you have a pushchair, or by the stairs on the right hand side (slightly tucked away). One thing that I love about JoJo stores is that they’re always so bright and colourful, as well as being really well laid out – lots of space between the displays to get a pushchair through, and lots of thought going into how people like to shop. The maternity department has three changing rooms, one of which doubles up as a feeding area, and the whole floor has a lovely light and spacious feel.
JoJo Maman Bebe are trialling the VIP Maternity Shopping Event in a few select stores across the country, of which Kingston is one. I was greeted by the two friendly assistants and we sat down and had a good chat about me, my style, my pregnancy, and what I was looking for. Customer service is a tricky one to get right, but every JoJo staff member got it spot on for me – friendly and approachable, and hugely knowledgeable, both about pregnancy, nursing, and their range.
We had a quick look through their catalogue and I pointed out a few things that I liked the look of and off we went to find them on the shop floor. One thing I love is that so many of their clothes are designed to take you from maternity and through to being breastfeeding friendly. In my first pregnancy, I don’t think it ever occurred to me that I would need specific clothes to feed in, so it was a bit of a shock when I found my wardrobe so limited. This time around, I’ve tried to ensure that any maternity clothes I buy are also suitable for nursing. JoJo make it really easy to identify which clothes are suitable for nursing with a big sticker which clearly states ‘9 months and beyond’. And they’ve definitely tried to make as much of their range breastfeeding friendly as possible.
The range is great – lots of basics, t-shirts, tops, maternity jeans, nightwear, swimwear, as well as lots of different styles of dresses. Lots of stripes, which do seem to be a staple of the maternity wardrobe (not an issue for me as I love them!), but plenty of alternatives if that’s not your thing.
I chose three dresses to try on – all perfect to take me into summer and through into the nursing stage. I chose one of their classic tunic dresses which didn’t look much on the hanger, but I’d loved the look of it in the catalogue. And it just goes to show why physically trying maternity clothes on is so important – when I put it on it was completely different to how I’d expected from the hanger. It fitted really nicely at the top and the style was really flattering on me. And it has pockets too, which is always a winner!
I ended up buying two of the three dresses, and to be honest, I’ll probably be back for the third at some point – who doesn’t need a classic Breton tunic in their wardrobe?
JoJo Maman Bebe also offer a bra fitting service – an essential part of putting together your maternity wardrobe. Pregnancy and nursing is a huge time of change for your boobs, and I have to admit that I’ve been slack on getting measured this time around and have just been living in my nursing bras from first time around. Turns out that was a mistake, as I measured a completely different size to what I’m wearing! The advice I got on their bra range was great – they offer seamless options, sleep bras, even an underwired option, which is very rare for maternity / nursing bras – but I opted not to buy one, as I was informed that the biggest changes are likely to happen between 34-36 weeks when the milk is coming in. As I’m 30 weeks now, I’m planning to head back closer to that time to get refitted.
I love the personalised service of a maternity shopping consultation. For so many women it’s a time in their lives when shopping is difficult – your body seems unfamiliar, you don’t know how it’s going to change as your pregnancy progresses, and you don’t know how your body is likely to change after the birth. Having someone who really understands pregnancy and fashion on hand to advise you and talk you through what you need to consider, and what’s likely to work for you, is just amazing. And being able to pick out and try on clothes in real life rather than from behind a computer makes it far easier to figure out what works for you.
You can sign up for a VIP Maternity Shopping slot via the JoJo Maman Bebe website – these events are running at Kingston, Exeter, Tunbridge Wells, Wimbledon, and Nottingham from 7th April – 15th April 2017. As part of your consultation, you’ll also receive 15% off any maternity / nursing purchases and a goody bag!