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Maternity Fashion

by Sudha Chandrasekaran
(Coimbatore, India)

With the trend of maternity fashion catching on rapidly in India, there are a plethora of super speciality stores and the collection includes everything from lounge wear to casual wear to party wear to work wear. Maternity fashion has become a style focus, with celebrities and average women alike choosing to accentuate and celebrate the pregnant body and it is easier than ever to find comfortable, figure-flattering, modern maternity clothing. An expecting mother will constantly be under the conundrum — should you try to conceal the baby bump or flaunt it proudly? Your choice may be anything but it does not necessarily warrant your switching on to ill-fitting unfashionable clothes or wear maternity gowns only. Several are the changes that take place during those 9 months and one of them is your wardrobe. Maternity wear and more so for working women is a booming market in India today. It is always possible to find something that is comfortable; within your budget; and which can be worn post delivery.

Your pre-pregnancy clothes may be easy to fit in your first trimester but from fifth month onwards comfort will be the priority rather than fashion. It does not however imply that maternity wear to your work place cannot be comfortable as well as stylish.

Your maternity wardrobe can work on the following lines:

Relaxed wear: Select stretchable and soft cotton tees which are bright coloured with trendy silhouettes that are decorated with lace and soft frills. Bright floral prints on stretched poplin and flowing crinkle chiffons are the ideal grab for evening wear.

Maxi dresses: For those who do not wish to flaunt their baby bump or make their pregnancy very obvious, maxi dresses help conceal the stomach as they flow away from the tummy. Go for V-neck, A-line or empire waist dress. A comfortable outfit, they have a seam under the bust so there is room for an expanding bump.

Pregnant women prefer cotton clothes as it is very comfortable. A-line kurtas, anarkalis and angarakhas are great styles that will last you through those nine months, and can be reused later.

The miracle denim: If permitted by the employer, women can try for maternity denim, the shade of which needs to be darker than indigo. Soon after delivery you may not fit into your old jeans and that is when this will be handy. By the fifth month, get a pair of stretchy maternity jeans. These are not just fashionable, but also convenient if you do not want to wear a dress.

Buying formal maternity trousers is a workable solution. If your profession does not demand being formal then you could substitute trousers with a pair of leggings.

Lingerie: A good support bra is essential throughout pregnancy to provide comfort and also to prevent breasts from sagging. Buy just a few at first and then buy more when you outgrow the size with your bodily changes occurring very fast. It is best that you first take your measurements for an exact and comfortable fitting maternity bra.

Opt for layers: Layering, if done properly will conceal your largeness. For a regular day outing, you can opt for tunics over leggings and throw in a colourful scarf. For cold weather, buy stylish cardigans, blazers or denim jackets and wear them over your regular tops and kurtis. But do not zip or button them completely. V-neck blouses and boat neck blouses look good on pregnant women.

As regards shoes and tights, it is of great importance that you buy low-heeled and comfortable footwear. Beware of high and flat heels. It is also best to avoid shoes with laces, as with your growing size, tying them will be a nightmare. For relieving aching legs, varicose veins and swollen ankles, support tights may be used.

Do bear in the mind: Wear what is comfortable; Maternity clothes from day one of your pregnancy is not imperative; For the initial months, loose fitting clothes or larger sizes will suffice; A belly belt is a great way of turning your favourite pre-pregnancy clothes into inexpensive and trendy maternity wear; It may be wise to invest in loose/front opening T-shirts, tops and nightdresses that can also be worn after the baby is born; Try to select dresses made of cotton or other natural fibres as you tend to feel quite warm during pregnancy; Mix 'n' match as much as possible as it is economical; Do not forget your accessories-earrings, necklaces, elegant scarves...which will help you look good and dignified and feel good as well. Accessorising with a statement piece of ornament or even a dainty trinket can completely transform a boring outfit; Avoid horizontal stripes and light colours; While dark colours like navy and black make you look slimmer, but if you opt for a lighter shade, go for ones ruching around the belly.

Maternity wear these days are found to be work friendly and can be used after the birth of the baby. So all you working moms out there, it’s time to glam up your maternity wardrobe for work – not to forget, including the smile and the glow on your face when you are expecting that big bundle of joy which will transform your life!

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