When it came to dressing for pregnancy, I made a silent oath to myself to stay away from maternity shops as most of the clothes scream, "frumpy" with a capital "F" and "U". It didn’t start out that way, of course. Ever the rule-abiding citizen, I did my due research - both online and offline, brick as well as click-and-mortar shops, blog shops and websites – before deciding that I was better off shopping at my usual haunts.
Thing is too many maternity shops out there seem to carry outfits that are as plain and yet as grim as an orange jumpsuit (repeat after me: Only Matt Bomber / Neil Caffrey looks good in an orange jumpsuit). What gets my goat is that this is a period when a woman's self esteem isn’t exactly skyrocketing and yet we are made to dress like plump peasants. Worst of all, despite how they look, these maternity outfits are ridiculously pricier than your average item. Apart from a couple of shorts, I decided I didn't want to resign myself to fugly outfits AND pay for them.
Where you shop doesn’t matter as much as what you choose and here are my five cents’ worth on where to shop and what to look out for. Er, this is based on my bump-on-a-budget philosophy - doesn't apply if designer labels and workmanship matters more to you than comfort and practicality.
1. I swear by elastic waistbands as bottoms are literally a bigger problem for me.
2. The upside of shapless tops is this trend has stuck around and doesn’t seem to be going out of style anytime soon; the downside is that people might not realize you are pregnant and give up their seats to you. I wouldn't recommend shapeless dresses as they might make you look like the perfect tent instead of a perfect ten.
3. Stretchy but loose-fitting tops and dresses
4. Wrap dresses - too formal for my daily wear but you could try them out if you are a corporate dweller.
5. Maxi dresses are a dream for some women but I'm simply not statuesque enough to pull them off.
Places to try try out include:
That being said, I realized that as I approach 35 weeks, the unpredictability increase of my bump might force me to head back into maternity shops - you will know when my tracking anklet buzzes off manically.