Finding the perfect outfits to don and dazzle everyone with during the festive season can be quite a Herculean task; especially if you are pregnant or are stuck in that tricky transition stage – having just had a baby and attempting to regain your pre-baby figure. If you still have not decided on a set of outfits, here are some fashion tips which will come in handy!
Maternity Wear: Flaunt That Bump
Don’t be afraid to show off that growing baby bump in some chic outfits designed specially for pregnant ladies. Maternity Exchange is an innovative retail concept which offers new mothers the choice of buying or renting outfits without breaking the bank. It features imported designer maternity clothes as well as nursing wear from international brands such as Seraphine and Mothers En Vogue. A wide range of maternity wear in vibrant festive colours has currently been made available for mums-to-be who are on the hunt for head-turning Lunar New Year threads. Miss Deborah Ng, founder of Maternity Exchange, states that maternity outfits are designed to flatter the growing bump with ruching at the waist, or skilful pleats and drapes to conceal areas of the body which are gaining weight. A garment that displays the shape of your bump instead of hiding it under an expanse of ill-defined silhouette is definitely much more flattering. Dresses that skim over the belly will sufficiently define the bump without bringing unnecessary attention to all your other curves. Director of Mothers En Vogue, Miss Sharon Ho-Norton, suggests toga-style garments for slim pregnant women. “The asymmetry reinforces my philosophy of simple lines with constructional detailing. The toga-style and tonal prints are easy on slim mums.”
Nursing outfits are also available at Maternity Exchange and these usually are in drop-waist styles with gathers or ruching to hide postpartum tummy bulges. V-necks end at just the right level and help to tone down a heavy chest. Several maternity bottoms come with a waistband that is perfect for holding in flabby areas of the stomach which remain after giving birth. Thus mothers can continue to wear their maternity jeans even after baby comes along.
For Plus Sized Ladies: Big is Beautiful
“Just because you are big in size does not mean that you should hide in loose and baggy clothing,” says Miss Ng. This carries the danger of making you look bigger, and also projects a rather sloppy image. Plus sized ladies should opt for well-cut form fitting pieces which skim the body without clinging to it. They can also go for heavier jersey fabrics, cotton and viscose which are better at camouflaging bulges and drape better without sticking to their figure. Donning darker shades or clothes that feature prints at the area of the woman’s heavier features like the hips can also detract attention from them. Maxi dresses are also great for bigger built ladies as they can carry them off well. According to Miss Ho-Norton, clean cuts, and simple and continuous lines are highly flattering for a plus-sized shape. Simple lines refer to garment shapes that encourage a vertical, length-wise, as opposed to breadth-wise, perspective. The aim of such garments is to visually streamline and elongate one’s figure.
Bigger women have a tendency to always incorporate the colour black into their outfits. Although black has been deemed a classic and “forgiving” hue, studies in colour psychology have indicated that colours may affect moods and perceptions. They can also be used to reflect your personality, which in turn can be a confidence booster. Colours that are associated with positivity and calmness could be employed as “mood lifters”. Choose mid-tone shades (in between very dark and pastel) which can also be “forgiving” options that can be matched to your personality. Some examples include sapphire blue, mood indigo, camel and myrtle green.
Flatter That Slim Figure
Slim mothers are lucky to be able to carry off a wider range of cuts, silhouettes and styles that can complement their figure. If you are slim even while pregnant, then take the opportunity to show off your bump with more curve conscious outfits! Having stated that, clean and sleek lines are still the core of the garments. Slender ladies can afford to take on more details in construction, such as draping, ruching and pleating, without risking appearing too heavy. Mothers En Vogue offers new arrivals which incorporate layering and surface detailing. Dresses with simple silhouettes and details like a layered neckline, asymmetric pintuck detailing and raw-edged sleeves can be pulled off well by slim expectant mothers. Their new Spring Summer 2015 collection also boasts trendy one-piece outfits which feature uneven hems that can add a bold touch to a slim figure.
Although slim women tend to look great in most types of clothes, they should be careful not to wear outfits which overwhelm their figures. These would include shapeless and baggy garments. Always choose form-fitting styles that hug the body at all the right places. Ladies who are very thin might wish to consider adding some bulk to their frame by wearing dresses that have ruching which gathers at the waist area.
Avoid Being Arrested by The Fashion Police
Many pregnant women still host the misconception that they should hide their baby bumps under loose fitting garments. On the contrary, it is clothes that skim the figure which give your body shape and definition, and aid in projecting a sleek image of yourself without appearing bulky or frumpy even. Plus-sized women should avoid clothing that detracts from vertical lines; this will make you look wider. “Fit and flare silhouettes with a gathered skirt, for example, encourage width-wise visualisation, so plus-sized mothers would want to skip such silhouettes,” advises Miss Ho-Norton.
We Have Got Your Bag
No outfit is complete without a stylish bag to match. For those of you who love cheery and whimsical prints, you are in for a treat! British label Cath Kidston recently launched its Spring Summer 2015 “A Breath of Fresh Air” collection. The main prints feature the big open skies of the spring season, views of the hills, valleys and streams, as well as the abundance of wildflowers and animals surrounding a farmhouse. The inspiration for this collection celebrates the optimism associated with being outdoors in the English countryside during spring. Take your pick from cotton backpacks, leather trim totes, carryalls and book bags – they all come in a variety of quirky prints! There are wallets and cosmetic pouches available too.
Let The Shopping Begin!
In lieu of Lunar New Year, Maternity Exchange is offering a 10% discount on festive styles and a free rental credit with the purchase of a rental package. (not applicable for the Baby Steps package) Expectant mothers out there who wish to wear those fabulous dresses you have got your eyes set on just for the festive season may choose to rent them instead. The price range is between $29 (basic tees & shorts) to $150 (dresses, tops & bottoms). Formal gowns and imported labels range from $200 to $500. A la carte rentals for a duration of 4 weeks range from $40 to $80 per garment. The Maternity Exchange boutique is located at Marina Square, #03-108.
Cath Kidston’s springtime themed accessories are priced between $21 to $194. Outlets are located at Bugis Junction, Great World City, ION Orchard, Plaza Singapura, Tampines One, TANGS Orchard and The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands.
Mothers En Vogue outfits can be purchased at The Centrepoint, Mothercare, Nursing Muslimah, Pupsik Studio and Thomson Medical ParentCraft Shop.
Pictures courtesy of Maternity Exchange, Mothers En Vogue and Cath Kidston.