SingaporeMotherhood | Pregnancy

January 2013

Pregnant? Look Fab, not Fat.

Pregnant? Can’t find anything to wear for the Lunar New Year? Fret not. Deborah Ng, director of Maternity Exchange, shows us how to celebrate the bump – fashionably – this festive season.

Just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you have to give up on fashion and compromise on style. In fact, it becomes even more important to pay attention to the way you dress. The right fit and style will not make you look better, you will also feel better and in turn have a much more enjoyable pregnancy. Some simple tips below will set you on the right track.
In Singapore, pregnant ladies are still rather conservative and prefer less form-fitting outfits. But many are experimenting with brighter colours and adding a few form-fitting outfits to their wardrobe. The state of maternity fashion has improved so much over the years and keeps improving – there is no excuse to be a badly-dressed expectant mummy!


1. Look for nice form-flattering maternity styles and don’t be afraid to wear fitted styles while pregnant.

Well-designed maternity outfits can actually slim you down and make you look like a trendy mummy. Hiding behind a big billowy dress can actually make you look bigger than you actually are.MatEx1Ingrid & Isabel BB Ruched Tank ; Maternal America Mini Front Tie Dress

2. Do dress suitably for the different trimesters so that you look your best at every stage.

For example, in the first trimester, choose tops that don’t fit too snugly around waist. These will hide that little growing tummy which might be mistaken for “fat” now. Under-the- belly bottoms look great now and give maximum comfort. Do wait a couple more months before opting for bottoms with adjustable waistbands and overbelly styles. They might be too huge and are unflattering at this point.

In the last trimester, tops or dresses that accentuate your bump with ruching are very flattering. If worn earlier, these tops may have too much excess material and make you look sloppy or bigger than you actually are.

First Trimester

MatEx2Japanese Weekend Keyhole Top; Maternal America Skinny Ankle Jeans

Second Trimester

MatEx3Everly Grey Tula Tank; Maternal America Overbelly Slim Pants

Last Trimester

MatEx4Mothers en Vogue Drop Formation Tunic; Ingrid & Isabel BB Draped Dress

3. Do experiment with colours and prints.

While plain black is slimming, it can be very boring and make you look washed out. Instead, revel in this wonderful stage of your life where you can actually stick your tummy out, and try on bright colours. The right shades for your skin type can freshen you up significantly and make you look like a hot mama.MatEx5Maternal America Scoop Neck Front Tie Dress; Jules & Jim 2 Pockets Tunic/Dress

4. Accessorise, accessorise, accessorise.

To snazz up your plain outfits, do accessorise with chunky necklaces or bracelets. These can update the look of an outfit in a flash. Also, use belts to give your silhouette some shape. Pregnant ladies can wear belts either over or under the belly, giving a shapeless outfit an instant chic factor. And don’t worry, it won’t harm the baby.MatEx6Seraphine Japanese Belt


1. Don’t try to wear your husband’s clothes

or purchase normal clothes a few sizes larger.
The area around the hips and shoulders definitely won’t fit as well as a maternity outfit, which is designed to fit your current frame while catering for a growing tummy and bust area.

If you try to wear larger sized normal pants, for instance, under your belly, the crotch area will be too long as compared to a pair of maternity pants. And unless you have a very small tummy, normal baby doll tops will also start riding up the tummy when you get bigger as they do not have the added length in front like maternity tops do.

2. Don’t upsize yourself when buying maternity clothes.

Many expectant mums instantly assume they are an XL just because they are pregnant and buy clothes way too big for them and make them look very frumpy. Even up to the last trimester, they never grow into that size. At most, most mums go up just one size and that’s usually in the last month.

Instead, just choose the size that you used to be before you got pregnant. Maternity clothes will already cater for additional growth in the tummy and bust area.

3. Don’t buy all your maternity clothes. Consider renting some of them, especially when:

  • You are in-between sizes. Rent the piece the fits just nice and return it a month later when it gets too tight.
  • It’s a special occasion piece you’ll be wearing only once,
  • You’re still learning about your changing body and want to test out certain styles.
  • It’s a piece you know you’ll be wearing them for a short while like when you’re in your last trimester and just need some larger outfits for one more month.


Maternity Exchange is the only store in Singapore that allows customers to buy or rent maternity wear. Maternity Exchange has a retail storefront at Marina Square and an active online store at Apart from clothes, Maternity Exchange also sells maternity and nursing lingerie, swimwear, diaper bags, belly bands, maternity support belts, postpartum shapewear, and an assortment of gifts and accessories for mums-to-be, new parents and infants. To date, the store has over 2,500 rental members.

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Pregnant? Look Fab, not Fat.