Director of Baby Angels, 33-year-old Ilse Marran is six months pregnant with her second child. ‘My bump is huge. I’m only six months but look eight,’ says the South African mum-of-one to Isabella, 18 months. Currently living in leggings and wrap dresses, Ilse is looking for some glam gear to see her through Dubai’s hectic social season. ‘At this point in my pregnancy, I need to feel comfortable, but I’d like to look glamorous too. I’m used to dressing smartly and elegantly, but recently I’ve resigned myself to stretch maternity trousers and comfy flat shoes. I really miss wearing heels. With a number of seasonal soirees to attend, it would be lovely to look fabulous without feeling fat.’
The Christmas Office Party
A pair of wide-legged black trousers is a maternity must-have, mixing with any number of tops and ensuring a fuss-free office-to-evening transition. Opt for slouchy relaxed cuts with a stretchy bellyband. Luxe up the look with a richly-textured top. This soft sequin vest is glitzy yet subtle, providing a polished look perfect for outdoor Dubai, with black offsetting the sequin shine. Add a splash of colour and divert attention from the bump with a silk scarf and a bold bangle. Finish with an edgy clutch for a bang up to date ensemble.
Black trousers, Dhs279, Prémaman; Ivory sequin vest top, Dhs770, Lavish by Heidi Klum at Destination Maternity; Silk print scarf, Dhs700, Moschino at Bloomingdales; Hot pink bangle, Dhs725, A Cuckoo Moment... at Bloomingdales; Zippered black clutch, Dhs3,200, Stella McCartney at Bloomingdales.
The Girl’s Night Out
With red the season’s hottest hue and frills perfect for partywear, this playful look is spot-on for the season. The trick to pulling off this body-conscious dress is layering: by pairing with black below and on top, the ensemble is fun without being vulgar, keeping the silhouette slim while highlighting the bump. The cropped trousers give a young, hip vibe, while the sequin cover-up adds instant bling, disguises pregnancy arms and balances out the bump. Complete the look with a structured handbag for ladylike polishing.
Black cropped stretch trousers with Secret Belly Fit, Dhs175, a pea in the pod at Destination Maternity; Red stretch strapless ruffle dress, Dhs709, Velvet by Graham & Spencer at Blossom Mother & Child; Black sequin cover-up, Dhs1,012, Velvet at Blossom Mother & Child; Beige bag, Dhs1,950, Coach at Bloomingdales; Silver diamante sandals, Dhs725, Mystique at Bloomingdales.
The Christmas Day Brunch
The Look: Elegant but comfy is a must, so opt for one of the season’s long, flowing maxi dresses, perfect for the climate and for your bump. This gorgeous georgette silk dress is simple yet stand-out with stunning sequin detailing on the straps and skirt, while the soft pastel hue provides a more casual vibe. The fitted bodice keeps Ilse’s top-heaviness in check, while the empire-line cut provides a flattering silhouette with material grazing over the baby bump, and the cool mint colour highlights her gorgeous green eyes. Add a statement necklace to divert attention from the bump and up the glamour ante with bright, sparkly accessories. This studded clutch provides edge and is also surprisingly spacious, while the super-sparkly silver sandals are flash enough to fit the day, but also super-snug for all-day comfort.
Mint silk georgette beaded gown, Dhs2,324, Clements Riberio for Blossom Mother & Child; Long pendant, Dhs84, Mamas & Papas; Pink studded clutch, Dhs2,500, Stella McCartney at Bloomingdales;
Silver diamante sandals, Dhs725, Mystique at Bloomingdales.
The New Year’s Eve Party
The Look: For red carpet-worthy pizzazz, opt for a universally flattering and slimming black number. The narrow cut and soft draping of this gown skims yet defines the body, creating an elongated silhouette. The beauty of this Heidi Klum number is that it looks good with heels or flats: the floor-length design means you can wear super-comfy Scholl sandals and no-one will notice. Though a pair of glossy black heels will make you feel fabulous. The simple black choker keeps the pared-down look elegant, while the mini fuchsia clutch adds a pop of colour.
Black strapless dress, Dhs770, Lavish by Heidi Klum at Destination Maternity; Black choker with diamante clasp, Dhs1,150, Kenneth Jay Lane at Bloomingdales; Black patent heeled pumps, Dhs2,200, Giamito Rossi at Bloomingdales; Cerise clutch with Swarovski crystals, Dhs1,650, San Blas at Bloomingdales.