One often overlooked aspect of pregnancy is finding the right maternity wear. Roshni Shewakramani, founder of Smitten Boutique, a specialist in women and children’s clothing, reveals her tips for nailing style and comfort.
For many women, pregnancy is certainly not all fun and games. En route to the brain-meltingly emotional moment when you meet the tiny little person you’ve made yourself, there’s the inevitable expansion of almost every last body part, even if only temporary. From cankles to backache and hot flushes, it can be an uncomfortable time. There are, however, numerous maternitywear experts working tirelessly to take the strain off your wardrobe, with cool, comfortable and stylish options for every type of mum-to-be. Dubai’s Smitten Boutique is just one of those, and here, its founder, Roshni Shewakramani, shares her tips for beautiful, comfortable options for growing bumps.
Don’t just buy bigger clothes
Pregnant women should learn to embrace their new curves. Non-maternity clothes that are a size or two bigger than your pre-pregnancy size do not automatically translate to maternity wear. If you do this, you will just end up with ill-fitting clothes that will not look as flattering as properly tailored maternitywear. It is important to invest in good maternity clothing because a pregnant form needs specially designed cuts. These clothes also feature extra details to keep you comfortable with your bump. Examples are stretchable belly panels and empire waist ties. Jeans, trousers and a range of other bottoms that we carry at Smitten all come with super-comfortable elasticated bands and have the correct drape that complements the form.
Look beyond baggy T-shirts and dresses
Some maternity must-haves are a pair of faded skinny jeans and a batwing-style knitted top; black yoga pants and an eco-friendly bamboo fibre T-shirt for all-day comfort and a pair of white cotton shorts, especially for these summer months. A wrap dress in cotton and Lycra completely does the trick when you want to display that beautiful pregnancy curve. On dressing up for special occasions, look for long maxi dresses in silk with jewel colours such as emerald green or cobalt blue. You’ll also look stunning with minimal jewellery and make-up. A printed shawl over the shoulders will complete the look.
Don’t necessarily rule out heels
For a complete a head-to-toe look, it’s okay to wear high heels when pregnant, as long as you are still comfortable in them. Heels should simply be avoided when suffering from backache, and when weight is gained further along in pregnancy. As your belly grows, your centre of gravity changes, sometimes causing a lack of balance, so heels become harder to manage. However, if you’re not yet at this stage, a pointy, patent three-inch pair will complete your outfit.
Pick the right fabrics
When you want your maternity clothes to last through several stages of your pregnancy, you should stick to high-quality, well-tailored items that are made with stretchy material so they will stay snug, flattering and supportive as your body changes. Top choices are natural fabrics such as cotton, modal and bamboo, as they are soft and breathable, or a jersey made from a blend of those natural materials together with Spandex or Lycra for optimum stretchiness, support and shape retention. Avoid synthetics such as polyester as they tend to hold heat to the skin and can therefore cause you irritation.
Personal styling assistance is available in-store. Smitten Boutique, Dubai Marina Mall, www.smitten-boutique.com (04 451 9779).
Three to try: maternity wear online
This hugely popular international store is a great go-to for basics (such as shorts and Tees) and essentials packs at affordable prices. You can also find stylish wrap dresses, kimonos and more to dress your bump up with.
This Middle East website focuses primarily on baby and pregnancy accessories, but you’ll still find a few helpful maternity bits and pieces, including elastic TummyTies to help you keep wearing your favourite jeans a little while longer.
This massive online store sells everything from nappies to books. Go retro in the fashion stakes with stylish pregnancy dungarees, stretchy waistbanded trousers and jeans, plus blouses and dresses in flowery prints.