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Get ready to look chic in pregnancy

They say it’s the most beautiful time in a woman’s life. Maternity wear doesn’t mean baggy kurtas any more. Designers are adding beauty to the bump, writes Parul Khanna.

india Updated: Jan 27, 2009 17:16 IST
Parul Khanna
Parul Khanna
Hindustan Times

They say it’s the most beautiful time in a woman’s life. There’s a special glow. But you don’t think so. Five-and-a-half months pregnant, and you feel extremely unattractive.

Your body is big and for the last few months all you have been wearing is an oversized kurta. But if you take our advice, you’ll fling that kurta away. Thanks to yummy mummies like Angelina Jolie, it’s become fashionable to show off your pregnancy. And now stores have started to retail stylish, trendy and comfortable maternity wear.

Feel good
Given that women don’t stop working or partying when they’re pregnant, maternity clothes manufacturers have finally realised that women prefer to continue dressing in the pre-pregnancy styles to which they have become accustomed. Says jewellery designer Shreya Jain, “I wear skinny jeans, strappy tops, formal pants, stylish dresses, capris – and I am seven months pregnant! I feel attractive as ever. Nothing has changed except that my face glows and I have a spring in my step.”

So what are the ideal maternity clothes? “Clothes that match the current trends, are stylish, enhance the curves, are comfortable, and also have room for the growing body, specifically the stomach, breasts and butt,” says fashion designer Jattinn Kochchar, who makes maternity clothes labelled Swell Well on order. Jattinn started Swell Well in 2005, when he and his wife were expecting their first child and realised that there was nothing attractive in the market.

Let it grow
He’s not the only person to have noticed the lack of stylish yet comfortable maternity wear in the market. Other designers are keeping silhouettes trendy with the help of new techniques. Says Aparna Jain, owner of 9 Months, a store chain selling maternity clothes at Fortis La Femme Hospital, Delhi, and Kids At Home, Greater Kailash, “We do ruching, pleating and pin-tucks in tops, dresses, sweaters and coats in natural fabrics like cotton. Stretch fabric is not the solution as attire can only expand to two-three inches. Our tops fit a woman well from the shoulders and chest, and the pleats/ruches/pin-tucks accommodate the growing stomach. Post-delivery, the top goes back to regular size. So, one can use it later too. This is a bonus for women as maternity clothes are expensive.”

Breathe easy
Women can continue wearing skirts, pants, and jeans – even skinny jeans. But instead of buttons and zips, maternity lowers have a special stretchable belly band made of spandex. “Wearing bottoms with buttons under the belly is a bad idea. You would feel the jeans are falling and the button would keep poking,” points out Jattinn.

Natural fabrics are preferred. “Polyesters and synthetics don’t let the skin breathe and pregnant women feel hotter because of their high metabolic rate,” continues Jattinn. “Satin can be worn, but not for too long. In winter, wool should not touch the body directly.”

Layering your clothes is another fashion tip the experts swear by. You can experiment with colours. Bright shades are known to be mood-boosters. That apart, layering is very practical. Because, when pregnant, your metabolic rate is much higher than a normal person’s, so you might feel drastic changes in temperature.

You can easily shed layers of clothes. In terms of styling, the key, say designers, is to enhance and expose your best areas. So wear a skirt if you have good legs, or even show off your arms or cleavage.

First Published: Jan 27, 2009 15:49 IST