The doctor has confirmed it: you are pregnant! The congratulations keep on coming, friends and family are over the moon, your hubby and you are happy and excited about the future. For the first few months all is well and then your growing bundle of joy makes its presence known. The second trimester rolls in and slowly your bump starts showing. If the nagging bouts of morning sickness and nausea aren't bad enough you are now faced with a bigger crisis: what to wear.
While comfort should be your most important priority at this juncture it certainly doesn't mean you have to give up on fashion. Studies have shown that women associate looking good with feeling good intrinsically, and during your pregnancy it is imperative you should feel happy and proud with yourself, for the general well being of your baby and yourself.
This week Star Lifestyle has put together a guide on how to dress comfortably and fashionably that all expectant mothers can take useful cues from!
Find out your style
What kind of a dresser are you? Do you live in a shalwar kameez, or can't do without your trusty pair of jeans? Or do you reach for the best of both worlds from time to time? It is essential to know your style as that should be your guide while shopping for maternity wear.
How much are you willing to spend on maternity wear? Keep practicality in mind when drawing a budget since the clothes you now buy will most likely be stored at the deep, dark corners of your closet following the birth of your baby. It pays to invest in a few key items you require now, and won't mind discarding later. Large investments don't really yield benefits in the long run in terms of maternity wear. Hand-me-downs and recycling are also great options if you have willing and generous relatives or friends.
Know your options
Comfort is your biggest priority right now. Forego anything that is tight, clingy or that which makes breathing and movement difficult. Also, the temperature of your body is likely to fluctuate so choose fabrics such as linen and voile that let your skin breathe. Pieces like tunics, long tops in stretchable materials like jersey and cotton, airy blouses, leggings and tights are comfortable and highly customisable. Flimsy, soft cover-ups are also great to throw on top of things for a chic, pulled together look. Jeans and denims are not off-limits; try to get one with an elastic mesh panel that accommodates your bump comfortably.
For party wear, trendy blouses in materials such as georgette and chiffon in flattering, innovative styles paired with slim Capri pants look chic. You can also go for A-line and sun dresses in pretty floral prints. In terms of traditional clothing, the return of anarkali kameez and empire-line long dresses are a boon. The genius of an empire line dress is that it allows the area below the bust to remain free-wheeling while allowing a snug fit on top. This makes for a very flattering silhouette.
Long kurtas are in vogue, and it lets you flaunt your bump stylishly, at the same time covers the posterior parts modestly. Leggings and stretchable churidaar shalwars worn with such kameezes mean you get to be fashionable as well as comfortable. Similar styles can be repeated in terms of party wear; you can go all out with embellishments. Just make sure the sequins and beads don't prick your skin. Some occasions require saris, but be absolutely sure of your gait if opting for one; you want to be extra careful at this point. Experiment with bright, juicy colours and prints with small, delicate motifs as large, busy prints tend to look bulky.
This is a very important part of maternity wear shopping as what you wear inside is crucial to your comfort just as what's on the outside. Invest in new lingerie in bigger sizes; it is best to do this monthly as you won't know how much weight you will put on. These items will come handy for at least a year so it makes sense to splurge. Avoid synthetic fabrics such as Lycra and spandex. Choose cotton instead.
This is your moment to shine, so go bold! Choose rings, bangles, chunky necklaces and earrings. You can wear a solid colored outfit and accessorise with an interesting neckpiece or earrings that can be a conversation starter. Aside from being fun and exciting, it also adds panache to your outfit.
This is an essential yet underrated aspect of maternity fashion. If you live in high heels, it's time to switch to flats for the time being. Heels are not only uncomfortable, but they also pose a serious threat to your sense of equilibrium, risking you and your baby. If you must, try the low or kitten heels. Block heels are a great alternative too. The markets are well-stocked with pretty flat shoes, but check the padding on the toes and heels carefully, as this influences the amount of pressure our feet exert on the ground, in turn affecting our posture and gait. Choose open-toed slippers, thongs and flat slingbacks. Try to avoid ballet flats as these can be uncomfortable and tend to chafe.
Most women tend to sport the glow at this time, but some require a little coverage. Try the sheer formulations that are light and allow the skin to breathe. Eye makeup is a great way to add some spunk to your look. Try the latest trends of bright, metallic eye colors. Many women can't stand the smell of lipstick at this time. If you are one of them, try switching to lip gloss or tinted lip balms that smell yummy.
Even though comfort should be your first priority it does not mean you have to compromise with your sartorial choices. Be happy, proud and confident with yourself, and revel in the miracle of life that is taking place inside you. With these tips you are likely to make an impression that channels the graceful and confident maternity style of Kate Middleton, not the disastrous choices made by fashion victim Kim Kardashian!
Photo courtesy: Shadakalo