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Look your best no matter how big you - and your bump - become


Concerns: Expectant mothers will start to put on a little weight on the hips and their breasts will become slightly larger.

What to wear: Do not wear anything that is too tight or clingy as that will emphasise your barely there bump which, at this point, can be mistaken for a flabby tummy. Go for drop-waist dresses or A-line tops (photo 1) as they do not hug the stomach area.

Empire-cut tunics are also good options during the first trimester. They are fitted around the shoulders and arms but fall loosely from below the bust to skim your bump.

As your pre-pregnancy jeans and skirts may no longer fit well, get stretchy extender bands, or belly bands, from maternity shops that you can wear over the unbuttoned waistbands to hold them up.


Concerns: Your body shape will grow and change every two weeks and, by the end of the second trimester, you will have bigger thighs and a larger bum.

Your bust size may also increase by about two or three cup sizes.

What to wear: Most importantly, invest in a few good maternity bras that you can wear throughout the pregnancy as well as during the nursing period. Get those that are cotton-based, as cotton dries quickly and keeps the skin cool. Also, make sure there are no uncomfortable seam lines that cross over the nipples.

Ditch the underwire bras for deep-sided ones with wide straps and supportive under-bust bands.

For clothes, look for empire-cut pieces or those that feature ruching, buttons or gathering at the sides (photo 2), as these details give you additional room as your body grows. Invest in a pair of dark denim maternity boot-cut jeans. The cut and colour of the versatile staple piece will flatter you throughout your pregnancy. The stretchable waistband offers comfort and can be adjusted to suit your growing belly.


Concerns: This is the time when the belly is at its biggest, especially in the last two months of pregnancy.

At this stage, dressing well will start to be a problem as mums-to-be have to wear clothes that are much bigger to accommodate the belly. However, larger cuts may fit the belly but be too loose for the chest area.

Another problem mums in the last trimester face is the side profile: As the bump and the bum stick out in opposite directions, this can create a dumpy look.

What to wear: The best way to avoid looking dumpy is to go for outfits that streamline the body. So pick empire-cut maxi dresses in monochrome shades.

Alternatively, you can pair a tunic in cotton fabric over maternity leggings for more comfort.

To elongate your frame, choose well-fitting separates in solid colours (photo 3). Throw on a cardigan to add visual interest.

Choose pieces made of stretchable cotton, jersey or viscose silk as these will mould to the shape of the body to ensure a better fit all round.

Sources: Dr Ann Tan, obstetrician doctor and consultant at the Women & Fetal Centre; Ms Dorothy Loh, designer and owner of maternity wear label Dote; and Ms Deborah Ng, director of multi-label maternity wear boutique Maternity Exchange.


1. Maternity Exhange

03-108 Marina Square;

What: Stocks designer maternity wear labels from all over the world, including home-grown brand Mothers En Vogue and French label Juls & Jim Maternity. The shop also offers a rental service for mummies-to-be who do not want to spend too much.

This gives them the flexibility to change their wardrobe as their body changes.

Prices: From $89.90 for a baby bag from German label Okie Dog to $330 for a formal gown from Australia’s Ripe Maternity. Rental packages start from $299 for eight pieces to $599 for 20 pieces. Each piece can be rented for up to four weeks.

2. Dote

What: Launched in 2008, this home-grown online store specialises in nursing wear designed by Ms Dorothy Loh, a mother of three. There is also a line of versatile dresses and tops, called Duo Function, that can be worn pre- and post-delivery.

Design details on the simple yet chic pieces, made mostly of jersey and silk viscose, include cleverly concealed slits for discreet nursing when you are out. Prices: From $29 for tops to $139 for dresses.

3. Hatch

What: This American online boutique caters to every need of expectant mothers – from daily casualwear pieces to formal cocktail dresses and gowns.

Fans of this two-year-old portal include celebrity yummy mummies Lily Aldridge, Molly Sims and Jennifer Garner. Many of the clothes are versatile enough to be worn even after pregnancy. However, they are not cheap. Still, if you are looking for effortlessly stylish ensembles, this is the store to check out.

Prices: From US$98 (S$122) for basic jersey tees to US$500 for maxi dresses made from poly crepe de chine.

4. Mothers En Vogue

01-32 The Centrepoint;

What: Founded by former marketing executive Sharon Ho-Norton in 2003, this home-grown label stocks maternity and nursing clothes made of organic cotton, bamboo and other natural fibres.

The label, known for maternity wear designed for tropical weather, is also distributed in the United States and has a flagship store in the Pavilion mall in Kuala Lumpur.

Besides an extensive range of nursing apparel, Mothers En Vogue also carries a versatile line called X.tended that can be worn pre- and post-pregnancy.

Prices: From $69.90 for tops to $179 for dresses in the X.tended range.

5. J Brand Maternity

What: This cool-girl denim label from Los Angeles offers a small line of maternity jeans. They are cut from lightweight stretch denim and feature elastic panels to ensure a comfortable fit.

The brand’s maternity line counts Kim Kardashian, Beyonce and Black Eyed Peas’ Fergie as fans.

Prices: From US$236 for a pair of denim maternity leggings to US$315 for skinny jeans.

6. EGG Maternity

01-58 VivoCity;

What: This popular New Zealand label specialises in chic everyday maternity wear. There are also versatile pieces that can take you from the office to an evening soiree.

The 12-year-old label has grown to include lingerie as well as nursing apparel.

Prices: From $69.90 for nursing tops to $250 for jackets and dresses.

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