Maternity clothes can be trendy

Designers say that high price of maternity outfits and lack of options are the reason why expectant mothers don’t experiment with their clothes

Comfort and ease are two factors that moms-to-be look for in their clothing but the options available to them, at least in India, are still quite limited.
Although there are many global brands making their way to the markets, their maternity editions are limited, says Ruby Vishwanath, founder, Purple Flaunt, Bengaluru-based maternity wear brand. 

“There is a demand in the market but the product is not available. There are only a handful of brands who dabble in maternity fashion. It is inspired by celebrities, but the price is high. There is not much experimentation in this sector,” she explains.

Ruby brings out fun and functional designs that can be worn pre and post-delivery.

“Comfort should be the primary focus of any maternity outfit. In India, that was missing for a long time.

The outfits were only comfortable but not fashionable, she says.

Fabrics used should have the right elastin percentage. So, 100 per cent cotton may not work but viscose fabric works really well as it is fluidic and comfortable.

“In Bengaluru, young expectant mothers look for flowy dresses, tops, and shirt dresses; these are suitable during pregnancy and afterwards. Clothes like dungarees are less in demand,” adds Ruby.

Maternity denim and leggings are also slowly picking up; women have started experimenting with silhouettes.

The high-low cuts, denim jackets worn over knee-length dresses and ripped palazzo jeans teamed with a plain white T-shirt and an evening shrug see steady demand. However, body-hugging dresses are still avoided.

“Knee-length kurtis are a mass favourite. Some women like to wear it with leggings and others wear the kurti as a dress. Wear a simple tunic top and layer it with a yarn-knit shrug; complete your look with a sneaker and you are good to go. You can also wear a white T-shirt, belly leggings, and a denim jacket on top,” she recommends.

Ruby also advises experimenting with colours and prints. 

Bright colours like yellow and blue and floral prints, which were missing in maternity collection earlier, are now trending.

Vertical stripes and solid colours were the only choices initially.

Rina Dhaka, celebrity fashion designer, who has designed a new line of maternity clothing for Apollo Cradle, offers smart fashion choices for expectant mothers and young moms.

She is of the opinion that millennial mothers-to-be are extremely stylish and want to keep their fashion game on-point even during the nine months.

“Jackets, coats, kimonos and flowing garments are always in trend. Scarves with tassels or trinkets are other pieces that can be used as accessories along with your maternity clothing,” says Rina.   

She has concentrated on layering and included capes, long gowns and soft jackets in her collection.

Fabrics like soft linen, woven cotton, ‘liva’ yarn (that is 100 per cent sustainable) are extensively used in the collection.  

Seema Nanda, city designer, is of the opinion that maternity outfits should not just be limited to kaftans and baggy clothes.

Good drapes in flowy fabrics make a garment look flattering and doesn’t emphasise the bump.

“Bell sleeves and drape dresses look great if styled well. One can wear shirt dresses, experiment with umbrella sleeves and cold-shoulder sleeves. Anything that has an A-line fit or a drape is a great option,” she says.

Maternity fashion is still not a trend in the city, she adds. The reason? “They don’t think they will get something that is trendy yet comfortable. Many shy away from experimenting with new styles fearing that they might not look good in it. For example, a cape dress is fashionable, easy-to-wear and ideal for pregnant women,” she says.

What should be avoided?

  • Don’t risk your health by wearing too body-hugging clothes made of no stretch material. It is a big no.
  • Avoid buttoned pants that would create pressure on the navel.
  • Avoid trousers as they are uncomfortable and opt for three-fourth length dresses.
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