Maternity clothes around the world have been undergoing significant changes. In both Eastern and Western cultures, there is greater demand for fashionable maternity clothes. In Western cultures the influence of celebrity culture means that pregnant women in the public eye are taking the lead on maternity fashion. As a result, pregnant women are no longer trying to hide or disguise their pregnancy, instead choosing to wear garments which closely fit their new shape, often emphasizing the bust and abdominal area. High-tech fabrics such as elastin are the material of choice for maternity wear in Western cultures as they allow garments to be form-fitting while allowing the abdominal area to expand as necessary. Women in Eastern cultures, however, have maintained a much greater sense of modesty when it comes to maternity wear. In both the Islamic and Asian cultures, maternity wear is much less fitted, hemlines are longer and necklines higher. Modern Islamic maternity wear uses fabrics with brighter colors and bolder prints. Aside from cultural modesty, Chinese women have sometimes sought to hide their second pregnancy in less shapely clothes because Chinese policy has dictated that they can only have one child. In Chinese and Japanese cultures, there is a fear of radiation from devices such as computers and mobile phones, especially during pregnancy. Even though there is no evidence to support this (according to WHO), Asian maternity wear is often manufactured from “anti-radiation” fabrics.
Offerings include maternity clothes that are comfortable and functional without compromising on style. Clothes feature clean and simple lines, using natural fabrics that are meant to last after continuous washes and multiple babies. The latest arrivals feature bamboo fabric clothes, which are meant to be comfortable and breathable.
Cooz Maternity is an online wholesale store. Their clothes are made in Hong Kong, Taiwan, China and Korea. Featuring mostly Korean-style designs, the clothes are feminine and demure. Look out for maternity bubble dresses that are sure to be a hit with pregnant fashionistas – available in trendy blues, plums and khakis instead of the usual black. Other designs include sleeveless maternity tops with large beading on necklines, and maternity capris complete with stretchable belly covers.
Expect to find comfy yet stylish maternity wear that is perfect for everyday wear when pregnant, as well as ensembles that work both in the office or at a party. The line has now grown to include comfortable nursing apparel and gorgeous lingerie.
Mums-to-be rent or buy from the store. Maternity Exchange stocks designer labels from all over including homegrown labels Mothers En Vogue and Pupsik (for baby accessories), and international labels such as Jules & Jim Maternity. The idea behind offering maternity wear rentals is to give expectant mums the flexibility to change their wardrobe as their body changes. Items available in-store include assorted gifts for mums and parents-to-be, baby slings, nursing lingerie, swimwear and post-partum shapewear.
Mothers En Vogue
Mothers En Vogue’s (MEV) clothes are made from natural fibers, such as cotton and bamboo, and environmentally friendly alternatives that are grown without harmful chemicals. Apart from an extensive range of nursing apparel, they also carry a line called X.tended, that can be worn from pregnancy to nursing. The clothes are chic, stylish and feminine, and offer discreet access for nursing on-the-go.
Motherswork’s Big Is Beautiful
Motherswork’s Big Is Beautiful offers multi-label designer wear for expectant mummies and also caters to mothers after their pregnancies. In addition, the company sells quality plus-size maternity clothes that are stylish and unique. They also carry designer maternity jeans from Rock & Republic, Paige and Maternal America, and dresses from Australian label, Szabo.
If you are into girly Japanese fashion, Mummy’s Secret is the online maternity store for you. Featured on this site are plenty of girly kawaii (cute) maternity outfits, from whimsical empire dresses in bright colours, and with bows, to knee-length overalls with big buttons. Mummy’s Secret also stocks nursing wear and lingerie, with sleep bras starting at just $9.90.
New Maternity offers fashionable, functional and comfortable clothing made from quality fabrics. They stock maternity basics like tunics, stretchy pants and tube dresses in simple colours that make it easy to mix and match. Shopping can be done both at the store at IMM and online. Apart from maternity clothing, New Maternity also stocks lingerie, nursing and swimming apparel, as well as selected shoes and clothes for babies.
Spring Maternity & Baby
Spring Maternity has arguably the widest range of maternity, nursing and baby products available. Pretty tube tops and shirts in unique prints, trendy capris in cotton and denim, as well as slinky wraparound dresses for the pregnant mum. Look out for the ‘Sale’ and ‘2 for $49.90’ tabs on their website to score bargain deals. Regular updates on sales and promotions are posted on their Facebook page. You will also find a variety of nursing and baby accessories, from stylish nursing shawls to breast pumps, strollers, cots and car seats.
With a tagline like ‘Expect in Style’, you can already figure out what to ‘expect’ from this online maternity and nursing store. Ubermums carries a mix of their own designs and overseas labels, featuring everything from chic office wear (that don’t look like maternity wear at all), to bra extenders (to accommodate your expanding bustline), belly sashes (to support that growing belly) and even diaper bags. Prices are reasonable and you can purchase chic office blouses for under $40.