Pregnancy can be tough for a lot of reasons (we know!), but feeling like you’re dressed as a tent-wearing bag lady should not be one of them. After spending the first trimester of my second pregnancy feeling increasingly uncomfortable in my ‘normal’ clothes (and trying to disguise what can only look like a serious pie-gut!), I’ve spent many hours avidly scouring the net looking for inspiring maternity wear. There’s nothing quite like being prepared for when that fully-fledged baby bump finally makes an appearance!
As an expat, I struggled to find clothes in Singapore during my first pregnancy. In Western countries women can often get away with buying regular high street clothes in a few sizes bigger than their normal size. Unless you are teeny tiny to begin with (at 5”9 in height I simply don’t qualify!) I had more than a few issues with my hemlines riding up the bigger my bump got.
In Singapore, there’s also the issue of the heat plus an overabundance of clingy synthetic materials and high necklines (I get why manufacturers think stretchy fabric is best for pregnant woman, but flaunting bra bulge is never attractive, especially when you’re already carrying a few extra kilos).
With these thoughts in mind, it was with slightly gritted teeth that I began my search. I have to say however that I was very pleasantly surprised with some of my discoveries! Maternity clothes can undoubtedly be expensive, but I found last time that the clothes that I liked the most and that felt good on, got a lot of outings. The price-per-wear ratio actually ends up pretty good, where the better quality fabrics tended to last the distance in a way some of my thriftier buys did not.
Here are my top 10 suggestions for online maternity stores that ship to Singapore:
Run by mumpreneurs, Sara (from London) and Helen (from Hong Kong), Madderson has some beautiful pieces with very flattering silhouettes in luxurious but wearable fabrics. I’ve invested in the Darcey dress (pictured above) as an attractive work option but think their cool chevron prints would be perfect for relaxed Singapore weekends.
While often lauded by working mums for their versatile work-wear options, I avoided Isabella Oliver during my first pregnancy due to my clingy fabric phobia. After seeing some of their designs in the flesh however, I have to admit to being won round! Their range of practical, yet stylish maternity wear is perfect for the office or maybe even a playdate!
This Aussie stalwart is a fab all-rounder as they stock a huge selection of lesser-known brands including Sassy Mama faves Belabumbum (great name!) and Seraphine (beloved of Kate Middleton!). They even have a nice range of breastfeeding friendly tops and bras for when bubs finally makes his appearance!
Hatch has a great collection of cool, breezy numbers ideal for the tropical heat. Their Hatch to Hospital box is a great gift idea for pregnant friends and is full of comfortable goodies that will make their hospital stay much more enjoyable (and stylish). Hatch is also available on Shopbop if you want to stock up on their other maternity clothes while you’re at it (free shipping for orders over $100 too).
Having noted earlier this year that Harrods task their personal shoppers with finding versatile designer (read: non-maternity) styles from the shop floor to help stock their fantastic maternity section (you can see brands like Issa, Alice By Temperley and See by Chloe), pregnancy has not dampened my appetite for checking out the latest “drops” of discounted designer items on The Outnet. Drops usually happen around 5pm Singapore time every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday (yes, I may have a problem…).
I was pretty dismayed when I discovered the fabulous Egg Maternity outlet at Vivocity had closed since my last pregnancy, as I adored their Floaty Milkbar dress (pictured above) that I had pickup up there last time around. The good news is that they still have a shop on McNair Road (Block 110, McNair Road #08-263, Singapore 320110) and a pretty decent selection online.
Home-brand Asos items can be a bit hit-and-miss in their quality, but their maternity section also includes other brands like Mamalicious and Isabella Oliver. Their regular section stocks quite a few dresses which could easily be worn during pregnancy. My fave? Anything with swing dress in the title!
These guys stock agreat selection of maternity designer jeans — if only a Singapore-based pregnancy didn’t make me want to live in a swimming pool or keep my head in the freezer, I’d be all set! It does have some versatile jersey wear though, as well as some nice items from Hatch. These guys get first prize for quick and easy delivery.
Irish lawyer Polly O’ Brien relocated to Asia in 2009, and after a stint living in Hong Kong, moved to Singapore in 2011. She has been joined along the way by one husband, several daft ginger dogs, a beautiful daughter Elodie and is currently expecting a new addition in early 2014. In her spare time Polly enjoys exploring new activities and destinations with the burgeoning ‘team’, buying mini-fashion for a child currently happiest in her nappy and going to Gold Class cinema to fall asleep to action movies.