Maternity Fashion Gets the Credit it Deserves


Maternity clothing has come a long way. Women once used oversized shirts and stretch pants to conceal their growing shape and clothing manufacturers didn’t consider maternity clothing to be a profitable industry as women would only purchase clothing for a few months wear. However, today being fashionable during pregnancy is in greater demand. So much so that this September’s Melbourne Fashion Week will feature pregnant models as a way to introduce more options to people of all shapes and sizes.

Melbourne Spring Fashion Week will be held between September 5th and September 11, 2011. Last year’s event had over 80,000 attendees and brought in over 1 million dollars to the city’s economy. According to the MSFW website, this year’s event will use design and creativity to step outside of the box instead of following mainstream trends. One way is to include both men and women who represent a wide range of body types. Chadwick Models, one of Australia’s leading modeling agencies, will be recruiting four pregnant women to participate in the show.

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In the United States, celebrities have recently helped to bring stylish maternity clothing to greater demand. Natalie Portman, for example, looked red carpet stunning for both the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards. Victoria Beckham, a “fashion addict” and designer, remained stylish during her recent fourth pregnancy. With Beyonce’s pregnancy announcement yesterday at MTV’s Video Music Awards, US audiences can expect more celebration of the “baby bump.”

Looking great during pregnancy starts with an acceptance of the changes occurring in the body, says Dr. James W. Brann MD, a retired obstetrician and gynecologist. He notes that a pregnant woman is the most beautiful woman on earth and the better she feels about herself, the healthier the pregnancy is likely to be.

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You don’t have to be a celebrity to enjoy fashionable clothing during pregnancy. Fashion expert Leah Feldon, featured on Oprah, Today, and The View, offers these tips for women who wish to ditch the tent dresses in favor of beautiful maternity wear.

• During the early months of pregnancy, instead of buying maternity clothing, choose standard items that are a couple of sizes larger than usual. These will make for great transition clothes after the baby is born as well.
• Show of the growing pregnant belly with slim fitted shirts and blouses.
• Stick to colors and styles that complement your skin tone and personality. Darker shades are more slimming and wearing the same color on top and bottom will make you look less wide in the middle.
• Remember to accessorize with jewelry such as a necklace, earrings or bracelet. In colder weather, layer your look with a scarf, cape or shawl to draw attention upward. This tip is especially helpful to update an outfit you feel you have already worn several tmes.
• Even in cooler months, your body temperature is higher during pregnancy, so choose breathable fabrics such as cotton instead of wool or synthetics.
• Although Victoria Beckham could pull off stiletto heels during her pregnancy, most women are recommended to stick to low-heeled shoes. High heels can be dangerous as your center of gravity is growing and shifting.