Time for a change
Maternity fashions catch up with today’s trendy moms-to-be
By Cheryl P. Allen • STAFF WRITER • March 27, 2008 • GreenvilleOnline.com
Maternity clothes have evolved drastically over the years, adding flair and elegance to pregnancy, said Katie Darby, owner of Pickles & Ice Cream on Augusta Road.
Darby, who opened her store eight years ago, said she was inspired by conversations with pregnant friends who were frustrated over trying to find trendy clothing for their changing bodies. “I actually opened the store before I had children,” said Darby, now a mother of three young children. “So then, when I did have babies, I had something to wear.”
In the past, options were very limited, Darby said. “It was always a season or two behind the regular women’s fashion. Everything was very loose, big, long panels ... extremely frumpy, a lot of button-up tops and not much fun. You had to completely change your style and just wear what pregnant people wore. Now you don’t have to change your style.”
Maternity fashion trends this spring and summer are on track with the trends for other women’s fashions, said Rebecca Matthias, president and chief creative officer of Philadelphia-based Motherhood Maternity, which offers large selections of maternity fashion.
Consumers can look forward to colorful, upbeat styles that are both sexy and casual, Matthias said. Oversized floral prints and stripes are combined with clean, tailored lines for a comfortable, yet sophisticated look. And retro-inspired high-waisted pants and patchwork patio dresses also make a dramatic statement.
“There are ’50s-inspired skirts that are paired with bright preppy tops and swings jackets,” Matthias said. Expectant moms can also find romantic, sheer, floral dresses, wide-leg pants and sexy swimsuits.
Maternity clothes sport the same fabrics and patterns as misses lines, and color is definitely key. “Color in general, is huge this spring — fuchsia, yellows, greens and pink — whether it’s a pattern or a solid,” Darby said.
Dresses, for example, showcase a rainbow of hues this season — from sunshine florals to soft, multi-colored paisley.
“We have knee-length wrap dresses that tie on the side,”
Darby said. The wrap dresses are good because you can adjust the tie to fit different stages of your pregnancy, she said. “They’re great for work, church, a shower or a summer wedding. And when you’re pregnant, you really want to get things you can make dressy and casual and work for more than one occasion.
The tunic-style top is another trendy item. “They are more tailored this season and are not as flowy,” Darby said. “We have them in our store, and they can wear them with leggings. They’re great with jeans as well.”
One of the most popular changes has been the increasing availability of designer jeans, Darby said. So if you normally wear Citizens of Humanity jeans or Paige denims when you’re not pregnant, then you can go buy the maternity version, she said.
It is important for pregnant women to feel just as stylish as other women, Darby said. “It’s just a hard time in your life because for the first time in your life, you completely lose control of your body, and your body is changing in ways you never thought possible, and so that can get you down a little bit. It shouldn’t, because it’s also an exciting time in your life,” she said.
“But you feel so different that when you put on something that’s flattering your body as it’s growing, it makes you feel better and more normal. You want to be able to dress like you normally do and not compromise your style.” Read more...