Posted on April 13, 2012
Maternity wear today is attractive, sexy, comfortable and stylish. It’s designed to compliment your changing body and make you look and feel great throughout the nine months of your pregnancy. One must have essential during pregnancy is a good maternity dress . Finding a stylish maternity dress is not only about fashion, it also requires an understanding of your figure, the styles and designs that your complement your body type, and a good knowledge of fabrics that are soft, comfortable, and durable. Regardless of whether you are short, tall, extra curvy or slightly built, there are a variety of maternity dresses to choose from that will look great on you.
Understanding your shape is the first and most essential rule for dressing fashionably. As Coco Chanel once said, “Fashion is architecture: it is a matter of proportions.”
Short Women - Short women look best in streamlined tailored clothing. Consider dresses that are all one colour paired with heels, a look that will add inches to a small frame. Dresses with an empire waist are a great look because it creates the illusion of longer legs. If prints are your thing, look for smaller prints, delicate details, and subtle embellishments. Avoid large prints, floaty fabrics and tent dresses that will overwhelm a small frame. Colour blocking typically doesn’t work well because it visually “chops you up” and makes a woman look shorter than she is. Any colour blocking that is done should be more in the form of accenting a base colour rather than breaking up your silhouette into large bold blocks of colour.
Tall Women – Look for styles that will balance your figure and flatter a long torso. Choose styles that cinch under the bump or look for halter necklines that draw the eyes to a woman’s shoulders. Bandeau or tank top style dresses also work well. Avoid short bodices and vertical patterns on dresses because they will make a woman look even taller.
Full Figured Women – For women who are size 18 and over, there are now even more choices than ever before. An important point to remember is that clothes should outline your body, accentuate your cleavage and complement your waist. Choose maternity dresses that have a lot of movement and divert attention from the thighs, hips and tummy. Wrap dresses are ideal because they skim the waist, enhance cleavage and hide a multitude of sins. Look for darker colours that will also create a sliming silhouette. Avoid big belts, shiny clothes and body clinging fabrics. Viscose jerseys are the worst.
Pear Shaped Women – The classic pear shaped woman has rounded hips and thighs that are slightly wider than her shoulders. The best looks on a pear shaped woman are styles that have a shapely waist, balance the upper body and draw the eye to the shoulders and arms. Look for empire waist dresses because they focus the eyes to the narrowest part of the body. Heels will add length and elongate shorter legs. Dresses with fitted tops and A-line skirts are also a great style. Avoid mini-skirts or baggy clothes, both will draw attention to hips and thighs.
Apple Shaped Women - The classic apple shaped woman has a large bust, narrow hips and slim legs. Body conscious dressing for apple shaped woman is about accentuating the cleavage and legs. Look for open or scoop necks that expand the chest area and make a woman look more in proportion. Solid colour, crossover, and wrap dresses are also ideal. Avoid horizontal stripes, large prints, dresses that are too baggy and ruching at the shoulders.
Choose clothes that accentuate your best assets. Focus on fabrics that are fluid and drape well, otherwise that beautiful dress that complements your new found cleavage will also cling to niggly bits and create bra and panty lines. A bump-flattering wrap dress may look great on the hanger, but if the fabric is itchy or is prone to static and sticks to your undergarments, it will end-up in the back of your closet never to be worn again.
Pick brands wisely. A cheap dress is great for a week on the beach, but after a few washes the fabric pills, the colour fades, and the fit and shape of the dress have deteriorated. In difficult economic times value for money is important and fashion is more about fewer quality pieces that will continue to flatter your shape and look great regardless of how many times you wash and wear your maternity clothes. Cheaper doesn’t necessarily mean better value and value for money is what you really need in maternity wear.
Don’t confuse Fad with Fashion. Current fads often don’t translate well into maternity wear. Choose colours that complement your skin tone and hair colouring. Dress to complement your shape by picking styles that are simple but classic and cut to accentuate your assets.
Maternity clothes must be adjustable. Women who are going through pregnancy the first time around are often surprised. Only towards the end of the first trimester do women begin to think about needing a few maternity pieces. In the second trimester, a few pieces have been purchased. The third trimester is when a woman really begins to grow rapidly and if the first few maternity wear choices weren’t well made, she’ll be out shopping once again. Look for maternity wrap dresses which are always very flexible or maternity dresses with ruching, layering, or pleating in the front. These types of styles should see any woman through her pregnancy and beyond.
Following these guidelines will make every woman look fantastic during her pregnancy!
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