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Looking good, feeling better

Expecting your baby? Lay your hands on some nice clothes that make you look good, feel comfortable.



Mamas only... Rows of outfits for pregnant women in Delhi.

EVEN THOUGH seasoned as well as fresh dress designers kept unfurling fall collections year after year, they conveniently neglected one segment, which was equally fashionable, but with a different need. The segment of expectant and new mothers.

Only for the last five years have some designers dared to cater to the ephemeral requirement of this niche section. Not only that, they also have boldly taken the challenge to create maternity outfits which are elegant, stylish and comfortable.

During the nine months and post-natal nine months, hormonal changes give a psychological roller coaster ride to the mothers. The epoch also leaves the mothers dizzy who helplessly watch their body contours fade.

The sweet yet agonizing period feels worse when women, especially expecting mothers, are stuck up at home due to lack of stylish outfits. The new mothers too feel disappointed due to little comfortably tailored postnatal wear.

The market does offer quite a few choices. One such store is Momease. Rashi and Mridula in their first pregnancies too felt the dearth of trendy and fashionable maternity wear. The lack of desired clothing in the market spurred them to produce their brainchild Momease in May 2000.

Nina Verghese entered into designing two and a half years back when one day her pregnant friend burst into tears on the deficit of suitably tailored chic couture.

Why has the wait in this sector has been so long?

Opines Nina, owner of the shop at and brand Mom's company that the retail clothing industry was still in its nascent stage until three years back. She also believes that the boom has come now because women today are free from prejudices. Earlier they were expected to wear salwar-kurtas.

Indo-western outfit

Has there been a shift in the style of clothing? Mega size salwar-kameez and saris are being thrown into the shade, instead there is a spurt of demand of Indo-western and Western outfits?

Concurs Nina, "Trousers and kurtis sells the most. Now, women are more fashion conscious, they also socialize more. Most women are working and want to be comfortable at their workplaces. They want to retain their sense of clothing. Physically, they are going from thin to fat, yet they would prefer to continue with their style of clothing and be more stylish!"

Mridula says, "Ladies don't want to shift from what they used to wear. They want to look stylish even when expecting."

Sonia Duggal who otherwise prefers wearing salwar-kameez, donned mostly Western wear during her second pregnancy. "Five years back when I was expecting my first baby I did not have a choice. Such stores have come up now. This time I lived in trousers. They have adjustable waist- bands, which can be adjusted according to convenience as pregnancy advances. I wore it even after delivery. The nursing gown was an answer to my prayers."

Are these custom-made clothes expensive? Mridula says, "We have kept our clothes reasonably priced. In fact, that's our USP. I will not spend a 1000 rupees for a shirt or a pant, which I will wear only for a few months!" Her store at Vasant Vihar also offers the facility to the new moms to go back to the shop and get the dresses re-stitched according to the changed measurements.

Nina's boutique at GK-I market offers accessories like nursing pillows, support belt, nursing brassieres. The kids' section is equipped with layette. "The baby carry cot is a great hit," she beams. Her collection also includes woollen trousers, ponchos, sportswear and a whole range of informal and party wear.

Designers take special care in fabric. Lot of cotton and stretch fabric is used. Lycra, georgette, linen, corduroy, denim.

The maternity fashion industry, though still taking baby steps, is doing fine for its age.

URMILA RAO

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