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!
Here in Dubai there’s also the teeny -tiny little detail of the dusty heat which often puts you on a self-inflicted house arrest, unable to face a trip to the mall. Whenever I did drag myself out to the shops I tended to find 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 from the comfort of my home (read couch…). 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 Dubai:
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 Dubai 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!
Worth a look for their range of versatile tunics, tops and maxi dresses. The gorgeous children’s wear is pretty hard to resist too!
Hatch has a great collection of cool, breezy numbers ideal for the burning desert 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.
I adored their mega-comfy Floaty Milkbar dress (pictured above) that I picked up last time around with bump #1. The good news is that they still have a pretty decent selection online with free world wide delivery for orders worth $300 and up- that money is easily spent by the way mamas!
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 a great selection of maternity designer jeans — if only a Dubai-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 is the mother to a beautiful daughter Elodie and welcomed her second child earlier this year. 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 the cinema to fall asleep to action movies.