The best of knocked-up fashion

The pregnant pause need no longer be awkward. Take a cue from Vidya Balan, who has been sporting a faux belly, and other stylish ladies, who had the world sigh, 'Mamma Mia!'

How long are you going to hide behind the baggy sweats and the sorry excuse of, 'I'm eating for two' to avoid looking after yourself and looking your best? Get inspired by these fashionable women, who led the way to Yummy-Mummy-dom.

Actresses Shilpa Shetty and Lara Dutta are gearing up to welcome a new member to their families before the year is out, while Vidya Balan, who plays a pregnant woman in her upcoming film, has been sporting a fake bump to promotional events. So what works and what doesn't?

Designer Nachiket Barve feels that to-be moms fall into two categories: Those who love showing off their bump and those who don't.

"One can opt for chiffon, georgette or crepe materials. Empire-line dresses or a silhouette that is fitted at the bust, and flows  downward is perfect," he says.

The key to dressing well during pregnancy is balancing the volume at different points of your ensemble rather than buying over-sized clothes that you cannot wear later on. It's also important to keep the occasion in mind.
"Elegance rules over sexy. Happy, bright colours, even soft pastels work well in this season. One has to be careful with prints," suggests Nachiket, who advises staying away from abstract geometric prints. "Or you might end up looking like a '60s optical illusion."

Saris form an important part of any Indian woman's wardrobe. Designer Shaina NC suggests opting for translucent saris that are big this season.
"A sari camouflages the contours very well, but it is the blouse that one needs to take care of," she says, adding, "Wear a long blouse with slits on the side, as a tiny blouse will ride up the bump."

Opting for stretch? Go for jersey
Layer the dress with a casual mesh knit jacket or a cropped cardigan. "Layering helps carry off the skin-tight silhouette, so that you don't look like you are ready to pop any minute," says Nachiket. Lara Dutta is seen here in this dress-shrug mix.

Wedges Tower Over Heels
Doctors advise against wearing high heels during pregnancy. But we'll forgive Vidya Balan, since she's only playing pretend and doesn't really have a 'naan in the tandoor'. However, if you too like fashionista Victoria Beckham - who wore sky-high navy blue pumps to the Royal Wedding in her last trimester  - can't imagine being close to the ground, opt for a stylish wedge! To add some funk, opt for wedges with wild prints. Vidya's grey wedges are a great choice, but would look much better with a shorter number rather than this Empire-line maxi.

Accentuate your plus points
Actress Angelina Jolie hit bull's eye at Cannes, when she showed up in an under-bust flowing gown with a plunging neckline, while pregnant with twins Knox and Vivienne.This makes fashion sense, no mater what size or shape you are, but becomes especially important during pregnancy. If you are among the few lucky women, who develop only a bump, Nachiket suggests, "Flaunt you collar bone or toned arms with a strappy upper-section."

Need to go desi? Anarkali is best
Actress Shilpa Shetty wore this ensemble to a recent party. The Anarkali cut is the best silhouette to opt for, if you need to go desi: It hides the bump and cinches below the bust giving the appearance of a narrow waist. "Instead of a dupatta, wear a co-ordinated jacket over the kameez," suggests Nachiket.

Size Matters
Animal prints might be back in fashion, but one needs to remember that less is more when it comes to this trend. "Rather than opting for a loud print, go for a tonal animal print," suggests Nachiket. Singer Gwen Stefani wore this printed maxi to a popular awards function.

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