18 August 2009

Shopaholic Mum-To-Be: Maternity Wear

A big thank you to all the folks who sent their well wishes :)

Now that I'm into my second trimester, some of my clothes aren't fitting well anymore! Was still happily oblivious to the changes to the body until one fine day, realise I can no longer zip up my pants and jeans, and tops getting tighter! Panic, need new clothes!

Started surfing the web for location of shops selling maternity wear, through forums, online shops etc. The first shop I visited was Maternity Exchange (http://www.maternityexchange.com.sg/) at Marina Square. Was reading about the concept of renting maternity wear instead of purchasing them, as our body will go through big changes throughout the pregnancy and need periodic update of clothes. Yet these maternity wear may not be useful after the pregnancy unless planning for another one.

Ok, back to Maternity Exchange, the very first item I picked up was the Bella Band (http://www.ingridandisabel.com/) which allows me to wear it over my unzipped and unbuttoned pants. Can also wear over loose pants. Cool! Also decided to rent a pair of full length jeans and 3/4 jeans to test how long I can 'last' them :) Other than that, decided to KIV rental clothes while exploring other shops.

Dropped by Spring Maternity (http://www.springmaternity.com/catalog/index.php), I believe one of the most popular maternity/infant care shop in Singapore. There happened to be a sale, managed to pick up only 1 sale item as mostly odd sizes left. Also visited a few other shops like Mothercare, Perfect Mum, but didn't manage to get anything I like.

After checking out the shops, felt a little disappointed with the range, style and colours of maternity wear, mostly basic and simple designs and seems more like the US, European style? I assume so as the websites feature US/European models. Moreover, prices are not cheap, a top (more fashionable looking ones) going for around S$40-50, pants going for S$70 onwards. And unfortunately I'm not those petite size ladies who could still find larger size clothings at regular fashion stores or don pretty baby doll dresses. So I'm kind of stuck with clothing choices.

Another gripe, most malls only have a few maternity wear shops, which means that I have to mall hop if I wish to focus on just maternity wear at one go. No No!

Started searching for Taiwan-based maternity online shops, as usually they carry Jap/Korean inspired fashion wear which are more cutesy and sweet. Found several online shops through a basic search on yahoo Taiwan. To my delight, there are quite a number of online shops that ship international.

So far, have purchased clothing from Mami-i (http://www.mami-i.com/) and Mandy Shop (http://store.pchome.com.tw/mandyshop), which I highly commend and recommend :)

Very wide range of designs are available in lovely colours; detail measurements provided and prices very very affordable like S$12 to S$25. I like it that models featured are Taiwanese/Chinese. Not that I'm biased but I feel that I can relate to how the clothes will look on a Chinese girl like me. Of course I will look vastly different from how the the models look lah. But you get the drift. Moreover, freight charges are very reasonable. I paid around S$22 (it will depend on weight of merchandise) for a batch of 5 tops. If I were to take cab or drive to town, it would have cost much more! Delivery took around 7 to 10 days from the date of online order to delivery. The online shop owners are also quite quick in response to any queries. So now I'm pretty much addicted to this convenience and efficiency! A point to note though, for bottoms I would just purchase slacks which are more stretchable. Pants and jeans I prefer to purchase locally due to difference in cutting; definitely a must for me to try first. I must say that the pants and capris at Spring Maternity are very comfy!

Another option is to make purchases through local blogshop. Pretty MaMas (http://pretty-mamas.blogspot.com/) is a local blogshop that consolidates local orders on a monthly basis, merchandise also from Taiwan. Basically you just browse the photos available in the blog (Basic measurements of the clothes are stated), send item numbers via email and instructions will be sent for payment details (internet banking). Then, just wait for shipment to arrive (takes about 1 week to receive goods after the preorder deadline). Advantage of using this service - simple and easy to order process, no need to read through all the order and payment instructions in traditional chinese; good if purchasing just 1 - 3 pieces. Disadvantage? If you miss the preorder deadline or place order a few weeks before, you have to wait. (I placed orders about 1 week before preorder deadline, so waited for about 2 weeks). Not quite ideal for an impatient person like me :p 7 to 10 days is long enough! Haha.

Well, enough said about the beginning of my shopaholic mum-to-be series :p Now on to more internet window shopping. Psst...found another 2 shops, so tempting!!! http://store.pchome.com.tw/nobodynobody00, http://www.vns.com.tw/
Gosh, can't imagine when it comes to baby clothes and stuff which have even more choices and variety!