Deirdre Wall, an actress in Brooklyn, New York, was eight months pregnant when she was married on a New Hampshire mountaintop on June 25. While planning for the wedding, even amid a whirlwind engagement and impending motherhood, she found the task of dress shopping the most worrisome.
“There is a real hole in the market for cool maternity bridal dresses,” said Wall, 36. “I looked really hard throughout New York and couldn’t find a place to try one on that would also let me return.”
After perusing Etsy and Anthropologie, Wall ordered two gowns from Tiffany Rose, a British-based designer of bridal and special-occasion maternity dresses. One gown featured a lace bodice with cap sleeves, while the other had a classic sweetheart silhouette.
The best part was that Wall could try them at home and send one back. “Both dresses are beautiful yet stretchy, and I felt like I could gain 30 pounds next month if I wanted to,” she said. “I’m relieved that I have options.”
Wedding-dress shopping is a rite of passage for any bride. But throw in the physical demands of pregnancy — a rapidly expanding middle, growing bra size and disappearing waistline — and the process becomes all the more complex: How will it look a few months, and pounds, down the road? The same goes for pregnant wedding guests and bridesmaids who want to look and feel great while on their feet all night.
Though traditional maternity labels have long offered their share of empire-waist gowns with endless ruching and layers of stretch jersey, for a growing number of stylish women, these dresses feel matronly and passé. Whether trekking to a remote field or a hotel ballroom, today’s expectant brides and pregnant wedding guests want fashion-forward alternatives that offer the security of comfort and fit throughout pregnancy and even after baby.
“The modern pregnant woman doesn’t want to wear maternity only for a short period of time, but wants clothes that are adaptable,” said Sarah Rutson, vice president for global buying at Net-a-Porter. “Of course it depends how pregnant you’re going to be and which stage you’re in, but many pregnant women who shop our site expect to wear these pieces afterward.”
Rutson cited voluminous cocktail and black-tie dresses by designer brands like Chloé, Isabel Marant, Lanvin and Tibi. With their forgiving silhouettes and looser cuts, certain styles could fit some pregnant wedding guests.
Last November, Net-a-Porter began selling its first maternity-minded label, Hatch, which offers ready-to-wear that women can dress in before, during and after pregnancy. “I wear Hatch all the time, and my pregnancy days are long gone,” Rutson said. “The style and design is there, and if you’re eight months along, it’s not too tight.”
Ariane Goldman founded Hatch in 2011 after wearing a strapless dress she designed for a wedding while pregnant with her first daughter.
“I got stopped constantly by people saying how beautiful and comfortable I looked, but also how formal and appropriate,” said Goldman, who also founded twobirds, a bridesmaid dress label. “I thought, wow, this is the feeling I want women to feel: that they can go out on a beautiful evening and be comfortable and chic and not be omitted from fashion.”
Lindsey Evans chose the Fete gown by Hatch, a black sateen maxi style with a crisscross top, for a June 10 wedding in France. She was just over 30 weeks pregnant.
“The fabric felt really expensive, and it didn’t look like a bag hanging over me,” said Evans, the director of merchandising at the jewelry firm David Yurman. “I also appreciated the flexibility, that no matter what my size would be, it would still fit.”
Evans plans to wear the gown to a friend’s wedding in Mexico at the end of the year, long after her baby arrives.
Seulki Chung shopped Hatch for a wedding she attended over the Memorial Day weekend at the TriBeCa restaurant Locanda Verde. After trying on a few dresses in the maternity section of Nordstrom, she felt matronly and uncomfortable. Hatch’s off-shoulder Audrey style features an easy A-line silhouette that Chung expected she would wear during the warm months after her baby was born May 31.
“What drew me to Hatch is the idea that I can wear the pieces after my pregnancy,” said Chung, who runs Real Food Kitchen, a food company.
LoveShackFancy is another label offering dress styles for pregnant bridesmaids and wedding guests. Rebecca Hessel Cohen started it in 2013 when she was unable to find bridesmaids dresses she liked for her own wedding. She designed a single dress for her maids that featured a halter top and empire waist.
Since then, the pregnant bridesmaid has been an unexpected but loyal customer. Given the label’s ethereal aesthetic, in which many of the flowing chiffon styles lack closures in the waist and bust, the dresses are comfortable enough during pregnancy and flatter post-pregnancy bodies.
“When I designed the first dress, I didn’t know anyone pregnant at the time,” Hessel Cohen said. “Now our dresses do really well with pregnant bridesmaids. Personally, I wore our dresses a few times when pregnant and to a wedding three weeks after my second daughter was born. After you have a baby, your waist is nonexistent. You still look pregnant, and these pieces are forgiving.”
But for many women, an easy go-to remains a classic maternity style. Liz Corder was a bridesmaid at a Florida seaside wedding on June 18 when she was 25 weeks pregnant. Like Wall, she opted for a Tiffany Rose gown with cap sleeves, with a long skirt and sweetheart neckline.
“Something about the jersey underneath makes it so comfortable,” said Corder, a development manager for the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay in Tampa, Florida. “A lot of people think of maternity dresses as unflattering and tentlike. I feel really pretty in this style.”
When bridal designer Monique Lhuillier created the actress Ginnifer Goodwin’s tulle-and-lace wedding dress in 2014, Goodwin was well into her third trimester. Lhuillier suggests to all pregnant clients that they show off their neckline and shoulders, which are flattering regions regardless of a baby bump.
She also encourages them to enjoy their silhouettes. “I tell my pregnant brides, ‘Let’s not hide the pregnancy, because it’s such a beautiful thing,’” Lhuillier said. “The best thing to do is embrace the belly. I love showing it off.”Read more at:princess formal dresses | blue formal dresses
When Audrey Hepburn paired skinny jeans with black ballet flats in Funny Face (1957), a sartorial phenomenon was born. Since then, the ballet flat has weathered fashion’s many phases: throughout the 60s by French New Wavers Anna Karina and Brigitte Bardot, on the glamazons of the late 80s (cue: Sam & Libby), and in the early 2000s as a reprieve from Uggs. And now they’re back again, this time from the far shores of Portugal.
“I felt that I needed the perfect pair of flats to conquer the world. So I created Josefinas,” says 35-year old Portuguese shoe designer Filipa Júlio who founded Josefinas in 2013 with her business partner Maria Cunha. A former ballerina and architect, Júlio admits the idea for her own line of footwear was a natural way to marry her passions of construction and dance. “[Shoemaking] was something I never expected in my life,” she says, “but now I can’t imagine my life without thinking about shoes all day.” After all, shoemaking is in her blood. Not only did she name the brand after her ballet-dancing grandmother, but her grandfather was a shoemaker by trade. “He probably influenced me without me knowing it,” she says. But as he never passed down any pointers on the craft, Júlio set out to learn the tricks of the trade from scratch. And in three short years she’s come a long way.
Josefinas opened their first flagship store in New York’s Nolita neighborhood last week, and tapped designer Christian Lahoude (who has designed flagships for Gucci, Tiffany’s, and Jimmy Choo) to outfit the haunt with pearl-encrusted wall coverings and rose gold adornments. The shoes are of equal panache. The brand takes their material and aesthetic cues from Portugal’s rich artisan history, hand-crafting each pair in the small town of Sao João da Madeira, which is famous for producing luxury wares.
But what started as a line of classic leather ballet flats has since expanded to include twenty-five different colors, a range of fabrics (from crocodile to lace and suede), and other models such as mules, sneakers, low-heeled ballet flats, and knee-high boots. The shoes retail between $179 for a pair of classic leathers, and as high as $3,300 for their topaz-adorned ‘Blue Persian Salt’ flats, which are heralded as the most expensive ballet flats in the world. “A shoe can be simple, but extraordinary,” says Júlio, who is always thinking of inventive ways to reinterpret the classic style, such as her ‘Moscow’ shoe, which resembles a pointe shoe and comes in a rather extravagant, custom-made music box.
It’s no wonder Josefinas has garnered a unique following, such as Eva Chen, Sarah Sampaio, Leandra Medine (who owns three pairs) and Gloria Steinem, who collaborated with the brand to design a limited edition pair to benefit the non-profit Women for Women International. But it is their logo – an asymmetrical bow—that best summarizes their feminist, go-getter mentality. “It just didn’t make sense to have a perfect bow. Life is not perfect, handmade is not perfect, and you can adjust your life as you go,” says Júlio. “Our bow became a symbol of this.”Read more at:cocktail dresses | marieaustralia.com
According to the American Skin Cancer Foundation, around 90% of non-melanoma skin cancers and about 86% of melanomas are related to exposure to UV radiation from the sun. In Britain, malignant melanomas are responsible for 2,000 deaths every year. While moderate exposure to the sun is essential for a vitamin D boost, it is important to take adequate precautions to enjoy the glorious sunshine safely.
Be head smart
Always have a broad hat at hand to protect your neck, ears and face from burning when the sun is strong. A cap or visor won’t cut it – they may shade your eyes and forehead, but they won’t shield your scalp or other vulnerable parts of your upper body.
Shade your vision
Sunglasses are a summer essential. In addition to protecting the thin and sensitive epidermis around your eyes, they also help avert any potential retina damage that can be caused by glancing at the sun with naked eyes. They don’t need to be expensive designer models either – there are plenty of cheaper, own-store brands that block UV rays (just check the label states 99-100% UV protection before purchasing).
Dress for the occasion
Defend other body parts against sunburn by covering up with light, cool clothing that won’t make you overheat. Make sure the weave of the fabric is tight enough to block out the sun – popular beachwear fashion like sarongs and wraps are often too flimsy to provide suitable protection.
Don’t skip sunscreen. SPF15 blocks about 93% of UV rays, and is adequate for most adults on a hot day. If you are fair or freckled skinned, buffer your increased vulnerability to burning by using a higher SPF. Don’t scrimp either. Apply a minimum of two tablespoons to protect all exposed areas of your body, and reapply regularly, especially if you sweat a lot or take a cooling swim.
Time your sunshine
Try to stay in the shaded areas when the sun is at its most intense and harmful – generally between 11am and 3pm, depending on where you are in the world. As a simple rule of thumb, the sun is safer when you cast a shadow that is equivalent or greater than your actual height.
Early detection is crucial in the successful treatment of skin cancer, so make a habit of checking your skin often for any irregularities. Consult your doctor immediately if you have any moles, freckles or areas of skin that change in colour, shape or size. It may well be nothing to worry about, but it’s not worth risking.
React right to sunburn
If you do get burnt basking in the sun, gently sponge the affected area with cool water, and then apply a calamine or after sun lotion. Over-the-counter painkillers, such as ibuprofen or paracetamol, will help reduce inflammation and curb discomfort. Avoid any further exposure to the sun until your burns are completely healed. If extreme swelling or blistering occurs, seek medical attention as soon as possible.Read more at:bridesmaid dresses | formal dresses online australia