Jasmine: Andrew insists that this is a post he can’t participate in.
Anyway, when I was expecting Dylan, I wanted to look fashionable and try out maternity styles (something quite different from my second pregnancy, where I’m trying to stay in my regular clothes for as long as possible.. haha), but not spend a bomb on things I would only wear once, such as maternity evening gowns and cocktail dresses.
As such, even I am a bit half-hearted to share this great little secret- a Singapore store that allows expectant mothers to rent brand-name maternity clothes!
The premise is simple- if you like something at the store, you can rent it or buy it. The pricing structure offers two options: take a package which will entitle you to a certain amount of store credit per month, or rent pieces a la carte.
The price tag on each piece states both the full price and the rent (usually about 20-25% of the full brand-new price). For brand-new pieces, the cost can be quite high, in the three digit range, as the store carries higher-end labels such as Maternal America, Japanese Weekend and Seraphine Luxe (for evening and occasion wear). For pieces that are not brand new, the price will be marked down depending on the condition of the piece and how many times it has been rented out. The markdown can be extensive, sometimes up to 50-60% of the full price for a brand new piece.
When you rent a piece (for a month), you have to pay the full price. When you return the piece in good condition, the remainder will be refunded to you.
I went on an ASOS maternity shopping spree as I knew I would need formal dresses on a daily basis for work, but there were some things that I only wanted to wear once or twice, like jeans or a formal dress.
Here are some of my picks from the store. I’m guessing most people will be curious about the prices, so I’ve tried to list the prices as best as I can remember but due to the passage of time and too many baby to-dos (for both Dilly and his unborn sister) clouding my brain haha, do forgive me if I’m not entirely accurate. Also, the prices may strike some as expensive, but I think it’s ok given the quality and comfort:
1. Maternity jeans (full price $190, rental price $80)
Most people would consider this a wardrobe staple, but as I prefer dresses, I only wanted these jeans for dress-down Fridays as well as my Tasmania trip, where we would be doing alot of walking.
These jeans were comfortable (think stretch waist band instead of button up) throughout the Cradle Mountain trek.
The great thing was that they were nicely tapered and just the right length too. The store does alteration for a nominal fee but they also used to sell these metal studs with super-strong adhesive that you could use to instantly alter a hemline. I regret not getting those, even for my regular wear.
2. Maternity cum nursing dress (full price $190, rental price $40)
One thing that I now realise after having gone through one pregnancy is how useful it is to buy maternity dresses that can also be used for breastfeeding. Usually, these will have cleverly concealed nursing access at the side or hidden under another layer. This dress was one such versatile option and my only regret was not getting it earlier- it accommodated me through the 17kg weight loss after birth and made discreet breastfeeding easy.
There was also a navy blue polka dot print, but I have quite a few of those in my wardrobe so I went for this instead:
The “Super Cute” romper, complete with a star cape, was also from the store. We bought it for our superhero baby to commemorate his first month, but turns out he likes sleeping on the job.
3. Cocktail dress (full price $90, rental price $50)
As it turned out, Andrew’s brother got married when I was 7 months pregnant, so I needed dresses for both the morning tea ceremony and the dinner banquet. For the morning, I went with this cocktail dress and paired it with a laser-cut leather necklace bought from a weekend market in Sydney years ago:
I liked the fishscale pattern of the dress and the mixed metallic hues gave it a nice party look while not being too obvious about the baby bump.
(This is me at 6 months pregnant)
4. Evening gown (full price $690, rental price $160)
This was one of those big ticket items that didn’t make sense to buy for a special event only to never wear it again. As the rental was for a month, I timed it such that I could wear it for both Andrew’s brother’s wedding and our maternity photoshoot.
The gown is quite versatile. It has two loops on the back so you can thread the sash through. Hence, it can be worn on one shoulder, as a halter, as off-shoulder sashes or as a strapless dress. My favourite was the one-shoulder look:
Stills from our shoot.
And one from the evening of Andrew’s brother’s wedding banquet. Random but I love the way my makeup artist did the makeup and hair. Usually the only special treatment my hair gets is erm, shampoo. Haha.
Andrew: Dearie looked just so ravishing and gorgeous in that evening gown! Never seen a more beautiful pregnant woman before 🙂
Yes, I did refuse to participate in this post and always tell Dearie that our blog is becoming increasing more ‘niche’ from being mostly about nice date places in its early stages to now very specific topics like self-made toys. Heh. On this post, I just have some comments to add that given that I’ve heard women many years ago say that they don’t want to have kids because maternity fashion just suck (and it’s a valid concern – but probably not the main concern), I’m glad that maternity fashion has moved ahead – or perhaps it’s just that Jasmine is so resourceful – if you drop her an email, she’ll probably be able to give you a list of online shops where you can order and custom make stylish maternity wear (at a (high) price). (Jasmine: Nonsense, my prices where got high… Careful or your comments might suddenly vanish, dear!)