Fashion: Maternity wear fit for a princess

Looking chic while pregnant isn't easy, but this year's mums-to-be have been taking tips from one of the most stylish women on the planet: the Duchess of Cambridge.

Throughout her pregnancy, the Duchess has been as glamorous as ever. And she's shown another generation of women that dressing for two doesn't have to mean elasticated waists and tent-style maxi dresses.

She stayed in her normal wardrobe for many months. But recently, she's been showing off some of the staples other expecting mums should snap up.

Trench and long-line fitted coats have always been a big part of her wardrobe but the Duchess has used them to add structure to loose-fitting dresses in the later stages of her pregnancy. Shift dresses are perfect for that awkward stage when you're pregnant enough to have noticed your body change, but not enough for anyone else to notice!

A similar trench to Kate's favourite can be found at Egg and is so well-cut that it probably could still be worn long after baby is born.

Wrap dresses can be tied tighter or looser depending on how much you want to emphasise your curves.

Just watch out for the plunging neckline that sometimes accompanies them.

The Duchess hasn't been afraid to keep her hemlines quite high. Other mums-to-be can do the same - while your middle might be expanding, you can always show off your legs, albeit with a pair of tights in winter.

Well-fitted clothes are in general much more flattering than maxis, which you can drown in if you're not careful. Empire-line dresses are perfect when your bump is pronounced.

Andrea Neill runs Blooming Beautiful, with a website and shop in Glenfield, on Auckland's North Shore. She says most Kiwi mums are still more focused on saving money than following too closely in Kate's footsteps. "It's a funny sort of market because people are only pregnant for nine months, it's very short."

At the moment, most mums-to-be want cardigans and trousers, she says. "And they always seem to be looking for dresses and jeans."

More women are buying their maternity clothes on line, Andrea says. But sometimes it can be worth finding a shop where you can try things on. "Your body changes so much."

- Hamilton News

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