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How to wear one's regular wardrobe while pregnant

Black midi dress, $39.90, from Pull & Bear Belted poncho cardigan, $45.90, from Stradivarius Long coat, $109, from H&M Monochrome chunky sole sneakers, $55.90, from Pull & Bear Public relations manager Joy Loh is expecting her first child. Multi-colo
Public relations manager Joy Loh is expecting her first child.PHOTOS: H&M, JOY LOH, PULL & BEAR, STRADIVARIUS, ZARA

Save money on maternity outfits by being creative with what you already have in your wardrobe

Maternity wear is a term that is fast becoming obsolete as millennial mothers-to-be just do not see the point in splashing out on a new wardrobe that they will wear only for a few months, especially with today's fashion coming in so many adaptable styles and materials.

Much of an expectant mum's existing wardrobe can be easily adapted to fit her growing girth. Jersey or knit dresses, for instance, are stretchy and comfortable. And even the empire waistline that is so 10 years ago can now come out of the closet.

Ms Joy Loh, 30, a senior public relations manager who works with top fashion brands, is nine months pregnant with her first child. She gives her tips and tricks on how to avoid spending a single cent on maternity clothes.

1. All your unforgiving clothes can now be worn honourably, without having to suck in your tummy.

"Wearing more unforgiving clothing can work to your advantage as it helps accentuate your bump," Ms Loh says.

This makes it easy for people on the MRT to figure out that you are a pregnant woman who needs a seat and not someone who has just eaten a big meal, for instance.

You can also wear your looser clothing, but take note that "these might make you look bigger than you are as they have less structure", Ms Loh adds.

Multi-coloured striped dress, $139, from Zara

2. Go long and go black

To give a sense of balance to your new silhouette, long, black dresses are "great for creating a slimming effect", Ms Loh says. They also elongate your body and make you look taller.

"Add some colour by wearing colourful accessories or a scarf with prints," she says. Don't shy away from clothing with fun prints, either. "Being pregnant doesn't mean having to wear frumpy clothing every day."

Black midi dress, $39.90, from Pull & Bear

3. Play with layers

"If you feel lumpy in a fitted dress, wear it with a long, flowy jacket or trench. This way, you get to flaunt your bump without feeling insecure about the extra weight gain," Ms Loh says.

"To create a similar silhouette, match leggings with long fitted tanks and add a denim boyfriend jacket for an edgier look."

Belted poncho cardigan, $45.90, from Stradivarius

Long coat, $109, from H&M

4. Pay attention to how your body changes

To cater for swelling feet, Ms Loh says she has been "wearing a lot more sneakers and open-toed shoes and sandals".

"Don't be afraid to have fun with your shoes, but be safe. Opt for platforms over heels."

Fingers may also swell during pregnancy, so you may not be able to wear your rings as much, but this is a good excuse to play up your look with bangles, bracelets and earrings.

Monochrome chunky sole sneakers, $55.90, from Pull & Bear

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 12, 2017, with the headline 'Show off that baby bump'. Print Edition | Subscribe