Initially, people come in saying, ‘I’m not putting the money into a maternity wardrobe because it’s such a short period of time.’
Then they come back a month later saying they really need something. Two weeks later, they’re back again saying, ‘I’m living in this, get me something else!’” Nelo Maternity store co-owner, Helen O’Connor, explains. “We try to have something for every purse.”
To my mind, good maternity wear is the best money you will ever spend. It’s a time in your life when comfort is essential and you need to feel good about yourself.
“Looking well is very important for a woman’s sense of well-being,” Helen agrees. “A lot of women come in, even at eight months, and maybe buy a new pair of jeans and some tops. In my pregnancy I stayed the same on the bottom, but I did get bigger on top and I got two or three new tops at the end.” As did I, and was so glad I did because of the relief and pleasure I had in those last four weeks. Pregnancy suits some women and it makes others deeply depressed about themselves. Thus Helen banned dungarees and tent-like dresses from the get-go.
“Women want to look the way they looked before pregnancy. They still want to go out with their friends and look smart. At occasions, they want to look glamorous. You don’t have to wear super-fitted items. But clothes are very well tailored now,” she says. Nelo Maternity was founded by Helen and her sister-in-law, Annette Waldron, in 2002. “We wanted to give a luxury experience with lots of space. We have big sofas for men to read the newspaper. We wanted to give plenty of options with choice and price. And customer service is key,” Helen says.
Nelo Maternity’s buy is contemporary, with lots of pretty digital-print tops and dresses, bright colour blocks and oodles of great jeans — cropped, skinny, boot-cut, jeggings — priced from €69 to €235 for designer brands such as Paige Premium and Citizens of Humanity. Attesa Maternity and Olian do LBDs and party dresses. Boob is a great nursing range; a whole other fashion issue. Belly Button is a snappy workwear label. Ooh Mama! is Nelo Maternity’s own high-quality line of basics: tops from €45, wrap dresses from €95. As ever, Spanx plays its part, even in pregnancy.
Nelo Maternity is in Dublin, Limerick and online, with free overnight delivery. They cater for sizes 6-16 with some trousers up to size 20. They also do loungewear, nightwear, some underwear and swimwear, specalised skincare products, baby bags and clothes for kids aged 0-4.
Photography by German Collins, see www.germancollins.com
Assisted by John Austin
Styled by Barbara Stack
Make-up by Alanna Wallace, Make Up For Ever, Clarendon St, D2, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Hair by Sabrina Duggan for Aidan Fitzgerald, Blackrock, Co Dublin, see www.aidanfitzgerald.ie
Model: Amber Jean Rowan at Morgan The Agency
Shot on location at Mount Usher Gardens, Ashford, Co Wicklow, tel: (0404 ) 40205, or see www.mountushergardens.ie
Sunday Indo Life Magazine