I am not actually pregnant but my best friend here in Bangkok is and she was recently complaining (yet again!) about how difficult it is to find maternity wear in Thailand, particularly reasonably priced and stylish maternity wear. Traditional Thai maternity clothes seem to mainly be of the smock variety and often have cartoon animals printed or appliqued on them – not really something she wants to wear if she goes out for a nice meal with her boyfriend, or if even if we’re just going down to Villa Market to do some grocery shopping for that matter!
So, in the interests of getting her to talk about something else for a change (sorry Rachael!), I decided to be proactive and find out a little more about buying maternity clothing in Bangkok - and to pass on any advice to any other moms-to-be who are in a similar situation.
Preferring Top Shop and Forever 21, I’d never noticed that Mothercare, the well-known British high street chain has 8 branches or concessions in Bangkok – including at the Emporium, Funarium, Siam Paragon and at Central Department store in Chidlom. Now I thought that Mothercare only sold baby clothes and pushchairs (my sole Mothercare experience being a trip to a branch in the UK to buy baby clothes for my nephew), but apparently they sell maternity clothing too. You can find full addresses for all stores, and see their ranges, on their website, although you can’t shop online. www.mothercarethailand.com
Something else that occurred to me and that I suggested to my friend, was to hit up any tourist type market (for example the Khao San Road or Soi Rambuttri markets) and buy a bunch of cotton sun dresses and fisherman pants. These are perfect for day wear, and also, if like her, you don’t want to spend too much money. Fisherman pants have huge, wide waists and most of the styles of dresses should last the whole 9 months, although you might have trouble with the fit across the bust in later months.
Digging around online, I found a company that is Bangkok-based and offers a small collection of designer maternity wear that would be suitable for nights out. Most of the pieces have been designed so that they can be worn after you’ve given birth, which seems like a sensible idea. This is obviously a little more expensive than buying fisherman pants from the back streets of Banglampoo but if you want something a little classier this would be worth checking out. Plus of course you’d get your money’s worth as you’d be able to wear the clothes post pregnancy as well. You can shop online although their website says they also have a shop at the Thai Airways Market. www.mothermoods.com
I hope this article helps some of you mommies-to-be find something to wear for the coming months. As for my friend, she’s stopped moaning quite so much but she has now become someone she swore she would never be: a wearer of fisherman pants!