Dubai Diaries: My fashion craving is at an all time high during pregnancy

I grew up in a house full of fashionable clothes.


Kirstin Bernabe

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Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

Published: Wed 23 Feb 2022, 1:02 PM

These days, all I dream and daydream about are clothes. They say we, pregnant women, often have hyper-realistic dreams that we can clearly remember the next day. Well, that’s true; but instead of regaling my husband with movie-like episodes of what happened in my sleep, I end up giving him — a fashion show.

Just this morning, I woke up telling him: “You know what, I think I should wear a khaki overshirt, a pair of loose, black trousers and a slogan tee.”

“Go on, wear anything you want,” he said, still half asleep. The thing was I didn’t have any of those pieces in my maternity wardrobe yet, so I took out my little black notebook and drew them. On top of the crude sketch, I scribbled ‘To-buy’.

That wasn’t the first time. My friends and colleagues must have seen me in a pink turtleneck and black dungarees, an outfit that I plucked out of a dream, too. I was lucky I got them on sale at The Dubai Mall. Another one was a mini black dress with puffed sleeves, which I paired with work boots. Thank goodness, I had two parties to wear it to. Clearly, this pregnancy has been reconnecting me to my fashion-centric upbringing.

The thing is, when I crossed the quarter-life mark, I pared my wardrobe down to the essentials: Jeans, shirts in neutral colours and stripes, versatile jackets, and a few pieces for special occasions. That wasn’t always the case, though, because I grew up in a house full of fashionable clothes.

At eight, instead of wearing a Barbie dress or a Tweety Bird shirt like my classmates, I was clad in yellow-green Versace jeans and an XXS Armani blouse. We weren’t rich, it was just that my mum worked in a shop of high-end Italian brands. She would bring home boxes and boxes of free clothes, and I had no idea how expensive they were. When she moved to Dubai, our family’s closet became a rack of Guess by Marciano shirts, dresses and bags. We lived under piles of clothing and deciding what to wear had become a daily dilemma. There were just too many to choose from. Mum, our forever stylist and fashion police, would always come to our rescue.

When I started making my own decisions, however, I realised that less is more, that life feels so much lighter with a leaner closet. Imagine opening that cabinet and all you see are a handful of clothes, but each one of them ‘sparked joy’ — wouldn’t it be so much easier to pick an outfit you’d be happy and comfortable with? That’s my dream closet, and I have been working on it.

Before buying anything, I have to think very carefully if it deserves space in my wardrobe. And my subconscious has been a big help these days. With all these vivid pregnancy dreams, I know exactly what I want. Khaki overshirt and black trousers, I’m coming for you.

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