Fashion guru Sumati Sivasiamphai shares her views on dressing when you’re expecting.
By Christy Lau
For years, style icon Sumati Sivasiamphai has been breaking and making her own rules when it comes to fashion, sharing her fabulous sartorial adventures through her blog Rebel With A Closet, which empowers women to wear what they want through a refreshing mix of humour and honesty.
“I started the blog as a way to define my personal style,” she says candidly. “I’ve always felt constricted by society’s conventions on what women should wear. So Rebel With A Closet is a way for me to say you can wear whatever you want without feeling judged for it.”
The radiant mum, holding one-year-old son Riyan, describes her style as edgy and vintage. “I really enjoy mixing prints,” she reveals. “My wardrobe is full of colourful fabrics like animal prints, florals and plaid.” This bold trendsetter is also a master at putting together unique ensembles and accessorising them with a statement handbag or a cute pair of shoes. She hasn’t let pregnancy dampen her style prowess either, ensuring her #OOTD is always perfectly on point despite certain limitations. However, her sartorial selections weren’t always like this.
“My style now is very different than prior to becoming a mum — mostly because I have a toddler in the bathroom with me when I’m trying to get ready,” she jokes. “I definitely don’t have as much time to plan my outfits, so I’ve started investing in a lot of blazers and kimono-style tops, which I can easily throw over a basic shirt when heading out on a quick errand.”
Eclectic headbands and funky shoes are just a few other tricks she uses to dress up her look when she’s strapped for time. Another useful must-have is a dependable pair of maternity jeans. “I hate being a cliché but when you’re pregnant, you need to be comfortable.,” she explains.
As expected, Sumati doesn’t really follow trends, preferring to set her own. “I’m an equal opportunist shopper,” she says. “So aside from big brands, I also buy online or from vintage markets.” Currently she favours Mango for basic essentials and Zara for their selection of maternity-friendly elastic bottoms.
Sumati is also an advocate for trusting your instincts when out on a shopping spree. “I’m guilty of buying pieces even if they don’t fit right,” she says with a smile. “Clothes don’t always have to be worn as they were intended. Be creative and play with the details. If you want to wear a skirt as a tube top, why not? Fashion is meant to be fun and a reflection of your personality.” Hers certainly is as she is never afraid to veer off the catalogue, so long as she stays true to herself.
Work it, Mama
For meetings with clients, Sumati switches out her uncomfortable heels for a pair of Stella McCartney wedges. An asymmetrical plaid skirt from Zara is elevated with a vintage leopard print blazer from Treasures (IG: @treasuresofficial). The whole look is given a bright pop of colour thanks to a contrasting white Prada bag.
Keeping it Casual
Sumati keeps things loose and flowy with this Pennyypincher (IG: @pennyypincher) dress, great for a quick lunch date with friends. She highlights the fabric’s blue tones with a pair of Tory Burch sneakers. For an artistic flair, she ties the laces around her ankles and tops off the look with a lavender turban and sunglasses from Dolce & Gabbana.
Mum’s Night Out
Who says maternity jeans should be left at home on a night out? Here Sumati dresses up her black H&M pair with an eye-catching vintage jacket from Treasures (IG: @treasuresofficial), hoop earrings from MarryMeDiamonds and a sequined Charlotte Olympia clutch. Again, she adds her own twist to the ensemble by tying the straps of her pink Castaner espadrilles over her jeans.
Sumati’s Wardrobe Essentials