A freelance writer and bargain hunter with wanderlust, recently moved to Perth from Brisbane.
Published September 21st 2015
BOHO MAMA’s comfy and stylish travel wear
Have you ever gained weight either through a fantastic foodie holiday or during pregnancy and have trouble fitting into your old clothes? Or lost weight due to hard work and an effective exercise regime?
It can be a pain having to buy new clothes for the different stages of life. Suzie Kwan, creative director at BOHO MAMA, faced the same problem when she was pregnant. "I wanted something that looked young and funky. I couldn't find comfortable but stylish maternity wear with bright colours that lifted my mood so I decided to create my own," she said. After ten years working at Just Jeans and at a surf shop, Suzie knew what women were looking for and the features they wanted to accentuate and hide. The overlay skirts are designed to cover the bottom and back lower waist area.
Some of BOHO MAMA's designs are handy for breast-feeding; with the hanky skirt and belly wrap doubling up as a breastfeeding poncho. Although BOHO MAMA started out with maternity wear, Suzie has now branched out to travel and yoga wear once she noticed that she had a broad range of customers of all ages and sizes and that they were looking for comfortable, simple to maintain clothes which were easy to mix and match.
BOHO MAMA allows women to look beautiful with layered designs which celebrate individual creativity. When I heard of the BOHO MAMA concept, I was intrigued by the concept of light weight clothes I could convert from exercise wear to street wear, a night out salsa dancing, comfortable travel wear and then use it when my body swells through pregnancy as well. Even better, the same outfit can be worn in different ways so that I could travel lightly (saving money through hand carry or meeting the cruise luggage allowance) and wear a different fantastic looking outfit each time. I was also pleased to find out that the designs do not need to be ironed, meaning I can roll them into my suitcase for fuss-free travel.
When I walked into the shop, Suzie was wearing her stylish designs, looking breezy and carefree in a teal singlet, an overlay skirt and a belly wrap along with a white long skirt. The first thing I noticed in the shop were the vibrant colours – the designs were simple without any patterns or prints but the colours really brightened the shop and gave it a quintessential holiday vibe. "Most people start out with a basic colour like black or charcoal because they think it makes them look slimmer but they soon realize that it is the way they wear the designs that hide their flaws," Suzie says. "They then start becoming a bit more adventurous with their colour selection when they realize the impact of colours on their mood."
Suzie Kwan owner of BOHO MAMA
According to Suzie, "no two women will look the same as there are multitudes of ways to be creative with the designs." She then proceeded to twist and turn the clothes she was wearing into different outfits by creating knots, turning the belly wrap from the front to the back and converting the overlay skirt into a poncho.
I then got to play around with the designs during the personal style session and converted a few items into several different outfits, lifting up my folded down waist band on my skirt to wear as a strapless dress and using my skirt overlay as a poncho. They were made from cotton so they felt lightweight and comfortable. I could also dress them down or up depending on the occasion, and add a few accessories for a different look.
same outfits worn in different ways
Suzie stocks handmade boho jewellery with beautiful polished rocks, custom made cowboy boots (perfect to pair your skirt with in winter), bandanas and cuffs and bangles to go with your outfit.
The BOHO MAMA outlet is located at shop 4/33 Pinjarra Road, Mandurah, although Suzie has a few pop-up stores in Perth from time to time and is also looking at relocating overseas. The store is open from Monday to Friday from 10am to 5pm and on Saturday from 10am – 12 noon. You can also order online on bohomama.com.au or call 1300 771 801. Most people spend about an hour or an hour and a half in the shop, browsing the different selections so call in and make an appointment for a personal style session with Suzie. If you are a customer and would like to refer the designs to a friend, ask Suzie for a referral card and you will receive a 5% commission from every sale.