“I have always had a passion for fashion, beauty, home décor, and pretty much all things shiny and sparkly and my blog, Haute Child in the City, has provided an outlet for those things. I am incredibly lucky to be married to an amazing man, who is not only my best friend, but partner in crime and love of my life. We are expecting our first child in January and could not be more thrilled… I love to travel, try new restaurants, and spend time with my friends and family. In my free time you can find me at the nearest Nordstrom or Starbucks.”
Chelsea was featured on Blogger Chicks for our People’s Choice: Favorite Fashion Bloggers Post (her picks: Cupcakes and Cashmere, I Am Styl-ish, and Pretty Shiny Sparkly). Chelsea hails from Raleigh, North Carolina and in addition to blogging, she is a fashion/beauty contributor for professional development group, NEXT for Women.
Here is her post:
When I learned of my pregnancy, I found myself in unchartered fashion territory. The mere thought of losing my beloved wardrobe of clothes that I had so painstakingly hand-selected and built over the years with the person foundation pieces and trendy accents was anxiety-attack inducing. The truth that no one likes to discuss is that maternity fashion, for the most part, is bleak. There are few designers that don’t fall to the stand-by empire waist pregnancy norm and the ones that don’t are typically in a higher price bracket. In order to navigate these tricky waters, I dove right into reading multiple books, but mostly sought out example as the best teacher. And by example, I mean Hollywood. Hollywood pregnant is really the way to go-chic, glamorous, and effortless put-together. Both research and Hollywood moms such as Victoria Beckham, and Rachel Zoe, provided a treasure trove of advice, guidance, and knowledge, whether they knew it or not, that all could be summarized quite simply as ‘embrace the bump’.
The foundation to dressing for pregnancy is embracing the bump. All too many women fall into the trap of the tent-like attire that many maternity stores sell en mass. Embracing your new found curves and owning them will actually make you seem less large and your new found confidence in your body will help you glow inside and out.
Invest in the basics: Early on in my pregnancy I invested in several pieces that have been great staples to build upon my current wardrobe. The key to pregnancy fashion is to find versatile basics that you can wear throughout your pregnancy and constantly re-invent with accessories. Also, sticking to simple, classic colors, especially black, will help give you the slimming look that you so desperately want throughout your pregnancy. Early on I invested in several Bella Bands. These modern day miracles help to extend the life of your favorite pair of pants or jeans without having to zip/button them and help to create smooth lines. Even now that I’m into my third trimester I use them on occasion for pants that I couldn’t quite part with. Maternity tanks, short, and long sleeved tees are great foundations pieces that I have been able to use throughout my pregnancy to extend my non-maternity clothing, layer, or just wear on their own. My personal favorite is the Pure Body line from Gap Maternity. Lastly, after the Bella Band just isn’t cutting it for you, a great pair of designer maternity jeans is a must. Typically a boot cut is a flattering style on any body type and is definitely a classic. I sought out A Pea in the Pod’s amazing selection of designer jeans (a lot of which do go on sale frequently) and ended up with several pair of Joe’s Jeans, my tried and true favorite even outside of maternity.
Wear Heels: I understand and fully acknowledge that not everyone can wear stilettos with such loyalty and devotion as I do; however, wearing some sort of heel will help elongate your silhouette and combat the feeling that you are continuously growing out, but not up to compensate for that outward growth. If 4 inch platform pumps aren’t in your wheel house, there are some great alternatives out there that will accomplish a similar look; specifically wedges, which provide the height but with more stability than stilettos, or kitten heels, which are a great classic and the shorter sister to the stiletto. I will advise that you get what you pay for in heels, so since you will be wearing these frequently, try not to purchase inexpensive heels with little padding or support. You will find that the less comfortable they are, the less you will be inclined to wear them. Head to your local Nordstrom and solicit the help of one of their amazingly helpful associates in the shoe department.
Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize: Accessories in pregnancy can come in a variety of different items. Those basics that I invested in early on in my pregnancy, I’ve spent the rest of my pregnancy re-working my outfits to create as much variety in my closet as possible. Blazers are a great and easy way to re-work the basics and come up with new combinations of outfits. For a foundation accessory piece, a boyfriend blazer is a fantastic option. I wouldn’t recommend purchasing blazers specific to maternity. I have purchased several since I’ve been pregnant in my normal size and leave them unbuttoned. That way I can still purchase pieces that I love and can stay in my closet long after the baby is born. In addition to blazers and open sweaters, I have utilized a lot of belts (the more colorful, the better), statement jewelry pieces, scarves, and patterned/colored tights to add dimension to my wardrobe.
And what would any good recommendation list be without my recommendations of don’ts.
- Avoid sweat pants: Every day is a battle to get out of bed and not put on a pair of yoga or sweat pants. If you spend a little time to get dressed in the mornings, I promise you will feel better.
- Lycra: I would only avoid this in the first trimester when you aren’t exactly showing. Lycra isn’t the most flattering during that time, but once you gain the full-on bump, Lycra is a great way to give you shape. Look for something that smoothes your lines.
- Sneakers: Unless you are working it out, sneakers have no place in your wardrobe during pregnancy.
- Hems below the knee: Similarly to the theory about wearing heels to elongate your silhouette, hems above the knee help combat the stoutness that one might feel during pregnancy.
- Shopping Recommendations:
- Basics: Gap Maternity
- Unique/Special Pieces: Asos Maternity, Isabelle Oliver Maternity
- Everyday wear: Ann Taylor Loft
- Maternity Jeans: A Pea in the Pod
- Accessories: JCrew
- Shoes: Nordstrom
Statement Jewelry: Kendra Scott, Kenneth Jay Lane