Phan wears her Swept Away Dress in Rose Ella
Fact: we don't always feel like our best self – and that’s before throwing in hormones and physical changes of pregnancy.
For Kim Phan, founder and designer behind Yumi Kim, confidence is all about what you wear and how you feel when you wear it.
“I have always believed that a woman’s style is a direct expression of who she is,” Phan has said of her line.
If you’re pregnant and looking for a confidence boost, Phan is your go-to designer. Currently pregnant with her first, Phan adapted her trademark print-forward silk assortment to flatter the growing pregnancy shape.
Phan says she wants to empower pregnant women to feel confident in their changing shapes during pregnancy.
“I want women to be able to embrace the bump and rock styles that show their growing curves," she cheered.
Phan believes the best and easiest way to do that is to throw on a flowy, floral dress.
“You get noticed when you walk into a room with color or print,” she said in a 2013 interview. “You just automatically come to life.” Today, her line is ~85 percent prints.
The designs of Yumi Kim were in part inspired by Phan’s Vietnemese heritage, namely her mom’s love of exotic prints and florals; as well as the “au dai.” Literally translated “long shirt,” it’s a tight fitting silk tunic traditional in Vietnam, where culturally color and prints are pervasive.
Phan said her favorite print for fall is Ruby Romance, as she's all about jewel tone florals and the use of the color red this season.
Phan wears her Peace and Love Maxi in Ruby Romance
If you’re someone who wasn’t super into prints pre-pregnancy, Phan suggests taking baby steps with a less busy pattern in a favorite bold color. She also said she expects to be adding more solid colors to her assortment in the coming months due to high demand.
Phan listed Diane von Furstenberg in her long list of inspiring designers, calling her a “true visionary” for her work incorporating prints and color into everyday style. She’s also a big fan of her wrap technique, which Phan has employed in so many of her own designs.
“I’ve been able to transition from the start of my pregnancy through seven months in all of my wrap dresses,” she said. “The wrap styles really allow easy adjustments in size.”
One big shift in Phan’s line that’s been inspired in part by her own pregnancy is the introduction of more jersey this season.
“I’m always on the go, so comfort is key,” she says. “I’ve been wearing so many of my comfortable fitted jersey styles, which have been easy to grow into, and are more casual alternatives to silk."
Phan’s jersey picks this season are the Around Town Midi Wrap Dress and the Livi Shift Dress (for a shorter length), both ultra flattering for mom’s changing body.
Travel has also played an essential role in Phan’s designs, and she hasn’t lost the itch to explore while pregnant. She said she’s been on a plane every month since she found out she was expecting!
“I was in Vietnam and Thailand during my first trimester. I loved eating all the tropical fruits, drinking coconut water, and eating so much yummy Asian food. In my second trimester, it was Italy – pasta heaven! Third trimester for our baby moon, we wanted something more chill and relaxing – importantly, a short flight from our home in NYC – so we picked Bermuda.”
Phan wears her Swept Away maxi in Amazing Grace Ink on vacation in Bermuda
Wondering what to wear on a fall or winter babymoon?
“The Swept Away and Spin Me Around Dress are both my go-tos!” she said.
Speaking of travel, if you find yourself in New York City, Phan said her hometown standbys are Thai Son for Vietnamese, Bar Pitti for pasta, and Blue Ribbon Federal for the honey friend chicken. “IT’S SO GOOD!” she said of her downtown favorite.
Oh, and if you’re wondering where the name Yumi Kim comes from, “yumi” is Japanese for beautiful and is actually a tribute to her Yorkshire terrier (which she rescued). As if we didn’t already love her enough.