Even celebrities can feel flummoxed when shopping for their bumps. We recently sat down with Leticia Ochman, Style Director at Star and OK Magazine, to share our favorite tips, including our absolute must-have list for moms at any stage -- flattering, versatile, and giving you that boost of confidence when you need it most.
What makes Jessica Alba’s dress so flattering?
The off-the-shoulder look is especially flattering during pregnancy because it accentuates the collarbone and shoulders, which stay the same size no matter what stage of pregnancy you're in. Black is universally slimming, and the ruffles draw the eye upward and give it a feminine touch. A maxi silhouette is not only super comfortable during pregnancy, but also elongates your figure.
What makes Julia Stiles’ looks maternity-friendly and still fashionable?
The best thing about Julia's looks is that they're not maternity, so she's going to be just as excited to rock them after her baby comes! The Yumi Kim's wrap tie is customizable and enables her to define her waist at every stage. The midi-length is conservative but also shows off her svelte legs. It looks great paired with a cami for additional coverage or without. The A.L.C. maxi dress leverages our favorite garment technique, the inverted v-seam at the chest, which allows the fabric to skim just so and creates a beautiful line.
What are the top items every pregnant woman needs to feel comfortable and still look fashionable throughout her pregnancy?
Best advice - focus on versatility. If it only serves one stage of pregnancy or one function, don't buy it! A slam dunk piece for us is one that comes in a mom's pre-pregnancy size that will flatter during and after pregnancy and is also nursing-friendly.
Wrap dress: it can be adjusted to flatter any size and can be dressed up for work or date night, or down for errands and weekend fun. Our favorites are from Yumi Kim and DVF. They tie comfortably above your bump for a perfect customized fit as your shape changes. A snap chest closure offers discreet bra coverage and even accommodates nursing. Yumi’s are fully lined and all are made of soft materials, which feel light and comfortable on sensitive skin.
Dress with an inverted v-seam at the chest: this will grow with you, yet create the illusion of an elongated figure both during and after pregnancy. A.L.C. uses this technique well.
Tunic: A tunic is one of the most versatile pieces a mom-to-be can have. It fits oversized to hide a bump you're not ready to share and should accommodate your growth for the full nine months. Rock it as a dress during early months and postpartum; pair it with your favorite leggings in second and third trimesters. We're big fans of Mara Hoffman's colorful prints.
Formfitting dress: Counterintuitively, there’s so much “extra” already going on with your body that less is actually more in the later stages of pregnancy. Don't be afraid to show off your bump once you've popped! We love Enza Costa's dresses, which use silk in the blend for extra softness and high-quality spandex that will retain its shape postpartum.
A longer cardigan, kimono, or trench: they elongate your frame and offer coverage of tricky areas like your arms, hips, and butt. ATM's cardigan is the perfect mix of cozy, yet put together.
Long, drapey tops: these go the distance and still feel appealing postpartum. Pair them with your favorite denim or low-rise leggings untucked, or dress them up with silk joggers. We love Vince’s in particular.
Oversized sweaters: so easy to pair with stretchy low-rise leggings (you may already own), these are what our customers love the most during the fall and winter months. Boxier cuts will hide first trimester bumps and create a nice drape in the later stages of pregnancy. We love v-necks, which highlight collarbones and flatter growing chests (always a positive!). Equipment offers the most universally flattering shapes.
Supportive bra: a well-made bra offering gentle support is key during pregnancy as your breasts swell and become more tender. We recommend avoiding underwires, which can be uncomfortable and restrict milk ducts. We love Cosabella for pregnancy and nursing; some women prefer the ease of clips, while others find you can just pull down easily enough.
Stretchy jeans: most women find they move up a size in jeans (even maternity jeans) at some point in their pregnancy. Investing in a couple pairs with great stretch (and stretch retention) will minimize your need to buy bigger sizes for those last few months. DL1961 has been a best seller, with supersoft modal in their proprietary fabrics.
Leggings: leggings are a mom's best friend - they're comfortable, easy, and always fit. They can accentuate skinny ankles but also compress tricky areas that may grow during pregnancy like thighs and hips. We love David Lerner for pregnancy and postpartum. As an alternative to leggings and jeans, we love J Brand's new luxe sateen pants. Super soft with amazing stretch.
Slippers: Like all moms, we're suckers for a versatile, cozy slipper. Our favorites are Birdies, which are not only beautiful, but the most comfortable shoe we've tried on in or out of the house. Perfect for the delivery room, lazy Sundays, and weekend errands alike!