Google+

Must-Have

My husband and I had a night out on the town last weekend–which for parents of five children under the age of 6 means a quick meal down the street, one glass of wine, home by 10pm, and passed out on the couch by 1030p.

But, I did manage to pull together a surprisingly great outfit for the chilly evening, with two pieces from Fall 2012 maternity collections and a killer pair of Isabel Marant booties. I thought I’d share the whole ensemble with you, in case you might be looking for a date night outfit. I will also point out that this outfit covers everything from neck to toe while also managing to look sleek and stylish.

Sono Vaso Pina Cowl Neck Sweater.  When I pulled this new Fall 2012 maternity piece from Sono Vaso Maternity out of the box, I was not thrilled. The print looked too busy, like something a pregnant woman should simply not be wearing. But once I pulled it on, I quickly changed my mind. This piece has a Missoni-esque vibe to it, in that the pattern shifts depending on how you are standing and the piece seems to move with you. It’s made from a fitted rayon/cotton blend and dare I say, it feels almost slinky on the body. The jagged horizontal striping is subtle and I particularly like how the contrasting-printed belt looks tied above the bump. If you are convinced to try this out, I should point out that though this is advertised as a “dress,” it is most definitely a tunic or a top. It would be hard to envision how a pregnant woman might wear this as a dress and if she did, I think I’d have a few things to say about it. It is very easily worn as a tunic paired with leggings or skinny jeans.

Dallas Faux Leather Maternity “Treggings”. Skinny leather maternity leggings. Need I write more? These are not real leather, but investing in real leather maternity pants is something at which even PF might draw the line. I love these pants, and I am simply thankful to Slacks & Co. designer Tara Meran for filling an obvious void in the maternity market, i.e. leather. Every one is wearing leather this fall, pregnant women should not have to go without. The solid black treggings actually have a jersey panel in the back, allowing for “extra-stretchiness” come week 38. They look great with the busy pattern of the Sono Vaso top.

 

 

 

Isabel Marant Dicker Suede Ankle Boots. These boots are perfect, just perfect. They work with skirts when you aren’t pregnant and they work with leggings and skinny pants when you are. The heel is just right–not too high to be uncomfortable, but not too low to emphasize how large your calves have become.  An investment at $565, but worth each and every penny.


 

Share

{ 0 comments }

Well, the Met Gala was a serious letdown for PF. Not a single pregnant celebrity or model showed up–or at least an evidently pregnant one. Although, actress Diane Kruger could have been carrying triplets underneath this Prada concotion and we never would have known it.

Still, there were some beautiful dresses and much to my surprise, new mom January Jones’ yellow Versace gowns was one of my favorite. Her recent admission that she is busy eating her own placenta in custom smoothies prepared for her by her doula confirmed to me that she is rather odd, but the woman is gorgeous and she really looked stunning on Monday night.

On to more pressing and relevant concerns for all of us non-celeb, non-placenta-eating pregnant and postpartum women. I am pleased to announce that Slacks & Co., the UK-based maternity designer, has finally, finally opened its online boutique…and 1-2 day shipping to the US is a mere GBP 10. Slacks & Co. specializes in designing high-end trousers for pregnant women, with a focus on taking looks right off the runway and translating them into maternitywear. I simply love this line and there is nothing out there quite like it for pregnant women. I am wearing a pair of the line’s black London Cigarette Pant as I sit here writing this. Slacks & Co. has designed its maternity trousers to look nothing like maternitywear and at 3 months postpartum, I am particularly thankful for that. I wear a pair of these just about every day to work and comfort myself with the knowledge that I and only I know I am still in maternity clothing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The primary and solitary complaint I have with Slacks & Co. is simply that they are so hard to find, with very few US retailers carrying the line and only a select few of the line’s vast array of trouser styles usually available. The new online boutique changes that, offering specialty pieces like the Dallas Faux Leather Tregging or the Buenos Aires Jodhpur. And yes, these trousers are specifically designed and tailored for the pregnant physique–none of the suspect tactic of adding an elastic belly band to regular fitting trousers and marketing them as maternity, one of Pea in the Pod’s most frustrating tactics.

So, happy shopping. Buying a pair of these trousers may truly revamp your maternity wardrobe…and give you the postpartum one you don’t even know you need yet.


Share

{ 1 comment }

Throughout the fall, PF neurotically checked pure t Maternity’s online boutique, waiting for the release of designer Jennifer Fine’s Winter 2012 collection. pure t, a very small maternity design company out of Brooklyn, focuses exclusively on designing luxury maternity tops and tees. pure t’s cozy, soft winter turtlenecks are a long-time favorite here at PF and I was hoping to celebrate the holidays and ring in the New Year in one of the vibrantly colored tops. No such luck, but over the holidays, pure t’s must-have maternity turtlenecks did suddenly pop up for sale in Pickles & Ice Cream’s online boutique. My own personal favorite is the Super Soft Cowlneck, which is available in black, sapphire or red for USD $68. pure t also makes a Thermal Cowlneck, which is selling in black and dark green for USD $88. For those of you not necessarily in search of winter pieces, pure t also makes a Short-Sleeved Super Soft Cowlneck, available in its boutique.

These tops are, first and foremost, cut from very high-end supima cotton, combined with modal for added stretch. They wash well and will last you from pregnancy to pregnancy. pure t’s tops are also incredibly long with a very generous bit of extra material in the front of the top, rendering those of us in our third trimester especially grateful. I particularly love pure t’s colors, however. Fine always delivers with bright color, so you can continue to wear those reliable black maternity trousers or leggings, but still have fun with a bit of bright color up top. Pair one of these turtlenecks with a few layered long necklaces draped over your bump and you’ll look instantly chic, even if you are wearing the same pants you wore yesterday because they are the only pair that actually still fit.

Now, we just have to convince Fine to design a nursing version of pure t’s Super Soft Cowlneck, so we can continue to wear her luxurious tops after our pregnancies are over.


Share

{ 2 comments }

No need to write much here, because you don’t need me to tell you these are a must-have. I just want to alert you all that J Brand’s new super skinny black maternity corduroys are in stock at shopbop.com as of this morning. Head over there right now, these are going to sell out fast. These cords have an 11-inch leg opening, the skinniest of J Brand’s cuts and even smaller than J Brand Maternity 12″ Pencil Leg Jeans.The waistband is the classic Mama J by J Brand fit–subtle elastic insets set into an under-the-bump waistband, making them just about perfect for your most of your pregnancy and especially for postpartum wear. J Brand’s Mama J line always runs large and with corduroys, you can be sure they’ll stretch out as you wear them. I strongly suggest dropping down a size from your pre-pregnancy size.

Share

{ 1 comment }

After four pregnancies in five years, one of them with 13 pounds worth of twins, I am unfortunately an expert in pregnancy-induced varicose veins and consequently, the purchase of maternity compression hosiery. This particular pregnancy, my legs start throbbing as soon as I stand up in the morning and throb until I squeeze them into a pair of these tights. After my last pregnancy, I had full-on surgery to remove a few of the veins that were exceptionally painful and unsightly, but the veins are worse this time around than ever before. My hard-earned advice? Read this posting and buy yourself a pair of these tights preventively, even if you have absolutely no signs of vein-related problems and you have no intention of giving birth to five babies in five years (a very civilized decision, by the way). I didn’t wear these tights during my first pregnancy and only started to wear them once I experienced pain late in my second pregnancy. That was my mistake, the veins were already stretched out by then. Of women who give birth, approximately 30% of first time pregnancies and 55% of women with previous pregnancies develop varicose veins. Wearing these tights a few times a week can only help and hey, your body is going to hell anyway, why not do what you can to give it a little help? Compression hosiery is not comfortable and not generally attractive (more on that below), but really does make a difference in the long term.

So, now that I’ve given you my two cents, which compression stockings should you buy? You may, of course, walk into a surgical supply store and purchase compression tights identical to those your grandmother wore in the 1970′s. But that is no longer necessary, as there are designers out there designing compression tights that are actually somewhat fashion forward. Not all of these designers, however, make Maternity-Specific Compression Stockings. Here is my down and dirty list of what to consider before you make your purchase.

1. Compression. Compression hosiery is available in graduated support levels, starting at 8-15 mm/Hg and topping out at 40-50 mm/Hg (you usually need a prescription for the highest support levels). When you are deciding what to buy, make sure you look for a specific support level in the product description. Stores like a Pea in the Pod and Motherhood Maternity sell “maternity support stockings” with no attached support level. These are not compression stockings, they are regular old stockings with a fancy name and a higher price. Start out with the lowest level of support if you don’t already have varicose veins and increase the support level if you do develop a problem.

2. Pantyhose or Tights? Make sure you know what you are buying. Compression stockings are available in both sheer and opaque styles. As the support level you need grows higher, you’ll be unable to purchase sheer hosiery and you’ll have to go with opaques. That is obviously not at all appealing when it comes to buying nude-colored stockings, as opaque, nude-colored tights are just not an attractive look. But if Kate Middleton can make it work under global media scrutiny, so can you.

3. Full-Length or Socks? You don’t necessarily need to buy full-length tights. Compression stockings are available in the knee-high sock styles and in thigh-high styles. It’s really up to you. I have the worst vein problems in my upper thighs, so I choose to wear tights. If you do not choose to buy tights, you’ll have a wider selection of prices and textures to pick from, as you will not need to buy maternity-specific hosiery. Do NOT buy maternity compression stockings without feet, you’ll be defeating the purpose of wearing them in the first place. The point of these stockings is to concentrate all of the compression in your ankles and then to gradually lessen it as the stocking moves up your leg.

4. Price. Compression stockings are not inexpensive and be prepared to spend at least USD $50 on a high-quality pair. The higher the level of support, the more you will pay for your stockings. If you wear them every day, they should last you three to six months. Once they become easy to put on, you should replace them. Under no circumstances should your compression tights pull on easily.

Italian designer Solidea is currently my favorite among the pack, as their tights are relatively stylish, not ridiculously priced, and the maternity selection is decent. The

Solidea Wonder Maman Stockings come in both sheer and opaque styles. The Maman 140 style offers firm compression of 18-21 mm/Hg, while the Maman 70 style offers moderate compression at 12-15mm/Hg.

Jobst is a more well-known and established, but less style-conscious maker of compression tights. Jobst Maternity Compression Stockings come in a wider array of colors and textures, but are a good bit more expensive.

Sigvaris and Juzo also make style-minded, maternity-specific compression hosiery, but the prices are usually quite high. Amazon has a great selection of these brands and has the best prices. All of the links above lead to Amazon. Take the time to sift through the offerings and find the best price for the texture, color, and support you are looking for. You’ll be surprised at how varied the prices are.

Share

{ 6 comments }

I have been waiting and waiting for Boob’s absolutely adorable Singoalla Nursing Dress to go on sale somewhere. Priced as high as USD $156 here in the US, this dress is a serious nursing investment. Still, made from 70% Lyocell and 30% cotton, the dress is not only a must-have for your nursing wardrobe, but it is also ecofriendly. And it’s from Boob, which means there is just about no way you won’t love it. But it is now the height of the summer sale season and none of the online maternity boutiques are offering even a mild discount on the dress…which means it is time to take advantage of the weakened Euro and buy this Boob dress from an overseas boutique.

The Irish-based Onceborn Maternity is currently selling the Boob Singoalla dress in coral, black, and denim blue here.  The dress is still full-priced at €85.00 (including VAT) and international shipping costs approximately €15.00. But do the conversion and even with the higher shipping costs, you’ve managed to buy Boob’s Singoalla Nursing Dress at a nicely discounted USD $126. Hey, it’s not a huge discount, but I have found that buying online from European boutiques these days truly makes me feel like I am bargain hunting.

Happy belated 4th of July to everyone, by the way. It was so nice to be home in the USA for the 4th. The boys enjoyed a week away at the beach in South Carolina with their cousins and had a truly American 4th of July. Here they are celebrating the holiday (although, they are actually celebrating the fact that they all got new Toy Story backpacks at Target that day). Hope your long weekend was as fun-filled as their was…

Share

{ 1 comment }

I identify the maternity line Ingrid & Isabel solely with the ubiquitous Bella Band. I bought two of them during my first pregnancy and they were perfectly fine. As you might surmise by now, I had no problem taking that first plunge and buying maternity clothing, so I didn’t really need a Bella Band to keep me in my non-maternity clothing for as long as possible. I ended up using it primarily to keep my under-the-bump trousers up at the very end of my pregnancy, for which it was helpful, but not ideal. It seems more suited for the newly pregnant as opposed to those who are so big they can’t keep their trousers on.

This past weekend, however, I discovered Ingrid & Isabel’s ruched maternity tank and this piece is an absolute must-have. Not to bore you with the details of my undergarment-related sagas but I needed a slip for a dress I was wearing that night and this was all I could find on such short notice. I actually ended up wearing it as a slip under a loose-fitting short dress–which is good news for all of your pregnant women out there, because if it works as a slip, that means it is long enough to cover your bump and then some. It is made from a nylon/spandex blend and it was truly an incredibly comfortable undergarment. It is significantly ruched so it is not the best layering piece under another fitted maternity top. But this would work perfectly underneath a maternity blouse or a maternity dress. And it is thick enough, you can wear it in black or navy blue on its own (due to the material, I think it might be a bit sheer in white, so it is best for layering). It has also washed quite nicely, though I did not put it in the dryer. It is available here at Amazon in all three colors for between USD $45 and USD $48.

And by the way, this proves there are truly fashion advantages gained from being pregnant. Do you think the editors at InStyle have yet to figure out that maternity tops actually make ideal non-maternity slips? Hmmm…you’re right, I don’t think the editors at InStyle probably think too much about wearing slips under their super-short dresses. You kind of have to give birth a few times to realize the true value of a slip.

Share

{ 1 comment }

I am not a fan of leggings or “jeggings” or even “treggings,” but I acknowledge that I seem to be missing something because just about everyone else out there is really into them. What is a “tregging”? I know, I had to look it up too. It is apparently a pair of trousers that fits just like a legging, i.e., it has all the details that a pair of trousers might have but is skin-tight. I had asked Amanda at Everyday Maternity to recommend her must-have item this spring and she emailed to tell me that she doesn’t get the jegging/tregging thing either, but she can’t keep Boob’s new maternity “tregging” in stock. So, I do feel obliged to let you all know that Everyday Maternity just restocked Boob’s must-have maternity tregging, and it is available here for GBP 49.99 (USD $77) in almost all sizes (Small is already sold out). It is really hard to go wrong with Swedish designer Boob–I’ve never bought anything from them that I didn’t love and it’s not the quality about which I am dubious. I just don’t understand why the very clear line between trouser and legging has to be blurred. Just buy one or the other, who cares if your leggings have pockets, you aren’t going to put anything in them anyway.  Wow, I sound like an old biddy, I am showing my age here.

Anyway, if you buy them, let me know if you like them. You can reach Amanda directly at amanda@everydaymaternity.com if you want to ask any questions before you buy.

Share

{ 1 comment }

pure t slateOne of my go-to online maternity boutiques, Unbuttoned Maternity, has (finally) launched its winter sale.  There is a wide selection of items on sale, click here to view the sale inventory.  The sale’s highlights are certainly the Pure T maternity tops, which are  discounted 20% and still available in a good range of sizes. Pure T focuses almost exclusively on making high-quality, eco-friendly, cotton maternity tops.  I discovered Pure T only this past summer and I feel like I really missed out on wearing their comfy tops during my pregnancies.  My sister has been completely addicted to them and they are now stocked in Manhattan’s high-end maternity boutiques, including Rosie Pope.  Unbuttoned Maternity’s sale includes numerous different styles of Pure T tops, both short-sleeved and long-sleeved.  My personal favorite, the Pure T Short-Sleeved Cowl Neck tee, is available here in this slate color for USD $49.99, reduced from USD $62.  These are classic tops, take advantage of the sale and you will be wearing these through all of your pregnancies.

Share

{ 0 comments }

Tuxedo-TankI have been waiting and waiting for pieces from Canadian designer Hatch Maternity’s Fall 2009 collection to show up for sale online so I can advise you all to rush out and purchase them. I finally found Evymama, a Toronto-based maternity boutique that now has numerous pieces from Hatch’s new collection available for purchase. I was privileged enough to preview samples from the Hatch Fall 2009 collection this past summer and I loved every piece I saw. This is an amazing maternity line and I only wish it were easier to find online. All of the pieces are smartly tailored and come in tasteful, neutral colors, making it an ideal designer to provide you with the basics for your maternity wardrobe.  The quality is superb and after trying on a few of their pieces, I was hooked.

The highlight for me is Hatch’s Tuxedo Tank, which I think is simply genius. What Hatch has done has taken the top of a white, sleeveless blouse and attached it to a maternity-friendly cotton, ruched black midsection. I frequently blog about how difficult it is to find a flattering white maternity blouse that isn’t too bulky or doesn’t threaten to pop a button once you are truly pregnant. With the Tuxedo Top, you don’t have to worry about the bulkiness or the awkward fit–you can easily layer a sweater right over it or throw a work blazer on top, giving you the classic open-collared look of a white blouse collar, but preventing you from having to worry about tucking in a blouse or buttoning a blouse or tying a blouse underneath. And it’s sleeveless, so it truly is the perfect layering piece for the overheated pregnant woman. I wish I’d thought of this. Let’s all rush over here to Evymama and buy this so Hatch makes it in more colors for its next collection. Personally, I’d also buy it in black and blue.  Hatch’s Tuxedo Tank retails at Evymama for CAD $88 (approximately USD $83).

Tie-BlazerIf you are looking for work-friendly maternity wear, I’d also peruse Evymama’s collection of Hatch maternity suits.  I particularly liked this brown tweed suit, which works well for the office without being too boring or matronly (sadly, despite the fact that many pregnant woman do actually have jobs in offices, maternity suiting continues to be a woefully unexplored fashion frontier).  The suit jacket retails here for CAD $153 (approximately USD $145) and the matching underbelly trousers retail here for CAD $128 (approximately USD $121).  Evymama will ship to the US for free if you spend more than CAD $300. Buy the suit and the tuxedo tank and you’ll get free shipping, justifying the entire purchase!  And if you are interested in maternity suiting, click here to view Hatch’s entire Fall 2009 collection.  It’s not yet available for sale online, but if you are understandably desperate for something to wear to the office, it may be worth contacting Hatch directly and placing an order over the phone.

Editor's Pick BadgeOne more thing–I just wanted to thank you all for voting for PF on TheBump.com.  I did not win the “Best Fashion Blog” award, but as you can see here, I did earn the “Editor’s Pick for Best Fashion Blog” honor.  So even if I didn’t get the votes or win a prize, it is nice to know that someone out there is reading this and liking it.  And now that I have an official award, I am slightly more able to justify to my husband why I still need to purchase maternity clothing, despite not currently being pregnant.

Share

{ 0 comments }