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New Maternity Boutiques

This is not the first time I have advised PF readers to shop Canadian. And I try do very hard to be supportive of independent maternity boutiques here in the U.S., especially because we certainly need more of them.

Slacks & Co Wool Cape

But I am so very impressed with the selections offered this fall by Ottawa maternity boutique Hautemama that I have no choice but to suggest you all head over to the store’s online boutique and start shopping. Fragile, Vanessa Knox, Slacks & Co, Bellybutton–I have written about all of these European maternity lines, lamenting the fact that they are carried in such very limited quantities here in the United States. Hautemama seems to have heeded such complaints and has updated its website and its collections, curating a very impressive online boutique chocked full of New Fall Arrivals from Europe’s luxury maternity designers. Yes, you’ll have to pay shipping from Canada, but this upgraded maternity boutique is the best one-stop maternity shopping destination I’ve seen in a while.
That great new Leather-Trimmed Wool Cape that Slacks & Co did for its Fall 2012 Collection? Hautemama has it. How about Slacks & Co’s recent release of new work-appropriate maternity dresses? Hautemama stocks them. Vanessa Knox’s cozy wool Purple Cableknit Maternity Cardigan? Hautemama has it. A wide selection of high-end nursingwear from Swedish designer Boob? Hautemama has it. And Boob’s hard-to-find cotton leggings in an array of colors? Hautemama has those too.

In the meantime, I’ll be stalking our favorite U.S. maternity boutiques waiting for them to switch it up a bit and offer the discerning maternity shopper a wider selection. I’m all for shopping American whenever you can…except, of course, when there is a Belgian-designed silk couture maternity dress like this one to be ordered directly from Canada.


 

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I spent my recent summer family vacation in northern California, visiting just about every amusement park we could find, feeding my four sons’ newly minted obsession with scary rides. I did manage to carve out about two hours of “me” time for shopping, however, during which I visited maternity boutique Mom’s the Word, which was recommended to me by a New York-based maternity buyer. Despite my voracious maternitywear shopping habit, this store had managed to elude me and that’s a shame, because as I just discovered, it is a fabulous maternity boutique. And I am even more thrilled to tell you Mom’s the Word also has a rather high-functioning online boutique, so no need to worry if you aren’t headed out to CA in the near future.

First of all, let me just say that there is nothing better than shopping for maternity clothing with a salesperson who actually knows what she is talking about. Whenever I am forced to walk into A Pea in the Pod to buy something, I usually end up lecturing the salespeople about their own inventory. They are always clueless. At Mom’s the Word, the boutique’s buyer was actually working in the store and was busy outfitting a young woman in her second trimester when I walked into the store. This buyer was full of extremely helpful suggestions and the young pregnant woman, who was shopping for work-appropriate clothing that would camouflage her newly acquired bosom, left with a shopping bag full of tasteful maternity clothing.

 

As for the inventory, Mom’s the Word mixes it up nicely, stocking both maternitywear and carefully selected pieces of maternity-friendly clothing. The usual suspects are available–Maternal America, Japanese Weekend, Belabumbum, Michael Stars, Ripe. But there are also loose-fitting tops and knits from designers like Subtle Luxury, Laila Jade, and Alternative, demonstrating the boutique’s obvious focus on simple, high-quality textiles. Mom’s the Word even has an in-house line of maternity basics, which is manufactured for them by Maternal America. I fell in love with the Mom’s the Word’s Striped Nursing Top, which was not surprisingly, completely sold out in my size–it really is that cute.

In the store, I also spotted the white Seraphine Denim Maternity Skirt, which may be the smallest denim maternity skirt I’ve ever seen. It seemed to me a skirt that only a pregnant Gisele could wear, but I admire Mom’s the Word for stocking it. I like it when the small boutiques take chances, not every pregnant woman wants to wear a wrap dress or black trousers every day. (The boutique in Palo Alto has a denim blue version of the skirt in stock, should you be shaped like Gisele and want to buy one).

Mom’s the Word has locations in both Palo Alto and San Francisco. If you are going to be in the area, it is definitely worth visiting the brick-and-mortar locations, as the online selection is not as wide as the in-store selection.


 

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Pretty Soon Silk Maxi Dress

It’s been a long time coming, but Bump Brooklyn finally has its online boutique up and running, providing all of us not fortunate enough to reside in New York City with access to their unique maternity collection. And, in honor of the new online boutique, Bump Brooklyn is offering PF readers 15% off for the entire month of April with promo code “FASHIONISTA.” The promotion applies sitewide.

Stephanie Schell Open Shoulder Dress

Ripe Maternity Shirt Dress

Bump’s online selection is small, but unique. The boutique has smartly tapped in to international maternity fashion and carries hard-to-find pieces from French designer Sugar Town, Australian designer Stephanie Schell, and Belgian maternity line, Pretty Soon. Bump also stocks international brands Ripe Maternity and Jules & Jim, as well as a good selection of maternity denim. Even without a discount, we should all be grateful that Bump has joined the online fray. The discount just gives us all an excuse to buy something.

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So, Amazon sells maternity clothing. I suppose I shouldn’t find that so shocking, being that they sell everything else. But when More of Me Maternity designer Jessica Boulanger notified me that many of the sold out pieces in her Fall/Winter collection are still available at Amazon, I was shocked to discover that not only does Amazon sell maternity clothing, but the site even has a good selection of higher-end designers. Who knew? Apparently, not many people, because there is a large range of sizes still available for pieces that are completely sold out everywhere else.

Take More of Me’s Stretch Silk Shirtdress at right. This dress was featured in numerous fashion magazines this past fall and even popped up on a few celebrities. Both the cheetah print and the snakeskin print are just about impossible to find this late in the season, but Amazon still has both available here in all sizes. They aren’t on sale, but hey, you can’t have everything. Either one of these would definitely spice up that late winter wardrobe.

More of Me’s cute cotton kimono dress, part of the Spring 2010 collection, is also still available at Amazon here for a very reasonable USD $84.15, reduced from USD $150–and in almost every size. I blogged about this dress last year, it is a great basic. At nearly 50% off, make this one of your first spring 2011 pieces.

Click here to peruse all of Amazon’s maternity clothing. In addition to More of Me, Amazon carries Nuka, Japanese Weekend, Jules & Jim, and even Pea in the Pod.

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The more I learn about maternity fashion, the more I realize that Australia is an absolutely fantastic place for the fashion-conscious woman to be pregnant.  Besides Ripe Maternity and EGG Maternity, which are available in the States, there are numerous Australian-based maternity designers that make beautiful, on-trend clothing for very reasonable prices.  I recently came across One On the Way Maternity, an Australian-based online maternity boutique that carries several of these Australian maternity brands–and conveniently ships anywhere in the world for a flat rate of AUD $20 (USD $18.25).

Mishka & Milka is currently the boutique’s best-selling maternity line and after viewing their collection, it is clear to see why.  The line’s Spring 2010 line is full of right-off-the-runway pieces specifically designed for maternity.  The Lover’s Shirtdress, pictured at right and available here in white for AUD $179.95 (approximately USD $164), looks as if it walked right off Ralph Lauren’s spring 2010 runway–I particularly like the wooden buttons and the subtly striped fabric.  Same with the blush-colored Amelie Maxi Dress, pictured at left, and available here in limited sizes for AUD $280 (USD $255). This dress is a no-brainer if you are planning on being heavily pregnant this summer, but head to the site now to buy it before it completely sells out.

I also wouldn’t be able to resist tossing this cotton textured A-line skirt in my shopping bag for the summer–with an elastic under-the-belly waistband, I think I might want to wear this skirt every day during those dreaded third trimester summer heat waves.  The skirt is available here for AUD $149 (USD $136). Click here to check out One On the Way’s entire Spring 2010 Mishka & Milka collection.

One On the Way Maternity also carries a good selection of Ripe and celebrity favorite Bump Maternity, but owner Lee-ann recommends that PF readers try out the boutique maternity collection Soon Melbourne, which focuses on high-quality pregnancy basics. Soon Melbourne offers pregnant women stylish investment pieces in a range of neutral colors.  For instance, these cotton maternity cargo pants are available in five colors here for AUD $139.95 (USD $127). They also come in the same range of colors in a 3/4-length version here for AUD $139.95.

Feel free to email Lee-ann directly here if you have any questions about sizing, delivery, etc.  She is a new fan of this blog and is very helpful!

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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.

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In recent weeks, I had several readers email me and ask what had happened to Rosie Pope Maternity.  Rosie opened her flagship maternity store a little over a year ago in SoHo, but my efforts to reach the store in recent weeks had been unsuccessful.  Her website hadn’t been update in a while so I was fearing the worst–that the recession had forced Rosie to close up shop and that pregnant women the world over would no longer be able to wear her gorgeous, chic maternity clothing.

Cashmere Bow Dress-FrontHave no fear–Rosie Pope Maternity is alive and well and though she did recently close the store in SoHo, she more recently opened a new location on the Upper East Side on Madison Avenue (coincidentally, just a few blocks away from Veronique Maternity).  I’ve been in touch with Rosie and not only has she opened a new boutique, but she has made a notable effort to reduce her prices.  Although her newest collection is not yet up on her website, the items that are available are significantly less than they were six months ago.  You’ll note that the white silk maternity trench I blogged about here was initially USD $675.  As of this writing, it is priced at only USD $298 here–and still available in all sizes.  Good things do come to those who wait.

My sister Jane was kind enough to take her own little shopping spree at Rosie’s new store last week and came away with a few must-have items that I wanted to share with you.  These items are not yet available on the Rosie Pope website, but Rosie was kind enough to send me these photos.  You can call the store directly at (212) 608-2036 and they would be happy to ship them out to you.  Rosie’s collection does run small, be sure to ask the helpful salespeople what size they suggest.

Cashmere Bow Dress-BackAt the top of the must-have list is Rosie’s Cashmere Bow Dress, priced at USD $225 and available in red, black, ivory, navy blue, seafoam, and beige.  This sweater dress has a belt that can be worn above or below your baby bump.  My sister ordered the dress in red and loves it so much that, despite being seven and a half months pregnant, she is actually excited to attend all of her holiday cocktail parties.

Fall_2008 Photoshoot 635Rosie’s Cashmere Wrap Cardigan, priced at USD $188, also ranks as a must-have, although the color selection at the boutique is a bit limited–this sweater, pictured at right, is only currently available in beige and seafoam.

Fall_2008 Photoshoot 580

If you took my advice and ordered one of the Pure T turtlenecks I blogged about here, Rosie’s tweed pencil skirt should also be on your must-have list. Add a pair of opaque maternity tights and your favorite boots and you will give the non-pregnant women you know a run for their money fashionwise.

And, per my personal request, my sister tried on Rosie’s Pleated Wool Dress and reports back that this dress is definitely a key staple for the fashionable pregnant women.  This dress is available on the website here in navy and charcoal for USD $188, but runs quite small through the thighs and hips.  rosiepleated#1Unless your pregnancy doesn’t seem to be affecting your posterior in any way, I suggest ordering up two sizes from your pre-pregnancy size and then doing the necessary alterations.

mommyblogsBy the way, I am a bit late in letting you all know about this, but TheBump.com is currently holding its Mommy Blog Awards and there is a fashion category.  If you click on the badge at left, you can nominate and/or vote for Pregnant Fashionista in the Fashion Blog category. The prize is a $100 gift card to Pottery Barn Kids.  Don’t worry, this is not blatant self-promotion.  I am very active in volunteering at a local orphanage in nearby Bethlehem and they have a brand new infant nursery.  Should I be lucky enough to win the gift certificate, I’d love to donate new baby sheets to the orphanage.  If you have time, please click and support Pregnant Fashionista!

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If you happen to be passing through Brooklyn tonight or tomorrow night, you are a lucky pregnant lady. Brooklyn is staging “Shop Brooklyn Boutique Fashion Nights,” during which all of the local boutiques are open until 10pm and are offering special discounts off their merchandise. If I didn’t have the four little guys sleeping upstairs right now, I’d be there myself. Fashion-forward maternity boutique Bump Brooklyn is offering 15% off all nonsale items. If you stop in, please ask them when they are going to catch on and finally set up an online boutique for those of us who want to shop but do not live in super-hip Brooklyn.

bfjeansOf particular interest to all of you is Madison Rose, a brand new maternity resale boutique that opened in June in Carroll Gardens in downtown Brooklyn.  Madison Rose is not your typical maternity consignment store, where you have to wait until someone buys your items before you see any cash.   Instead, owner Jilian DiChiaro asks customers to come in with their designer maternity items and receive cash almost immediately or alternatively, a trade credit.

IMG_0664I must say, Madison Rose is also a very nice-looking store. As someone who consigns clothing regularly, most resale stores do not look as lovely as Madison Rose. Sadly, my extensive collection of children have not provided me with any serious shopping opportunities during our month in New York and I have not been able to stop by, but Jilian tells me she has an extensive designer denim selection (Seven for all Mankind, Citizens, Habitual, Rock & Republic) and also carries a nice selection of high-end maternity designers, including Cadeau and Diane von Furstenberg. Jilian says her inventory turns over quickly–too quickly to get it posted up on the store’s website here–but if there is something you absolutely must have, you may contact her directly at madisonrosematernity@gmail.com and she will do all she can to help you out.

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