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Third Trimester

Welcome back! Holiday vacation is great, but it’s also very, very nice to get back to a daily routine, isn’t it? No? Wait until you actually have kids, you will change your tune quickly. It’s been lovely spending so much time with my children, but this morning one of my four year olds asked me whether I was ever going to go back to work. I told him I was leaving for the office shortly and that he was returning to school and he truly looked relieved. The feeling was, I must reluctantly admit, mutual. Wait until he realizes I am about to be home full-time for three months of maternity leave.

 
 

First things first–it is absolutely frigid here in Washington, DC today, but I was warmed by the receipt of the colorful and uplifting Isabella Oliver Spring/Summer 2012 Lookbook this morning. Here are just a few photos to give you a small taste of what we all have to look forward to this spring.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

James Jeans Twiggy Corduroy Maternity Legging

Now, back to reality and the fact that it is January 3rd and quite cold. I surveyed my maternity corduroys over the break and realized that I somehow did not own a single pair of cords with an over-the-bump waistband. At 32 weeks, I am officially beyond the point where under-the-bump trousers are an option, even with the assistance of a silicone-reinforced Bella Band. I placed a few orders and lo and behold, fell in love with the James Jeans Twiggy Maternity Corduroy Legging.  I had somehow passed over these in the past, always opting for my trusty J Brand cords or Olian’s skinny cords. What a mistake! The James Jeans Twiggy Corduroy Maternity Legging is less of a legging than it is more of a very slim-fit cord. But it is still quite comfortable and forgiving. The corduroy itself is thin, so I do not suggest yanking on it too much, as I do fear it is prone to tearing. But with the full, over-the-bump, elastic waistband that the designers have cleverly included, yanking on your cords is not as necessary as you might imagine. The cords come in black and also in a nice blue-grey for USD $180 in James Jeans’ online maternity boutique.

I do suggest purchasing these cords one size up from your pre-pregnancy size if you are in your third trimester. As I was frequently reminded over the holidays when I tried to don clothing that I had purchased early on in my pregnancy, maternity designers who claim you can wear your pre-pregnancy trousers size straight through the third trimester are not always considering women who have given birth to several babies.


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I was in NYC yesterday for work and sadly could not squeeze a visit uptown to Veronique or Rosie Pope into my schedule. Consequently, I had to settle for a very quick visit to the only maternity boutique in midtown Manhattan–Destination Maternity’s flagship store at 57th and Madison.

As usual, my visit to Pea in the Pod, which occupies the bottom floor of Destination Maternity’s flagship, was extremely disappointing. First of all, from the moment I walked in, the very young saleswoman was hovering over me, telling me what she thought would be “perfect” for me and I found that extremely annoying. No surprise here, but when I asked her if she’d ever been pregnant, she said no. My conclusion after she finally stopped bothering me and I was able to spend about 15 minutes browsing the racks in peace?  The winter/holiday offerings from Pea in the Pod’s inhouse line are downright tacky and shockingly overpriced this season. Don’t even bother. Most of the holiday offerings don’t seem to be posted online yet, so I can’t show you any photos, but you are not missing anything.

But Pea in the Pod does still allow other designers to sell maternity-friendly items at their store and that remains the only reason any of you should ever shop there. AG Jeans continue to be one of the highlights of their offerings and several of AG’s pieces are currently discounted. The slim-fit AG corduroy trousers are reason enough to frequent Pea in the Pod and they are offering them for USD $195, down from USD $225. This winter, they are available in black, grey, and a great navy color here.

AG’s skinny twill cargo trousers are a full 50% off, believe it or not, discounted from USD $225 to USD $111.99 and still available in a good range of sizes in both black and olive here. I tried both the corduroys and the cargoes on in the store and they are very fitted. Stick to your pre-pregnancy size on the cords, but because the cargoes are made from cotton rather than denim and won’t stretch out as much, I would go one size up from your pre-pregnancy size.

Pea in the Pod’s online designer boutique does have a good number of fall/winter pieces on sale right now. Click here to browse all of their offerings from outside designers, i.e., to avoid having to wade through their overpriced inhouse collection.

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I am sorry I have been such a terrible blogger this past week, but my husband was back in Jerusalem last week and he took his laptop with him and left me only with the iPad. Wow, I hate that damned thing. I fought with it for the better part of the week before I just gave up and put it away and used my blackberry for everything. I readily admit I am not at all tech-savvy, but I am not a complete idiot and that iPad just drove me absolutely nuts. There–that is the first and last time I will offer my opinion regarding anything pertaining to technology.

Anyway, Angelina Jolie popularized the maternity maxi dress back during her first pregnancy and since then, just about every maternity designer has released its own version. In fact, many non-maternity designers advertise their empire-waisted maxi dresses as maternity-friendly and as long as you are all willing to go and have the dresses properly hemmed so they don’t ride up in the front (I absolutely hate that look), I fully support donning a Splendid or Ella Moss or Rachel Pally maxi dress during your pregnancies.

One of my favorite maternity maxi dresses is currently on sale at More of Me maternity, discounted 30% when you use the promotional code “HOT” at checkout. Every woman to whom I have suggested this dress subsequently informs me that she loves it. At USD $180, the price is a bit hard to swallow compared to other maternity maxi dresses out there, but this dress is a keeper and will be a perpetual part of your maternity wardrobe from pregnancy to pregnancy. Click here to buy the dress in navy–it is still available in all sizes, but does run slightly big.

Pregnant British women are raving about Oscar London, a new UK-based designer that specializes in flowing maxi dresses. They are not specifically designed for maternity, but are being carried in all the the top maternity boutiques over the pond. My pregnant friend just purchased the “Venus,” a V-necked maxi dress with an empire waist that is available in black, purple and this unusual floral print. The Venus is currently available here directly from the Oscar London site for GBP 89 (USD $135). After she bought her dress, they offered her 25% off her next purchase–a clear incentive to buy the Sophia dress as well. The Sophia is also pregnancy-friendly, i.e., you can wear a bra with it, which is always a bonus. I love this mauve color.

And I also really love this long-sleeved maternity maxi dress from NOM. It’s clearly not for this insanely humid weather we have on the East Coast right now, but it is perfect for fall. Bellydance still has it available in a size Small on sale here for USD $94. You’ll need a camisole underneath this dress…

And a quick congrats to my friend Reena, who just announced she is expecting her first baby. Reena is gorgeous, stylish and is most definitely muse-worthy material for Pregnant Fashionista, despite currently living in fashion-starved Jerusalem. Best of luck, Reena!

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jbrandcordsJust a quick note to let you know that J Brand has expanded its maternity collection to include a maternity version of its popular straight-leg corduroys.  The waistband it already uses for its maternity denim collection is the same–the elastic is built into the waistband on the sides, providing a very discreet, under-the bump fit.  Because of the very subtle way that the elastic is incorporated into the waistband, J Brand’s maternity collection is a must-have for the postpartum weeks.  J Brand’s straight leg corduroys are currently my favorite pants and I bought them in several colors and wear them just about every day.  I know, how boring.  But they are so comfortable and work well with boots or with flats.  J Brand’s decision to make a maternity version of their stretch corduroys is great news.

One warning–J Brand’s corduroy really stretches.  I have to wash and then dry them every time I wear them just to keep them from looking droopy.  Even if you are very pregnant, I would stick with your pre-pregnancy size.  I cannot envision this fabric not stretching to accommodate a few extra inches here and there.  And you don’t want to buy them too big and be that eight-and-half-months pregnant woman hiking up her pants all the time. J Brand’s straight-leg maternity corduroys are available in black and grey in Pickles & Ice Cream’s online boutique here.  They cost USD $189.  I know–but if you are already a J Brand fan, then you know these are impossible to resist.

I am on my way to London for the weekend and will be devoting a good amount of time to combing the city’s fabulous maternity boutiques.  I also can’t wait to take Leighton to see Father Christmas.  There are obviously no Santa Clauses to go see here in Jerusalem and the Consulate even had a hard time finding someone this year who was willing to wear the Santa costume.  I find that very amusing, because this city is literally chocked full of elderly men who already bear striking resemblances to Santa Claus.  Anyway, I look forward to reporting back on some great new maternity pieces next week.

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nukaolivenukaolive#2I am happy to say that you all may finally put away/give away/burn your Juicy Couture maternity hoodies because I have discovered an equally priced, yet infinitely nicer substitute at Nuka Maternity.  If there is justice in the world, pregnant women will no longer feel compelled to buy those brightly colored, slightly aggravating velour Juicy hoodies because they have no other options. Instead, they will all head straight to Nuka Maternity here and opt for the tasteful, supremely soft hoodies and T-shirts designed by mom Julia Noik, an LA-based graphic designer who set out to make pregnancy more comfortable with Nuka and has most definitely succeeded.

The absolute must-have in Julia’s Fall 2009 Collection?  The V-Neck Hoodie, a supremely soft, cotton, short-sleeved hoodie with an empire waist and subtle ombre shading.  The empire waist has cute button detailing through the front, but is reinforced with two pieces of elastic through the back, allowing for some serious stretching. This hoodie is so cozy and comfortable that I’ve been wearing it daily since it arrived this past weekend.  I am not actually pregnant.  But I think it is the ultimate compliment to a maternity designer when a non-pregnant women chooses to wear her clothing.  I still haven’t decided if I am going to part with the V-Neck Hoodie and send it to my pregnant sister (sorry, Jane, I really like it).  And Leighton’s diaper exploded while I was wearing it so I can also promise that the Nuka V-Neck Hoodie washes quite nicely and does not shrink.

You can buy a Nuka V-neck Hoodie for yourself here at Nuka’s website for USD $110-it comes in olive, chocolate and caviar black.  I should warn you that Julia is not exaggerating when she called this the V-Neck Hoodie.  This is a plunging V-neck, so on the days you don’t feel like you need to flaunt it, you should plan to wear a camisole or tank underneath (the zipper stops at the bottom of the V-neck, you can’t pull it up any higher if you suddenly have an attack of modesty).

nukapeasantAlso, be sure to peruse Nuka’s entire collection while you are on the site.  I also like the Nuka Peasant Top, which is made from a cotton/jersey blend and is a comfortable option for the first or early second trimester when you aren’t yet at the stage where you really need an empire waist.  The lantern sleeves are a great touch and this looks really nice with jeans or even your most casual maternity sweatpants.  It is available here in orchid for USD $70.

You must order at least one of Nuka’s pieces just to try it out for yourself.  The cotton and jersey used to make Nuka’s maternity clothing is amazingly soft and is of the highest quality.  You’re pregnant, after all, you deserve a few beautiful and comfortable articles of maternity clothing.  Whether you are going out on the weekends or just hanging out at home, Nuka’s T-shirts and tops will be the maternity pieces you reach for every day…and probably at night too, they are just that comfortable.

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Another day in Jerusalem and yet another truly bad haircut.  I am not going to bore you yet again with my futile efforts to find someone here who can cut hair properly.  Suffice it to say, I now look like Joan Jett from her “Love is a Battlefield” days.  All I need is a teasing comb and some Aqua Net and I am working proof that the ’80′s are unfortunately back, even here in Jerusalem.  Sadly, I don’t believe that people who are old enough to have partaken in ’80′s fashion the first time around should be trying it out again.

Bad haircut notwithstanding, I am excited to see that Pure T’s new Fall/Winter 2009 maternity line is now available for purchase on Pure T’s website. I’ve heard of Brooklyn-based Pure T’s line of high-end maternity tops before, but didn’t happen to own any while I was pregnant.  puret safireBut during my wonderful tour of “A New View Maternity” in New York City at the end of July, I was able to go through samples of Pure T’s Fall/Winter 2009 line. Without a doubt, the Short Sleeve Soft Cowl Turtleneck was one of the top 5 items I saw that day. Both my sister and I tried it on in this gorgeous “Sa-fire” color pictured at left and added it to our Fall 2009 must-have list. If sa-fire isn’t your first choice, the turtleneck is available in seven other colors, including the lipstick color pictured here and the more neutral black and vanilla colors.  puret lipstickThis top is made from very high-quality cotton and just feels very comfortable and cozy when you put it on. It is extra long, ensuring it will last through all three trimesters.  The sleeves are sufficiently long enough to cover the upper arms and the neckline is quite flattering.  I am not usually a lover of turtlenecks, but this one is quite loose-fitting.

You can purchase the top now in almost all 8 colors on Pure T’s website for USD $60 here. And with the short sleeves, it works well for layering once the cold weather hits and everybody else is freezing but you are suffering from inconvenient hot flashes that may require you to unexpectedly disrobe. If you are not subject to those horrible hot flashes caused by pregnancy hormones, the shirt is available in the same colors in a long-sleeved version here for USD $66.  Be sure to look through the entire selection on Pure T’s site, I was quite impressed at the high-quality cotton they use.

Pure T’s Short Sleeve Cowl Turtleneck does have an unfinished-looking hem at the bottom, which you can see in these photos and is not a look everyone necessarily likes.  I thought it looked OK as long as you are wearing it as a casual top. I’m not so sure you can pair it with a skirt or dressy trousers and pull it off at the office, it might look a bit sloppy if you don’t have a sweater or a jacket on over it.

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one-shoulder-ZOOMtnb_120x90_asseenSummer is just about over and new Fall 2009 maternity items are popping up online every day. Click on the icon at right and check out my most recent posting on TheBump.com for a write-up on FEM by T-Bags’ newest maternity maxi dress.  I just love the one-shoulder sash and the smoky grey color…

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rp trench #2rptrecnhThe late summer sales continue and if you are going to splurge and add an “investment” piece to your maternity wardrobe, now is the time to do it.  I can’t think of a better investment piece for a pregnant woman than a beautiful maternity trench coat.  You can wear it buttoned and tied  while you are still trying to camouflage your pregnancy or when you have only a cute little bump.  Once you are quite obviously pregnant and the buttons are in mild danger of popping off, you can simply tie it above your bump.  And you can wear it throughout those postpartum weeks when covering your physique with additional layers seems a very, very appealing idea.

Rosie Pope’s silk maternity trenches are the ultimate decadent investment piece for the stylish woman’s maternity wardrobe.  I have not yet blogged about them because they were retailing for a very steep USD $650.  Rosie Pope, an independent New York City-based maternity designer, has a very high-end maternity collection that she sells exclusively in her downtown Manhattan boutique.  I visited her store this summer and not only is her store elegant, but her selection is lovely.  After visiting her store, I am a bit disappointed in her website and the scarcity of her online offerings, but the silk maternity trenches are now on sale here in her online boutique, slashed 50% to USD$325.  They are still available in a wide range of sizes in all three colors–navy, grey, and desert clay.  This is a beautifully tailored coat that you can easily use to dress up your basic maternity jeans and T-shirt or throw on over your maternity cocktail dress for an evening out.  I found that her line does run slightly small in the upper body, so I would order one size up from your pre-pregnancy size to make sure you can wear the trench throughout all trimesters and while you are nursing.  I also found the coat to be cut slightly long, so I had to have mine hemmed to knee-length.

rp#3rp#4Just one little footnote…the Rosie Pope sale also includes her luxurious White Silk/Cotton Maternity Trench, which is reduced from USD$675 to USD$350 here.  I have been lusting after this coat for months and when buying my own Rosie Pope trench, it was all I could do not to splurge for this one.  But I do try and exercise a very small semblance of practicality when shopping, and purchasing a white trench coat to wear in a sand-ridden Middle Eastern city is simply not practical.  If you don’t happen to live somewhere where you find yourself covered in a layer of dust at the end of the day, this is a very sensible investment (OK, buying a white silk coat is never sensible, especially when you are about to give birth to a very small person who is guaranteed to spit up, vomit, and have explosive bowel movements on a daily basis…but wow, it really is a gorgeous coat).  If you decide to buy it, please send me a photo…I will post it and we can all envy how fabulous you look…

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DSC_0473I’ve been trying to make sure the boys have a true New York experience this summer and I figured there was nothing more New York than a summer afternoon baseball game at Yankee stadium.  DSC_0444I am not sure exactly what I was thinking taking three toddler boys to a baseball game.  We had a good time and they seemed to enjoy themselves but I won’t be doing that again.  It was absolutely mayhem.  Here are a couple of photos of the boys taken during the few seconds when they were actually sitting still–they all got new hats, but the ice cream was clearly the highlight of the game.  I never did manage to get a photo of all three of them together, because the three of them never once sat still long enough to take one.

juicyrufflesmallI do get mildly excited when I locate a favorite clothing maternity item that is sold out in most places but inexplicably pops up in a small, online maternity boutique.  I have this navy blue Ruffle Strap Maternity Camisole from Juicy Couture, but I haven’t seen it on sale anywhere in a while and therefore haven’t blogged about it.  But, I just noticed it is still available here at Sierra Maternity for USD $158.  It is only available in sizes Extra Small, Medium and Large, but Juicy Couture Maternity runs quite small, so unless you are Nicole Richie-pregnant, the Medium is a safe bet (I truly have no idea what pregnant woman decides to buy something in a size Extra Small).  It is made from embroidered cotton and has an above-the-bump tie than can be tied in the back or front.  This is simply a very pretty, versatile summer top that looks great with everything–jeans, trousers, or skirts.  And I can personally vouch for its quality–it will last you, as it has me, through several pregnancies.

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blue ombreIt’s hard being postpartum in the summertime. I went bathing suit shopping late last week, which was truly horrifying, I am still not emotionally ready to blog about it. But I am currently giving thanks for long, cotton maxi dresses. Those last few stubborn pregnancy pounds are lingering, those varicose veins are not disappearing as quickly as I had hoped, and while I am still breastfeeding, none of my pre-pregnancy clothing fits past my neck anyway. While I was pregnant, I wrote about several maternity-friendly long cotton dresses I highly recommended here and here. I’ve since had them hemmed and tailored for my post-pregnancy body and I don’t know what I would be wearing without them this summer. I just realized I never blogged about Splendid’s Blue Ombre Strapless Maternity Dress, which I wore during the last days of my pregnancy and have been wearing all summer.  blue ombre#2It’s Splendid, so I don’t have to assure you this is an extraordinarily comfortable dress. And because it is Splendid, it also is not a bargain. At USD $210, this maternity dress is an investment. But I am living proof that you will get your money’s worth and wear it for months after you give birth (you’ll need a good tailor to straighten out the hem).  I use it as a day dress, as a beach cover-up, and after a particularly grueling day with the boys, I have been know to sleep in it.  But it’s also a very pretty dress, and I get compliments on the color all the time.  Throw a cardigan over it and it will work for fall as well.

One problem–it is sold out in size Medium, and is only available at Pea in the Pod here in sizes Small and Medium.  Splendid typically runs slightly small but because this is strapless, I have found it fits true to size.

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