A fun little interview with me at 8 months prego, in this weeks Bump Envy on Well Rounded NY. Find out what has surprised me most about pregnancy and what NYC experience I am most looking forward to sharing with my babe. Check it out over here…
When I first became pregnant, I had no intentions of publishing weekly Style The Bump posts, but about 6 months into the journey I realized while facing my own prenatal style challenges that others were likely going through a similar struggle. As I started to consider my changing shape, comfort, and not wanting to break the bank, I discovered styling strategies and techniques that I knew other women could benefit from. So alas, Style The Bump series for Your Soul Style was born. Which then lead to the launch of my *NEW* Prenatal/Postnatal Styling Package, which you can read details about here!
While I still have 3 more weeks to go (I’m 37 weeks today!), this babe could potentially be here at any given moment, and I wanted to share this recap with you before she arrives! So here are 6 key tips to apply while rocking your new bump…
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FAVORITE MATERNITY ITEM
Hands down, my two favorite silhouettes were a jumpsuit/overalls & dresses. You can get a complete outfit in one, and make sure to look for styles without a defined waistline to ensure room for your growing belly.
WHERE TO INVEST
A good pair of designer denim that you will wear until the end of your pregnancy is worth the investment. Especially if you’re a jeans gal and can wear to work. Keep in mind that if you want to buy maternity jeans, wait until your second trimester when the rest of your body (aside from your belly) starts to fill out a bit. This will ensure that you’re buying a size that will last. Other items to invest in are styles you will get a lot of use out of. Even if you don’t wear in postnatal life, if you are going to live in a piece over the course of 10 months, it’s worth it! For me, it was my Hatch Cashmere Onesie. I wore it endlessly.
MATERNITY BRANDS I ♥
There are likely many items in your closet that will work during a pregnancy, but you need to get creative! Set aside some time early on in your pregnancy to go through your closet and pull out what will work and what will not. Store the items that won’t in a separate area so you have a clear point of view about the items that will. Create a new baseline for the next 10+ months. Items in your existing wardrobe that tend to work are dresses/jumpsuits without seams, dresses with stretch, joggers (think elastic waist), extra-long tanks and tees, oversize sweaters, oversize button-downs, skirts with an elastic waist, blazers and cardigans.
ACCESSORIES ARE YOUR FRIEND
When pregnant, you wear a lot of the same thing over and over since your wardrobe is limited. That said, items like scarves, bags, statement jewelry, and shoes can give a blank canvas such as a solid black dress many different iterations.
DON’T NEGLECT SEXY
YES! You’re body is changing. YES! Your belly is getting bigger, along with your boobs, butt and likely legs too. But the new curvier version of yourself is just as beautiful and sexy. It’s just about shifting your perspective on what sexy actually is. Becoming a mother is one of the most empowering journeys that life has to offer so embrace it and own it. Wear clothing that highlights your assets and your womanhood!
Now that we have decided to stay put in our current space like discussed here, small updates are in order for a refresh. Once the light construction work was complete, we began to tweak the decor. In this Weekly Finds post, here’s a glimpse of our newly purchased objects (except for the leather chair and painting which are wish list items!). Even small changes make a big impact so if things feel stale in your home, try updating items like an area rug or table lamp to give the place a little sprucing. Happy weekend ya’ll!
clockwise from top left: y living bullet planter // jenna snyder-phillips painting // west elm scoop table lamp // colin adrian glass feathers // room & board leather chair // hanging planters // the little market knitting basket // west elm moroccan area rug
In addition to establishing my own style choices throughout this pregnancy (which you’ve all been privy to via Style The Bump posts), I’ve also thought about what this babe is going to wear upon her arrival! I’ve worked on kids styling projects before, but dressing your own is quite different. Without the influence of bottom lines, return on investment and maintaining brand identity, I have free reign to choose how I want my babe to be presented to the world. That is of course, until she decides for herself (more on that in the coming years I’m sure!). Instagram has been a key resource to discover online boutiques catering to these little creatures, and I was super psyched to find Darling Clementine, a shop which consists of brands found in the companies founder, Lindsay Meyer-Harley’s own Brooklyn backyard, as well as hand picked items sourced from around the world.
Lindsay and I met up for a chat in Williamsburg a few weeks back, and upon noticing her unique sense of style, it was evident why Darling Clementine is such a beautiful shop. Founded in 2011, the e-commerce store was inspired by Lindsay’s daughter Juliette. When she turned 1, Lindsay wanted to curate a boutique that took into consideration a few important things that she had evaluated while dressing her daughter: to support local designers, to choose brands that are socially responsible and consider the environment, to create a space that felt like a community, and pull together a collection of items where kids could still be kids, but in an elevated yet affordable way! The shop has grown to include apparel, playthings, books, skincare, home care, and decor, and exciting news awaits mamas-to-be because Lindsay is launching womenswear this fall!
Lindsay is a hands-on mom who recognizes that parents are becoming more conscious of creating individual, stylish sensibilities for not only themselves, but their kids too. Choosing unique pieces not worn by the masses can teach valuable lessons of independence, while parents can raise an awareness to where the clothing they purchase is being made, thus becoming socially responsible. Whether our kids are rolling around in the mud, playing at the park, finger painting in school, or strolling around with family, at Darling Clementine parents have an opportunity to adhere to the philosophy of style from the inside out! I wanted to find out a bit more about Lindsay’s own sense of style, since her obvious passion for self-expression directly influences Darling Clementine. So I asked, “Lindsay, What Is Your Soul Style?”. Here’s what she had to say…
Your Soul Style: What is Your Soul Style?
Lindsay Meyer-Harley: My style is relaxed, a bit bohemian and often both feminine and masculine all in one. I like to balance something flirty and feminine with something structured and masculine. You can find me in both bright pops of color and neutral staples depending on the day.
YSS: How is your personality reflected in your style?
LMH: I’m a confident person and I think my style says that about me. I don’t wear clothes that make me fidget, metaphorically or physically.
YSS: How do you describe your style?
LMH: Boyish with a feminine edge
YSS: What does your style say about you?
LMH: I hope my style conveys my love of unique and beautiful design while being approachable but not boring or copy cat of the next girl.
YSS: Did your style evolve over time or has it stayed consistent?
LMH: Thank goodness it’s evolved over time! I think as we grow out of our 20’s we learn to accept our body shapes and learn how to dress them. Once I figured out what looked best on my body I was able to enjoy shopping and getting dressed, instead of stressing out when the latest ‘this’ or latest ‘that’ didn’t look as I imagined. It’s a zen moment for sure!
YSS: What do you love about fashion and style? How did you decide to open Darling Clementine?
LMH: I love the confidence it can give. When you are wearing something you love, you just feel better! I decided to open Darling Clementine when my daughter Juliette was 1 years old (she’ll be turning 6 this fall and is constantly my muse). I just didn’t see that much out there for kids that I loved in one shop, so I decided to try to fill that void. Boy was I happily surprised with the gorgeous brands out there designing for kids. The fun challenge is curating this within Darling Clementine so it’s available and affordable to all. It’s easy to find expensive and lovely clothing, the challenge is to find well designed, good quality children’s clothing at a price point that people can digest.
YSS: Since you’re a shop owner, does shopping for yourself ever feel like a chore?
LMH: Only when I’m with my kids or husband (ha!) then I’m rushed and tossing things at the counter without thinking. When I’m alone it’s a special time to myself and I enjoy every minute. Besides I buy for kids all the time, for my own and for the shop, buying for myself the real treat!
YSS: How has your style changed since becoming a Mom?
LMH: Oh there are so many changes women go through physically, from size jumps to size drops, to having to dress to breastfeed easily (goodbye high necked and halter tops!). Not to mention playground appropriate clothing, you want to be able to kneel down to tie a shoe without flashing the entire place, right? It’s like moms have multiple wardrobes, pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, post-pregnancy, with kids, without kids, date night! When I am popping out with my husband for date night I feel almost obligated to wear something I couldn’t wear with my kids.
YSS: Where are your favorite places to shop in NYC? Who are your favorite designers?
LMH: I admit, I’m a huge online shopper, it’s just so much easier with little ones in tow to try it on after they are asleep and in the privacy of my own home. Online shops I love include Shop Mille, Elizabeth Suzann and Covet and Lou. Also I buy a ton of basics from Gap. Madewell recently opened near my apartment, which is totally awesome and totally lethal. I love their tomboy style (what did we do before Madewell?). Also I’ve been collecting Ace & Jig pieces for years and look forward to adding to my collection each season. Their fabrics are delicious and they really push me out of my basic black/grey/denim habits.
YSS: What about for kids? Who are your favorite brands for kids? Shops in NYC?
LMH: Kids shopping is so fun. I adore Nico Nico, Bobo Choses, Go Gently Baby, Soor Ploom, Freshly Picked, June and January and Misha and Puff. But honestly, I love all the brands I stock, and my kids wear all of it. Really. I don’t stock anything I don’t love myself. Also, Zara kids is kicking some serious butt and has been a favorite in our house since Juliette was a baby. We pick up basics at American Apparel and H&M as well.
YSS: Is self-expression and style something you teach your children? What are your main messages?
LMH: My main message to my kids about their style: wear what makes you feel good. If that means a dress that twirls or head to toe blue, so be it. Have fun with it. It isn’t supposed to be stressful!
YSS: Where do you draw inspiration from?
LMH: Like many girls have said before me, the effortlessly chic style of french girls. Oui! I don’t know what it is, the slightly messy hair, the way they wrap a scarf around their necks oh so perfectly or the way they wear classics with such ease.
YSS: Do you have a style icon?
LMH: My mom, who has never conformed to any trend, and has a killer collection of hats.
YSS: Do you have any style challenges?
LMH: I don’t love my calves so super skinny jeans are out, though I gravitate towards them. I also am not the best at walking in heels, so though I love them from afar, I’m a flats girl all the way.
YSS: Do you have a favorite fashion/style moment?
LMH: I had a friend create my wedding dress. She and I collaborated on ideas and it came out wonderfully. She also incorporated the bustier of my own mother’s dress into mine. It is a special dress I hope to pass down to my own daughter someday.
YSS: And your worst?
LMH: I had a phase where I wore kitten heel boots and slips as dresses. Enough said.
YSS: What are 5 ‘must have’ items in your wardrobe?
LMH: Living in New York for almost 15 years you’ve gotta have a winter coat you actually love to wear, a great pair of jeans, a dress you can toss on for dinner with friends or a quick trip to a cafe for croissants, a hat you can toss on when you are rushing out but need to look chic and the perfect slouchy collection of t’s to pair with everything.
YSS: One thing every woman should have in her closet?
LMH: Something she feels sexy in.
YSS: What is your advice to women on how to embrace style?
LMH: Never underestimate the honesty of girlfriends. Your husband won’t tell you something makes you look like you’ve gained a few but your girlfriends will.
YSS: Three things people don’t know about you.
LMH: I don’t know how to drive a car, I grew up overseas in Hong Kong before landing in NYC and I’m a secret germ-a-phobe!
I’ve been fortunate to collaborate with some epic maternity brands throughout my pregnancy, and in this week’s Style The Bump: 35 Week post, I bring you one of my newest faves: Mitera, “a fashion brand with a core mission to make mothers feel beautiful, confident and empowered. [The company] Mitera creates contemporary, smart and versatile clothing that provides style and comfort for nursing and pumping mothers and pregnant mothers-to-be.” I was super excited when Yoko Shimada, the companies founder reached out to connect because I’m eager to learn about brands targeted towards mamas looking to maintain their stylish lifestyle! And I love being able to bring that awareness to all of you! Yoko invited me to come and join the Mitera team at the Biggest Baby Shower event, acting as their on site Stylist for the evening, and I couldn’t wait to wear the Grace Dress shown in these photos since the second I tried it on, I felt beautiful, sexy (a sometimes hard to achieve feeling when 35 weeks pregnant!) and of course – stylish.
I’ve written about the challenge of styling maternity-wear in previous Style The Bump posts, but with companies like Mitera, women are able to invest into pieces that work for pre, during and postpartum life, while remaining fashionable and functional at the same time. This dress has so many aspects that I love. Between the gorgeous Japanese crepe fabric, to the meticulously placed knife pleats that run along the entire length of the dress and secret breast-feeding zippers, it’s nothing short of perfection. The dress is also machine washable, retaining its shape (and pleats), and constructed with “a patent-pending thin built-in front liner (kind of like a loose sports bra) so that your chest area is not immediately exposed when the zippers are open offering moms the ultimate functionality and peace of mind to help them enjoy life too as nursing moms.” It comes with a belt made of the same fabric which can be added during your postpartum days.
Mitera is a company that believes in style from the inside out. More than just creating beautiful pieces that empower new mamas and help them feel beautiful, the company has created the Mother to Mother program. “For every dress you purchase, Mitera makes a meaningful contribution to innovative organizations working to improve maternal and newborn health in tangible, measurable and impactful ways.” Yoko is extremely passionate about this mission and believes as women we should all be supporting each other! A woman after my heart, I can’t wait to continue our partnership together.