Maternity’s new look

Maternity’s new look

Maternity wear seems to be in the middle of a makeover. The most modern of the collections – HATCH, ASOS, and TOPshop are brining back flowy, drapey pieces that can be worn pre, during, and post when a little creative dressing ingenuity is applied. Make no mistake…these kinds of pieces are anything but tent-ish frocks. Check out FD&D’s favorites looks (click on image to enlarge) from HATCH Collection’s fall assortment.

 

 

 

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Bye-bye Mommy Pouch

Bye-bye Mommy Pouch

The last thing you want to be asked just after giving birth is, “When are you due?” No one who was just pregnant wants to still look pregnant. However for a short while during post, you still do. The key to limiting the annoying question above is to diminish what I call the “mommy pouch” (residual baby weight that collects around your waistline) with the right clothing and shape wear. Here’s what I recommend.

 

Camouflage the pouch with clothing…

  1. Sleeved wrap. This must-have piece can be fashioned over ten ways to disguise the belly. Plus it poses as an elegant breastfeeding drape. Find it at DKNY.com
  2. Long boyfriend cardigan. Wear it oversized and unbuttoned so not to stretch over your tummy. Layer your ‘cardy’ with a dark colored tee and pair with black leggings. Find it at GAP.com
  3. Fitted vest. Hunt for a vest fitted enough to ‘corset’ you in.
  4. Princess seamed jacket. The princess seaming detail nips-in and defines your waistline.
  5. Fitted black separates. Dark, same colored separates worn together distract eyes from your belly and create an overall slim look. Find it at WhiteHouseBlackMarket.com
  6. Bold patterned top – Blouses with pattern interplay help camouflage tummy. Find it at Anthropology.com
  7. Wide waistband lounge pants or leggings. Comfy pants with a wide waistband help curb the pouch. Find it at Lululemon.com.
  8. Wide elastic belt. A wide, stretchy belt worn on top of your blouse and around the widest zone of the pouch conceals, smoothes, and cinches.

Compress the pouch with shape wear…

  1. Compression band. An abdominal compression band gets to work right after the birth of your baby by compressing your bloated tummy. Try BellyBandit.com.
  2. Nursing Cami. A cami with a built-in nursing bra and tummy panel works nicely for baby and mommy. Try Yummie Tummie’s nursing tank top.
  3. Belly band. That same little band you wore during pregnancy to hold-up your unbuttoned jeans is back to lend a hand. Pull-out your Bellaband when you want minor compression and major smoothing. Try IngridandIsabel.com.
  4. High-waisted panty. Rediscover your hourglass look when you wear a super comfortable, light and “undie-tectable’ high-waisted bikini panty. Try Spanx.com.
  5. After nine months of an indiscernible waistline, let these dressing recommendations help you regain your shape, instantly. Now is the time to wave bye-bye to your mommy pouch and say hello to your waistline
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Look smaller using a sleight-of-hand

Look smaller using a sleight-of-hand

The “right” clothes can have a transformative effect over your pregnant appearance. In fact, certain clothes, either by design or by fluke, can perform sleight of hand slimming tricks. These clothing items have unique characteristics that make you appear smaller when you wear them. The key to looking “nothing-but-baby” is in understanding what kinds of clothing characteristics employ this type of trickery. Here are just a few to consider wearing:

Shine-free separates. Clothes with a matte finish tend to slim. While shiny and metallic pieces expand the body.

Dark colored items.  Wearing dark color will make your body look slimmer. Dark colors, like black or navy blue or plum, absorb light thereby visually narrowing your look. Pale colors and white reflect light producing the opposite effect.

Vertically or diagonally striped pieces. While horizontal sailor stripes are all the rage this summer, they won’t do you any favors in the slimming department. A vertically striped pattern creates a lean, long bodyline while diagonal patterns visually narrow

Mid-thigh lengths in shorts and skirts. Sure the super-tight mircomini is trend-right but it’s not very democratic. Mid-thigh length pieces like an 8-inch Bermuda short or a gathered mini skirt are just as fashionable and universally more flattering.

Ankle-length pants. If you must wear short pants consider a slim fit, ankle-length Capri over a full leg, calf length crop. While the Capri-length pant can help to elongate your lower body, a crop pant makes you look short and stout.

Fitted and flowy pieces. Pieces that are constructed to fit your form slim your summer body over pieces that are too tight. Tight clothing can look “outgrown.” While slightly flowy pieces can hide body issues, gracefully.

Small printed and patterned pieces. Prints are the new black these days but wear them small in scale. Small prints don’t broaden the body as large prints can.

Color blocked clothing. To slim and define your baby bump try a dress with bright, shaped color blocking down the middle of your torso and dark blocking at your sides (see post photo).

Hip-length tops. Tops and blouses that hit at low hip, like tunics and long-bodied tees, elongate your mid-section while mid-riff tops widen and play peek-a-boo with your bump.

Don’t let your bump work against you. Take control of your appearance by selecting clothing that can perform slimming magic.

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Match yourself

Match yourself

Do you shop often but have a hard time finding what you want or need?

Do you often buy pieces that your inner voice says aren’t you?

Does your look seem to be all over the map?

Do you often buy pieces that don’t coordinate with anything you already own?

If you answered “yes” to any of questions above, you likely haven’t taken the time to clarify and label the general type of style you like to wear. To end your shopping and dressing uncertainty you must learn to match your inner sense style with your outward fashion expression or as I like to say, “match yourself”.

The best place to start the matching process is to learn a little more about fashion itself. Generally fashion can be divided into six style types. I call these types “style categories” and they are Modern, Contemporary, Classic, Retro, Romantic, and Cultural. Each of these categories has its own distinctive design esthetic and could be loosely described in the following ways:

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Modern –From a futuristic military look to a modern art influenced feel a Modern likes to wear pieces that have drape, asymmetrically hemlines, and abstract prints.

 

 

 

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Contemporary – From a snooty European aristocrat air to a look appropriate for work, the Contemporary lady likes fancy fabrics, status accessories, and city chic mix and match pieces.

 

 

 

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Classic –From preppy collegiate to a ladies who lunch look, the Classic dresser knows how to dress-up her tailored blazer and basic polo, just add pearls.

 

 

 

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Retro –From a fabulous 40’s look to a funky 70’s vibe, a Retro typically favors one past decade’s duds to express her nostalgic self.

 

 

 

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Romantic – From a girlie girl aura to a vixen impression, a Romantic looks for ruffle adornment, plunging necklines, and tight-fitting pieces that allure and beguile.

 

 

 

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Cultural – From Bohemian to Goth to Western wear, a Cultural wears clothes that indirectly derive from a particular culture and always speak eccentrically.

 

 

style category pin boards

The style category you choose should be the one that best represents the majority of clothing in your closet and/or the category your sense of style simply prefers the most.

 When you clarify and label your preferred style category it helps you:

  • Represent your unique style to others
  • Discover the best stores and designers to shop
  • Cut down on the  assortment clutter at major department and big box stores
  • Buy pieces that coordinate with what you already own
  • Curtail impulse buying
  • Express your inner self, outwardly

Now you have perused the style categories’ list and picked your style, let’s apply it to the shopping experience. One of the keys to expressing your inner self, outwardly, is to shop for it at the right place. This is why it is important to deduce what shops sell your kind of style. Consider categorizing the local street you like to shop. The best way to determine what style categories its boutiques sell is simply to window shop before you browse or buy. Shops’ window displays tend to showcase items that represent the style type(s) they stand for. These displays provide clues as to which stores to shop and which ones to skip. When you look at your local shopping street through the lens of your style category you prevent aimless shopping, limit impulse buying, clarify the best stores to shop, and ultimately, discover clothes that match yourself.

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