This weekend I had the pleasure of being part of the first 'Fashion Workshop' held at The Falls Mall in Miami (http://www.simon.com/mall/the-falls). Because May is the unofficial month of mothers and the event was held the Saturday before Mother's Day, our focus was not just on moms, but moms-to-be. So many great vendors came out to participate and offer information and services to those in attendance and I was happy to share some of my own maternity fashion tips featuring clothing from some of the mall's retailers like Bloomingdales (www.bloomingdales.com), Gap (www.gap.com), Soma Intimates (www.somaintimates.com), and Traffic Shoes (www.trafficshoe.com)!
As I've been mentioning on the blog, dressing your bump doesn't have to be a daunting task! It's actually quite fun if you know what to look for. Some women think their closet is off limits as their body changes, some stick to the basics like leggings and tunics, and some just go straight to the maternity store for a whole new wardrobe that can be taxing on the wallet. I'm here to tell you that you don't have to succumb completely to any of these resolves! Pregnancy is not a a death sentence for fashion and you don't have to break the bank to dress your bump! I always say it comes down to fit and fabric and investing in a few key maternity pieces from great brands like Destination Maternity (www.destinationmaternity.com), Pink Blush Maternity (www.pinkblushmaternity.com), and (www.isabellaoliver.com). Even Old Navy (www.oldnavy.com) and Target (www.target.com) have a budget-friendly maternity section.
There's so much in your closet that can take you through the majority of pregnancy, especially when it comes to dresses. You can dress up basics with pops of color or a statement piece, and sprinkle in a few maternity pieces into the mix. That was what I wanted to focus on during my style presentation this past weekend. These six looks above, are perfect for pregnant and non-pregnant mommas! All these pieces you can wear before, during, and after your pregnancy because the fabrics and fit are versatile. Let's break down each of the looks from left to right!
1- Polka Dot two-piece pajamas from Soma Intimates- This pajama is great for lounging around the house during pregnancy and even after. The fabric is 100% bamboo, which means that it is meant to keep you cool. It's a fabric made for Miami weather! If you're breastfeeding, Soma also carries nursing bras, which our mannequin is sporting. The buttons on the blouse make it very easy for new moms to nurse. I paired it with quilted black flats from Traffic Shoes.
2- Pacific Blue Dress with Kimono from Bloomingdales- I love this BCBG Generation Dress! Not just because of the vibrant blue hue, because it's a pregnant gal's dream dress. It cuts right below the boobs with an elastic band (elastic will be your best friend during pregnancy), and it has the pleated overlay and grecian style billowy skirt. You can wear it as is, or add a kimono (also from BCBG) to compliment the look. I personally love kimonos during pregnancy. They are comfortable and they can take any basic look up a notch. This one has a great color palette that makes the blue stand out even more. We made this look a little dressier by adding tan wedges from Traffic and a studded black envelope clutch also from BCBG. What's great about this look is that you can also pear it with flat sandals for a more casual feel.
3- Denim Jumpsuit from Gap- I've never met a jumpsuit I didn't like and this one is extra special because even moms-to-be can wear it! Denim is such a classic piece that can live in your closet for years and years and never goes out of style! Why shouldn't you enjoy that during your nine months of pregnancy too? This particular jumpsuit has a tie band that allows you to tighten or loosen as you see fit. So as your belly grows, you can release the band a bit. And you can continue wearing it after pregnancy! I paired it with white espadrille wedges and a floppy hat also from the Gap because they are quintessential summer accessories! They are fashionable and functional and add a dash of sophistication to the whole look.
4- Kelly Green skirt and floral blouse from Gap- Kelly green is such a pick-me-up color! It exudes happiness and cheer and what a lot of people don't know is that it's also a great neutral because it easily pairs with anything. If you love wearing skirts, the good news is that you don't have to retire them during pregnancy. The key is find ones with an elastic waistband. Some of my skirts have become high-waisted now while pregnant! I love the combination of the kelly green skirt with a summer floral button down. The trick to button downs is to go a size bigger so they're roomier for the belly. This is meant to be a summery-fresh fun look so we added these obsessively cool navy and white striped espadrille sneakers and straw bag. All the colors in this outfit compliment each other very well.
5- Tropical print shift dress from Bloomingdales- Tropical prints are all the rage again this summer and have no plans of going away, especially if you're in Miami where 'tropics' is the universal language. This tropical print shift dress by Vince, is a highly-intense color explosion and I can't get enough of it! For starters, the style is more shift, so it's not hugging the body. It's not as constricting so it's perfect if you're pregnant. I added a neon yellow cross body that really shines against the white. I also accessorized with a pair of sexy black wedges, because nothing is sexier than a momma-to-be!
6- Striped dress from Soma Intimates- I can dedicate a whole blogpost to stripes! Every woman, pregnant or not, should have a striped piece in their closet. They are a nod to nautical, the unofficial pattern of summer, and so easy to wear because you can wear them as is, or mix them with different prints, patterns, and colors. I personally like wearing mine with florals but if I'm looking for something more streamlined, then I pair with a red or yellow blazer. This one from Soma is also made of 100% bamboo, and best of all, it has pockets! Chic and functional- how all clothes should be! I paired it with these simple white sandals from Traffic because as you get towards the end of pregnancy, your feet start to swell and you just want instant relief and comfort. And we are seeing lots of white this summer when it comes to shoes! So invest in a pair of cute sandals because you can wear them with absolutely anything.
And I have to give a special shout out to some fantastic retailers that were responsible for my maternity-friendly look! The tropical print Vince dress is from Bloomingdales. The fabric was so lightweight and it kept me cool on a very hot Saturday afternoon. I love the combination of green and coral! Be bright and show off that bump! I accessorized with a chain necklace from Forever 21 and these awesomely 90's glitter jelly platforms (Oh, I went there), from Traffic Shoes.
My beautiful waves were thanks to HSI Hair bar at The Falls (http://www.hsiprofessional.com/pages/hairbar) and I was so happy that the waves stuck through the humidity and heat! They do great work and you can just pop in there and help yourselves to their self-service bar. My summer make-up was courtesy of Clara Martinez of Estee Lauder in Bloomingdales (www.esteelauder.com). She is a bigger-than-life personality that is knowledgeable and takes the time to talk to you about your skin, the products she's using and what would work best on you. If you're in the neighborhood, pay her a visit!
Another thank you goes out to The Falls Guest Services rep and photographer, Jimmy Casas for capturing all these images of the event, as well as these candid ones of me during the style presentation! Here I am giving some lucky guests the 411 on maternity fashion!
|Registration for The Falls' first Fashion Workshop.|
|Complimentary hair services by the HSI team located in the mall.|
|Guests were treated to complimentary massages courtesy of Elements Massage.|
|Getting into the spirit of summer with DIY Flower Crowns.|
Once guests registered and received their goodie bag (complete with a hair bow from Tutti-Bambini, (www.tutti-bambini.com), a 30 minute complimentary massage from Elements Spa (http://elementsmassage.com), and free refreshments), they had access to live music, complimentary hair services from HSI, massages from Elements spa, and a chance to make their own flower crowns at a volunteer-run flower crown station. They were also eligible for some great giveaways like a shopping spree courtesy of Simon Malls, a state of the art car seat from Tutti Bambini, and more free massages at a local Elements Spa location!
Also on hand, was Jackson Health System (http://www.jacksonhealth.org/home.asp), which was introducing their highly-reviewed Prenatal Care facility and Maternity Wing, now boasting luxury suites (20 private rooms and 20 semi-private rooms). These new and improved features are currently available at Jackson Memorial Hospital and will soon be expanding to Jackson North and South. Jackson Memorial offers a wide range of services and amenities to meet the high needs and demands of expectant parents such as: Inpatient education and mommy express classes, level III neonatal intensive car unit, certified nurse-midwives, and certified lactation consultants, and so much more!
I had so much fun being part of such an informative and helpful event to benefit our amazing mommies and mommies-to-be! Getting to partner with The Falls and some other wonderful vendors was a very rewarding way to spend my Mother's Day weekend. Don't forget to stop by the mall for some shopping and some fantastic upcoming events!
Thank you to everyone who participated and for my family and friends who came to support me, especially my little mini me, who was more wowed by all the pregnant mannequins that 'looked like mommy.'