Rock That Bump!

September 08, 2009 12:00 AM by

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Wondering what to wear to a work cocktail party, your cousin’s wedding, or a black-tie benefit? Don’t panic! Maternity designer and mother of two Liz Lange is here to help with 9 tips for dressing up and going out.

By Erica Salmon
Photographed by Samantha Berg
Styling by Margot Rego

Liz Lange Collection Marietta Halter in Grey Silk, $110, lizlange.com;
Liz Lange Maternity Slim Ankle Length Pants in Black, $158, nordstrom.com;
RSVP Abby Pump in Grey Suede/Leather, $79, zappos.com;
Echo Designs Black and Yellow Scarf, $62, echodesign.com;
Vintage Yellow Bangle, $28,
Vintage Hill & Dale Yellow and White Patent Handbag, $86, Pimlico Place, 510.655.7081

Give yourself a break
Dress code? What dress code!? People understand that when you’re pregnant, you’re allowed to break the rules for the sake of comfort. Feel free to dress more casually than others might. “You do not need to be the most dressed-up personin the room,” Lange says.

Liz Lange Maternity Moira Purple Jersey Knit Wrap With Gold Buckle, $165, at select boutiques nationwide;
Angela Caputi Purple Beaded Necklace, $259, at select boutiques nationwide;
RSVP Harriet Slingback in Bronze Dusted Metallic Suede, $70, zappos.com;
Vintage Black Patent Geometric Clutch, Pimlico Place, 510.655.7081

Go with short vs. long
If you’re going to wear a dress, Lange prefers short over long. Show some skin! If long is your preference, she suggests a column style with a slit to show a little leg.

Be sweet to your feet
When it comes to shoes, nobody should be teetering. A modest rise, such as a kitten heel, will be feminine but comfortable. Lange also suggests going with a strappy shoe (show that skin!), but warns against an ankle strap, which is typically unflattering.

Liz Lange Maternity Chloe Jersey Dress in Purple Abstract Print, $138, nordstrom.com;
Liz Lange Maternity Jillian Cotton Cashmere Sweater in Black/Grey, $150, at select boutiques nationwide;
Costume National Black Leather Slingbacks, $198, zappos.com;
Urban Expressions Fiona Bag in Black, $60, baghaus.com;
Vintage Marble Bangle, $32,
Vintage Purple Bangle, $22,
Vintage Purple Bangle, $21,
Vintage Silver Mesh Necklace, $210, Pimlico Place, 510.655.7081

Choose a halter neckline
Lange believes a halter neckline is ultra-flattering for all women, not just those who are expecting. When you are pregnant, however, she suggests you stay away from backless halter necklines. “Backless tops make wearing a proper bra tricky, and if you’re pregnant, you need the support of a good bra,” she says.

Show a little skin
Tasteful is always the name of the game when it comes to showing skin. Done properly, you can create a very elegant, dressed-up look. “Strapless is often flattering to show off the new bustline,” Lange says. If you’re uncomfortable showing off your arms, or if it might be chilly, pair the strapless dress with a light cardigan or sheer wrap.

BOOB Once-On-Never-Off Skirt in Black, $75, mybumpmaternity.com;
BOOB Wrap Top in Algae, $90, mybumpmaternity.com;
Gabriella Rocha Duece Boots in Black Shiney, $135, zappos.com;
Vintage Scarf, $29,
Vintage Area 51 Teal Clutch, $88, Pimlico Place, 510.655.7081

Work it, baby!
Enjoy your growing bump and your newfound cleavage! There’s nothing worse than trying to cover up your curves, just to have everyone think you’ve forgotten your gym membership! Unless you are in your first trimester and haven’t shared the news yet, go for styles that embrace your belly and bust.

Stop by the salon
Why do pregnant celebrities always look so good on the red carpet? Because they have someone in the wings watching their hair and makeup. Lange suggests you do the same. Having your hair and face done professionally for special occasions will have you looking “dressier” than you normally do and have you feeling fantastic. “Looking good and feeling good have to do with a lot more than just the clothes you’re wearing,” she says.

A Pea In The Pod Silk Chiffon Tunic in Paisley Print, $165, apeainthepod.com;
A Pea In The Pod Reversible Faux Fur Vest in Brown, $195, apeainthepod.com;
Liz Lange Maternity Chelsea Straight Leg Stretch Jeans, $158, nordstrom.com;
Diesel Firenz Cap in Purple, $70, zappos.com;
Lucky Brand Trinity Leather Satchel in Purple Passion, $202, zappos.com;
Tsubo Messala Boots in Mid Brown/Dark Chocolate, $200, zappos.com

Have fun with color
We’ve been conditioned to turn to black for dressing up. But this is a time in your life to have fun with color! “You do not need to make yourself disappear,” Lange says. She reminds pregnant moms to go to the colors that have always made them feel good, and the tones they know work for them. Have you always looked good in blue? Chances are, you still do!

Ignore what you’ve just read
If you are in your first trimester and haven’t shared your exciting news yet, or if you just had your baby and are in what Lange calls the “fourth trimester,” pay no attention to some of these suggestions. Chances are you will want to downplay your new or post-baby curves, and maybe slimming black would feel good right about now. Try to work with the clothes you own, and consider treating yourself to professional hair and makeup services. And always remember rule #1: Give yourself a break!

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