by Nicole Adlman | Wed., Jul. 31, 2013 3:00 PM
Bump It Up author Amy Tara Koch is a style expert with a knack for making pregnant women look chic. Her "pregnantistas" don't have to ride out the nine months of bump-dom in jeggings or all black because Koch's tips encourage a multitude of dress styles, bag sizes and accessories.
Luckily, Koch showed us some chic fashion finds with "maternity moxie" at Kidville, a popular children's party and event planning spot in Brentwood, Calif.
1. Go Flowy: Maxi dresses are a pregnancy must: "They are the perfect marriage of comfort and style," Koch said, showing a sleek charcoal-gray style from Hatch Maternity on the model. "You can see her décolletage but then it hugs her and flows gently out, concealing all bottom heaviness."
Koch accessorizes the look with an oversized neon pouch and cool laser cut Sole Society wedges—a color-block style that has enough of a platform to be comfortable. "This is a great option for women, as are kitten heels and cowboy boots or ankle booties," Koch said.
And she advises to not skimp on the accessories when dressing your bump.
"We're using accessories to create a focal point," said Koch. "Bringing the attention up to her face with the long earrings."
2. Be Short and Sassy: One of Koch's mantras is to not forfeit your fashion identity to pregnancy: "In pregnancy, hemline makes a big difference," she said, walking through the model's white-hot maternity look that features an airy shirt-dress and gold accessories.
"A short flirty dress will always make you a little bit taller," Koch added. "And a baby doll is one of the most amazing little silhouettes. I mean, you can hardly see the bump hiding here—super, super chic."
An additional benefit to the look is its ability to translate to post-pregnancy style.
"After she has the baby, you know what, she can style this with heels, add a couple of necklaces and still look just as glamorous," Koch said.
A long statement earring brings attention to the slope of the model's neck, where Koch notes that women never gain pregnancy weight. Bag-wise, go for an oversized clutch in a bright, punchy color: "When you're larger you always want a bigger bag," Koch advised.
And can pregnant women wear high heels?
"Absolutely," said Koch. "It elongates the legs, it just adds to the entire silhouette."
3. Elongate Your Frame: Koch offers the secret to being a full-fledged pregnantista: "All you need is confidence, creativity and a whole lot of accessories."
But there are some accessories that don't work for stylish moms-to-be.
"When you are pregnant you never want to wear a choker," Koch said. "It makes you look squatter and shorter."
Longer necklaces draw the eyes down, while dangling earrings bring the focus to a woman's neck and shoulder. Scarves can also help pregnant ladies create a laid-back luxe look.
"The point of this look is putting all of her accessories in a way to make her look longer and leaner," Koch explained, showcasing the model's simple-chic Isabella Oliver ensemble.
"Scarves are a layering must-have for pregnant women," she said. "This is a way to add pizazz to a really neutral palette. The scarf does a few things: It adds the print, it adds the color. It also makes her look longer and leaner."
Koch gives a parting piece of advice to achieve the perfect pregnancy-chic look.
"Keep it elongated, keep everything longer and you're going to look fabulous," she said.
What do you think of Koch's baby bump dressing tips? Sound off in the comments.
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