Last Friday we brought together an expert panel for zulily’s maternity style Twitter chat, and in case you missed out on the fun, we’ve recapped the chat for here. Check out what our hosts – clothing designer/TV personality Rosie Pope, zulily maternity apparel buyer Robin Propst, American Baby magazine editor Jessica Hartshorn and Hollywood Hot Moms co-founder Natalie Klein – had to say.
Q1: What are some of the latest trends in maternity fashion?
@zulily: For Spring ‘13 prints, tailored, lace, and bright colors. Green is a fantastic color for both fall and spring, 3/4 sleeves, sweater for layering. -Rosie
@americanbabymag: I’m seeing maxi dresses again this summer. Love dresses because you can wear after baby too. A few dresses can go a long way if you use cardigans, leggings, etc. with them
@TonyaHopkins85: Maxi dresses and skinny jeans
@mom4everandever: I have seen a lot of maxi dress for maternity. Leggings, jeggings and big tops, too.
@Live_out_Loud77: Denim! There are so many great maternity jeans coming out & currently available. And colorful dresses! It amazes me so many women dull down when there [are] so many [color] choices
@martiferg: loving all the pretty spring dresses! Due in April though so trying not to go too crazy buying stuff
@Soon2bewedd: lots of dresses with stripes, dots
@mellanhead: cute leggings with tops
@lorikeet8: I am loving all the prints and colors. Not just boring black! (Don’t get me wrong I love a LBD!)
@FirstClassKris: A black dress is one ‘definite’ every mom-to-be should have! I see lots of plaid, too. Kate Middleton wears it!
@gemarchie: With winter here, gotta love leggings, they go a long way!
@CuteheadsKids: we’re seeing lots of preppy nautical stripes.
Q2: What are essential maternity fashion items?
@zulily: Denim, leggings, side-ruched tops, maxi dresses and skirts. –Robin
@americanbabymag Finding a great pair of maternity jeans is so key. That and a bra that fits! Maxi dresses, cardigans — check out our 16 staples for more ideas: http://ow.ly/i8Rak
@americanbabymag: I think preggos need good separates and not just dresses… shirts are key for nursing
@zulily: good fashion tricks for nursing are to buy tops with a criss-cross front. Also wrap dresses are perfect! –Robin
@zulily if you don’t want to invest in nursing wear, invest in button downs + shirt dresses, ivory good for milk stains. -Rosie
@HollywoodHotMom: A good oversized comfy sweater! I lived in my grey VINCE.
@martiferg: a great pair of “skinny” jeans, cute maxi dress, nice sweaters, leggings/jeggings, a great pair of jeans, boots, a chunky sweater and good bras. I love jewelry and cute shoes b/c no matter how big my belly gets there are loyal to me ;)
@mom4everandever: maternity camis, maternity bras, leggings/jeggings, maternity jeans are a must—be comfortable. a wrap around dress — can adjust without it being baggy
@TonyaHopkins85: Jeans, flats, and a cute top is all I needed to feel fab!
@LConthemove: a great fitting pair of jeans!
@mellanhead: jeans, cute tops, bathing suit (at least for me)
@FirstClassKris: Black dress and skinny jeans
@Live_out_Loud77: Great jeans that you can dress-up or down [and] a pair of black slacks. Great for work or other occasions! I think every woman should have at least one shift dress in her maternity wardrobe [and a] long cardigan. Great for everyday wear or to wear with jeans, slacks, dress
@TheeJuliette: maternity bras, leggings and over-belly jeans
@lorikeet8: maternity leggings and ballet flats. I live in my side-ruched tanks in the summer!
@Clarissa_Laskey: maxi dresses and black yoga type/stretch pants are definitely maternity staples! I also think good, comfortable undergarments are key items during pregnancy.
@meganfilzen3: Maxi dresses are AMAZING!!!
@S_thirtymommy: Two pits of jeans, comfortable shoes, leggings, dress, tunic
@Soon2bewedd: I like wearing stripes shirts and over-belly cargos and jeans
@Mo_numberone: V-neck tops!!! skirts will be nice
@gemarchie: Leggings, maternity jeans are all time favs!
@americanbabymag The belly band is a necessity! If you need to know how to wear it, see our video: http://ow.ly/i92hB
Q3: How do you determine what size to buy, since pregnant woman are growing daily?
@zulily: generally go w/ your pre pregnancy size sometimes go up size in last trimester if gaining a 1 lb/week on average. –Rosie
@zulily: Most maternity brands design with fabrics to grow with you. Be sure not to buy too big. Look for items with Lycra or spandex in the fiber content. Side-ruched tees grow with you, and hide post-baby belly. –Robin
@americanbabymag: Going up a size in regular clothes doesn’t address your changing shape… that’s why maternity clothes are so genius! Smart to stick to your same pre-pregnancy size. Maternity clothes just give more room at the bump.
@Live_out_Loud77: I read the size charts and try to buy a size-up to be safe. Wrap dresses are very forgiving with a growing baby bump!
@mellanhead: I try to find items that will grow with me, like jeans with the stretchable fabric tops
@lorikeet8: For tanks and tips I like to buy stuff that stretches and is 100% cotton. I love fitted-on-top dresses and loose around the belly. That way I can “grow” into it.
@Soon2bewedd: I’m buying mostly stretch and loose items like dresses and shirts
@TonyaHopkins85: I wait until I outgrow my regular pants and just try on different ones. I get the ones with the panel
@martiferg: I purchase same size I wore pre-pregnancy (so size small maternity)
@CuteheadsKids: it’s hard to say in the beginning. just go with the flow & buy a size up from what you think you’ll need.
@meganfilzen3: I would go bigger to be safe
@FirstClassKris: I always have to try items on. Even the same size of a shirt can fit so differently on me!
@TheeJuliette: shirts not tight and drop-waist tops are also good
@Clarissa_Laskey: I bought maternity items that were in my pre-pregnancy size. You can also wear them post-pregnancy!
Q4: What are some edgier styles I can experiment with during my pregnancy?
@zulily: lace, bright colors (esp pants and dresses), don’t be afraid of stripes and short sassy dresses. I like accessorizing w/ big earrings during pregnancy, draws the attention to the face instead of the belly. -Rosie
@zulily: sorbet colors are fun, mixing patterns, and LAYERS! :) -Robin
@americanbabymag: Pregnancy is a great time to try bright colors, makes you happy! And we put big earrings on a lot of our pregnant models. They look great, help balance the silhouette.
@martiferg: leather and lace…lol
@FirstClassKris: On a ‘night out’, I’d go for red heels & a sexy black dress! I think the new sorbet colored skinny jeans for spring are so cute, too! I want them so badly!
@lorikeet8: More fitted dresses with knee boots. I also want to try low-cut tops to accentuate my bigger boobs! Lol.
@Live_out_Loud77: Spiked leather ankle boots. Shoes are still so awesome to have fun with while pregnant! Love bright colors, too! They’re a great pick-me-up, especially in cute dresses, tops & accessories!
@S_thirtymommy: Leather, neons, patterns
@zulily: neon is good, leather is hard to do because it doesn’t stretch… but try leather jewelry, like bracelet cuffs. –Robi
@Soon2bewedd: yes so far I like the stripes
@IcySupreme: Low-cut and classy!
@mom4everandever: I liked dresses because they were versatile - looked good and not sloppy
@Clarissa_Laskey: ruffles and tiered items are always cute when experimenting with pregnancy fashion!
@meganfilzen3: Silk/lace in white/light pink! Beautiful!
Q5: What are the hot color trends for spring and summer?
@zulily: emerald, poppy red, lemon, nectarine orange. –Robin
@zulily: I always love nautical-inspired colors for spring/summer as well. -Rosie
@TheeJuliette: love coral
@FirstClassKris: I’ve seen a lot of whites & teal, plus ‘sorbet’ colored pants
@martiferg: neons, green, lace, etc.
@Live_out_Loud77: Green, fuchsia, pastels
@TonyaHopkins85: Neon and turquoise
@Clarissa_Laskey: pastels and emerald (shades of green)!
@meganfilzen3: I believe mint is suppose to be huge. Maybe with gold?
@zulily: mint with gold, also use it as a neutral and pair it with red, yellow, navy or orange. -Robin
@gemarchie: I would love green, pink
@Mo_numberone: emerald color is so nice this year
@lorikeet8: lime, lemon (bright neon)
@Soon2bewedd: red, emerald and orange are my fave
Q.) @Live_out_Loud77: What’s the appropriate dress/skirt length to wear during pregnancy?
@zulily: I would say knee-length [or] just above-the-knee, you don’t want to make yourself look shorter… or whatever is the most flattering on your body :) –Robin
@zulily: Whatever makes you feel confident. If you love your legs, go short if not try maxi or tunic w/ leggings –Rosie
@americanbabymag: I’d go with what you did pre-preg. Gals like @RosiePope are mini-length always
Q.) @lorikeet8: most of the maternity dresses are way too long for me
A.) @zulily try wearing wedges. They provide good support while pregnant, and give you extra height. –Robin
Q.) @gemarchie: I swim regularly, but in the latter part of my pregnancy would the regular swimwear do?
A.) @zulily: if you are comfortable in a 2-piece then rock it! Otherwise a tankini is good for late pregnancy. you can wear maternity swimwear whenever you want! I own two maternity suits and I am not prego. And swimming is a perfect exercise for pregnant mamas. Helps reduce swelling and keeps you in shape with low impact. –Robin
@americanbabymag: a full-piece suit is hard…tankinis are great. Maternity ones especially for the roomy top. we’re big fans of preggos in swimwear…all focus is on the bump, which is nice for a change!
@Clarissa_Laskey: plus swimming makes you feel weightless and you forget about your weight gain for a little bit!
Q.) @mrsbarbg: what’s the most fashionable, maternity appropriate style to wear? I’m always on the fence.
A.) @zulily: I find that a shirt dress is a great option for a lot of occasions. -Rosie
Q.) @mrsbarbg: what clothing items would be great during & after pregnancy?
A.) @zulily: look for items like shift dresses or during & after items like these http://bit.ly/Z6R9dn -Robin
@americanbabymag: Our vid on getting the most out of your wardrobe from the first to the “fourth” tri: http://ow.ly/i91Gv
Q.) @Live_out_Loud77: Are there certain patterns I should shy away from?
A.) @zulily: not really. If it is a good print that speaks to you, rock it! –Robin
Q.) @lorikeet8: What is a good way to wear nautical (horizontal stripes) when pregnant?
A.) @zulily: be sure that the top you are wearing with the stripes fits you well. The size of the stripe won’t matter. –Robin
Q.) @lorikeet8: Any other key accessories you recommend?
A.) @americanbabymag: definitely a pair of comfy nursing pajamas because, you know, new moms are up a lot at night!