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Art of Style

The fashion insider’s guide to maternity style

Pregnancy needn’t be a reason to let your sartorial standards slip. HOLLY RUSSELL, Buying Manager at NET-A-PORTER and new mum, has six game-changing rules for making maternity look good


Think long-term

“There are so many fashion-forward designs out there that work for pregnancy, so there’s no need to invest in lots of maternity-specific pieces that you’ll never wear again. Of course, of-the-moment accessories are an easy way to make your look feel up to date, but if you’re willing to get experimental with styling, you’ll soon realize there are lots of amazing looks that work for your body. I love Danish designer Cecilie Bahnsen; I’ve bought a few dresses from her as the voluminous silhouettes work pre- and post-pregnancy. Another label that’s great is Rick Owens; I’ve always been a huge fan, and because jersey is his signature material, it was perfect for dressing a growing bump.”

Holly Russell gave birth to her first child in January this year

Add some polish

“I have a real weakness for outerwear, and I’ve been wearing my oversized Rejina Pyo trench coat constantly as it’s so easy to shrug on over any outfit to make it feel polished. Bohemian dresses are another thing I buy a lot of, while Ganni has some great ’70s-inspired wrap styles that look great at any size. I recently bought an incredible robe dress from Alessandra Rich; during my pregnancy I wore it loosely over a slip, and post-pregnancy it looks great over jeans. Slip dresses might sound like an unexpected maternity choice, but mine were real life-savers – they’re so comfortable and look great under over-sized knits.”

Invest in key outerwear pieces – trenches, robe coats or oversized blazers – that you can throw on over any look
Roomy pajama sets and elasticated waists will see you through pregnancy in style

Try new things

“Pregnancy forced me to make more effort in terms of styling because I couldn’t wear the rigid high-waisted jeans I relied on so heavily before. Normally I would never buy anything with an elasticated waist, but at five months pregnant it was something I had to learn to love. I now have an incredible Loewe pajama suit that I will wear forever, together or as separates. Luckily, I’m also really into the whole streetwear movement, and my Haider Ackermann and Rick Owens track pants have been a godsend.”

Dress for the occasion

“I was four months pregnant when I got married, meaning that I had to rethink my wedding dress entirely. I always assumed I would go for something quite gothic, like a high-necked, long-sleeved lace style, but as lace has no give and I had no idea what size I’d be on the big day – everyone is different – it was too high-risk. I ended up going for quite an ethereal, ’70s-style gown that was much more relaxed but still simple and chic. I’d recommend working with a female dress designer as they are sensitive towards all the ways your body can change. In a weird way, I am really happy that I got married while I was pregnant as it stops you from stressing out about trivial details and makes you look at the bigger picture – the only thing that really matters is you and your baby’s health.”

Embrace it

“I feel like motherhood is enjoying a real moment in fashion right now. Becoming a mother doesn’t mean that you need to dress a certain way; I found that traditional, more ‘appropriate’ outfits can be the ones that make you look huge. Often, if you accentuate your bump with close-fitting fabrics, it’s actually more flattering.”

Giovanna Battaglia Engelbert (in red) and Pernille Teisbaek also nailed maternity style during their pregnancies

Invest in yourself

“I’ve never been a big beauty buff, but I had always planned on trying loads of crazy facials in the run-up to my wedding. Being pregnant meant that most of those treatments were no longer an option, so I decided to up my game and invest in some great skincare instead. I love Dr. Barbara Sturm, and I have so many of her products: day cream, glow drops, serum, the list goes on – I even used her anti-aging cream as moisturizer for my bump! I also went on a Charlotte Tilbury blitz – she’s my go-to when it comes to makeup. I love her highlighter, bronzing powder and brow gel. I’m not the most experimental when it comes to makeup, I just use it to accentuate what’s already there. Your body goes through a lot of changes during pregnancy, so I think it’s important to indulge in the things you can to ensure that you feel confident and, most importantly, like yourself.”

The celebrities featured in this story are not associated with NET-A-PORTER and do not endorse it or the products shown.