maternity fashion

Giving J Crew Great Grades

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

This morning I woke up to something that made me smile. J Crew is launching their maternity denim collection. I am a fan of the brand and their continued growth and transformation (maybe less a fan of the amount of money my teen girls spend there!!!). And at the heart of that  is the obvious effort and care that their team has put into not only reaching but also understanding their market. And, as my last fifteen years in this industry have proven, this is a tricky market. Get it right — you get to be the hero, darling and BFF – get it wrong it’s over and fast.  Based on this image – and all that it captures, I would say, J Crew is well on their way to  making friends in BumpLand!

So for my Morning Report Card:

IMAGE:   A

COPY:      A

Giving great grades to J Crew for capturing the mood perfectly in their email blast this AM! If the fit and wear of this new maternity denim assortment is as good as this pitch-perfect image you will make my honor-roll! Well done!

DC BUMP ADVENTURE

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

What must you know about pregnancy in DC? This week, I took the adorable Meghan Mills out to discover what should be on every pregnant woman’s short list here in the Nation’s Capital. I donned my Fairy Godmother tiara and grabbed my wand – and off we went! Here are my top three picks:

THE BREASTFEEDING CENTER FOR GREATER WASHINGTON

At 20 weeks, Meghan is ready to upgrade to a maternity and nursing wardrobe.

Hidden in a medical building at 21st & K — The Breastfeeding Center is both the most hidden gem and also the most essential resource in all of DC. Part community, part classroom, part retailer and part lifesaver — this is the one spot for care and comfort from the moment your pre-pregnany bras start to feel snug. I introduced Meghan to manger Gina who skillfully fit her for bras and helped her to hand-pick classes (Back to Work and Breastfeeding  - a must for the first time expectant mom) easing her discomfort on multiple levels. While there we met an array of dads (picking up or returning rental pumps), Moms with adorable babies on their hip (a quick stop for Medela supplies), due-any-day women (seeking out in-home lactation support for post-delivery) and more. It was is an amazing micro-universe and the top of my DC BUMP ESSENTIALS LIST

FUSE PILATES

Birth day buddies!  Both Meghan and Rachel are due in late February – can you guess who is having what?

A cozy and sun-lit space that is full of great, nurturing  energy, Fuse  is a nesters haven! Owner Roxanna has given birth to a warm and welcoming world for expectant mothers This spot  has the  cool urban vibe of a resotred townhouse with the pure, exacting goodness of reofrmer based pilates. The one class to be for any DC Mom to be is Fuse’s Push Prep. This is a course designed for all levels of moms-to-be. What I adore is how doula and instructor, Randi prepares her students for a combination of strengh and relaxation that the body requires to deliver a baby while at the same time – keeping a real connection and encouraging new friendships along the way.

TED’S BULLETIN

When Megan shared her  pregnancy cravings  with me, the choice to super-sate her cinamon and brown sugar  Pop-tarts urges was immediately clear. We made a b-line for Ted’s Bulitten on 14th street. We were greeted by Ashlie who introduced us to owner Mike (a new dad himself) who had some fun with us – tempting Meghan with a new universe of flavors to choose from (classic strawberry, blueberry cheesecake, salted caramel and the over-the top  peanutbutter and bacon). We did not stop there — we were offred the chance to design our own milkshake (I went with strawberry S’more) and sip our way into an indulgent afternoon. Ted’s menu also features a wide selection for those in the salty craving world as well (grilled cheese and tomato soup anyone?!?) – and will quickly become your crave-out go-to!

Ted’s Bulletin custom milkshakes to toast our guest of honor.

RESOURCE GUIDE

The Breastfeeding Center for Greater Washington

Fuse Pilates

Ted’s Bulletin

 

 

 

Process over Product – or Why I Love a Good Interview

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

You know that buzz? The one you feel when you have asked and answered at the top of your game? The one when you realize or remember that these past fifteen years have netted you a whole lot of wisdom, insight and clarity about an industry that you have lovingly help propel forward? The one where you happily and strongly suggest the reporter also source some of your most beloved colleagues including:  Chris Pegula, Liz Lange and Ingrid Carney as innovators and game-changers who must be acknowledged? The one where you easily walk a “newbie” through more than twenty years of industry back story in a narrative so compelling that  it leaves you both eager to keep the interview going? Well that was my gift of last week.

A good interview just feels good – plain and simple. And a good interview with an intelligent, insightful reporter is really the cherry on top.  As I like to say (no, I was not the first)  - nice work if you can get it! I am always grateful for when this caliber of reporter shows up at my door.

Thank you Bethany Clough for including me in your piece this weekend. I was more than flattered to be a source in your most recent Retail Therapy column for the Fresno Bee. But better than than the piece (which was well done) was the time spent in interview with you. What a treat! I think I’ll never get tired of of a good, well-informed conversation with a smart reporter with an eye for writing a worthwhile read.

Until next time…

 

Why We are Better for the Celebrity Bump

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

Having just spent some time deep in The Baby Bump (which, if asked, I would have titled, Bumping up Careers, One baby at a Time) in today’s New York Times, I want to first commend Jacob Bernstein for a well-researched, engaging piece and then slap him for missing the other side of the story. All he shares is true – he does a careful job of tracing the history of the thriving Bump Business. Mr. Bernstein tackles the profit center, career booster questions with savvy. What he misses is the positive side of the equation. He fails to examine how celebrity pregnancies, played out in public view actually give back  and otherwise contribute to the experiences of more than 4-million pregnant women in this country. And so while, yes – there is a way to interpret celebrity pregnancy though the lens of commercialism, I suggest we take a bit of a deeper dive.

In defense and even appreciation to these celebrity gestaters  – a quick inventory of what they are giving back along the road to baby:

  1. Normalized Pregnancy – Out of back rooms and suddenly on full view, while sometimes extreme, these very public pregnancies open the windows and doors WIDE and allow us to see a broader view of pregnancy (for better or for worse). And with that there is a change in the candor, content and scope of dialog – not just on-set but around water coolers as well.
  1. New Vocabulary, Confidence and the rise of the “Experiential Pregnancy” – The Hollywood bump-set give pregnant women a sense of confidence, style, and a new view to a range of real, radiating beauty. Since early aughts the style community has risen to the occasion as well – suddenly maternity fashion (thank you Liz Lange) and nursery décor (check out project nursery, for example) were elevated to meet the desires and aspirations of main street parents (In reaction to the new view of Melrose and Madison avenue parents). Our new vocabulary included (and does to this day) glow, maternity chic, fourth trimester, etc. – making the challenges and triumphs of one’s changing body and lifestyle a shared, open experience.
  1. Expectant Parents – before the celebrity baby boom hit, we did not include Dad in much of the baby talk. This wave of celebrity family has certainly played a part in bringing Dad into focus and view – what used to be “her” pregnancy became “our” pregnancy. And with the birth of a Dad came a new version of Dad, in a wide range of populations. This year saw the first male breastfeeding blogger, for example. And many a Diaper Dude is carried with paternal hipster pride.

AND MY BURRIED LEAD – PHILANTHROPY, EDUCATION and CARE

  1. Celebrities have loaned their voices, status and energy to critical work focused on raising much needed funds and awareness for issues effecting all populations of families. I have been honored to work on a wide range of projects with expectant and new celebrity parents and remain grateful for all they have given back. They have raised their voices and pointed attention to causes that need it most.  When Christie Turlington throws herself into Every Mother Counts or Jewel donates nursing bras in her name to Baby Buggy’s efforts in her adopted home state of Texas this ignites change. When  Gwyneth Paltrow or Melissa Rycroft openly share their battle with postpartum depression (PPD) or  Jennifer Garner discusses breast-feeding and back-to-work challenges it increases awareness and care around issues that were once quiet and cloaked.  The list goes on and on – and it should!  These celebrities have marked their entry into parenthood with very meaningful and powerful gestures that help to advance not only the conversation around key issues but also the outcomes for all families.

In the end, the story is that of a bigger picture, both sides of the equation and how the game is advanced for all parents with celebrity parents on the front lines.

A New Year, A New View – SAMPLE SALE

Monday, January 9th, 2012

It is that magical time of year again! A New View’s Annual Sample Sale starts today and runs through January 26. Give Armanda a call (it is by appointment only), tell her I sent you and have a blast dressing your bump. Check out some of my favorite lines including Maternal America, Noppies (oh so comfortable), Ripe and more. Grab some the essentials – denim, layering pieces and of course some super comfortable lounge wear. And send me some pictures…

A NEW VIEW: 212 643 9547

checking out the goods at A New View

checking out the goods at A New View

Musings from your Fairy Godmother…

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

Today on Twitter I was overwhelmed and completely moved by being referred to as a Fairy Godmother. It was not the first time (thank you David Gaunt  for the Dolly Levi comparison), but I must admit – in the big, reality show world of experts, gurus, and other super savants – all titles that clearly do not suit me, this one feels right. I know my wise friend Samantha Ettus would agree – this is my personal brand.

Nadia and Julia - Babymoon in NYC!

Nadia and Julia - Babymoon in NYC!

I have been in this space for quite a long time. And I have seen a great deal (understatement). Feel free to pursue the Back Labor Blog for a sense of just some of the madness I have witnessed.  I have seen brands, trends and individuals rise from obscurity, take hold or more often than not – fade away. I have coined, encouraged, mentored, mediated and managed. I have advised, advocated and sometimes (ok, maybe more than sometimes) agitated. But in the final analysis what it comes down to is this – PEOPLE.  

I have fought hard for one thing the care and feeding of expectant and new parents – ALL new parents. Be it my early, impassioned aspiration of helping brands to speak intelligently and with care to this very eager but also suddenly vulnerable  market of new and expectant parents, or my desire to create real-time access to honest information from which parents can make informed decisions –  or my sincere belief that brands, influencers and consumers alike have a real obligation to give back in a way that allows all parents access to this level of care and yes, honest, clear information.  I have raised the bar and insisted that this industry can operate from a place of  integrity and respect.  And I am relentless in my pursuit and maintenance of this standard (mandate). It is no secret I am as tough as I am generous and I like it that way.

It is about respect. And with that comes care – and yes Jessica, Nadia and all of you beautiful creatures, that includes a blow-out and decadent nibbles when you are feeling at the end of your pregnancy rope. Because, to me, that is part of it too. There is fun to be had, life to celebrate and certainly there are quality relationships to forge.  So, Bippity, Bobitty, Boop– I am happy – no, I am ecstatic,  to be the Fairy godmother – it is nothing short of an honor and am I both humbled and proud.

And so while people keep popping up (oh should I have said Pope-ing) up in the expectant and new parent space – I am happy to let them have their Fifteen Minutes, two-seasons, blog-of-the-moment, what-ever floats their boat.   If you need me, I will be here with my magic wand, making it so….

Oxford English Dictionary has been reading my tweets!

Monday, June 20th, 2011

Anyone who knows me knows of my love for language. Well these latest entries into the Oxford English Dictionary certainly sound familiar. Take a look at some of the 2011 additions :

Baby Bump

Jenni Hogan is the definition of adorable baby bump (IMO)

Jenni Hogan is the definition of adorable baby bump (IMO)

Bestie (here’s mine, the always fabulous Lisa Jordan Helms)

My Bestie, Lisa Jordan Helms

My Bestie, Lisa Jordan Helms

 

Mani/Pedi

Well sure that is a given:

Pedi (trust me on the mani)

Pedi (trust me on the mani)

And next year – I vote that Audrey McClelland’s Haul finds its way in….what do you think? What words are making their way to the big book?

TIS THE SEASON – SAMPLE SALES

Monday, June 6th, 2011

A blazing summer is predicted, and honestly, a summer pregnancy is not for the faint of heart (I’ve done two). The best strategy for making it though is great planning. Put these on your summer bump survival list:

  •                 Water – for drinking – cold, bubbles, still,  lemon, lime – just keep drinking!
  •                 Water  – for swimming,  for floating, for cooling your toes – speaking of which,
  •                 Pedicures – whether you  can see your toes or not, keep them pampered & pretty! 
  •                 Smoothies – I am a big fan of Raspberry Banana, yum!
  •                 And last, but not least – cool summer looks.

Here’s the skinny on how to keep your budget in tact while keeping it easy breezy this summer (send us a shot of your haul!) –

NYC MATERNITY SAMPLE SALES:

THIS WEEK ONLY

Belly Dance Maternity Sample Sale

New York Store

Two Days Only

Wed, June 22 11 am-7 pm & Thurs June 23 9 am- 3pm

CASH ONLY

Everything $10-$50

 Warm and cold weather styles and even designer denim on sale

Original prices $50-$350

 

Brands include Paige Maternity, Michael Stars Maternity, NOM, t-bags Maternity, Ella Moss, Rachel Pally, Olian Maternity, Japanese Weekend, and more

 

548 Hudson Street between Charles and Perry in West Village

 212-645-3640

 

 

checking out the goods at A New View

checking out the goods at A New View

A New View Maternity

347 W. 36th Street, Suite 1602, between 8th and 9th Ave

NYC, NYC 10018

212-643-9547

 When: 

June 6th-30th, 2011

July 11th– 22nd 2011

Time:

9:30am -3:30pm Every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday

Monday and Friday by appointment only

CASH ONLY

Maternal America, Pour Deux, Japanese Weekend, Bellyssima, Olian, Noppies, Ripe and more! Shower dresses, breezy tops, slim leg bottoms, nursing and more! 

Chill out and Save a Bit!

Sunday, July 4th, 2010

There is nothing fun about being pregnant during a heat wave. I remember well the summer of 1998 – when Lila showed up at the very end of August after endless days of crazy, Washington, DC heat and humidity. One thing that might have helped would have been some equally hot fashion and some sizzling prices (both of which were few and far between back in the day).

I did a quick look around and found some outstanding savings on very easy, breezy summer essentials to get you through the hot season.  And what’s more – all of these great picks are on sale. And the best part – of this shopping can be done from the cool comfort of your couch! Some of the sales end today – so be sure to hop on line and get your goodies. And find us on FaceBook   – we’d love to see your holiday weekend haul!

 

Happy Bump Shopping!

 THIS JUST ADDED:

Nuka Maternity has got a site-wide 30% off sale in progress

Code: July 4

Our Pick:

Nuka Ava Firecracker tank (had to for the 4th!!!) $38

Nuka Ava Firecracker tank (had to for the 4th!!!) $38

 

Due Maternity  is offering 20% off all essentials this weekend.

Code: es2

Our Pick:

Michael Stars Sleeveless Ruched Tunic (avialable in  5 colors) $49

Michael Stars Sleeveless Ruched Tunic (avialable in 5 colors) $49

 

 

 

Pickles & Ice Cream has got a 30% off sale in progress

Code: Save30

Our Pick:

 

Maternal America Maternity Magenta One-Shoulder Dress $129

Maternal America Maternity Magenta One-Shoulder Dress $129

 

Belly Dance maternity has got a clearance section filled to the brim with major finds

Our Pick:

 

NOM Coal Swing Dress $30

NOM Coal Swing Dress $30

A Pea in the Pod is offering savings up to 75% off

Our Pick:

Lavish by Heidi Klum Sleeveless Scoop Neck Mock Layer Tank Top $49.99

Lavish by Heidi Klum Sleeveless Scoop Neck Mock Layer Tank Top $49.99

 

 

Isabella Oliver is hosting their End of the Season Sale

Savings up to 60% off

Our Pick:

Isabella Oliver Helena Dress $105

Isabella Oliver Helena Dress $105

The Ten Commandments of Pregnancy Style (3)

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

They say that I  always have bumps and baby on the brain!  Sure, I am known  for my uncanny sense ability to spot trends and make sense of what is happening in the world of pregnancy and parenthood, from Melrose and Madison Avenues to Main Street. But you are thinking, hey, what about me???   Good question!  I will answer by sharing my inside line of the best secrets for belly and beyond. As always, let me know what you think!

Welcome to the Ten Commandments of Pregnancy Style!  This is the third of a ten part series in which I will share my tricks of the trade for building a  better maternity wardrobe.

So far we’ve covered:

1. Choose Cafefully

2. Infuse Trend Wisely

And now:

3.  Flatter yourself!  Simply, hone in on your best features and show them off! I am a big fan of full pregnancy breasts, shapely shoulders and toned arms taking center stage. One line that  has the curves of a pregnant goddess  down to a near perfect science is Isabella Oliver. It was my great privilege to launch them in the States and introduce them to the likes of Marcia Cross, Brice Howard, Lauren Ambrose, Shon Gables and of course to all of you!  I ‘ve not worked with them in some time, but I continue to admire their design sensibility. The line is both chic and well constructed.  These pieces are part of your overall wardrobe investment. So choose the most flattering and also the ones that will go the distance for you thought out your Forty Week  style journey.  Take a look and some of these feature flattering looks from London:

Isabella Oliver Grecian Tunic $125

Isabella Oliver Grecian Tunic $125

Isabella Oliver Ruched Kiss Dress $179

Isabella Oliver Ruched Kiss Dress $179

Isabella Oliver The Audrey Dress $289

Isabella Oliver The Audrey Dress $289