Style Tips from Marin’s Maternity Fashionista

KSJ book imageWe were lucky enough to snag an interview with local Marin resident and author of Fashion Dues & Duen’ts: a Stylist’s Guide to Fashionably Embracing Your Baby Bump. We asked style questions related to dressing your changing body from growing a bump to dressing your post-baby body. With her abundance of amazing advice, we’ve broken down the interview into a 3-part miniseries. Part 1:

Rachel Schohn of Petite Marin: (Q) I love how you encourage woman to shop their closets first when navigating their maternity wardrobe. Can you highlight one or two pieces women can embrace when their bump first starts to show?

Katie Rice Jones: (A) Between 0-5 months you’re in a body limbo of sorts – gradually getting too big for your tailored regular-fit pieces, but yet not big enough for traditional maternity. Hence your look is in limbo too. The trick to finding something to wear is to identify regular-fit clothing that is adaptable or blind to your changing body. These kinds of wardrobe pieces are called maternity wear posers, or more simply, posers.

KRJ blog post 1 quoteGiven current fashion trends, it’s likely that much of your closet’s existing clothes can make do as transitional clothing during your early and midterm pregnancy. To discover which of your regular-fit clothing can pose as posers examine them for the following styling, construction, and detail…

  1. Knit and stretchy material (versus woven fabrics)
  2. Roomy fit (versus tailored fit)
  3. Draped and wrapped styling
  4. Durable fabric that will not misshapen
  5. Long-bodied and pull-over tops
  6. Low-rise bottoms
  7. Expandable clothing elements including: side vents, side ruching or drawstring and elastic waistbands
  8. Adaptable mechanics that can be worn unbuttoned, un-cinched, zipped down, open or layered under
  9. Easy-on silhouettes like skirts and dresses (versus pants)

Katie provides us with two examples of flattering clothing with differing pattern types:

KRJ image for post 1

KRJ image 2 for post 1

And look for these posers in your closet…
1. Shift dress – This dress lacks waist definition making it super-wearable.
2. Tie back vest – Add panache to a basic tee when you don a vest. As you progress, loosen its back tie or wear it unbuttoned for a little breathing room.
3. A-line top or dress – The flare from this dress’ midsection provides ample room for a little bump.
4. Button fly jeans – Make room for your bump one button at a time while keeping your pants securely in place.
5. Boyfriend cardigan – An oversized cardigan looks great with relaxed jeans, fitted knit pencil skirts or leggings.
6. Maxi dress – This aptly named dress maximizes your look by diminishing your bump and accentuating your décolletage, shoulders, and arms.
7. Fitted knit skirt – The best knit skirt acts as a kind of Spanx, flattering and smoothing the lower half of your expecting bod.
8. Cocoon top – This easy piece adds interest to your look and showcases your bump.
9. Tunic – A tunic elongates your body and narrows your hips.
10. Wrap dress, top or vest – Wrap styling adjusts to your growing belly with its tie design. Be advised, as you adjust the ties to accommodate your bump, the neckline begins to plunge. Layer a pretty cami underneath to control cleavage-exposure.
11. Empire and baby doll top or dress – This high waisted styling will provide ample room for your bump.
12. Banded hem top – The top’s wide band slims hips while its shirring detail accommodates growth.
13. Ruched top or dress – Regular-fit clothes with ruching details will expand with you for a short time.
14. Long scarf – Visually slim your torso by draping a long scarf around your neck and letting it hang loosely down your body. Also don a scarf to add texture, color or pattern to your mate
15. Smock top – The top’s neckline smocking detail creates a voluminous lower bodice.
16. Open front cardigan – Worn open or tied about the waist, this kind of cardigan is of a less fussy fit than its buttoned counterpart.
17. Long-bodied tee or tank – The best pieces hit at mid-hip.
18. Elastic and drawstring waistband skirt or pants – Bottoms with accommodating waistbands make for excellent posers
19. Kimono jacket or dress – Its full sleeves conceal heavy arms, and its wrapped bodice hides your tummy size.
20. Dropped-waist top or dress – The waistline of this dress falls below your tummy, making it easy to slip on over your bump.
21. Shrug – An easy-on shrug makes a terrific heavy arm concealer and can be worn throughout pregnancy.
22. Low-rise pant – The rise of these pants falls below the belly making it possible to wear them longer than their mid or high-rise counterparts.
23. Cape – A short cape will hide the belly but can make you look as big as a house in later term.
24. Half coat – Hitting above your natural waistline makes this kind of coat wearable throughout your nine months.
25. Long-bodied drape – A versatile wrap helps elongate and slim your bumped body and is an easy alternative to your getting-tighter- by-the-minute blazer. During your pregnancy, you will find hundreds of ways to wrap it and to wear it. Plus, it makes an elegant breastfeeding drape in post.
26. Yoga pant or leggings – A multi-purpose pull-on pant with an adjustable waistline wears well when you’re out for a coffee, at the gym or just lounging around at home.
27. Peplum and skater top
or dress – The flounce or overskirt of this piece can provide a short-term disguise for the belly.
28. Poet top – A shapeless shirt with an easy-going vibe and, in this case, also a distracting print

In Part 2 with Katie Rice Jones, she’ll be offering tips on how to keep up with current trends while wearing well-made, basic pieces.

KRJ PaleDenim

Katie Rice Jones (KRJ) is the author of the pregnancy fashion guide, Fashion Dues & Duen’ts: a Stylist’s Guide to Fashionably Embracing Your Baby Bump (available at Learn more about pregnancy fashion at
Katie is also an on-air style expert who has appeared on over 400 television segments. Some of her channel appearances include: E! Entertainment, Style Network, Travel Channel, USA Network, HGTV, and FOX Reality TV. She has written for Pregnancy magazine,,, and and has been a frequent style/celebrity commentator for In Touch Weekly magazine,,,, and She is also an elected commissioner on the San Anselmo Arts Commission and on the town’s Capital Program Monitoring Committee.

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