Twin Mom Carrie talks to fashion blogger and twin mom Kelly McKee Zajfen about how to keep things fresh and beautiful as your bump expands
We met Kelly after crushing on her gorgeous twin nursery. It turns out that this talented lady knows a little something about style and fashion as well! Her blog, Oh Hello Mommyhood, is overflowing with sweet reads on the things Kelly adores, fantastic resources, and valuable bits of advice.
Oh thank you! I really love fashion and design, so blogging ideas about maternity wear has been really fun for me. Mommyhood is certainly a new world for me, and I wanted to make sure I didn't forget how to be cute while my twinsie belly grew.
I also felt like soon-to-be mommies don't have a ton of options when it comes to fashion, although that is starting to change thanks to designers like Nicole Ritchie and—one of my favorites—The Hatch Collection. They have really great choices, but some of the pieces are more expensive than others. I wanted to find reasonably priced great maternity wear and then share my finds with others.
Would you tell us a bit about your personal style and how you maintained it during your pregnancy?
My personal style is bohemian-meets-preppy. I love a great pair of jeans and a vintage top or an easy, flowy, slip-on dress that I can wear over and over. I think with each trimester it got a little more challenging to find key pieces. I found a few by scouring my favorite websites that also offer maternity clothes. I got some on-trend items as well as some vintage items that never go out of style. Most vintage flowy tops actually can be worn even when you're not pregnant.
What pieces of clothing did you grow to love during your pregnancy? What are the items you just couldn't live without?
Believe it or not, I really liked more form-fitting styles that hugged the belly in the first and second trimester. I thought for sure I would want to wear bigger clothing, but it was fun to show off the bump once I started to show. Being pregnant is incredibly beautiful, after all, even when you feel "big." As I neared the end of my pregnancy, the bigger, more flowy tops just felt better. Tight, restrictive pieces were no longer an option.
As for what I couldn't live without, I realized pretty quickly that I couldn't fit in any of my regular jeans or shorts, so I needed a great pair of denim shorts and a good pair of jeans. I went the expensive route and bought Paige jeans; however, they were way too low to wear, so I ended up buying a pair of Sevens that I literally lived in. I also couldn't live without basics. I bought a ton of T-shirts in many colors and tank tops for the Los Angeles heat. That way, I felt comfortable every day and could reach into my dresser knowing that whatever I pulled out was going to be easy and would fit.
We believe that accessories can really boost a maternity outfit. Whether it is a great bag or a fantastic pair of boots, non-maternity items that pull outfits together can keep a style current. What are your go-to accessories?
I have to be honest: I'm not a big accessories girl. I have the simplest elegant earrings by Ippolita that I wear every day and that work with everything, and I have a few necklaces that I switch every so often.
I like to wear fun shoes (gold loafers are my current obsession), but my feet swelled up when I was pregnant so I couldn't fit in my shoes at the end.
Toward the end, I wore thin belts to show off the bump more if my dresses were too big and frumpy.
Other than that, I tried not to fuss about what other things to put with my outfits. I just focused on a few good pieces like dresses and tops to wear, and I felt complete.
If you had to share two rules for keeping things stylish while pregnant, what would they be?
1. You can wear non-pregnancy clothing! In my first and second trimester, I bought things from J.Crew, Zara, The Gap. I just bought them a few sizes bigger than what I would normally wear to fit the belly. All the pieces were on trend, and I felt like I fit in with the rest of the world.
2. Find pieces that showcase your best features. The one area that didn't get "big" was my legs, so I wore dresses that were not too short but that showed off what I felt was my best feature. That way, I still felt beautiful.
How about two fashion mistakes to avoid while pregnant?
1. Wearing frumpy clothing. We already feel heavier and heavier as the months go by, so skip the frump. It only makes you look bigger than you really are.
2. Not spending money for maternity clothing. I understand the need to not spend a ton on maternity wear since you'll be wearing it for only nine months. However, how often do you buy pieces for a season and never wear them again when you're not pregnant? Invest in some nice pieces for yourself—you deserve it! A nice black dress, the perfect pair of jeans. These are things you will wear so many times that spending a little extra is well worth it.
Could you share some of your best-kept secrets for bargain maternity style?
I often find really great things on Etsy, especially at Down Home Honey (you have to keep checking periodically as she updates quite often). I also love Adored Vintage—this site has beautiful "going out" pieces.
For everyday stuff, my favorite places to shop for maternity are Topshop and ASOS. These sites have some very reasonable prices and adorable dresses, pants, tops, and accessories. I can't tell you how many times people have asked where I got something and my answer was either ASOS or Topshop.
What are your thoughts on incorporating vintage or even secondhand pieces into a maternity wardrobe?
It's a must. Vintage is classic and adds so much character to your wardrobe. At least half of what I wore during my pregnancy was vintage.
Your pregnancy spanned spring, summer, and fall. What favorite trends did you incorporate into your maternity wardrobe?
Because I live in Los Angeles, it was summer really the whole time. However, each season was roughly a trimester.
Spring was pretty easy. I wasn't showing yet, so I could wear a lot of my regular pieces except jeans and jean shorts.
Then summer hit, and so did the second trimester. This was when I took advantage of the summer dresses and easy slip-on shoes like strappy sandals. I also bought maternity white jeans that went with everything! In addition, I bought some bathing suits from The Gap in a few sizes so I could grow into them. Living in California means a lot of beach time and pool time, so I'm in my swimsuit a ton. Easy cover-ups were key as well. On date nights with the husband, I wore pieces from ASOS. Their summer dresses are adorable and hugged in the right places.
By the time fall began, I was in the thick of my third trimester. It was still too hot outside to jump into the sweaters and adorable trousers that were out, so I stuck to my basics and flowy vintage tops to keep me comfortable and cool. I even stole my husband's button-down work shirts and wore those with jeans.
Kelly McKee Zajfen is a wife and mommy of twins living in sunny Los Angeles, California. Before mommyhood, she stomped down the runways for some of the most amazing designers such as Oscar de La Renta, Giorgio Armani, and Diane Von Furstenberg. She decided to take a little detour into Early Childhood Education and then grad school studying Social Work. However, life took her on a new adventure: mommyhood. Kelly and her husband were not surprised to learn that they were expecting a new addition to the family, but they were very surprised to learn that there would be two new additions to the family. Thus, grad school will have to wait. Kelly has been spending her time focusing on her little boy and girl—the best gifts of love.