"Bump It Up": Style tips for moms-to-be

March 25, 2010 10:21:07 AM PDT
Pregnancy chic? Absolutely! says Chicago Fashionista Amy Tara Koch.

"With some creativity, effort, and a commitment to pushing the sartorial envelope even when you'd rather crawl back under the sheets with a box of doughnuts, you can feel fabulous from week seven all the way through the dreaded fourth trimester," says Amy.

Fashion marketer, journalist, trend expert, and mother of two, Amy shows you how in BUMP IT UP: Transform Your Pregnancy into the Ultimate Style Statement, her new book that was released this week. In this witty and accessible pregnancy style guide to all four trimesters, Amy offers easy ways for moms-to-be to throw out the sweatpants, get out of the "preggo pits" and pull together dozens of jaw-dropping maternity ensembles?without breaking the bank.

Amy explains how to scour non-maternity shops for deconstructed dresses and tunic tops that you can wear through pregnancy and beyond, hijack your grandmother's closet for punchy scarves, dramatic handbags and off-the-wall brooches, and rework your closet casting innerwear as outerwear, skirts as dresses, and statement accessory pieces as the tour-de-force to "bump up" basic silhouettes into dozens of fabulous looks.

And for added cache, this timeless style manifesto features sketches from today's most popular fashion designers, including Nicole Miller, Diane von Furstenberg, Donna Karan, and Isaac Mizrahi, as well as tips and tricks from Koch and her "A-list" roster of fashion editors, beauty gurus, and celebrity stylists. Packed full of clever quizzes, skin care secrets, and a handy glossary of terms that every pregnant woman needs to know, Bump It Up will have you putting on the glitz throughout your pregnancy and beyond

For more information, visit bumpitupstyle.com and randomhouse.com. You can find Bump It Up at local retailers and on on-line at amazon.com, borders.comand barnesandnoble.com.

Here are some tips from Amy to help you stay stylish you're pregnant:

Style is about mixing and matching compelling accent pieces, not piling on expensive brand names. BUMP IT UP shows moms to be how a handful of basics can yield dozens of jaw dropping maternity ensembles. The book revolves around a three point checklist system-THE UNIFORM, ADD ONS and WOW FACTOR- which fine tunes the editorial concept of garment rotation for pregnancy. Armed with the basics and a flair for the dramatic, pregnant women can create maximum style with a minimum investment in maternity specific clothing.

What I am demonstrating here is how the editorial tenets of layering and super accessorizing allow the pregnantista to rotate her staple of 5 or so basics, or uniform, into many looks that can be dressed up for any occasion.

JANEEN SAVAGE: UNIFORM: J Brand Maternity Jeans ($198) and a Ingrid and Isabel maternity tank ($48)

DAY: a flowy, neutral sweater, long necklaces, neck grazing earrings

NIGHT: leopard trapeze jacket, eye catching necklaces

Kathryn Herrick: UNIFORM: NOM Maternity Dress ($96)

DAY:cream knit Cozy sweater

NIGHT:Maria Pinto hot pink wrap, gold tie belt, gold jewelry

Suzanne Kirkland: UNIFORM Noppies maternity pencil skirt ($98) Ingrid & Isabel maternity tank ($48) ankle booties

DAY: Drapey Striped sweater, long, layered necklaces, statement earrings

NIGHT: swap the sweater for a knit mink shawl (thanks, grandma!)

Dana Rosen; UNIFORM: Lauren by Ralph Lauren Black wrap dress from Bloomingdales ($130)

DAY: cropped black batwing sweater, long flowy scarf, cuff bracelets

NIGHT: black DKNY knit Cozy (cardi-coat), layered gold necklaces Nothing frumpifies more than oversized clothing and lack of proportion. With the arrival of your bodacious bump, volume control is the key to a balanced, chic look. Some guidelines? If it's big on top, it should be narrow on bottom. If it is narrow on top, you can add some volume with a skirt or wide legged pant. Skirts and dresses should be above the knee or sweeping the ground to elongate the body. Legs are slimmed and lengthened with black tights and a boot or heels. Big blouses are countered with fitted skirts or tapered trousers. Tailoring is critical


  • Add verticality: longer, open cardigans, dangly long scarves, a flowy shawl make one look taller
  • Shorter hemlines, especially for shorter women, accent the legs and add height.
  • Darker colors are more slimming
  • An open neckline-V necks, scoop necks and plunging necklines -slims explosive bust and gives the illusion of a longer neck
  • To the knee boots (not calf length), slim and give the appearance of lengthening the leg
  • Longer pants or trousers (that partially cover the shoe) impart a slimming, vertical line
  • If you are wearing baggy clothing, reign in extra fabric with a belt and/or long. Layered necklaces
  • Heels lengthen the legs and glamorize most looks.
  • Pointy toes make you look taller
  • Long necklaces lengthen the torso. Chokers make the neck look short and squat.
  • Avoid Shiny fabrics. They attract light to all the wrong places which adds pounds
  • Wear Tights that match a dress and boot

    SHOES: A heel visually lengthens your silhouette and, in turn balances out your tummy enhanced proportion. Loafers, lace ups or any rubber soled shoes that could double as your octogenarian grandmother's orthotics are verboten. And, sneakers are in the same category as sweat pants. Absolutely never, ever wear sneakers unless you are headed to the gym. You don't need five inch Carrie Bradshaw stilettos. But, with the watermelon in your belly, height will balance out the bulge, elongate your body and add that soupcon of glamour that transforms dumpy to diva. You will have the most stability with mid range stacked heels, wedges and kitten heels. Even cowboy boots offer a great look and excellent support.

    BELTS: Pregnancy is the optimal time to discover the joys of belting. If you have a yen for fashion, you will notice that, on the runway, designers use belts to express "directionality", or, mood of their collection. Skinny belts feel demure. Chain belts feel sporty. Thicker belts reflect a harder edge. A macramé or leather tie belt screams Boho. Aside from being decorative, belts are a functional style element that can make or break a look. A flashy belt below the belly is a way to draw attention to your sumptuous bump and away from other areas that you may not be so fond of at the moment. A stretchy belt can be used below the bra line to create an empire waist. And, a thin leather belt can be added over a cardigan to add polish.

    JEWELRY: Baubles are the easiest way to make a basic outfit pop. Eclectic accents-think a bunch of Indian bangles, a chain belt, cool Tibetan pendants, adds a provocative element to your look. A vintage magnifying glass dangling from a belly button length gold chain electrify that simple black dress and cardigan A chocolate brown wrap dress becomes an IT GIRL ensemble with onyx beads, a knuckle duster of a cocktail ring, fish nets over opaque tights and black boots. Black and white M&M shaped beads and a fringed lime green shawl give the black sweater and pencil runway appeal. For a soupcon of le snob, don an armful of candy colored Hermes (or a flea market knockoff) bangles.


    1647 North Damen Ave
    Chicago, IL 60647

    WRAP DRESS FROM Bloomingdales


    Meet style expert Amy Tara Koch and celebrate the birth of her pregnancy-style Bible Bump It Up: Transform Your Pregnancy into the Ultimate Style Statement

  • April 20 from 6 to 8 pm at CHICAGO CULTURAL CENTER, 77 E. Randolph, Chicago,
  • April 24 from 1 to 3pm at BLOOMINGDALES, 900 N. Michigan, Chicago; Cosmetics on One; (312) 440-4393

    Amy is a Chicago-based freelance journalist and trend aficionado. She contributes to Town & Country, The New York Times, American Way, INC, Travel + Leisure, Daily Candy, The Huffington Post, and Child. Amy has also served as style columnist for The Chicago Tribune, fashion and beauty editor for iVillage, and host for THE INC LIFE, an online trend program for INC magazine. She is also a style expert for Vogue and USA Today. In addition to her media presence, Amy is a speaker and consultant whose clients include Macy's, P&G, Unilever, Frederic Fekkai, Starbucks, Foote, Cone & Belding, and the McDonald's Corporation.

    Amy has also held posts at Paper, Mademoiselle, and BCBG Max Azria and has handled celebrity relations, events and fashion marketing for luxury brands such as Allure, Van Cleef & Arpels, Bottega Veneta, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, and Sony.

    Amy lives in Chicago with her husband, Peter Gottlieb, and their daughters, Isabella and Brette.