Laura Fantacci, 31, is the Fashion & Shopping editor of Red Magazine – currently on maternity leave with her four-month old daughter Greta Zita.
With a flair for all things fashion and perfect accessorising, Laura documents her daily wardrobe on her blog Wearing It Today – with pictures usually taken by her husband Simone.
On there, she showed off her pregnancy wardrobe (and growing bump) in a mix of designer (a lot bought on her visits to Florence’s designer outlets), high street and – mostly – non-maternity pieces.
I love Laura’s style so much that even her maternity looks have inspired me to sort my own non-pregnancy wardrobe out.
Here Laura talks to MMM about her pregnancy and post-maternity fashion choices – and how you CAN make it a stylish nine months – honest.
You documented your pregnancy style on your brilliant WIT blog. How easy did you find dressing your bump? I didn’t think I would, but I absolutely loved pregnancy-dressing. I embraced the whole thing as you would with a fashion challenge and really enjoyed seeing fashion from a different perspective, after all it’s just for 9 months. I ended up experimenting with shapes and styles I wouldn’t have considered before pregnancy, like maxi and body-con dresses and really enjoyed dressing for a different shape.
I did a style video for Isabella Oliver at 6 months and had so much fun! I was lucky to be heavily pregnant during the summer, so dresses and sandals with a cool pedicure went a long way. Having the blog certainly helped me keep up the efforts, I was determined not to let myself go and hopefully proved that you don’t have to give up on your fashion sense whilst pregnant. WIT is all about everyday obtainable looks, so I didn’t do anything special just adapted my style to my growing bump.
How do you usually dress? What would you say is your usual non-pregnancy style? My work looks are slightly more elaborate than my off duty looks, but overall I would say that my way of dressing is classic with a twist. For instance I love wardrobe staples such as a stripy t-shirt and a good pair of fitted trousers, which I then accessorise and adapt to the trends of the season. At the weekend you would find me in my Current Elliott jeans, Chanel biker boots, J.Crew grey t-shirt and a Chinti & Parker cashmere sweater, but at work I would dress the whole thing up with a coat of red lipstick, my Mulberry bag and a pair of fabulous heels. I love sparkle and have countless amounts of statement necklaces, I also have a thing for fabulous shoes and a growing collection of classic bags. I don’t do glamorous and I try not to over-think my outfits, I like effortless dressing.
1: Cos dress, Miu Miu shoes, Mulberry bag
2: Uniqlo denim dress, Christian Louboutin bag, Smythson handbag
3: Chanel dress and sandals, Mulberry bag
When you first found out you were pregnant, did you have an idea of the kind of look you would aim for? And did you succeed? No I didn’t, I simply wanted to stay true to my style. Practical yet stylish was my motto.
Would you say you were frustrated at the lack of choice on the high street? Are there any brands you would love to see bring out a maternity collection? I was pregnant in the summer and was really frustrated at the lack of stylish swimwear in the shops. I ended up buying a one piece in Monoprix in Paris, just a simple red one piece very Eres-like which I wore all summer. I would love for someone like Eres or Melissa Odabash to come up with a maternity range. Top Shop and most UK high street stores need to try a little harder, not every pregnant woman wants to wear huge polka dots print tankinis.
What were your personal hero products (clothes / accessories / shoes)? And which maternity brands did you like? I lived in my maternity black skinny JBrands, for a while even after giving birth to my daughter, they were the only thing that would still comfortably fit. I would recommend to invest in a good pair of jeans, you pay for what you get so don’t cut corners in terms of those.
I also got plenty of wear out of my black faux leather leggings and my ash grey jersey maxi dress both from Top Shop maternity, and a black crochet maxi dress from Warehouse – so comfortable to slip on it was one of the only things I wore towards the end of my pregnancy. I also loved a black, long sleeved jersey top from Koka Mama, which had a very flattering fit and designed specifically to accommodate a growing bump.
4: Urban Outfitters dress, Whistles leather jacket, Smythson bag, New Look flats
5: Petit Bateau top, Isabella Oliver skirt, Smythson bag and Prada sandals
If you could create the ultimate maternity-friendly capsule wardrobe, what five pieces would you have in it? It really depends on the season, but for me and my summer pregnancy it would be:
1- a great pair of maternity jeans
2- a black jersey maxi skirt or dress
3- an A line day dress (mine was a classic stripe)
4- a block colour one piece swimsuit
5- a selection of flattering t-shirts (ASOS maternity has a nice boyfriend style basic)
What would you advise a newly pregnant woman to invest in to last the nine months? To last nine months and possibly the following six whilst breastfeeding, I would say a really good maternity bra. For me the only brand worth investing in is Elle McPherson Intimates.
6: Zara parka, Topshop maternity dress, Office sandals, YSL bag
7: Marni dress and belt, Smythson bag, Russell & Bromley flats
8: Banana Republic trench, Current/Elliot maternity jeans, Joseph double wrap belt, Jimmy Choo heels
Have any celebrities impressed you with their own pregnancy style? Claudia Schiffer looked effortlessly cool.
What did you wear for the first few months after having the baby? My black maternity leggings from Boden with my favourite grey JCrew t-shirts and boyfriend style cardigans. Forgiving on those extra lbs and practical for breastfeeding.
What advice would you give women who lose their way fashion-wise after having a baby? Be patient. It took me, a fashion editor fashionista, a while to get excited about clothes again. After having a baby getting dressed almost seems pointless, but as your baby grows and your life slowly goes back to “normal” so will your fashion sense. Also be realistic: your new life calls for new ways of dressing, see it as an opportunity rather than anything else, I had lots of fun re-editing my wardrobe.
What would be your suggestion for an easy, comfortable but stylish post-birth look? I was so naive about post-pregnancy that I had planned on wearing a gorgeous white silk See by Chloe dress I bought specifically for my “coming home” outfit. I posted a pic of it on Twitter and all my mummy-followers kindly suggested I think of something more practical… Needless to say I didn’t listen. Well, on the day I was due to come home from the hospital I had to send my husband to the local M&S to buy me a pair of leggings and an oversize jumper! If I could go back I would opt for a jersey maxi dress in a flattering shade to suit your colouring.