By Kimberly Rae Miller
Profession: Recruiter for professional services firm
MamaBean (who agreed to be interviewed incognito, to protect her high profile professional reputation) is a 5+ year resident of New York City, but at heart she’s a country girl having grown up on the eastern end of Long Island amongst the beaches and farm land. She’s married to a born-and-raised Manhattanite, thus proving that opposites do attract. MamaBean is a lifelong recruiter as well, who spends her days finding the best of the best for a global professional services firm. As much as she loves her job, she can’t wait to take on the most important job she’ll ever have, being a mama to her Baby Bean, due on August 18, 2010.
How would you define your personal style:
If you had asked me 9 months ago, I would have said Ann Taylor meets a wanna-be Salma Hayek (I wish). I liked to use classic pieces and “take it up a notch” with shoes, accessories and especially colors. Wearing bright colors especially make me feel bold! Although sometimes I will admit, just slapping on a pair of black pants and a black sweater was good enough for me. I settle into favorites easily and wear them out. Before being pregnant, I tried to shop for more statement pieces – although a little bit more expensive, would really help me define my style as I was moving into my late 20s.
Now, as I write this 37 weeks pregnant, my style is more about comfort. Well, let’s be honest, it’s all about comfort. Maternity cotton tees, stretchy pants or jersey knit skirts. Period. When I was in my 2nd trimester and heading into the office regularly, it was still important to look the part. I still tried to keep my style by matching some pre-maternity pieces with maternity clothes. Shoes and accessories really helped me build that bridge between these two styles, and luckily they fit regardless of my belly size! The bottom line is that your wardrobe is going to have to flex as much as your growing belly will. Somedays, you wake up feeling just big. Use this time to find those things that really make you feel…well you and make sure you find a way to keep them integrated into your wardrobe. Otherwise, you might find yourself wearing mom jeans in a few years. Yikes!
Favorite item in you closet?
Right now, it would have to be my white cargo maternity pants or the jersey knit skirt. With this heat, it’s all about natural fibers and keeping my belly comfy. Each one has a belly panel that you can fold up or down, which is great when you want to wear a cute tank top.
Are there any trends that you wish would just go away already?
From a non-maternity style view, skinny jeans….on men. Really? Is there a need to see how fragile and thin your legs really are? From a maternity style view, mom jeans. They are scary. Like the dark side.
Next time you get pregnant what would you do differently wardrobe-wise?
I held out on buying maternity clothes for far, far too long. I wanted to wait to get the most “bang” for my buck, especially with a baby on the way. But when I finally caved and bought maternity style work pants and shirts, dressing became much easier. I kept an eye on the bargain sales, and set out to buy staple pieces which have been helpful in keeping the costs down. There are not many “style” pieces in my wardrobe now, but accessories do help to make it “me”. So what would I do differently…I would make it a point to be comfy. If mama is good, baby is good.
What maternity items should every pregnant woman invest in, what are over rated?
The Belly Band was an absolute essential for me – especially in that in between phase where maternity clothes are too big, but your own pants are too small. Essentially, it’s an elastic “tube” that you wear over your clothes, aka your unzippered, unbuttoned pants and no one knows! I was able to wear my own clothes well into the 6th month. It was also great for keeping everything “tight”. Once you start growing, your muscles need a little extra support. This is one piece that I will probably use well into my post-partum recovery as well. It has been a life-saver! Over-rated….hmm. I haven’t really bought too many items but I will say I’ve seen some maternity knit dresses that are way overpriced. I have bought a lot of great cotton dresses at regular stores at half the price listed in maternity stores. In fact, my favorite dress was a TJ Maxx find that I bought years ago, but it doubles as a bump dress easily. Don’t be afraid to shop at regular stores…with all the long layering tees and big bubble dresses out there, you can definitely find bargains and styles.
Favorite Five: What are your favorite stores in any of the five boroughs (to buy make-up, or fashion)?
I have to admit it…I’m a bargain shopper. I can love love love a piece, but if it’s full-priced, chances are it’s staying on the rack. I take advantage of the sales, and the coupons, and the big holiday shopping extravaganzas. With that said, I’m a big Ann Taylor and Ann Taylor Loft fan. Their clothes are classic, but you can do it up with a wacky accessory or color shirt. And if you are budget conscious, there are always great sales happening. Plus, their petites are fit people like me who are short, but not waif like. Other stores – Old Navy Maternity for basics can’t be beat. And take advantage of their seasonal colors. I love them for fun under suit layering pieces that can also shift into a “date look”. TJ Maxx/Filene’s Basement are great for creative pieces that won’t creatively disintegrate your wallet. I’m not allowed to go into Sephora anymore b/c it’s just too much…love the bare escentuals counter! Sigh.