When it comes to maternity, the newly appointed Style Director of Destination Maternity Olivia Capone Myers is an expert. As the previous design director of A Pea in the Pod, Olivia has helped outfit expecting mothers including Naomi Watts, Jessica Alba, Amy Adams, and Salma Hayek while they were pregnant.  Having described her style as, “clean and classic with a modern twist,” Olivia has a knack for transforming current trends into wearable collections for expecting mothers that are fashion-forward, flattering and functional. And as a new mother herself, Olivia also knows a thing or two about sticking to your pre pregnancy style, taking time for yourself and achieving balance as a working mom.

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What is your number one goal in terms of dressing pregnant women?

At Destination Maternity, we want moms-to-be to look good and feel good through pregnancy and beyond. Our styles keep women feeling like themselves throughout those nine months, but are also transitional and adaptable enough to wear after the baby is born. With both our Motherhood Maternity and A Pea in the Pod brands, we have something for every budget. 

Is there a universal rule that applies to maternity dressing or is every person unique?

I don’t believe in any hard and fast rules when it comes to maternity style! I love seeing women stick to their pre-pregnancy style but also be bold with their bumps! Pairing your maternity essentials with your go-to accessories will ensure you stay true to your own style while also dressing in a way that is comfortable.

What do you think is the biggest misconception when it comes to maternity dressing?

The biggest misconception is that women need to follow a set of dos and don’ts while dressing the bump. Wear what makes you feel comfortable and beautiful! That might be a baby doll or A-line silhouette with a breezier fit, or a soft yet form-fitting look that shows off the bump. Even bold patterns and horizontal stripes, once considered too flashy for expecting women, can be very flattering!

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What are the 5 staples that every women should have in her closet to carry her through her pregnancy?

1. A great pair of Secret Fit Belly® maternity jeans you can practically live in and can work for every occasion.                   

2. A transitional sweater for layering.

3.  A basic form-fitting tank which can be worn throughout the entire pregnancy, even into the fourth trimester.

4.   A go-to little black dress to pair with your favorite statement jewelry.

5.  Comfortable all purpose flats that you can dress up or down.

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Looking back on your pregnancy, is there anything you would have done differently?

When it came to my maternity style, it took time for me to adjust to my new shape, but with some trial and error, I figured out the silhouettes I felt best in. So having patience with yourself is key. I also struggled with drinking enough water. I didn’t realize how important being hydrated is when you are expecting.

How would you describe your personal style?  Has it changed since becoming a mother?

I love creating a look that is edgy and cool, yet still feminine. So many of the women I looked up to as a young girl did just that.  As a mother, I still look for items that are stylish but functional at the same time, since I am always on the go. For me, I find that the right accessories, a pop of color, or layering on a denim or leather jacket over a dress can really take a look to the next level.

What was your go to look during your pregnancy?

I really tried to maintain my personal style throughout my pregnancy. I tend to opt for comfort and elegance and usually go with clean pieces that I can style up with accessories or novel silhouettes. During my pregnancy I wore a lot of Secret Fit Belly® skinny jeans with layering tanks and a boyfriend blazer or leather jacket. It’s a classic go-to outfit of mine that I tweaked a bit when I was pregnant, opting for more fitted tops instead of my usual slouchy tees. 

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As a new mother, what do you find to be the biggest challenge about balancing work with family?

Bringing Greyson into our lives changed things for sure. The biggest challenge I face now is maintaining my stamina! I think I have a good routine established for both my work and home-life, but keeping up my energy levels after hours and on weekends is tough sometimes! I would put Greyson down to bed and want to go right down to bed myself some nights! Now I’m trying to at least spend relaxing quiet time with my husband after Grey goes down.

What has motherhood taught you?

Being a mom has taught me how to truly be selfless. It has also brought me so much love and joy that all of the day-to-day hiccups are totally worth it. Becoming a mother also gave me a true perspective on life, teaching me what really matters, so it becomes easier to let go of what doesn’t. I feel blessed really.

What is the best advice that you’ve received about being a working mother / what would you share with other women in the same situation?

Before Greyson, there were times I would lament over a busy weekend. My best friend, who was a mother before me, told me that juggling tasks would become much more natural after you have a baby. She was so right. Now, plowing through a packed schedule is second nature.

My advice to other first-time moms would be to not compare yourself to other moms. There are so many different factors that come into play that it is just never a good idea to compare your life or parenting skills to anyone else’s. Focus on what works for your family. 

What’s your own beauty routine like? What products do you like to use?

Since I am always on the move, I love beauty products that are easy, portable, and of course, effective and safe. Butter LONDON™’s Nail Foundation Base Coat meets all of this criteria; protects my nails and makes my mani last. I also recommend a great do-it-all moisturizer like the Face + Body Lotion By The Honest Company, infused with chamomile, calendula and aloe. It’s perfect to take with you on-the-go in your bag, and all-natural so you can feel good about it.

What about exercise – what’s your fitness routine like? How did you stay in shape during and after pregnancy?

I’ve always done yoga at home and since I’ve become a mom, taking long walks or jogging with my son are my favorite ways to stay in shape. Destination Maternity offers a great variety of shapewear and activewear that I definitely took advantage of both during my pregnancy and after. We partnered with Jessica Simpson to create a line of activewear that is stylish and comfortable – ideal for moms who want to sneak in some exercise in between family time and running errands. Activewear that can be worn both during pregnancy and beyond is key as it allows moms to easily maintain their active lifestyle and facilitates the transition into a post-baby wardrobe and exercise routine.

How do you achieve work/baby/life balance? Do you have anytime for yourself?

Now that I am a mom, finding a personal and professional balance takes a bit more finesse than before. Luckily, I have a supportive family, friends and colleagues that help keep everything in my life working. Having a routine in place for my day-to-day is also extremely beneficial.  There are days when things get crazy or something comes up– a sick baby or a late night—and on those days I definitely feel like I’ve lost the battle of the daily grind. Balance for a mother is a day-to-day thing, and honestly if you are a full-time working mom, you will always have to sacrifice something. For me, loving what I do makes those decisions easier. When I do have to be away from my son, I am recharging and doing something that I love which also benefits him in the end.

How did your career change after you became a mother and did you always know you wanted to be a working mother?

My career is so much more than a job so there never was a thought that I would give it up, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about leaving Greyson after he was born. I try to make it a point to be home in time to have dinner with him on the days when I’m in the office. In general, I feel I am much more focused and more passionate than ever about my work and time spent outside of the house.  

Do you have any time savers that make things easier for you that you can share with our readers?

I am all about time savers!! I do a lot of online shopping now for household items, especially big things, like paper goods. This saves a trip to the grocery store at least once a month. The trick is to order online from a site with free shipping.  I am also a clean and a neat freak (double wammy!), so a big time saver was hiring someone to help clean the house. It is definitely something that I am fortunate to have because it allows me to devote my weekends to family time.

My Fashion Week Bump Diary: Nicole Chavez

Tuesday, September 16, 2014  ·   ·  COMMENTS ( 0 )


Nicole Chavez New York Fashion Week

 

Packing for Fashion Week is a sartorial challenge like none other. Packing for two for Fashion Week – one being a 2 1/2-year-old child, albeit with a keen sense of fashion and the other a 5-month pregnant celebrity stylist known for her eclectic, ultra feminine aesthetic, and it’s a logistical puzzle that could stump even the most seasoned show goers.

For Nicole Chavez, stylist to the also expecting Kristen Bell and Rachel Bilson, New York Fashion Week while pregnant and with her toddler son Zev in tow, turned out to be an exhilarating, carefree and chic adventure full of NYC culture, amazing dinners and several runway shows peppered in.  And no doubt both her and Zev looked snap worthy the entire way, with Chavez adhering to the style mantra which she abides by whether she’s pregnant or not.

“Use accessories to keep everything feeling authentic to your own style,” she advises. “Accessories are easy because they’ll work no matter what your size.” She utilizes turbans, wide headbands, statement earrings and necklaces to punctuate looks from Co, Chloe and Marni.  “Find non-maternity pieces that have an empire waist,” says Chavez.  ” Also, A-line skirts that you can wear above or below your belly and that you can also wear post-bump. Keep everything simple and play it up with accessories.” She adds that belting above the bump never fails to add some definition between a growing belly and chest and that a 3/4 length sleeve is a fresh proportion that looks stylish and slimming on the arm.

Here, Chavez shares her favorite Fashion Week pictures, which document her and Zev’s fashion Olympics style as well as the incredibly special bonding trip between them before baby #2 arrives.

Nicole Chavez New York Fashion Week

 

Zev’s suspender ensemble captured by a street style photog. Chavez in Marni sandals and a Sachin + Babi skirt. Zev wears a Popupshop T-shirt, Zara shorts with suspenders and Pepe shoes.

Do you feel like your personal style changes at all when pregnant?

I am more experimental actually. I’m dressing a new body everyday and I enjoy the challenge.

Nicole Chavez New York Fashion Week

Heading to dinner in: Hatch Collection jumpsuit and Missoni headband.

Have you bought any maternity clothes or do you make your current wardrobe work for you?

I have bought a couple Hatch pieces but mostly I wear my current wardrobe. Last time I didn’t really wear any maternity. This second time around, my belly popped sooner so I have had fun incorporating a few maternity-specific pieces into my look.

 

Nicole Chavez New York Fashion Week

Sitting front row at Michael Kors. Zev wears a Popupshop T-shirt, Zara shorts with suspenders and Pepe shoes.

What are some of your go-to brands for pregnancy clothes? 


Chloe, Marni, Co and Hatch. I have also found some amazing Max Azria runway pieces that have been great for the bump.

 

Nicole Chavez New York Fashion Week

Walking over the Brooklyn Bridge in: The Sweep Dress from Hatch Collection. Zev wears a Petite Bateau tank, Superfussy pants and Nike shoes.

Describe the significance of the this trip for you and Zev.

I work from home so, Zev is here and gets to experience what I do, but I wanted him to see what I do outside of the house. With two kids, I won’t be able to do something like this for a long time. Also, NYC is so great and creative. It’s so visually stimulating and this was in a way training his eye in a sense to see the world differently. We put so much pressure to be so perfect all the time, for this trip I took all the pressure off and said ‘these are the shows I want to go to and these are the the designers I want to support.’ I kept my priority on me and Zev and we had a great time. I think he felt special that he got to come to work with me He was excited to able to be a part of it. By the end of the week, he knew when the finale (of the show) was coming. He clapped, he waved to the models. It made fashion week really enjoyable. 

 

 

Nicole Chavez New York Fashion Week

 

En Route to the Rebecca Taylor show in a Max Azria Runway top and skirt.

What was your strategy for your NYFW wardrobe while pregnant and traveling with a toddler? Were there key items that just pulled everything together when you were pressed for time?

Headbands, Turbans, statement necklace, crossbody bag, backpack and flats.

Nicole Chavez New York Fashion Week

 

A visit to the Chanel showroom in a Chloe top. Zev wears a Zara top and pants, Converse shoes.

What is the most valuable thing motherhood has taught you?

That, especially with kids, everyday is a new day and a new beginning. You have to keep it moving and not get stuck on certain things, because they change so much and every stage is a new experience. Be ready for whatever that day brings you.

 

Photo Credit: Photo second from top: Instagram.  All others: Courtesy of Nicole Chavez.