Style the Bump: Bobbie Thomas
The fashion correspondent shares her favorite maternity silhouettes and best advice for mamas-to-be.
Style has always come easily to Bobbie Thomas. Conceiving her first child was anything but. After undergoing several rounds of IVF treatment—which she openly shared this past fall—the Today Show fashion correspondent is ecstatic to be expecting a baby boy in late July. And now that she's rocking an adorable—and growing!—baby bump, Thomas is an open book about dressing for your body type when you've got a little one on the way.
We caught up with the fashion pro at an event she hosted for Maxi-Cosi (an oh-so-chic baby brand that lets you customize your car seat to match your shoes) to chat all things maternity style.
Let's start at the beginning. You were very open about how your body changed during the IVF proccess. How did you dress around all the bloating?
“It was pretty treacherous. Nobody really talks about how to style yourself when you're going through fertility treatments. My best advice is that blazers are your best friend. They give you structure and tailoring when you’re transitioning, and you don’t know what your body is about. I just think that was my best investment. You don’t have to spend $300 on a blazer—you can find great blazers at Zara and H&M of course, but I also really scored on Etsy if I wanted a unique blazer. I also found some at T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, and either changed the buttons or painted them.”
Once you got pregnant and you started to show, what silhouettes did you gravitate to?
“When I started to pop, I needed an empire waist. But it depends on your body type: If you have long legs, broad shoulders and narrow hips, do a drop-waist. If you have small shoulders and wider hips, do empire. You want to cinch somewhere—either under the boob or at the hip.”
And now that you’re in your third trimester?
“It’s so funny: I never would have worn a body-conscious anything, but now I’m just like, ‘whatever!’ You can revisit your early teens and wear stretchy, body-conscious pieces.”
What’s your favorite source for maternity wear?
“Out of the maternity brands you always hear about, I think ASOS is the best. They can be hit or miss, but they really do the best job at styling real maternity clothes. Seraphine has some great basics for work. But I think outside of basics, it’s really hard to find your own style [in maternity lines]. And I think that’s something I want to maybe tackle some day.”
In the meantime, what’s your solution?
“There are ways to dress your bump, but you have to put a little effort and outside-of-the-box thinking into it. Try to go to non-maternity to find your style. It’s okay if you go for the same things all the time. You don’t have to have a new dress every day. But if you’re somebody who wants to put your own stamp on something, try some DIY fashion: get an army parka at Old Navy and splatter paint neon on it. Or get a little black dress and sponge-paint geometric shapes down the side, following your curves. I just painted flowers on my leggings, just to make them feel a little more cool.”
What about accessories?
“Go for sneakers! [Pregnancy] can take such a toll on your feet, and there is such a surplus of cool sneakers right now. I found a pair of sneaker slides ($40) from JustFab and they are awesome. They are a cooler option than ballet flats.”
Any other words of wisdom for mamas-to-be?
“As I wrote in my book, there are two parts of style: the inside and out. And I know now more than ever that you’ve got to dig deep down and love the inside. It’s hard—and I don’t think you need to be pregnant to follow this advice. We as women need to be nicer to ourselves. And we need to support each other more instead of giving each other sideways looks. I’ve been amazed that pregnant women and mothers kind of get that more than the younger generation. And my own journey—and sharing it with others—has restored my faith in how many women out there are so happy for you."