what to wear when you're expecting

Baby On Board: Pippa Holt, on holiday in Mykonos, wears a Stella McCartney dress, hat from Turner & Lane and Chloé sandals.

maternity dressing? No problem. these days, stylish mothers-to-be are treating their growing bumps as chic exclamation marks rather than sartorial stumbling blocks. british Vogue's (glowing) CONTRIBUTING editor, pippa holt, shares a few insider secrets

  2. Interview by Natasha Inchley


pregnancy dressing can be daunting, but you are an expert at breaking the rules – how would you describe your style right now?

  1. I don’t believe in buying maternity clothes and I think women should just stick to their own wardrobes as much as they possibly can. Usually their looser pieces look great tight, stretched over a bump anyway. However, by the time you've reached five months I think it’s worth investing in some pregnancy denim and a couple of stretchy dresses. 
  1. Happy babymoon: Holt on holiday wears Dolce & Gabbana swimsuit with necklaces from Mykonos.

which five “bump-friendly” pieces from the recent spring/summer '15 shows are you coveting?

  1. Below, from left to right: 1). Céline: "I love Céline and I think this would be Phoebe Philo’s best bump offering. 2). Chloé: "A dream dress to wear everyday as it's so beautiful and would accommodate the bump to perfection." 3). Valentino: "The ultimate S/S pregnancy dress." 4). Chloé: "To wear on a beach somewhere heavenly." 5). Chanel: "I loved seeing the Chanel show in Paris and this would be a magical metallic look to wear when pregnant." 

  2. what is your top feelgood styling tip?

  3. Keep things tight, it looks more flattering that way. Your bump is the best accessory so show it off.
  5. Which beauty products have you discovered?

  • – Susanne Kaufmann’s holistic skincare range from Austria is lovely. I find my normal products become a little more harsh and my skin goes red so I like to go natural on the skin when pregnant. 
  • – Sisley Precious Black Rose Face Oil. My skin becomes extra dry during pregnancy so I use this, sometimes twice a day.
  • – Mama Mio Tummy Rub Oil.
  • – Clarins Relax Bath & Shower Concentrate.
  • – Zita West pregnancy vitamins. I’ve taken them throughout my three pregnancies and I like how they have different supplements for each trimester.
  • – Magnesium salts to soak in the bath at night to prevent nighttime calf cramps.

Flashback Familia: photographed by Jane McLeish-Kelsey at home in Dublin with her children, Balthazar and Bay, in January 2014. Holt wears Céline. Baby on board: below left, expecting her third child, Holt wears a Paige denim jumpsuit with Sandro shoes. Right: at London Fashion Week, Holt in Marc by Marc Jacobs dress, vintage biker jacket, Tabitha Simmons velvet shoes, Oakley sunglasses and Hermès notebook.


  2. what is your daily uniform?

    For the school run I like to be sporty and comfortable so I wear Stella McCartney for Adidas workout clothes. If I'm feeling more upbeat, then it's my Marc by Marc Jacobs Bunny Hop long printed jersey dress, Peter Pilotto’s asymmetric woollen stretch skirt in a bold print or a knitted tight dress by Sandro. Also, Paige Denim’s Lexie blue jumpsuit and their Verdugo pregnancy jeans have become necessities and I have been wearing knee-high gladiator sandals with bare legs and winter coats this week to add a twist to plain stretchy dresses. Accessories seem to have more importance when you’re dressing for pregnancy as they offer a sense of fun and keep you feeling somewhat chic.

And the ultimate indulgence – how do you pamper yourself at the end of a busy week?

  1. When in London, I book a facial with Una Brennan [of Super Facialist] or a pregnancy massage with Carla Williams at the Josh Wood Atelier, both treatments are in Notting Hill.
  3. what are you craving right now?

    A green juice of cucumber, lettuce, parsley, spinach, chard, kale and wild nettle or an almond milk with frozen banana, cocoa nibs, raw agave, dates and oats. 
  5. The baby/fashion bag you have your eye on:

  6. Bonpoint’s nappy bag – I just don’t know what colour palette to buy until after the birth.
  8. The special gift you’d love to give baby:

  9. I’d adore to get my baby’s hands and feet cast in sterling silver by English company, Wrightson & Platt. 
  11. AND for yourself?

  12. A Solange Azagury gold ring with the baby’s name. 
  14. Your children’s favourite bedtime story:

  15. Rosie and Mack Head Outback by our friend Celia Shelmerdine, it's all about her time spent in the Kimberley Ranges. 
  17. And Your latest read:

  18. I’ve just started Richard Flanagan’s The Narrow Road To The Deep North. 
  20. what is Your secret pick-me-up?

  21. A pregnancy Pilates class on a reformer. 
  23. and lastly, Your best advice for first-time mothers?

  24. 1). I think exercise is actually really important for pregnancy and I recommend keeping it up, in moderation, throughout. I didn’t really exercise throughout my first two pregnancies and suffered as a result. I was not physically strong after my C-sections and had a lot of extra weight to lose. 
  25. 2). Know that the first six weeks, post-birth, are incredibly intense – it's difficult, tiring and tough yet so wonderful and new. It's over so quickly, so enjoy it. The end of that time marks a milestone for which you should be proud!
  26. 3). More than anything, enjoy your first pregnancy as, with no other children around, you have the time and space to truly enjoy all the developments your body goes through to create a tiny person. 


Runway photos, above: Fairchild Photo Library.