Meet the most stylish pregnant woman on the planet – Bronwyn McCahon.
At 37 weeks pregnant with baby number two she looks as she always does – cool, chic and polished. It’s not really fair because she’s also owner of the best hair on the planet but it’s pregnant women who look like this that make me want to do it all over again.
I worked with Bron for many years – she’s the Editor-in-Chief of Cosmopolitan – and what I love so much about her maternity style is the ability she has to still dress like herself no matter what the bump is doing.
She found the secret is choosing a silhouette that suits your style/shape and then building a maternity wardrobe that’s full of pieces that work together and that you can use again during the breastfeeding phase. She also swears that a hair elastic is a pregnant woman’s best friend.
She let us into her home and wardrobe last week to share her do’s and dont’s of maternity style. It was also really a ruse for me to hang out with her beautiful daughter Harper – who I could eat with a spoon.
Bron’s Top Tips.
Shona Joy White Long Cardigan, Zowie Green Necklace. Harper wears Country Road Nautical Sweater (Buy it here).
How has your style evolved throughout your pregnancy? Different to the first?
My style hasn’t changed that much during pregnancies, although I’m doing flats a lot this time around which is a first for me. I’ve always felt my feet looked wrong in flats, but I’ve discovered how versatile they are and developed a small obsession. My latest loves are black suede ballet flats with a chain toe from Walnut - Buy them here.
What maternity piece did you swear to never wear, but eventually did?
Maternity spanx! They’re a magnificent invention but gosh, so ugly. I also bought maternity opaque tights that sit over your stomach just under your boobs – again, not pretty, but so handy for winter.
At what stage during your pregnancy did you give up wearing heels?
I didn’t really give them up, I just cut back. I also started my pregnancy in summer and I’m ending it in winter so I got to hitch a ride on the comfy ankle boot train at just the right time.
What fashion pieces did you live in during your pregnancy?
Cotton On do awesome looooong white singlets which are perfect to wear under your existing knits and tops that don’t quite give you the required belly coverage. Most of my outfits involve some type of Jean, but I didn’t buy any maternity jeans, I just repurposed my existing pairs by using a hair elastic to loop through the button hole, which I then hooked on to the actual button – it gives you a valuable few extra centimetres around the waist. And leggings are a no-brainer for pregnancy (Witchery do goodies) teamed with a long bottom-covering shirt or cardi and high-top sneakers – this has pretty much been my weekend uniform.
What can’t you wait to wear post-pregnancy?
I bought a few peplum tops and dresses when I was holidaying in Paris recently, so the minute my belly deflates I’ll be slipping in to those. It’s been agony seeing so many beautiful new ranges and trends come through the Cosmo Fashion office and not being able to get my belly in to any of them.
Did you buy any ‘maternity’ clothing, or did you just buy your favourite brands in bigger sizes?
I recently made the odd discovery that when I’m NOT pregnant I often buy clothes in a size bigger than I probably need because I prefer a drapier look. Yet when I’m pregnant, I like figure-hugging pieces. So during pregnancy I can mostly shop my own wardrobe – pieces that were drapy pre-pregnancy become fitted during. The only maternity piece I bought was a handy striped ruched dress from Isabella Oliver (buy it here). Actually I bought it in two colours. It’s the perfect mix of a little bit sexy, professional and fun – a big hit with my husband every time I wore it. Which was a lot.
Name four pieces all pregnant women should own?
1. For winter, maternity opaque stockings are a must. I love Ambra Hosiery Baby Bump 70 Denier Maternity Tights.
2. I know I keep saying it, but an extra-long white singlet will be your best friend.
3. A statement necklace or scarf to instantly lift a plain outfit (and a blah pregnancy day).
4. A comfy bra that’s underwire free, conceals high-beams and can be used while breastfeeding. I loved the Elle Macpherson Intimates Momamia Nursing Bra.
Any tips for shopping when pregnant?
Adding little things to your wardrobe like an extra-long white singlet for good belly coverage means you’ll get more mileage out of your existing wardrobe. Also shop for items that you’ll be able to wear post-pregnancy like open cardigans and button down shirts and blouses. I bought a great chambray button down shirt from Witchery which I wear open during pregnancy with my trusty white singlet and leggings, and will also be perfect for breastfeeding after birth. For work, I bought the rainbow collection of silk Equipment blouses which have been fab under a blazer for a splash of colour, but will also be really handy for the breastfeeding months.
What were your favourite brands to shop during your pregnancy?
I’ve had a lot of luck at Country Road and e-tailers like Asos and Topshop have great maternity basics pretty cheap.
When I was pregnant it was all about black and accessories – what are your go-to’s?
I’m all about a pop of colour or a statement accessory. Places like Zara, Diva and Sportsgirl do fab accessories. Online I quite enjoy Asos, Shopbop, etsy and Anthropologie.
Favourite pregnant celeb style crush (past or present)?
The Victoria’s Secret girls do pregnancy pretty darn well, Adriana Lima, Miranda Kerr, Alessandra Ambrosio etc. I also loved watching Jessica Marais progress through pregnancy recently.
What are your pregnancy beauty essentials?
1. Palmer’s stretch mark oil
2. Lucas Paw Paw ointment
3. Jurlique lavender hand cream
4. Weekly pedicures somewhere that offers a decent leg massage while you sit in nice cushiony massage chairs.
5. Regular eyebrow wax and shape to feel polished and put together.
Five Fabulous Outfits.
Maje Paris Pink Jacket, Peter Lang bracelet.
Dion Lee Black Knit, Zara Black Waxed Jeans With Gold Zip Detail.
Coopers Paris Shoes, Alexander Wang Bag.
Country Road Red Sweater Dress With Gold Zips, Wittner Black Boots, Peter Lang bracelet.
Oroton Oatmeal Cardigan, Zara Jeans, Sandro Paris Studded Sneakers.
Shop The Look.
CLICK TO BUY: 1. Moto Maternity Leigh Jeans in Lilac from Topshop, £38. (Also available in pale blue); 2. J Brand Skinny Jean in Coral, $323.10. (More colours available).
CLICK TO BUY: 1. Marc By Marc Jacobs Classic Q Fran Shoulder Bag from Net-a-Porter, £308.33; 2. Diva Metal & Pearl Statement Collar, $24.99; 3. Sambag Helena Pink Ballet Flats, $175, NOW $122.50; 4. Lipstik Nancy Gold Glitter Sneakers, $79.95.
Clever DIY Projects From Bron.
I stole this great DIY idea from Bron’s nursery. She made them for both the kids rooms but then she also taught herself to crochet (via a youtube video) – but these (she promises) are a little easier.
- Art store canvas (size of your choice)
- Coloured felt
- Lead pencil for tracing
- Super sharp scissors.
How To: Simply cut the felt into the shapes and letter you need. Take the time to place them on the canvas before sticking them down. Then use a craft glue to gently secure them in place. It’s that easy.
The LifeStyled List.
Tea or Coffee? Coffee (weak flat white, one sugar).
Favourite Flower? Peonies.
Heels or Flats? Flats right now.
Style Crush? Girls in the Cosmo office, stylish women on the street and bloggers like Louise Friedland of Table Tonic and LifeStyled’s very own Palua Joye.
Signature Scent? Chanel No.5.
Favourite City? Paris.
Candles? Can I have Tim Tams instead?
Reading… Eloise in Paris (to my daughter).
Listening… The Ryan Adams album my husband has on high rotation in the car.
I need… the perfect pair of pjamamas for wintery night breastfeeds.
I want… this baby to come out now.
Photographer: Erin O’Sullivan