Rachel Zoe’s Maternity Style 101

02/17/2011 at 02:00 PM ET
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty

Every mom-to-be has a hard time finding stylish clothing that complements her growing bump — even celeb stylist Rachel Zoe.

“Believe me! Figuring out what to wear during this time may seem like a small detail, but it can make a huge difference in your comfort and mood,” she shared recently on her Web site.

Zoe, 39 — who’s expecting a baby boy in March — also offered up some great maternity style tips and chic outfit ideas. Check them out below!


Invest in a well-designed pair of jeans. As opposed to former generations, we are fortunate to live in a fashion-forward age that accommodates styles for every body, size and situation — pregnancy included. For example, both 7 For All Mankind and J Brand make maternity jeans (praise the denim gods!), which are a flawless starting point for a prego-chic look.

Explore all free form bottoms. Leggings, maxi skirts or full length dresses are perfect for pregnancy. Take your pick of the three styles and then you’re ready to tackle the waist up! For tops, I recommend long tunics, flowy blouses and ponchos to flatter your mom-to-be figure.

Shift your focus to footwear. You can stay stylish, yet at ease in a pair of wedges or flats. Try either with any of these combinations — long tunic and leggings, poncho and flare jeans, tank and maxi skirt — and you’ll be pregnant per-fec-tion!

Accessories are key. Don’t forget to complete your modern maternity look with a big tote bag and a pair of do-not-disturb oversized sunnies to hide fatigue!

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Showing 32 comments

Catca on

7 for All Mankind and J Brand jeans for every body type? Yes, they make maternity jeans, but the lady wearing them needs small hips and legs and only a baby bump to wear them, i.e. only ladies who were quite thin before they became preggers. Rachel, I love ya, I really do, but that was not a great example for the average woman.

tink1217 on

“designer” jeans like that are NOT made for short women with a little extra curve…unless you buy petite (if available..which is rare). You’ve got to be “all baby” to wear them. In all honesty…Gap makes some really great maternity jeans for every stage and most body types…and Maternal America also has great jeans too. I found both brands to be extremely comfy. And..not many people can afford the “designer” brands mentioned. Gap is reasonable AND they last. Motherhood Maternity has come a long way also.

Nat on

I have to agree with the previous comment. I don’t seen many body types in those jeans!! Though I love them, they are not for the regular pregnant lady!

Devon on

I don’t understand why those jeans wouldn’t be good for most body types. Unless you’re obese, then they are fine. They look like regular well constructed jeans. There is a boot cut and skinny jeans. Most who are in the age bracket of most pregnant women can wear both styles no problem.

Rachel’s tips aren’t really that interesting, it seems like most people could figure those out. When I get pregnant, I’m planning on maxi dresses, kaftans & tunics (if it’s summer) or long sweaters, henleys and leggings (if it’s winter). There are so many ways to be comfortable and stylish. Pregnancy is no excuse to look like hell! :o)

Devon on

Oh and yes those jeans are definitely made for the shorter legged woman. The inseam on the 7 for All Mankind jeans is 30″. I’m 5’8 and for jeans/pants that hit perfectly for flats have to be a 32″. Anything less and it they look like flood pants! Plus a curvy woman in skinny jeans looks amazing. Embrace that hourglass!

Catca on


First of all a 30″ inseam is for an average height woman, not petite. You at 5’8″ are tall. Second of all, they only go to a 30″ waist and J Brand jeans are cut for thinner legged women on top of that (that’s what they’re known for) so even if you are thin but have hips and muscles like a JLo, JBrand won’t work for you (but 7 for All Mankind would). A 30″ waist on a low rise is just above your hips which means you have to be pretty thin to wear their biggest sizes if you are woman older than 25 (your body changes as you get older to make you wider where the jeans would hit).

I have a friend who is hippy and a size 4 and she can’t get into either brand jean. A size 4 is not obese!

Jacqui on

When I was about 5 or 6 months along, at about 145-150 pounds, I went to True Religion thinking I would just buy a really big pair of jeans. Wrong! Big mistake. I never did find a pair of jeans, maternity or otherwise, that fit comfortably. But that experience in the True Religion store made me feel so bad for heavy set women. No fair!

jb on

has she eaten a sandwich yet?

chelsea on

why would you spend $200 on a pair of maternity jeans?

Laura on

This post makes me laugh a little. Invest in designer maternity jeans? What fits you at 20 weeks will not fit at 40 weeks, so why buy expensive jeans that will literally only fit for a couple of months? And focus on footwear by wearing wedges? I gave up those (and heels!) around 16 weeks. My feet were so swollen I was always in flats.

Louise on

I agree- maybe I am just cheap but I wouldn’t spend that much on something that I won’t get a lot of wear out of. I have been pregnant 3 times and I have managed to get by with either borrowed clothes or a few things picked up here or there. I’d love to have the money to spend on expensive maternity clothes, but I can’t (and neither can a lot of other women) so these tips aren’t really helpful to most ladies.

Stephanie on

When I was pregnant I had a terrible time finding maternity jeans to fit me. I had a big belly, smaller hips, and skinny legs. I was by no means unhealthy, I gained 30 lbs. I am just petite. And, for some reason the maternity clothes are mostly geared toward women who are larger when pregnant. I was still in shape and exercising. So, I spent a little extra and bought from a boutique. They were wonderful. Worth the extra money! Although, with my second baby that was not the case! I REALLY enjoyed my cheesecake! 😛

martina on

A pair of designer maternity jeans that fits perfectly in the second trimester is uncomfortable by 28 weeks for me. And “investing” in two pairs of $200 jeans is a little too much for me. I am going to stick with my leggings and Gap maternity jeans, thank you very much.

abbyc on

I think you have to look at the source. Rachel’s life is fashion so of course she doesn’t think anything of dropping that kind of money. And in defense of women who spend $200+ on maternity jeans- I did it, too and am so glad I did.

I wore them from 8 weeks up to the day before I delivered and then wore them post partum, too. I basically wore them everyday of my pregnancy so if you’re looking at a cost per wear, they are a smart investment. Esp if you are pregnant more than once like me. I’m not saying charge it on your credit card and pay it back over 6 months. But if you can afford it and it makes you feel cute in a time when your body is changing then why not?

tink1217 on

Devon…I have a pair of Seven jeans..a pair of True Religion jeans, and a pair of Hudson jeans…all of which are TOO LONG…I am 5’2″ and even their “petite” jeans are too long for me. Designer jeans are made for a thinner woman…even in a size 32 (which is what most of them go up to)…unless they have amazing stretch it is hard to find designer jeans to really fit well..and I am in no way “obese” at all…

I did gymnastics, skating, and dance most of my life. I have muscular legs. I’ve always had this problem with jeans…waist fits fine…legs are snug..which=uncomfortable most of the time. Joe’s jeans and Hudson are the only ones that really seem to be comfortable for me.

So…basically…even the average woman sometimes cannot wear these “designer” jeans…and in pregnancy…some women gain weight EVERYWHERE! What fits at 4 months wont fit at 7 mnths..so why spend $200 on a pair of jeans to wear for 21 mnths??

Jennifer on

I agree with RZ, when you are prego you need to spend a little more on the clothes because you repeat so often. I do not think that you necessarily have to do a super high end brand either-Gap, target maternity have great jeans.

I did not have 7 or any of these brand choices when I was pregnant, however, I did live in my GAP maternity jeans and yoga pants as well as other key peices.. Both cost more than I would typically spend-I am a bargain hunter!!. However, the amount that I wore them made the investment worth it….And, I had a friend with a very limited budget-$0. I was able to give her my entire maternity wardrobe and therefore it made the initially costly investment worthwhile.

beth on

I feel like I have to comment, as so many of you are scorning her advice. First of all, a well-made pair of maternity jeans doesn’t HAVE to be designer, but when it comes to designer jeans, they truly fit, feel, and look better.

Second, I have been wearing the same pair of citizen of humanity jeans for two pregnancies (26 weeks into 2nd) and all I did was pay to have them hemmed. Plus, I got them NEW on ebay! Don’t knock it before you’ve tried it… and btw, I am 5 foot, fit before pregnancy but HUGE now.

Kel on

She gives really great tips, but I just can’t wear jeans much during my pregnancy, especially towards the end. However, the long dresses, leggings and yoga pants are awesome!

Jamie on

I like the previous posters idea about borrowing a friend’s maternity clothes to save money.

Thinking of how much baby clothes, toys and diapers cost, I would buy my maternity clothing at garage sales, consignment stores or sales and thrift stores to save money. I’ve been able to pick up high end stuff like pea in the pod as well as other trendy brands like liz lange for about $2-$6 apiece.

Anna on

Ok, I´m 5’3″ and loyal to my size 26 J Brand jeans (25 in Hudsons) – they fit me perfectly. Yes, the lengh of the legs may be too long, but if you have a great tailor, this could be easily fixed. Despite being a size 25/26, I have wide hips for my stature so I had a really hard time to find the perfect jeans (7 for Mankind didn´t work for me). I´m definetely counting on J Brands maternity during pregnancy. It may cost some extra bucks, but you need to feel great when you´re pregnant and overweight …

explosiveskyyy on

I’ve been loyal to 7 For All Mankind, Citizens of Humanity and J Band for the last two years, and I am a very hippy/curvy size 30. That size fits almost perfect, no muffim top, no ugly bulges, the only problem is the length. At 5’3 they are a bit long, but I buy them from Nordstrom and they hem them there, for me, for free.

Devon on

A 30″ inseam is a short pant length as most jeans anywhere, trust me I’ve looked, are a 32″ inseam. If they are too long then you just get them hemmed while if they are too short then you are kind of screwed. I didn’t say they were made for petite women, just the shorter legged woman. You can be 6 feet tall and still have short legs. Oh, and 5’8 isn’t tall. I wish it were as most clothes are meant to be worn, and look best, on women who are 5’10 with perfect sized torsos and long, long legs. That’s my ideal height and I’m a little upset that I didn’t quite make it.

The Seven jeans go up to a 32″ waist which I think is what most women’s jeans go up to. I’m not sure what the average sized woman is, I thought it was a size 10/12, and a 32″ waist would sure fit that. I’m not sure why I have seemed to make people upset. Others have pointed out that they have curves that fit into those jeans.

Vanessa on

Wow I hardly recognised Rachel in that photo. She looks so much better with a little weight on her.

Though she looks a bit Joan River-ish in the above photo.

Rach on

Hahahaha Laura,I agree ! When I got pregnant,I wore all regular clothes, just in a xl. Nothing was skin tight or uncomfortable. I personally did not buy any maternity wear..the only reason I would have considered maternity was for formal clothes for a wedding I had to go to,but being sick took care of that one lol.And for wedges,I had bad edema which made my feet swell so much all I could wear were loose shoes.

One thing,I cannot believe she is 39 ! I always thought she was much older ! My mom thought she was even older than her and in her 50s. Now I know why people say she needs to eat.You can already see how lovely the extra weight is making her face look, she is starting to look much younger!

dea on

I am 5’11 and on the thin side. The only maternity clothing I bought was a pair of James jeans in tall — they were $180, I wore them most days from about 4.5 months until I delivered at 8 months. Then I sold them on ebay for about $80 because even with all of tha wear, they were in great shape — something you get with more expensive jeans. But really the main reason I spent that much is the length and they fit well.

MelissaM on

When did we go from commenting on Rachel Zoe’s styling tips to a full blown argument about the size and length of designer jeans??? It is a simple argument one would think; Most people like the brand of jeans that fit them and what they think like looks good on their body…short, tall, skinny, obese, pregnant or not.

Anonymous on

When pregnant, best investment to make for the first 5 months is on Bella Bands. Wear your fav jeans, skirts, shorts, pants, capris with these. After 5 1/2 months, invest in good jean, but not too expensive.

Gap makes phenomenal maternity jeans. Remember this is only for 4 more months.

leslie on

i wore a pair of citizens jeans when i was pregnant with my daughter, and i plan to wear them for this pregnancy too. When you buy them around 4-5 months, they stretch as you get bigger. I bought white DL1961 jeans for this pregnancy. I rather have a few pieces that fit really well, that i wear a few times a week.

maternity wear on

I have to agree with the previous comment. I don’t see many body types in those jeans!! Though I love them, they are not for the regular pregnant lady! I agree- maybe I am just cheap but I wouldn’t spend that much on something that I won’t get a lot of wear out of. I have been pregnant 3 times and I have managed to get by with either borrowed clothes or a few things picked up here or there. I’d love to have the money to spend on expensive maternity clothes, but I can’t (and neither can a lot of other women) so these tips aren’t really helpful to most ladies. Wow I hardly recognized Rachel in that photo. She looks so much better with a little weight on her. Thanks for sharing..

Millicent on

Anyone who thinks Rachel styles for the average woman is lost in some fashion fantasy. She herself is uber thin– no, make that skinny to the point of unhealthy.

She styles beautifully, though. I simply wish she would join the normal world and stop leading the way to abnormally thin. Size zero? Really? Zero. Think about that. Zero.

gina on

as far as jeans, why not just buy a regular non maternity jean you would usually wear and get a belly band so you dont have to worry about buttoning it? at 36 weeks, a belly band lets me still wear my favorite pre pregnancy jeans which look even better now than they did before! in regards to her shoe tip…its an easy way to make a simple look, look better. and wearing a heal or wedge keeps those legs toned. double win in my book. looking good isnt always comfortable pregnant or not but its worth it to feel good instead of looking homely! as a stylist it seems she toned down her tips drastically to appeal to everyday women. the best part is if you dont like her advice…you dont have to utilize it 😉

Anonymous on

7 For All Mankind and Jbrand are not the only designers available for maternity jeans. If you’re bottom heavy go for Joes Jeans and AG jeans. Just because 7’s and Jbrand are well known doesn’t mean they will fit everybody type. Also, there’s a reason why designer jeans are expensive. Better quality and made in the USA. Now if you wear them everyday and wash them every other day, expect some wear and tear. Nothing lasts forever, not even a pair of Louboutins. Even the red on the bottom of your soles will eventually fade. I completely agree with this article and I’m not your typical skinny pregnant mama.