A Pregnancy Look that is both Chic and Comfortable!
I’ll admit that I was a little nervous about how to style my new figure as my pregnancy progressed. I knew that I didn’t want to invest in traditional Maternity clothing because I like to buy with my long-term closet in mind. (To date, I’ve only purchased 1 actual maternity dress, which is designed in such a way that it still looks nice when you’re not pregnant.)
After much Pinterest scrolling and assessing what ratios would work on my figure, I finally settled on an outfit formula. And I’m pleased to say that it’s never me down! What I really like about this look is that it’s compatible with sneakers. Yes, I’ve been a longtime worshipper of the high heel. But between my swelling legs, the tendency my belly to tip me forward, and the ever-growing distance between my feet and my ability to reach them, sneakers have been in heavy rotation.
I’ve never the type to obsess over sneakers… until I laid my eyes on the Grape “Leather” version by ethical brand Alexandra K. Yes, this luxury vegan designer has started making shoes! And she’s expanding her innovative use of plant-based leathers and recycled materials to her shoe collection too.
A Quick Review of the Grape Leather Sneakers by Alexandra K
I have been eyeing the ethically-made vegan sneaker by Alexandra K for quite a while. I’m already a huge fan of Alexandra K’s vegan handbags. (I have three! You can see both the 1.3 Mini in faux red “python” and the Joy in olive-green corn “leather” featured in this article.) These sneakers have thankfully lived up to my expectations.
The main outer fabric is grape (!) “leather” and the accent material at the heel is corn “leather.” As with all Alexandra K accessories, the quality is top-notch. These sneakers have a luxurious, sturdy feel and also feature a platform sole. There’s even a little additional height added via the recycled fiber insert that is removal. Personally, as a six month pregnant person, I love that don’t have to sacrifice comfort for some elevation. And the interior fabric has a terrycloth like finish to it, making it extra cozy.
Size-wise, I think these fit a little snugger than other sneaker brands. I’m usually a US 7.5/EU 38 in most shoes and boots. However I normally size down to a US 7/EU 37 in lace-up sneakers because I can adjust the width. (My feet are short, but wide.) In the Alexandra K sneakers, I wear a size 38. I was able to try on both the 37 and the 38, and the 37s were too tight both length-wise and width-wise.
Overall, I’m very pleased with the construction, quality, and design. These shoes have been getting lots of wear since I purchased them! PS: You can see an unboxing and try-on video here in my Instagram Reel for some close up shots.
Browse Alexandra K at Alltrueist
I purchased these Grape Leather Sneakers from Montreal-based Alltrueist, which is where I buy many of my sustainable, luxury vegan items. If you are also located in Canada or the US, I would highly recommend keeping them in mind for your Alexandra K purchases. Because Alexandra K is a European brand, the cost of shipping and import fees can be a little high. But if you purchase through Alltrueist, you can get a better deal. (PS: if you sign up for Alltrueist’s newsletter, you’ll also find out about occasional flash sales on this luxury brand!)
I’ve gathered my favourites from Alltrueist’s Alexandra K collection here for easy shopping. All of these shoes and handbags are 100% vegan and made ethically in Europe:
My Go-To, Maternity-Chic Outfit Formula
The outfit formula that won’t let you down: midi-length dress + low-contrast shoes.
In general, you’re looking for a dress that you might normally pick for your non-pregnant self. (So that you get lots of wear even after the baby is born!) But there are some considerations to keep in mind: If the dress is fitted, the fabric needs to have generous stretch. Empire waist dresses that billow away from the under-bust seam work great because the most fitted part should sit right above your bump. Breezy cotton fabrics are especially cooling in the summertime. And thick, stretchy knits are the way to go for colder climates. Form fitting dresses really benefit from a side-slit for maximum range of motion.
If midi-legnth isn’t your style, then maxi-length is another great option! Plus you can easily hide compression socks under those. I managed to find thigh-high compression stockings in a colour close to my skin tone, so I’ve been wearing those when I want a bare-leg look without the edema.
Capsule Wardrobe Style Tip: sleeveless dresses can be layered over thin turtlenecks in the colder months. You can see in the photos above and below that I’ve layered a burnt-orange sleeveless knit dress over a Thief & Bandit turtleneck in the same colour.
What do I mean by low-contrast shoes? It’s pretty simple: try to match the shoe to your leg colour. If you are bare-legged, the shoe should be in the same colour range as your skin. But if you’re wearing tights, the shoe colour should be similar to the tights instead. This creates a nice 2/3rds vertical line instead of a broken-up colour blocking effect.
For shoe styles, you have lots of options. The most important thing is that you can walk comfortably. Almond-toe boots, pointed flats, and even chic sneakers work! And for the daring, a 2 – 3″ sensible heel can bring the va-va-oomph factor. These could be heels on boots or even high heels. Just be sure that you don’t feel wobbly! Your center of gravity gets thrown off by your growing abdomen and the last thing you want is to take a tumble.
Shop My Pregnancy-Friendly Picks
More IRL Examples of My Go-To Maternity Look
Here is my maternity outfit formula out in the wild. As you can see, I’ve been wearing midi-length dresses (and sweatpants, if I’m being honest) since the rest of my closet could not longer fit over the bump. And what I especially love about this method of dressing while pregnant is that you can still wear midi-length dresses well after the bump is gone! Because it’s fall here in Toronto, I’m mainly wearing boots and sneakers. But this formula works equally well in warm weather. Just swap out thick knitted dresses for lightweight, sleeveless knit dress or light and breezy cotton dresses.