After a gorgeous luncheon last week with Lisa Tant, Editor-in-Chief of Flare Magazine, it was time to transfer inspiration into a revamp of the closet.  Hosted at Vancouver’s Wear Else, I was in a mecca of fashion, and all I wanted to do was hit the changing rooms.  The first fall season while I haven’t been pregnant or attempting to drop baby weight, and, as luck would have it, it’s a particularly stellar year for pregnancy and postpartum dressing.  Gone are the gladiator sandals, the cut-off tights and the butt/thigh-hugging shirts (thank you very much).

Welcome to shoulder pads, leggings, 80’s-inspired suits and bright coats.  Pardon?  Did you not say that it was a good season?  As my mouth hung open at the sleek photos of Paris Fashion Week, I realized that we have, indeed, come a long way.  As individuals, we strive to grow and develop on a daily basis, and our fashion – while always reminiscent of another era – is also fresh, creative and new.  How, then, do we make shoulder pads current and flattering?  Tant suggested a defined shoulder, or even an applique.  As for the 80’s trends, why not pair a bright neon coat with a sleek black body-hugger underneath (particularly great for late maternity – you can be comfy in long black leggings and be in style too).  Again appropriate for pregnancy or transition, fall’s statement necklaces and accessories are perfect.  Drawing attention away from the lower half, they help you to express yourself at a time when it is hard to maintain your usual vibrant personality.  Expression is not reserved for the neck, however, and detailed panty hose and patterned tights abound.  (But be careful of horizontal stripes and larger patterns if your dainty ankles have expanded as much as your cup size.)

Perhaps our two favourite trends for the season are over-the-knee boots (and with a flat heel – another coup), and 1940’s style.  Anytime women can look ladylike and chic, with red lips and a great easy-dressing suit, we’re happy.  Tant’s passion for design and appreciation for style became infectious quite quickly, and in speaking to her later, it was clear that she relishes the thought of women looking their best at every stage of life.  Her thorough fashion review certainly made me want to analyze my existing wardrobe and then stock up on some well-considered additions.

As we head out of the recession, we have all had a few sleepless nights.  (Or was that just me?) It seems that designers have become a bit wiser as well.  Clever spending is our new reality, and fashion is no exception.  Price points at the big design houses are down, and care is being taken by consumers in choosing perfect statement and heirloom pieces.  Versatility is also popular – a reversible coat, detachable boot lengths, and optional sweater cuffs can transform an entire look.   Is it not every woman’s dream – a flattering fashion piece that will last for years, make her feel special, and adapt to different body shapes?  Once again, perfect for pregnancy.  Perhaps it’s a good time to have an oyster.  Excuse me.  Back later.

– Jill Amery is the CEO of UrbanMommies Online Resources, the mother of two boys, and has a soft spot for fashion.

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