Considering how the center of gravity changes and how balance can be off during pregnancy, the title of Bravo's "Pregnant in Heels" gives pause.
The show, which has its season finale Tuesday, May 24, features Rosie Pope, a self-described maternity guru and concierge.
"I see myself and our company as the one-stop community for pregnant women," Pope says.
Her Manhattan boutique, Rosie Pope, and nearby studio, MomPrep, cover pretty much everything - except doctor visits.
The practical aspects - the mechanics of breast-feeding, changing diapers, bathing babies - are the sort of life lessons that moms, aunts or friends traditionally helped new mothers with, but if they're not available, Pope has someone to help. But what makes this show Bravo-worthy, the concierge aspect, is how spoiled some people are.
Women have hired Pope to brand their baby's name (hiring focus groups to test names), rekindle their sex life, look camera-ready after delivering and - her oddest request - design a gown in which to give birth.
At the heart of many of the requests - and certainly of the store - is the age-old question: how to look good pregnant. The best advice, Pope says, "If you wouldn't wear it when not pregnant, don't wear it now. And that will allow women to keep true to their style."
Pope is the mother of two sons, an infant and a toddler, and designs about 90 percent of the items in her store. Besides her selling own brand, she suggests how to remain stylish while pregnant.
For shoes, Popes like See by Chloe, carried at finer stores.
"It's the less expensive line," Pope says. "It's still not incredibly cheap."
Pope buys from Jules & Jim for "good-fitting work pants and great price points," Pope says. She also likes Paige Denim.
"I love Ingrid & Isabel for leggings and tighter pants," Pope says. "It's great to wear leggings while pregnant. They are comfortable, but some are too much like wearing stockings. You feel like you are about to walk into jazz class."
Pope is a fan of T-Bag tops, sold on various sites including Revolve Clothing. For nursing moms, Pope prefers Dote tops. She's a fan of More of Me dresses.
Pope comes to fashion quite naturally. A former model, she was studying neuroscience at Columbia when she and her husband came up with the idea of a clothing company for expectant moms.
Given that Pope had long been making her own clothes, she knew how to follow a sewing pattern. Living in Manhattan gave her access to great fabric stores. As a scientist, she enjoyed the research launching a business required.
"I come up with classical styles for the pregnant form," Pope says. "A lot of this is math and patterns."
Pope advocates buying items that will last longer than the pregnancy.
"Make sure everything fits," she says, "and will grow with you."
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