Cold weather is coming – what are your options for staying cosy?

Being pregnant can have its challenges, but how to keep warm in chilly (or downright frigid) weather does not have to be one of them. Maternity designers have created coats that you can wear throughout pregnancy and after. Or if you already have a favourite winter coat, some innovative Canadian companies have have come up with products that will extend your coat to keep you cosy throughout your pregnancy

Winter coats: the investment piece

black-mcoat
The MCoat

The MCoat 

The Mcoat was one of the first winter coats developed for pregnant women. This coat, insulated with pure Canadian down, is popular because of its adaptability. A zip out triangular panel  faces down when you are pregnant and is flipped over for baby carrying, and then can be removed completely. The MCoat can be worn for years to come.

modern-eternity-3-in-1-parka
Modern Eternity 3-in-1 Parka

Modern Eternity

This 3-in-1 maternity coat by Modern Eternity is a casual, cotton twill parka that is down filled and water resistant. Popular for its extended length and weekend styling, this coat is great for being outdoors and active. The removable panel means that it is easily worn for maternity, baby carrying and after.


Coat panels: the practical solution

Make My Belly Fit

Make My Belly Fit

The BellyFit coat extender uses the zippers on your existing coat and their patented panel to create space where you need it most. It has a sleek look that features snaps along the panel so that you can tailor your coat both during pregnancy and for baby carrying. Their zipper is the most commonly used one by outwear manufacturers (like Canada Goose) so that it will fit into as many coats as possible. If your coat features a different zip, worry not! There are 16 zipper adapters available that will match the BellyFit to your coat. The panel is made with two layers of windproof/water repellent outerwear material with a layer of cosy microfleece in between.

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Bridge the Bump

Bridge the Bump

This coat extender system also comes in two lengths which allows you to choose the fit and style you want for your coat. Snaps and an adjustable belt create an empire waist or show-off-your-bump look. The Bridge the Bump system is made with a water repellent/windproof outerwear material and quilted microfibre insulation. And of course, the insert can be worn for baby carrying as well. Panel colours are specifically chosen to match Canada Goose coats.

 

With this range of practical options, you and your baby bump will be warm and cozy this winter. Come by the store or give us a call and we will help you figure out the coat solution that’s best for you.

Bump Goes to a Garden Party

Bump age: 34 weeks 3 days

It is our annual tradition to invite friends and neighbours to celebrate summer’s arrival and this was the fifth anniversary of our little garden party. Having a garden party is our motivation to spend springtime making sure the backyard is party ready. But this year, while the backyard was ready to shine, the weather was not; so we set up indoors instead.

IMG_2534When I first saw the Carry Watercolour Grecian Dress, it  immediately channeled my inner Renoir and I knew it was the perfect garden party dress. I felt that the soft, dreamy watercolour print would look nice with the greenery and blooming flowers outdoors, which proved true once the rain stopped and we could move the party outside. I must admit that at this point in my pregnancy, comfort trumps style. Luckily with this watercolour dress, I did not have to compromise on either. With a simple thin belt that ties behind the back, the slip-on design does not get easier to put on. The fabric is light and breezy, which, given Toronto’s humidity, is always a bonus. The just-above-the-knee hemline is the perfect length for any mama-to-be. As pretty and comfortable as I felt in this dress, I was not at all surprised when Bump and I received lots of compliments from our guests.

Despite the weather not co-operating, the party was a blast, fun was had by all, and Mr. Fantastic and I were not stressed in our hosting duties (hint – hiring a couple of helping hands = less stress!) Good fun, good food, good people in a good neighbourhood … that’s why we plan to continue our family tradition next year.

xoxo,

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Enjoying the afternoon with my good friend Sarah

Bay_and_Bloor

Bump goes professional

Bump age: 21 weeks 6 days

Squishy was a Christmas baby, so last year when I attended the PDAC (Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada) conference,  I’d already regained my form and fit into my regular suits and business attire. This year, I’m sporting a 21-week-old bump, which is harder to conceal. So of course, fitting into my old business suits is harder than mission impossible. Luckily, Carry Maternity makes professional clothes on top of the cute, casual and chic. My Carry Maternity Blazer, which I’ve worn for several occasions, features two buttons that close above the bump allowing spacious belly room, and still appears slim and fit from the back. Here I’m wearing it with the matching Carry Maternity Dress Pants, which have a sewn-in panel for growing room. Carry’s work wear is where professionalism meets comfort. The in-house designers truly understand the pregnant form and how carrying around that extra bump requires effort without compromising the overall look.

IMG_0830In the picture, believe it or not, I am holding a pure gold bar that is significantly heavier than I imagined it to be! (I had difficulty lifting it past my bump with two hands and I regularly work out). Underneath my Carry blazer, I was wearing the Tees by Tina Lattice Tank Top in Ink colour. At first I was skeptical whether this piece would make my professional look seem too casual; but as soon as I paired it with the black suit, the pop of colour really accentuated my bump and the length was perfect.  The entire look is fresh, crisp, yet projects a professional feeling.

IMG_0979The next day, I wore my Carry Ruched Tube Dress. What I like about this maternity LBD is its versatility. Pair it with a denim jacket, you have a casual look; pair it with a black blazer (like I did), you have an office lady look; pair it with a statement necklace, flashy heels and small clutch, you are then seamlessly transitioning into a night out on the town.

Throughout the conference, I’ve received so many complements from my peers, without once feeling out of place, nor too casual for the event. Who said bump can’t go professional?

xoxo,

Bay_and_Bloor

 

The Importance of Versatility

A conversation with designer Pat Gillespie


b&w series 2CM:
What’s new with your design work?

Pat: The latest is our black and white series. I designed these dresses because we’ve found that the most difficult thing for a woman, especially a woman with a career, is finding clothing that reflects her normal style – the kind of thing she would have worn to work when she wasn’t pregnant. As a result, I’ve been designing a series of work dresses over the past few years. I chose a black and white theme for this collection because black and white never goes out of style. It’s easy, clean styling.

CM: It seems like something uncomplicated that you can just throw on but still look polished for work or to go to an event.


b&w seriesPat:
That’s the thing. When I design, I remember something my mother taught me early in my career. She’d say a good design should be able to do more than one thing. That’s something I’ve really held onto as a designer. I don’t believe in filing your closet full of impulse buys. You want to build a wardrobe that has substance, that has quality, that you can go to time and time again and it always makes you feel good.

Going back to my mother, I learned that you don’t buy a dress or an outfit for just one purpose. When you buy something for work, it should be versatile. This is why many women own a little black dress (aka LBD); it’s easy to dress up or dress down. The black and white prints of this current series are a more eye-catching version of the LBD. For example, the shift, paired with a jacket, is a great dress for work. Then, wear it with pretty sandals and jewelry and it becomes the perfect dress for a baby shower. Often in the store, a customer is looking for clothes for work and she’ll say “You know, I also have an event coming up and I think this dress could work for both.” So, clothing being versatile is key to a good wardrobe and it’s even more important in a maternity wardrobe.

CM: Why is versatility so important in a maternity wardrobe?

Pat: In your regular wardrobe, where you have dozens of pieces to choose from, you might wear something once or twice a month. A maternity wardrobe has fewer items so it’s important to be able to mix them around to create different looks. With this versatility, you will wear your maternity clothes – like the shift dress or wrap dress – twice a week, if not more. Clothing that can be worn more than one way adds value to your wardrobe. Style with versatility and value – that’s what this collection from Carry Maternity delivers.

Dressing from the Inside Out: The Right Underwear for Maternity Clothes

 

The Cache Coeur Illusion Brief. Featured in Carry Maternity's blog post on choosing the right maternity underwear.

What you wear underneath is the first step in creating any great fashion look, but especially so when you’re pregnant. As your body changes and grows, you need to have the right support that flatters and shapes you in all the right places. That will give you the confidence to sport even the most figure-hugging maternity fashion and to really accentuate your growing baby bump. Plus you’ll feel more comfortable with undergarments that fit well. There’s nothing worse than underwear that rides up, pinches or sags.

In a past post we looked at tips for finding the perfect bra. Now, let’s sort out the underwear situation and what your options are for achieving a streamlined, gorgeous silhouette that creates comfort and confidence.

There has been a lot of talk lately about trends in underwear – some say the thong is out and granny panties, or those panties that provide more generous coverage, are in. When it comes to underwear, you do have a few options. Let’s take a look.

Go Commando!

The challenge with a very fitted dress is that unsightly panty lines show through the stretchy fabric. Going commando (without underwear) is okay; just opt to wear a Spanx (Power Mama is especially made for pregnancy) or hose instead. This will provide a bit of coverage without the lines.

Thong

As baby grows, your pelvic bones are shifting and you may find your hips becoming a bit fleshier. While wearing a thong usually avoids panty lines, these changes in pregnancy can make wearing a thong uncomfortable and actually create more visible lines under clothing. If you want to go with a thong, be sure to check out how the dress looks overtop – are there any lines? And choose the right size, it may be necessary to go up a size during pregnancy.

Seamless High-Waisted Underwear

This option, often called “granny panties,” is really hot right now. They may not be the most flattering when undressing for your beau, but they are your best bet for wearing underwear that doesn’t create lines. Be careful to select a pair with give at the tummy. If not specifically made for maternity (here’s a great pick that is), you want to be sure there is enough stretch at the top of the panty so as not to restrict or pinch the skin.

Seamless Low-Waisted Underwear

This type of underwear – bikini or boyshorts, or a panty with lace – is best worn under jeans or flowy dresses that do not hug the hips or bum. You can get away with a lower panty line, or a textured fabric, when wearing looser clothing.

Other Things to Consider When Choosing Your Underwear

Smoothing garments also help to create a streamlined silhouette. Spanx has created a product called Power Mama that provides the support and smoothness they are known for, including at the rear and hip, but with a soft mesh panel in the front so there is no compression on the baby.

Angel Care Maternity Support Band is a support garment that is also effective for diminishing muffin top when paired with low waisted jeans. It can be quite comfortable and soothing, as it provides back and under belly support with the added benefit of a smoothing effect.

For light coverage and support, a well-made tank top will smooth out curves and provide back and belly support. Try Blanqi tank tops for your separates and A-line dresses.

It is important to keep in mind that well-fitting undergarments will not only improve your look, and make you feel more comfortable, but make your clothes fit better as well. When shopping for maternity clothing, have your undergarments on hand or in mind for the best look and fit (this is especially important when buying dresses for more formal occasions).

Here’s a good tip to live by: Pretty on the outside starts with functional on the inside. So get your pretty on – inside and out!

Shop our lingerie and support garments.

Or chat with us for more options.

Shown: The Cache Coeur Illusion Brief.

OWNER OF CARRY MATERNITY SUPPORTS WOMEN BEYOND TORONTO’S CITY LIMITS

Work for Widows is a charity organization that is a product of a truly tragic disaster. In 2004, a Tsunami devastated numerous coastal communities of Sri Lanka. Many women were left to face an uncertain future as the tsunami left them widowed, homeless and without income as they struggled to care for their children. The heartbreaking story of one particular woman sparked Work for Widows founder, Pamela Porodo into action. While assisting to feed, clothe and offer medical assistance to the victims of the disaster, a Buddhist monk who managed a Moratuwa camp was concerned about one of the displaced survivors and introduced her to Pam. Pam met the young 23 year old woman who was 6 months pregnant and alone. She had lost her home, mother, father, husband and three year old child to the deadly wave. Without hope and what she deemed a bleak future ahead of her, she was stealing medication from other victims in the camp to end her life and that of her unborn child.

Many hours were spent with this young woman in order to convince her to hand over the medication in exchange for a promise that there was a way to support herself  and child.  With no plan set in place yet, Pam bought a bag of beads, some fishing line and showed the young woman how to make a simple necklace,  promising to return to the camp the next day to buy her jewellery. Upon return it was clear that word had spread as Pam was greeted by a small crowd of local women. It was upon this humble platform that the organization was established. Today, Work for Widows has supported over 180 widowed and abandoned women along with 362 children under the age of 18. The overarching aim is to empower impoverished and abandoned women in Sri Lanka by providing with them a means to earn a living while staying at home to care for and educate their children.

Owner of Carry Maternity, Pat Gillespie explains that their reason for stocking the jewellery stems from their personal mandate – Our family extends beyond our own walls. “We wanted to support an organization that is doing something positive for women. Work for Widows is a wonderful initiative and we are so proud to be an advocate”. Pat, who also knows somebody who has lost their life in a tsunami, says that it is very easy to feel for the women. “the destruction caused to people’s lives from disasters such as this is horrendous“. This organization is unique in that rather than just providing immediate relief and refuge, it lays the platform for women to be able to make a living and provides ongoing support in their endeavours.

By volunteering as an ambassador for the program, Pat Gillespie  shares the same proactive spirit with other entrepreneurial ambassadors like Amber MacJodi Faith, and One Tooth Activewear.

Each piece is very personalized and comes with a thank you message from its maker. Very reasonably priced, it is a great way to make a small contribution to the livelihood program supporting hundreds of women and children. To find out more about the efforts of Work for Widows, or browse their jewellery visit them online. Alternatively, you can find a range of handmade jewellery for sale at Carry Maternity in Toronto’s Yorkville.