As the calendar continues its festive march toward 2015, we’re making it official: Blake Lively won maternity style this year. And the best thing about her sartorial choices? They’re totally relatable. That is to say, us mere mortals can draw inspiration from her (mostly) accessible aesthetic, whether we've got a baby on board or not. Behold, the top lessons we’re taking away from Lively’s maternity style.
1. Mix patterns.
You have to hand it to Lively for announcing her pregnancy with a look that set the bar for impeccable (and imitation-worthy) maternity dressing. She took to her website, Preserve, to share the news that she's expecting in a batik-looking maxi skirt with an orchid-patterned blouse from Sam & Lavi. The overall look was so flawless, it sold out in no time. (Good news for fans: It’s available again through Preserve.)
Since then, she’s rocked the mixed-pattern look many times and always looks effortless—an approach that works on any body type, at any stage of life.
2. Go backless.
When it comes to pregnancy style, much is made about dressing the bump and showing off a famously enhanced décolleté, too. But Lively reminds us of the importance of showing off some of our less-expected assets—like the gorgeous lines of the back. For evidence, look no further than the sleek, backless Kaufmanfranco gown she wore to the L’Oreal Women of Worth awards in New York earlier this month. It’s the element of surprise that got everyone talking for all the right reasons.
3. Pick a color.
For all her boldness and pattern mixing, Lively’s also showed us the other side of the sartorial spectrum: that choosing a monochromatic look can be just as attention grabbing. The key to making the otherwise understated look pop is thoughtfully curated accessories, as Lively’s done with statement accessories and eye-catching details.
4. Comfy can be chic.
If you've ever been pregnant, you know the temptation to combat the aches, pains, and general fatigue by living in sweatpants for months at a time. The need for comfort is real—whether or not we’re expecting—but Lively shows us how to achieve it while remaining perfectly chic. She’s covered up in chunky, roomy knits and bold prints that look both cozy and utterly pulled together.
5. Flaunt it.
No matter our age, no matter our size, no matter our stage in life, the name of the game is loving the skin we’re in. Rather than hide behind oversized clothes as her body changes in unfamiliar ways, Lively is owning it—showing off that gorgeous bump every step of the way. Our favorite example: the now famous pale yellow Gucci gown she wore to the Angel Ball in New York in October. The plunging neckline and bump-baring cut hugged the star’s curves in all the right ways—and inspired us to show off our curves, too!
Alesandra Dubin is a Los Angeles-based writer and the founder of home and travel blog Homebody in Motion. Follow her on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.