By peoplestaff225
Updated March 24, 2010 10:00 AM

When style expert Amy Tara Koch looked in the mirror after the end of her first trimester, she decided the fat pants had to go.

“I simply could not allow my professional credibility to be eradicated by leisure wear,” she tells PEOPLE’s Moms & Babies.

Instead she came up with a formula based on age-old fashion tenets — garment rotation, layering and super-accessorizing — that led to her new book Bump It Up (Random House, $18).

This clever guide to pregnancy style is filled with cool illustrations, a cheeky “preggo glossary” and outfit ideas from world-class designers.

Check out some of her tips below!

As Koch — a mother of two — knows all to well, dressing while pregnant isn’t so easy. “It’s all about finding the right silhouettes,” she explains.

It’s also a time to get creative. Here are some style updates Koch suggests:


Belts as necklaces. “When shimmering chain belts can no longer circle your girth, pop them over your head for flashy, Versace-looking necklaces,” Koch explains.

Underwear as ready-to-wear. For those who dare to bare, underpinnings can give “major look for minor dough.” Koch suggests raiding your grandmother’s closet or a flea market for sleek black satin slips, then layering them with a belted cardigan and jewelry.

Dresses as tunics. Your easy-to-wear shift dresses may ride up now thanks to your baby bump, but paired with leggings and a ballet flat or boot, they become tasteful tunics.

Skirts as dresses. “Yank too-small skirts with stretchy waistbands over your engorged boobs, and you’ll have a swingy new trapeze dress,” Koch says.

Swimwear as outerwear. No, not swimsuits, but splashy cover-ups, which can easily pull double duty as pregnancy apparel. “Filene’s Basement is filled with tunics that feel like Matthew Williamson,” she says.

But regardless of what changes you make to your maternity wardrobe, Koch has one mega-rule: Pitch any crappy comfort clothes, including sneakers and sweats. “Nothing looks frumpier,” she laments. “Volume control is the key to a balanced, chic look.”

For more of Koch’s glam advice, check out her book Bump It Up, available now.

Kate Hogan