As People’s Style and Beauty Director, it’s my job to follow (read: obsess over) what celebrities wear on and off the red carpet every day, and Blake Lively is one of my favorite to watch because she styles herself (which is rare in Hollywood since most celebs require professional help to assemble the perfect dog-walking outfit), and the results are typically over-the-top glam.
So it’s no surprise that Blake hasn’t slowed down style-wise since revealing she’s expecting her second child. After all, this is the same person who wore custom leather pants and a plunging Gucci gown during her first pregnancy. It’s fun to watch her redefine maternity style as a fashion editor but even more fascinating when you’re also expecting. That’s right, I’m having a Blake Lively-adjacent pregnancy (we’re both around six months) which means I can’t help but compare my current wardrobe (flowy dresses, flats and stretch everything) to hers (skin-tight, heels and cut-outs).
It’s not like I’ve given up on looking stylish just because I’m sporting a bump roughly the size of a large head of lettuce (according to my “How Big is Your Baby?” app), but I’ve definitely been prioritizing comfort much more these days. Blake on the other hand, seems immune to the normal pitfalls of pregnancy like swollen feet that won’t fit in sky-high stilettos and boobs that grow a cup size every week.
In fact, when PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly Editorial Director Jess Cagle sat down to interview Blake back in June, she revealed that it’s “fun to dress under the circumstances.” Sure, if your definition of “fun” is having to size up, up, up in everything including your underwear (true story).
That said, in the same interview, Blake also acknowledged that she’s lucky to have access to designer clothes, which got me wondering what it must be like and if a normal pregnant person like myself could pull off the same looks in real life. There was only one way to find out.
Fast forward to countless emails and phone calls later and Blake’s pregnancy wardrobe was mine (for a day). The first thing I noticed was that the dresses looked really small. If you’ve always suspected that Blake is a magical unicorn of a human, you’re right since she’s still wearing a sample size (typically a 2 or 4). True, she wore some of these dresses about six weeks earlier when her bump was a bit smaller, BUT STILL. I stocked up on pregnancy Spanx (two words I never would’ve thought belonged together before this experiment) and hoped for the best.
On the day of the shoot it was 92° in New York City. Uncomfortable for everyone, but especially unpleasant when you’re pregnant (my feet puff up like inflatable rafts in hot weather). I was also worried that I wouldn’t be able to actually fit in the dresses. After an hour and a half of hair and makeup (shoutout to Mark Anthony and Camille Thompson for Blake-ifying me), I was ready to put on the first look. PeopleStyle market editor Sarah Ball hoisted me into the neon coral Jonathan Simkhai dress that Blake wore on July 12 in NYC and I (literally) stepped into her Sophia Webster shoes. I also got to rock her exact Anita Ko earrings which took almost as much time to put on as the dress.
I had trouble balancing on the skinny crystal-embellished heel while I walked outside to take photos (my bump throws off my center of gravity) but otherwise I felt great. That is until three minutes into posing for pictures under the blazing sun. My feet were throbbing and I was dripping with sweat. I tried to think chic, cooling thoughts. I wondered what Blake’s favorite ice cream flavor is and if she eats it seven nights a week like I do.
Blake wore the next look, a Michael Kors Collection feathered mini dress, with a thick gray cashmere hoodie while promoting The Shallows in NYC in June even though the temperatures were in the 90’s that day. So why the sweatshirt? Because that’s how it was shown on the designer’s Fall 2016 runway and Blake is nothing if not committed to fashion. The ensemble was pretty comfortable when I was in an air conditioned room, but I looked ridiculous when we were shooting outside (the groups of gawking tourists didn’t help).
I loved how sleek and sexy the black David Koma ensemble looked on Blake (she wore it June 21 to the after party for The Shallows premiere) but I nearly had a panic attack trying to get into the two pieces. For starters, the bodysuit was so tight that I was scared it might hurt the the baby if I zipped it all the way up, so we left it partially undone in the back. The pencil skirt was equally problematic, not to mention, the thigh-high slit revealed my Spanx so I had to roll them up on that leg. This definitely doesn’t happen to Blake. What I did love about the outfit: the $22,000 black diamond Norman Silverman hoop earrings that came with their very own intern who kept a watchful eye on them during the photo shoot.
The cobalt blue Cushnie et Ochs (worn June 20 for an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon) was surprisingly flattering (a little stretch goes a long way with a bump), but also comically constrictive since the criss-cross bandage-style top made it nearly impossible to lift up my arms. Blake’s yellow diamond earrings were custom Alison Lou and most likely reside in her jewelry box, so I went with a pair of Graziela Gems beryl and diamond danglers.
The last look of the day was the navy Monse mini that Blake wore on June 22 from the label’s Resort 2017 collection. I loved so many things about it. For starters, it zipped without any excess force. Huge win. Then there was the super-curly ’80s hair. When I got back to my desk all of my coworkers raved about my ringlets. I was also a fan of the oversize gold hoops. Very JLo.
And while I admire Blake’s expectant-mommy couture, I plan to remain dedicated to my flowy H&M dresses and pregnancy-approved Vans slip-ons, with the occasional body-con dress and (stacked) heels thrown in the mix. Because even the star admitted to People: “This is not real life. I don’t normally wear feather numbers with cashmere sweatshirts.” Same, Blake. Same.