Style Diary


Contributing Editor of Tatler and stylist to the A-List, Anna Bromilow shares her fashion expertise and styling tips on her weekly Baukjen blog.

Styling the Florence Maternity Dress

I mostly get my inspiration from looking at the latest collections of my favourite designers – even when I am pregnant. Obviously, adapting the looks I love is a bit more challenging, but that is what I do these days. Plus, it’s always nice to take on a new challenge.

So when I had to style the Florence Maternity Dress from Isabella Oliver’s latest collection, I was immediately thinking of Celine S/S13. The floaty and shiny fabric, the feminine lines, and the length made me go all the way “mixing uber-feminine with not-at-all-elegant-shoes” (you designer-addicts know exactly what I mean by that), and so this look was born.

Of course wearing ugly sandals with such an elegant dress may come as a shock to some of you, and I am pretty sure most of you would never think of adapting this, but please let me explain the idea behind it…

Never before was it so accepted to wear “maternity-friendly” shoes in a very feminine look. Never before Phoebe Philo introduced us to silk dresses in combination with (furry) Birkenstock-ish sandals we thought about this way of styling. So a can full of grumpy worms was opened when the first catwalk images appeared. I think I was pretty much against it myself when I first saw those. However, when I started thinking about the ‘theory’ behind this collection (yes designers really do have a story in their mind when designing a collection): ultra-feminine mixed with uber-uncharming, I knew this was going to be big, the hottest and most loved story in town. And I was right. Many many women have adapted this way of dressing, and I bet they are so mega happy that they can finally wear those in-house-where-nobody-can-see-me-shoes out of the house, whilst not looking like the next butcher’s wife. Of course it all comes down to the way you style them, but when you make sure you wear sandals like that with a beautiful maxi-dress like this one, you will get away with it.

Very much so, actually.

Isabella Oliver Florence Maternity Dress, Zara bag, Birkenstock sandals, and Celine sunglasses. Read more from The Fashion Guitar