Exclusive: Jaime King Puts a Fresh Spin on Maternity Dressing
It was Mrs. George in Mean Girls—the hilarious Amy Poehler—who said, “I’m not like a regular mom. I’m a cool mom.” Jaime King is too, a cool mom. If not for her ability to stylishly navigate a growing baby bump, then for her refreshingly modern approach to parenting. We spent the day on set with King, now pregnant with her second child, to talk about her maternity trips and tricks, designing baby clothes, and more. Keep reading for our exclusive interview.
Who What Wear: First things first, you looked amazing at the Met Ball!
Jaime King: Thank you so much, I appreciate it! It was very modern, very elegant, and very simple, which was really nice. I think it’s so easy to go crazy with the Met Ball theme that it gets a little interesting. I really loved Jason Wu’s vision of just keeping everything very clean and clear and having Nicola [Peltz] in white, myself in red, and Edie [Campbell] in black. It had a nod and a wink to it without being overboard.
WWW: We want to know: What’s your secret for dressing around a growing baby bump?
JK: You know, for me, getting pregnant is such a celebration of femininity and a celebration of your growing body. In a way, it’s the only time you don’t have to suck in and the only time that it doesn’t matter really how big you are or what your body looks like. You can wear formfitting clothes, and you can wear things that show off how your body has changed. Your breasts and everything get bigger, and I think that’s a beautiful sign of fertility and something that should be, again, accentuated and celebrated. What I decided when I got pregnant is that if anything, I’m going to have more fun with my fashion, because I love dressing, I love taking risks, and why not show the world that it’s okay, you can really go there? Just because you are a mom doesn’t mean you can’t be cool and fashionable. It doesn’t mean you can’t have your own sense of individuality and creativity. You can still have all that and more, because it’s the ultimate creativity, having a baby.
On Jaime: Joe’s Denim Shirt ($168); Stella McCartney Tessa Skirt With Clouds Applique Embroidery ($2420, 212.255.1556); Auden AXL Ear Cuff Earrings ($168) Made with Swarovski Crystal Elements, Gold Plated with Brass Finish; Jennifer Meyer Cross Bar Bracelet ($475) in 18k Yellow Gold and Circle-by-the-Inch Bracelet ($625) in 18k Yellow Gold.
WWW: What’s your advice for staying comfortable yet still stylish while pregnant?
JK: You shouldn’t have to sacrifice your style for comfort. My look today is a really great pair of maternity jeans I got from A Pea in the Pod—they are ASOS. And then I’m wearing Barbara Bui loafers and a sweater and a white hat and a red Tory Burch clutch, and I feel like for me that is a way to be comfortable. You can wear a really fun sweater that makes you feel chic and beautiful and that’s cozy with jeans that are comfortable yet stylish. A Pea in the Pod does the best collaborations with people, and I find that Hatch is a really great line. It’s definitely a bit more pricey, but if you’re pregnant, I think it’s important to splurge on a few staple pieces. Get a great pair of jeans that you love and a great dress. You can go onto ASOS and buy a couple of really beautiful dresses that are great to transition from day to night, so you can buy a dress that looks great with sandals or flats for a hot summer or day, or you can use that same dress and put it with a great pair of high boots that are flat with no heel.
WWW: Is there anything you steer clear of?
JK: I’m not into wearing high heels when pregnant. I think it’s dangerous and avoid it as much as possible. I think I’ve worn high heels two or three times since I’ve been pregnant. As much as they make us feel more sexy, the one thing to understand is that the way that your hormones and the chemicals in your body change when you are pregnant really affect your balance. Your body produces something called relaxin, and this starts to open your muscles, hips, and body in preparing for birth, and what that does is cause instability in your body and causes you to get off-balance more easily. And so when I see someone like Kim Kardashian, who looks amazing and wears high heels pregnant, because I care about her, I want to take off her heels and give her a foot rub. I’m like, “I just want to see you in a chic pair of Lanvin flats, because I don’t want to see you get hurt; I don’t want you to suffer for fashion.” But I know she loves heels and that’s what makes her feel beautiful, so everybody has the choice, but that is one thing I won’t do. So find a really great pair of flats, whether it be a pair of loafers or some really great sneakers, that you love and can wear through your entire pregnancy.
WWW: What’s your go-to styling trick?
JK: The key is finding out where to put a belt, because belts are going to be your best friend in pregnancy. There is nothing chicer than getting a great scarf and a great belt and putting it over that flowy maxi dress. Literally just wrap a scarf like a big U around your neck, and then tie a belt around the highest part of your belly over the scarf essentially where your waist is, and then you have a beautiful layered look. [Example here.] It’s so much more refined and beautiful. And not only with a maxi dress. This is my tip for any maternity dressing whatsoever. I’ve always been obsessed with scarves and tying them and belting them. You can do the same thing with a button-down shirt and maternity jeans.
On Jaime: GIAMBA Knit Top ($975); Hatch The Sash Pants ($188) in Navy; Auden AXL Ear Cuff Earrings ($168) Made with Swarovski Crystal Elements, Gold Plated with Brass Finish; Jessica Biales Buckle Cuff Bracelet ($2400) in 18k Gold; Tory Burch Bi-Color Woven Flats ($295) in Black-Ivory/Black.
WWW: What’s your best tip for new moms?
JK: Even when you are exhausted and you’re working and you’re going on three hours of sleep and feel like a zombie, part of alleviating that feeling is doing something that makes you feel beautiful. If you are exhausted, give yourself a manicure or go get your hair colored. If you have 10-15 minutes to yourself, that makes all the difference. Whether you are a stay-at-home mom or a working mom, you have to find a way to keep remembering who you are and that you are still sensual and sexy and beautiful and strong—you’ve just done one of the strongest things you could possibly do, which is to create life. After I’ve been filming or working for six hours and I have to pick up groceries or baby food or diapers, I will literally go to the grocery store and grab a coffee or tea and pull over on the side of the road and get out of my car and walk for 10 minutes. And that 10 minutes is my time. I leave the phone in the car and nobody knows. It’s time to reflect and take care of myself and just to have a moment for me.
WWW: What’s the best advice you learned from your mom?
JK: Honestly, the best advice I learned from my mom was really just taking care of your skin and your body. Drinking a lot of water, staying out of the sun, only getting a little bit of sun. She was so conscious of that during a time when people were not. And I feel that was one thing that really contributed to my style in a way, was the idea of respecting yourself and making sure that you aren’t doing things that are going to be hurting your body in the future. She was a seamstress, too, so she really inspired me in regards to everything with fashion. We didn’t grow up with a lot of money, so when we liked something, she would find or make the pattern, and we would make the piece. That was really influential to me, because I learned everything about the construction of clothing from my mom. If you don’t come from a lot, you can still make something beautiful. It just takes creativity and a sewing machine. And the cool thing now is there are so many YouTube videos and great how-tos that we never had growing up.
On James Knight: Jaime King for Sapling Galaxy Bear Yellow Long Sleeve Bodysuit (available August)
WWW: What has been the most rewarding part of being a mother?
JK: The most rewarding part is the depths of love. And seeing this tiny human being that was in your belly grow and what they gravitate towards and giving them the freedom to express and be who they are. My son is obsessed with makeup, so I got him a makeup kit. Every time a makeup artist comes over, they donate a brush or something to his kit. Yet at the same time, he’s playing soccer and really loves to swim. To me, it’s about nurturing every aspect of your child’s personality. When you really allow someone that kind of freedom creatively, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally yet keep the structure of discipline in regards to sleeping, eating, and taking care of them, those are the key components of a really great parent, and those are the best moments of it.
WWW: You designed a collection of baby clothes for Sapling, which is coming out in August. How did that collaboration come about?
JK: I met the co-founder Peta [Stinson] online on Twitter and Instagram, and I loved what she was doing and the idea of a nontoxic, sustainable line that I could really be hands-on with. I spent so much time, my whole heart dedicated to designing this collection. There are so many people now who do a “collection,” but it’s not really theirs; they are not actually doing it. And every single sketch, every single color palette, every single thing that you see came from me and my heart, and so that’s something that was really important. I wasn’t willing to collaborate with anybody that wasn’t going to allow me to really express something that was authentic to me.
WWW: The prints are adorable! Where did the inspiration come from?
JK: The prints are a mix of me being inspired from Nebraska, the big open skies and the constellations and what caused me to dream and imagine and really push my creativity, so that’s where the galaxy prints came from. And there was a lot of Japanese inspiration, because I noticed my friend was gravitating to anything that was Japanese, so for me I wanted to create something for him. And that’s where all of the peonies and the lotus came in. In regards to the T-shirts, I really wanted to create affirmation prints because I felt like it was important that the message a child wears is also for the parents. Every time a parent looks at the T-shirt, they will be reminded of the same sentiment as the child, and that’s something I thought was really cool.
On Jaime: Cotton Citizen Marbella Crew Tee ($80) in Bone; Burberry Prorsum Tier Printed Silk Skirt ($2095); Auden AXL Ear Cuff Earrings ($168) Made with Swarovski Crystal Elements, Gold Plated with Brass Finish; Azlee Triple Burst Ring + Diamonds ($1375) and Lone Burst Open Ring 18K Yellow Gold + Diamonds ($595). On James Knight: Jaime King for Sapling Galaxy Bear Blue Long Sleeve Bodysuit (available August).
WWW: What do you look for when shopping for baby clothes?
JK: Something that my son [James Knight Newman] won’t grow out of in two days and anything that gives him a sense of individual style. I know now that I am making baby clothes that people still want pink for girls and blue for boys, but for me, I just like him to be a individual. He loves picking out his own clothes.
WWW: How are you planning on spending Mother’s Day this year?
JK: I have no plans. I could literally just be watching Frozen for the five-billionth time, and it would be the perfect day.
Photographer: Kat Borchart
Hair: Sascha Breuer
Makeup: Kara Bua
Market Editor: Nicole Akhtarzad
Share your favorite maternity style tips below!