Any woman who has had the great joy - yet huge sartorial challenge - of being pregnant will understand the frustration that can come from dressing a changing body ...
It was this same frustration that led Annie Legoe on a hunt to find fashion-forward – yet comfortable and wearable – outfits to wear during pregnancy. Completely underwhelmed by what she found, she set about creating LEGOE., which has gone on to become one of the world’s leading maternity brands.
With classic pieces that provide comfort and style for a growing body, LEGOE. features a range of pieces that will carry pregnant mothers through their trimesters and into the postpartum period.
We caught up with Annie to find out about the challenges of dressing while pregnant, and grilled her for all her tips on how to make this period one of fashion delight rather than drama.
Tell us a bit about the inception of LEGOE - what inspired you to start the brand?
I started LEGOE. (which is my maiden name) back when I was pregnant with my first (Hugo). I HATED getting dressed and I couldn’t believe the lack of ‘cool’ maternity wear out there. The industry was so dinosaur-like with how it approached everything – from the style to the way it was presented. I couldn’t believe there wasn’t a contemporary label out there that you honestly could wear and love for your entire motherhood journey, and not just the six months when you really need maternity clothes.
So I did it for my fellow mamas so they didn’t have to feel like I did when I got dressed in my first pregnancy. I’m so glad people fell in love with my style and vision, I am honestly so lucky to have such amazing customers.
So many women struggle with dressing during pregnancy. Why do you think this is?
I think because (especially first time around) everything is so foreign … From the way your body is changing, to the way you feel (tired!). And when you realise you can’t wear your usual jeans, most women think they have to completely reinvent their style, but the truth is that they don’t need to!
We have always had a focused vision on keeping this sense of style and identity for our mamas and I think that’s why the label has done so well. Our mamas don’t feel the need to lose that style and can just carry on focusing on the important job of growing their beautiful baby (or babies!).
Maternity wear doesn’t conjure up particularly stylish visions. What has been your design process to create such style-focused, yet completely wearable collections?
Haha! Yep, and that is exactly why I wanted to totally change the industry and create this fresh approach that is fashion forward and actually celebrates dressing the bump. It’s our greatest accessory and I’m so proud to have started the movement in Australia with this fresh approach.
What do you think the trick is for dressing during the trimesters?
I don’t really think there is any trick (well with our pieces anyway), as our pieces are designed to flatter and grow with you as you grow, and are still super flattering post-pregnancy (nearly all our pieces are also feeding friendly) which is super important. We didn’t want to create a brand that you only wore for nine months.
As parents to be there are so many costs involved in having a baby, so we have created the ultimate ‘mum life’ wardrobe so you can wear and love your LEGOE. threads for years to come. We get mums saying all the time, “I bought your harems two years ago when I was pregnant and have continued to live in them long post babe as they are so comfy!”
So it’s awesome that our customers understand our vision and versatility of our ranges.
What are your top pieces for the first, second and their trimester?
I would go for something loose for your first trimester when you’re trying to hide the fact you are pregnant, like our Indie Silk Dress.
For the second trimester it’s all about showing that bump off, so I’d go for one of our Portugal dresses as they are majorly comfy and trans-seasonal.
Then for the last trimester, it really depends on your vibe as some don’t like tight fitting clothing in that last trimester and some do. Either way, go with something that is also feeding friendly as you will be wanting something that will last you longer than just the last trimester.
Many of us wait until it’s physically impossible to wear our normal clothes before buying any maternity pieces. When is a good time to invest in a pregnancy wardrobe?
I think that comes from the old stigma about “maternity wear” and it not being fashionable, but we’ve seen a HUGE change in this, especially from all the influencers out there. They are all so excited to wear brands like us as we’re not the typical maternity-wear label, so we are finding people are buying up even before they’ve announced they are pregnant.
I would personally start looking when you’re about 12 weeks and look for pieces that would be suitable for in 1-3 months time, for when you really really need to be wearing pieces that fit your bump and your changing body.
Do you have any tricks for dressing for work when pregnant? What about for special events?
I love not showing too much skin. So if you’re wearing a short skirt, pair it with a long-sleeved tee to balance it out and keep it cool but classy.
My personal favourite work outfit (that is still totally awesome for weekend wear) is the Story Shirt (white) paired with our Zephyr Mini Skirt (Dusty Rose) and worn with a Camilla & Marc Blazer and some mules. It’s classic, understated, so comfortable (always important!) and you’ll feel 10/10.
In early pregnancy, it’s often a really tough time for dressing (when we look a little more like we’ve hit the buffet than creating a baby). Particularly if we’re trying to keep our pregnancies a secret - what tips do you have for dressing at this tricky time?
Oh it’s so hard! Definitely stick to loose pieces in this first trimester as it will stop you feeling self-conscious and stop people staring with that, “Has she eaten too much, or is she pregnant?” look!
If you had to suggest a pregnant woman invested in one key piece for their pregnancy - what would it be?
Our Portugal dress. It’s trans-seasonal, timeless, so comfortable, versatile with how you can wear it, and is also feeding friendly. It’s one of my favourites.
What’s next for LEGOE.?
So many exciting things, but I have to keep tight-lipped! Watch this space – we think it’s pretty exciting what’s ahead.