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Q & A with Celebrity Stylist Nicole Chavez

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Named one of the "Top 10 Superstar Stylists" by Forbes, Nicole Chavez, mother to Zev and expecting her second, is a fashion force in the industry.  Her work has graced the covers and editorial fashion pages of top tier publications such as Harper's Bazaar, W Magazine, and In Style to name a few.  And while we love flipping through a fashion mag to find her inspired looks as much as the next gal, what really excites us is her client roster of fashionable celebrity mamas.  She has mastered "styling the bump" and camouflaged "postpartum bump" on many a red carpet for lovely ladies including - Kristen Bell, Rachel Bilson, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jessica Simpson and Scarlett Johansson. 

So excited to share her #momstyle tips with you!

Shop her curated Tastemaker Sale HERE

BR: What do you love most about being a mom?

NC: It really forces me to be present in every moment with my son. Because kids constantly want your attention - I can’t be on the phone or in my head about work. I’m need to just be there – with him.  There’s not a lot of time in this modern world that we live in. There are always so many things that you could be doing. It’s so rare to stop and truly be in the moment. I think having a child forces you to be in that state.

BR: What is the number one way in which motherhood has changed you?

NC: My priorities have changed. My family comes first. Before, work was my life, even in my early marriage - my work was my life. I lived and breathed for it.  I still LOVE my work, but now it’s more about my family. My sons and my husband come first, before anything else.

BR: Did you breastfeed?  If so, how did it affect your wardrobe choices?

NC: Yes, I did breastfeed and I was really lucky with a very good experience. My mom had me in 1976, so I had a really hippie mom which in turn made me a hippie mom. I have a hippie way when it comes to babies. I knew everything was going to be fine. I really didn’t over think or worry too much about anything. I just thought, I’ll breastfeed and it’ll be easy.  I think this helped make the experience more enjoyable. I feel so blessed to have had a great experience, because I know of a lot of people who struggle with it.

I also took advantage of all the help around me. My doula and lactation consultant were amazing, and they really helped me feel comfortable with the process. Any time I saw myself getting frustrated I would seek help and that’s the number one thing I want to share with new moms.  Don’t feel like you have to do it all alone or that you can’t ask for help. I think there are women who are embarrassed or feel like they’re not doing a good job or not being a good mom if they have to ask for help.

As far as nursing clothing goes, I invested in really good maternity bras. In my first pregnancy I didn’t really wear a lot of maternity clothes I just wore a lot of oversized shirts and blouses, and that was easy for me. I would always take a swaddle with me if I needed to breastfeed in public.

Shop All Nursing Bras

BR: During this pregnancy, what is your day-to-day style? Are you wearing any true maternity clothes or did you make do with versatile RTW?

NC: Dresses are my go-to-style. They always have been.  I’ve never been a jeans or pants girl. My first round I didn’t really know much about maternity, and I didn’t have to wear much of it, but this time – my bump got bigger a lot faster so I’ve worn more true maternity.  I like to mix it in with my regular clothes though to keep my personal style. I’ve always had hips and a butt, so A-line silhouettes are my go to anyway which is great for a bump too! I really love ponchos or swing dresses, and I live in black tights.

Bump and Nursing friendly dress options: 

By Malene Birger Nilda Tunic Dress

By Malene Birger Tytti Dress

Rachel Comey Villa Dress

BR: What are you mama must-haves from BURU and why do they work for your #momstyle?

BURU Hello Baby Bag

Mara Hoffman Strappy Side One Piece Jaguar Print

The Odells Faux Mongolian Lamb Bolero Jacket

Rebecca Minkoff Dev Dress

By Malene Birger Catelyn Duster Cardigan Coat

Tracy Reese Cheetah Print Gaucho Pants

Sachin + Babi Meadow Skirt - Midi

Corey Baby Jumpsuit in Blue Print

LemLem Saali Gauze Scarf

Yosi Samra Leather Perforated Slip Ons

LoLo Mini Zip Vinyl Pouch

BR: As a working, on-the-go stylist, designer, and mother, what is the most challenging aspect of motherhood for you?

NC: I would have to say the work-life balance. With my job everything should have happened yesterday and people are moving SO fast. Everything is so chaotic and intense - the pace is really crazy.  Being with Zev is the complete opposite, and everything moves at a slower pace. There was a time when we were in-between finding a nanny and for a month I was working and taking care of him full time.  It was as if I was using two different brains. I needed to be able to pick a lane.  It’s so hard for me to jump from one to the other in an instant. I think that the hardest thing is just finding balance between my two worlds and being able to be present when I’m with him building the lego thing or playing with cars versus running around thinking about work and that whole other crazy side of my life.

BR: We love that you bring Zev with you to NYFW. It is so empowering for all of us working moms. Any challenges having a little one front row?

NC: It’s so fun to be able to take him to work. Zev doesn’t really care that it’s a fashion show, as long as he gets to come with mommy to work he’s happy!

I really just work everything around Zev and his schedule. I go to the shows that accommodate his naps! I wanted to support my friends and everyone wanted to meet Zev, and it was SO much fun! He had a great time seeing mommy’s world.

BR: Between the busy schedules of you and your husband, how do the two of you make time for each other? Any special date night rituals?

NC: Both of our jobs are really demanding.  He is a talent agent. We both understand that we are in the service business and that we work for other people - so there has to be flexibility on both ends. We just do what we can and block off the weekends for family time.  Our priority is for us to all to be together whenever we can. If we can sneak in a dinner during the week we do  - but it’s hard for us to plan. We’ve tried to do the date night thing but our schedules change so much that it is difficult to pick a night and stick to it. Sometimes I don’t want to put makeup on my face because it feels like work. For our anniversary all I wanted to do was see a double feature movie so we saw Interstellar and something else…  We only had a 15-minute break between movies, so we just grabbed a hotdog. We just try to find time to do the simple things together like we used to do. We spend so much time doing the fancy stuff, like going to dinners and events that now we really seek pleasure in being in our pajamas and not having to go out.

BR: What are you most nervous about becoming a mother of two?

NC: I’m not really nervous for two. I just want Zev to be happy and not feel threatened with the baby around.  That will be something I focus on - making sure we have alone time together. It will definitely be a change for him, but a good one. I just want to make it an easy transition for him.

BR: What is Zev’s favorite bedtime story?

NC: Now that he is in his big boy room I bought him a record player so we listen to Disney stories on vinyl. He loves Peter Pan and is really into Captain Hook and pirates right now. We read books of course, but listening to records is our thing right now.

BR: What is Zev’s favorite lullaby?

NC: The first nanny Zev had was super into Iron Maiden. They would listen to it in the car, and now he knows so much about the band that he talks about specific band members to my husband and me! He loves heavy metal. It’s hysterical!  On the opposite spectrum, my go-to lullaby was always, “My Little Sunshine”.

BR: What is your favorite vacation spot to take Zev?

NC: Recently my husband and I went to the Parker in Palm Springs for a quick weekend trip.  It’s only an hour and half from L.A and such a great getaway. It’s so much fun and we have such a good time. The grounds are all one level and they have a beautiful garden and all these maze-like ways to get around the property, which is fun for kids. They also have an adult pool and another pool for families.  We met other people with kids his age that he played with.  It was great.

BR: Do you have a favorite kid-friendly restaurant?

NC: We walk to a restaurant down the street called the Mess Hall. It’s super kid friendly and they have a patio, which is perfect.

BR: How do you dress Zev? What’s his baby style?

NC: I don’t want to restrict him. I don’t dress him a lot of adult style button-up shirts. I feel like they can’t move in that stuff. He wears a lot of Zara.  That’s one of my favorites.  I feel like it’s really cute and still European. I love the site they have these great harem pants and I have a pair in my size. He wears a lot of stripe shirts with a color block pants. I love boots on a little one, so he’s into a desert bootie.  I let him pick out a pair of Nikes online that he is obsessed with! They are like these flaming, loud colored shoes that you can see from a mile away. Just like me…he wants to make a statement.

BR: What are the top three things you can do to help a mom keep her style after the little one arrives?

Staying true to who you are and your own fashion sense is key. I think if you start to disconnect from yourself in that way, it becomes a downward spiral. If you love leather pants, then find a cool pair of maternity leather pants or find a belly belt to make it work. Just stay true to you.  When you are in flex, size wise, it’s always good to play-up accessories. I’m big into wearing hats, turbans or statement necklaces, shoes, or bags. Let that be the fashion statement of your outfit. Then, whatever you’re wearing can be simple - like maternity jeans and a black sweater.  Your flare is in your bag or your hat, something else that does not have to do with your size necessarily.

Leather pant alternatives:

Goldsign Waxed Denim Leggings

David Lerner Vegan Leather Leggings

BR: Do you have any tips when dressing for a petite, average or plus size?

NC: If you are a plus size, then you’ll want to get materials that are stretchy and more fitted to accentuate your curves.

Rachel Pally caftans/ maxi wrap dress

Full Length Sleeve Mini Caftan in Crimson 

Long Sleeveless Black Caftan

Full Length Sleeve Black Caftan

Mini Caftan Dress in Red

Night Python Harlow Wrap Dress

NC: For petites, I always make sure you can see a little bit of your arm or your wrist - something so that you’re not completely covered.  Making sure the fit is right is super important for petites. I think going more monochromatic is better, as huge prints can be really intense on a small body, especially when you’re pregnant.

NC: If your body size is in the middle, then I feel like you have more flexibility to wear what you want. I think belting a look is a great way to add more shape to flowy styles. Make sure around your bust area is fitted and maybe try to keep it monochromatic with blacks and deeper colors, especially with the stretchy fabrics.

Shop Belts

My last tip is a BIG one! I’m obsessed with slips. Wearing slips under things will keep everything smooth underneath your clothes.

Shop Black Mini Tank Slip

Shop Nude Mini Tank Slip

Shop Nude Mini Half Skirt Slip

A huge thank you to Nicole for her candid interview with amazing #momstyle tips!  Don't forget to shop her BURU favorites ON SALE for a limited time HERE

Follow Nicole's super chic instagram @nicolechavezstyle

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