Style Profile: Sarah Brook

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I met Sarah while interning for Visual Therapy, a boutique creative agency. She spent most of her time styling real women and helping them build their wardrobes. On the surface it sounds like a fun task, and I’m sure it is, but there’s something really daunting about being semi-responsible for what a woman puts on her body. I can’t help but want to high five people like Sarah who devote their time to making sure that other women look great while still looking really great themselves.

That’s why I emailed Sarah to profile her for the site. I always remembered her style sitting perfectly between aspirational and approachable. It was practical but nowhere near boring. It makes complete sense that now she works for The Line, that smart e-commerce concept that’s stocked with pared down essentials. Sarah is the director of experience for The Apartment, The Line’s aptly named retail space/showroom. She’s still helping women navigate clothes and still looking great while doing it, but there is one slight change. She’s pregnant! And she’s teeming with advice and insight on getting dressed while expecting. Read on to see her maternity brand of choice (you might be surprised) and how she adjusted to her new shape.

 

Sarah

Sarah Brook's apartment

Acne washed denim jacket, Zara floral empire-waist dress
How far along are you?

31 weeks.

Was it hard for you to come to terms with dressing a new body?

It’s not hard, but it is an adjustment. I am curvy with a smaller waist line, so growing a belly required a little camouflaging. But you come to terms with all of these things. You can’t really lose weight once you find out you are pregnant, just maintain and take care of your body. Also, it’s nine months of your life – not the end of the world. Dark bases have come in handy (black silk tops with dark jeans), and pointy heels to keep things feminine.

How do you approach shopping and getting dressed now?

I recommend only buying a few things and re-wearing them. I looked for things that I would continue wearing post-pregnancy. It’s about having a very easy formula and finding the right silhouette. Boxy and long works for me.

How would you describe your maternity formula for work and on weekends?

It’s simple. The same accessories with track pants or skinny jeans with a heel and cami or long blouse. I usually wear this with a jacket or a trench. Weekend dressing almost always involves Birkenstocks. For the warmer weather, it’s tent dresses and flat sandals (aka survival mode).

Acne washed denim Jacket, Zara floral empire-waist dress

Sarah Brook's apartment

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Are there any good maternity brands?

J. Crew maternity jeans are awesome. Instead of buying a ‘maternity wardrobe,’ I opted for a few key pieces in the right silhouette. Longer silk camisoles from Zara saved the day during the transitional months when I was just starting to show.

What did you buy?

I always wore high waisted jeans because I had a smaller waist and bigger thighs. But then I got to this point where I was busting out of my jeans. J. Crew has the best maternity jeans. It’s the only maternity item I purchased. I also bought a Phillip Lim overlapped side top, Alex Wang track pants, a Balenciaga black trapeze dress from a vintage store, a Vince aubergine long silk blouse,  and an Acne handkerchief white cotton poplin shirt, and an oversized white shirt from Zara.

Have you dressed pregnant women before?

I have. It really varies based on the person’s body type. It was usually Rick Owens or Acne-inspired. It was long, dark, and neutral column bases (fitted dresses or a modern top/bottom with jackets).

Rolex watch, yellow gold/dia wedding band, Claire Kinder rose gold bateau ring, Loren Stewart silver hook ring, Catbird "E" ring

Sarah Brook's apartment

Celine brass screw bracelet, Margiela ring

What brands have you worn most during your pregnancy?

Acne. The exaggerated silhouettes are great for pregnancy.

What mistakes have you seen pregnant women make?

Well, I hate to criticize women as they go through enough during pregnancy with raging hormones and appetites, but honestly, unless you’re a size 4, skip the prints and instead opt for chic neutral baselines. Play it safe. And once you’ve entered the final weeks, especially if it’s summer, take a pass on the ankle straps or any sandals that might accentuate swollen ankles.

Sarah Brook's apartment

Bike

Dresser and living room couch

Do you shop a lot?

No. Shopping is on hold until I give birth! I burned out on “trends for trends’ sake.” That’s why I love The Line. They offer an edited and versatile mix of fashion. One of our exclusive lines is Protagonist, and, as soon as this baby pops out I’ll be wearing that all day long. My future formula will be  Protagonist tops with vintage jeans. I’m less adventurous with my style now but feel that’s a result of knowing what brands fit me well. I still love Zara every now and again as well.

Some people are overwhelmed by Zara. What are your tips for shopping the store?

Zara is easier to navigate if you know the designer inspirations. I tend to stick to the woman collection and prefer the modernist pieces. Trust your instinct and don’t overdo it. But it’s easier said than done.

What’s a luxury brand you buy most often?

It’s soon to be Protagonist. Kate Wendelborn is a genius. It’s the brand I am most looking forward to wearing.

What do you miss the most about getting dressed when you weren’t pregnant?

Without a doubt, my waistline. I miss being able to tuck things in and delineate the waist.

Photos by Sam Aldenton.

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