4th-trimester Fashion

updated 07/12/2006 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/12/2006 AT 01:00 AM EDT


"You spend nine months gaining weight and then you have your baby," says maternity-wear designer Liz Lange, whose celeb clients this year included Brooke Shields, Katie Holmes and Jennifer Garner. "That doesn't mean that the second it pops out you're back to your regular body." Lange's latest clothing line addresses that temporary post-baby bulge that she calls the "fourth trimester." The pieces are fitted on the bottom to show off the legs and loose on top to hide the middle. "After an incredibly joyful time, women shouldn't feel bad about themselves," says Lange. Here, she offers these strategies to look great while getting back in shape:

• Empire waists and baby-doll dresses camouflage problem areas.

• A shirtdress can be belted loose at the hips or cinched at the waist.

• Long, stretchy knit tops and generous cardigans will look good now and after you've reached your goal.

wrap dress
Brooke Shields's Diane von Furstenberg can shrink as she does.

swing coat
Gwyneth Paltrow plays with proportions.

empire waist
Heidi Klum likes her evening wear long and loose.

liz lange's postpartum pieces

Bermuda shorts, $120; Floral shirtdress, $225; Cotton tie-back top, $110. lizlange.com; 888-616-5777

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