"Just because you're pregnant, you don't have to limit your look," she says. "There really isn't a maternity look—I think you can wear anything you're in the mood for."
And with less than two weeks until her due date, Dao—exceptionally pregnant—is still chic. She's used her changing body (decidedly different from her first pregnancy eight years ago) as an excuse to experiment with looks outside her non-maternity repertoire and has thoroughly enjoyed styling the growing belly that's now less of a bump and more of a basketball.
Here, four of Dao's favorite pregnancy looks.
Dao paired this fitted black dress—a closet staple she'll wear up to twice a week, albeit styled differently—with heels, Kari Breitigam earrings (available at LAUNCH), and a leather jacket that represents her sense of self.
"I'm more of an edgy girl ... a lot of moms feel like they can't be edgy during pregnancy," Dao says. "[This look] really made me feel more like myself. You don't have to look like a goddess; you don't have to lose your edge just because you're pregnant."
Dao kept the heels and earrings but switched out her all-black ensemble for a decidedly sunnier, more daytime look with a floral and vertical striped dress that's belted at the natural waist.
"Cinching below the bust really helps make you feel a little smaller and slimmer," she says.
"Pregnant women can wear prints," Dao proclaims. Here, the printed piece is actually a pre-pregnancy dress Dao transitioned to accommodate her growing belly by unbuttoning to wear as a vest. Below that, a stretchy knit burgundy dress works through each stage of pregnancy.
Dao's nod to the rodeo, this outfit is the closest she'll get to western wear. Before, the denim jacket served to mostly gather dust, unworn in her closet since she bought it from Target the summer before she became pregnant. The proportions never looked right, she said. Enter: the baby bump.
"I've had this forever and I've been trying to wear it and it just didn't work," Dao says. "It feels comfortable and balanced now that I'm pregnant."
Here, Dao paired double denim with more Kari Breitigam jewelry and a State of Houston T-shirt that reads, in Spanish, "Made in Houston"—just like her baby, she says.