With two children and a third on the way, actor Hilary Duff knows all about juggling motherhood with a busy work schedule. For the past five months or so, Duff has been in New York City shooting the seventh season of her TV Land series, Younger. But with her due date approaching sometime soon, Duff is now back on mom duty at home in California. “I’m so happy to be back in my backyard in the sun right now, with my dogs,” Duff says over the phone last week. “My hurricane of a daughter is taking a nap and it feels so nice.”
In addition to Younger, Duff is also keeping busy with her new collaboration with Smash + Tess, a Canadian loungewear and rompers brand. “I’ve been wearing their rompers for a couple of years now,” says Duff. “When [founder Ashley Freeborn] reached out, it was probably two months into the quarantine in Los Angeles, and I had been a second grade teacher to my son for like 11 weeks—so I was like, hell yeah, I’m down to do something creative.” Duff designed a collection inspired by her own wardrobe as a working mom, where she is constantly looking for pieces that merge comfort with style; it includes items such as rompers and even romperalls (romper overalls), in sizes from XXS to XXXL.
Duff says the line, which launches tomorrow, offers moms (and non-moms!) options that are both comfortable but put-together. Being pregnant with her third child certainly shaped how Duff approached the designs. “I was newly pregnant, so it was fun to create a collection of clothes that I knew would look cute on me in the moment, and then grow with me throughout the pregnancy,” she says. “It’s not maternity, but it’s size-inclusive, and looks good on everyone’s bodies.” Duff says rompers have been her hero piece throughout her pregnancy, and in the line, there’s a variety of styles to suit different aesthetics. There’s a black romper with shoulder pads that’s perfect for waist-up dressing. “Everyone’s sitting on Zoom meetings at home, so I feel like it’s comfy, but a little more chic,” says Duff. There’s also a floral print romper, because, “I’m obsessed with anything ’70s,” says Duff. She even did mini rompers for kids.
As a mom-on-the-go, the actor says her approach to fashion has changed overall. “I tend to dress a lot more fluffy,” says Duff. “I don’t have a lot of time to spend putting a detailed outfit together. I want to be comfortable and to be able to move throughout my day, but still be on-trend. And that’s not always accomplished! But I like basic colors and accessorizing with a fun bag and shoes. I love a big earring.” She’s also enjoyed finding different hacks to dress up the neutral rompers from her new line. “I just bought this really cute Isabel Marant men’s blazer coat, it’s almost to the knee and it’s tweed,” says Duff. “I roll up the sleeves and put it on top. And I have these square-toed boots—that’s how I wore one the other day.”
Even though she clearly has a penchant for dressing up, even if to just stay home, Duff says she’s struggled with maternity style just like any other mother does. She understands the need for simple pieces that you can throw on without much thought, something that’s at the heart of her Smash + Tess line. “Maternity clothes are so hard,” Duff says. “Towards the end [of pregnancy], you’re, like, funny big. You tend to dress in oversized things that make you look bigger than you are. I just came off shooting [Younger], though, and I got to wear these amazing clothes. I was like, I look great in this—but we had a seamstress on set and someone styling me. I could never accomplish that in my real, everyday life!”