We Have Come A Long Way From 1920s Maternity Fashion


1920s Maternity Fashion

We Have Come A Long Way From 1920s Maternity Fashion

A person standing in front of a building

There’s no question that starting a family is a joyful time, and moms-to-be want their appearance to reflect their excitement. Unfortunately, throughout most of history, maternity clothes were not designed to flatter anyone. Even style icons like Princess Diana were victims of the maternity fashion available at the time. Fortunately, designers eventually figured out that pregnant women only wore blouses shaped like tents because there was nothing else available. These days, maternity clothes are every bit as stylish as pre-pregnancy apparel, and there is an abundance of advice from stylists on how to flatter your changing figure.

A Look Back At 1920s Maternity Fashion And Forward

Bea Benaderet et al. smiling for the camera

To truly appreciate how far maternity clothes have come, take a look back at pregnancy fashions from the early 20th century. Pregnancy was closely associated with female sexuality until the 1920s. Therefore, society expected even married ladies to hide their growing bumps as long as possible. Whalebone corsets were used to confine the waist and hips. In the 1920s, pregnancy was still taboo, so ladies wore loose blouses. Fashion didn’t necessarily change as women entered the workforce during World War II, and many women had to make their own clothes. Patterns from the time emphasized the garment’s ability to camouflage women’s growing bump. During the 1950s and 60s, shift dresses, straight-waistline tops, and boxy jackets were fashionable. All of these helped to conceal an expecting mother’s baby bump. Stretchy polyester separates, baby doll blouses, and empire waist dresses were stylish during the 1970s, but failed to flatter anyone. High waist jeans and jumpers were popular options for moms during the 1980s, but these items did not do any favors either.

Advent Of Modern Maternity Fashion

Finally, during the late 1990s and early 2000s, high-end designers finally started creating maternity clothes that could be considered stylish. Many credit the media’s fascination with expectant celebrities like Katie Holmes and Angelina Jolie for this shift. The idea caught on with more affordable designers, and finally trickled down to national retailers. Fashionable apparel is now available to the masses.

Because pregnancy is a time in which a woman’s body changes quickly, it is normal for women to feel that all of a sudden, they do not know what clothes flatter their shape. Fortunately, thanks to our obsession with celebrities who are with child, top stylists have lots of fashion advice for moms-to-be.

Many pregnant women believe that black and other dark, solid colors are their only options during their third trimester. However, stylists encourage women to embrace bold colors and even patterns to show off their shape. Graphic prints flatter when the pattern has straight lines that contour the body. Horizontal stripes in neutral colors are another option for highlighting your figure. Bold, solid colors in forgiving materials like lycra are also a stylist favorite. Wrap dresses are both comfortable and flattering during any stage of your pregnancy, and the right accessories can make them appropriate for any occasion. Finally, stylists suggest that you will be most comfortable in maternity clothes that are true to your style before you were expecting.

While most women look forward to starting a family, they may dread wearing maternity clothes. Fortunately, it is safe to say that muumuus and tent blouses are a thing of the past.

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