The Latest Couture In The Maternity Ward

   By drodriguez  Apr 30, 2009

It wasn’t long ago when becoming pregnant also meant losing all the style your wardrobe once had.  Maternity fashion, if you could call it that, was often times the section of the store you would find in the way back that featured mannequins wearing the equivalent of grocery sacks and elastic wasted pants in pastel shades that should only be allowed on Easter eggs.

Thankfully, today’s maternity fashion lives up to the description.  Fashionable items are much easier to find and you don’t have to spend a fortune.  A recent article from the Associated Press, “Hot Mama! Pregnant Women Can Still Have Style” discusses the maternity fashion revolution that has taken place over the last couple of decades.

Rebecca Matthias, president of maternity wear store A Pea in the Pod, discusses how with the women’s movement we have seen more stylish clothing become available to pregnant women.  Matthias said, “It was a sociological change that led to a fashion revolution.  Women had to dress nice when they were pregnant.  They could afford to, and they were probably earning their own money.”  In today’s fashion world, a pregnant woman can find the same skinny jean or designer business suit in maternity fits as she could have when she was sans baby in belly.

With new maternity styles, trends also began to shift among pregnant women.  Celebrities began flaunting their burgeoning bellies on the red carpet rather than hiding them under a caftan.  Liz Lange, who began designing maternity wear for Target, discussed how fitted clothing is a lot more flattering.  Lange realized the fitted style as more becoming to a pregnant woman when she witnessed her pregnant friends trying to squeeze into non-maternity dresses. 

Lange felt her friends looked a lot better in the closer fitting fashions than the maternity wear that tended to hide every curve, the good ones and the bad ones.  Lange said, “It may seem like the opposite is true, but when you wear something fitted, close to the body, it is so much more flattering.  It shows you have some new curves, but also where you don’t.


What do you think of the latest maternity fashions and the way they have changed over the years?

Do you agree that the women’s movement has had an effect on maternity wear of today?

Make a Comment

bigjules911 by bigjules911 | Aberdeen, MS
Jun 17, 2009

I had a baby a few months ago and during my pregnancy I bought a few basic shirts and pants and one really nice blouse. I did spend more money on those things than I wanted to and I now they just sit in my closet. I agree with Morkoor about the way stars dress. Yes, pregnant is beautiful but wearing a belly shirt when you're 9 months along just looks trashy to me.

Morkoor by Morkoor | Mount Laurel, NJ
Jun 16, 2009

I'm sure woman in the workplace have effected the designs of maternity clothes. Pregnant women should be able to feel attractive and sexy but some of the way some of the stars dress is disgusting. I don't feel it is necessary to bare your belly. I'm 51 and have a belly of my own, I'm sure you won't appreciate me exposing. It looks no different than most pregnant womens'.

srg1214 by srg1214 | Perris, CA
Jun 15, 2009

I love maternity fashion, and I believe that women have had a major influences over the industry. I think that the styles are very attractive, and they are designed to showcase your baby bump instead of hiding it. I also love how you can find tops and dress without strings tied across your back. When I was pregnant, I always shopped clearance. I found a lot of cute tops for $10 and under at Destination Maternity, which has three stores in one. I also shopped at Target, and I am a regular ebayer. I think you can pull of maternity fashion at a reasonable price if you are a bargain shopper. The only thing I really splurged on was a new pair of jeans. I prefer an under belly style. The were pricey, but they lasted my whole pregnancy and are still in excellent condition for the next time I have a baby.

scalcagno by scalcagno | Champaign, IL
Jun 13, 2009

Though I do not have kids, I have to say, I have found myself at target spotting a cute dress or sweater from across the clothing isles only to find its in the maternity section! It's comforting to know that whenever I make the decision to have a child of my own, I will still have the opportunity to feel confident and look professional when I go out.

Jun 12, 2009

I have a 2 month old. The fashions are getting better! If you can afford the great designer styles... they are the best! I think the companies are on the right track!

lughead13 by lughead13 | SCHWENKSVILLE, PA
Jun 02, 2009

Finally, a great fashion trend towards stylish maternity clothes. Please add more clothing to the petite line...after the price of an item (usually on sale), I have to factor in the tailoring costs for being 5'1" tall.

amymarquez by amymarquez | Las Cruces, NM
May 31, 2009

Yes, I do agree that the women's movement has influenced maternity fashion today...for the better! I'm so glad that there are more options out there for a pregant women wanting to look fashionable. I had a baby about eleven months ago, and when I was pregnant, I was happy to learn that maternity clothing actually looks nice now.

rfuqaha by rfuqaha | N ROYALTON, OH
May 31, 2009

I have 2 baby s 4 and 1 but I never really bought to many maternity clothes because they were to pricey for me so I never bought any

chasity_863 by chasity_863 | Quincy, OH
May 29, 2009

I am early into my fourth pregnancy so I haven't been maternity shopping for this one yet. However, reading this article and some of the comments has got me starting to feel a little relieved! My oldest is almost 11, the middle is 9 and my youngest is 6. It wasn't until my third pregnancy that I did finally break down and buy some maternity clothes. The style and patterns and designs that were out with my first two were so horrid they made sweat-pants look appealling!! To know that they are finally realizing that pregnancy is beautiful and the clothes should show it off (in a decent way of course!) is absolutely wonderful!

bonnieb118 by bonnieb118 | Bennington, VT
May 29, 2009

Thank God for stores like this one. Whenever I get pregnant, I know I will want to dress fashionable. I just hope they're not too expensive.

RandiB by RandiB | Glendale, AZ
May 27, 2009

I remember looking at pictures of my mom, mother-in-law, & friends parents when they were pregnant with my generation almost 30 years ago & the clothes were hideous! Actually my mom made a lot of her maternity tops, tweaking the patterns a bit, so she looked pretty good. I was so greatful when I got pregnant & went maternity clothes shopping to see all the wonderfully cute clothes they now have. I bought jeans, a pair of dress pants, & a few capris as my basics. Since I bought all these clothes during my first pregancy, and I did buy a whole maternity wardrobe, I just stuck to tanks, t-shirts, blouses, sweaters, & dresses, ect that although were good looking, they were more of a "classic" style than the "in-style", so they would last through the years & a couple more pregnancies, since we plan on having 3 kids. So yes, the latest maternity fashions look great & feel comfortable, and I do believe the womens movement (including more women getting into the fashion industry) has helped.

colie2k by colie2k | Owasso, OK
May 15, 2009

I LOVE the new looks and wish they had them when I needed them!

rachel_lynne by rachel_lynne | thomasville, GA
May 15, 2009

I relate with beachbettyboop and others... maternity clothes were pricey and our limited funds went toward the baby. I certainly envied those that could afford the cute maternity clothes! There is definitely a wide selection.

stacyalana by stacyalana | Groveport, OH
May 13, 2009

I am due with my first in September. I was a bit standoffish about giving up my regular clothes, but I have been quite pleased with the variety and quality of the maturnity clothes I have purchased.

kikirose78 by kikirose78 | Magnolia, NJ
May 11, 2009

I am due next week with #3 I think they have changed sooo much since my first pregnancy 4 years ago. I also received some hand me downs with my 1st preg and the style was horrid!!! Even the few years before- Very matronly. I saw so many cute things I wanted to get this time- but financially it didn't make sense for me since this is my last preg and buying new clothes to wear for a few months wouldn't be worth it for me- BUT I would have loved to!! There are so many cute things!! The few things I did get to supplement my wardrobe I will be able to wear after preg also. I agree all the pants are still pretty bad- since I am now a SAHM I lived in Yoga pants this time around, :)