It’s quite exciting to see how maternity fashion has changed throughout the decades. Comparing the maternity clothing of today and how it was over 100 years ago, you will be amazed to know how drastic the changes have become. It has tremendously evolved from the past era and is gradually changing according to the latest trends.
Back then, expectant moms intended to conceal their baby bump with maternity corsets and billowing dresses whereas today, mommies make everybody drool with their impeccable dressing sense while embracing their precious baby bump!
Let’s go back in time and go through the history on how maternity fashion has evolved:
Before 20th Century - The Era of Confinement
Pregnant women used to hide their blossoming bellies. Large and puffy dresses dominated the maternity fashion. It was a period where they weren’t allowed for public appearances.
1900’s – Maternity Corsets
As women became more mobile and went out and about during their pregnancy, maternity corsets were worn by both rich and poor to hold any unwanted girth.
1910’s – The Every Size Maternity Skirt
It was in the 1910's that magazine's started to recognize maternity fashion, changes were made in the garments to accommodate the pregnant belly. Generally, these amendments were extra fasteners at the side of the skirt or dress which allowed the woman to alter the size as she grew. It was the text of the advertisements that sold the clothes rather than any images, with promises of "graceful yet comfortable" clothing
1920’s – The Flapper Style
As 1920 emerges, pregnant women had finally learned how to let go of those suffocating maternity corsets and resorted to something more loose and comfortable such as flapper dresses with a movable belt.
1930’s –Feminine Separates
Separates have finally made its way to maternity fashion in 1930s. The pleated blouse can be initially worn with a belt and as the baby bump grows bigger, it can later be worn loosely. Adding bolero jackets, flounces and large bows which hung down from the neck and shoulders were clever features which hid as much as possible in those early months allowing women to hide their pregnancy for a little longer.
1940’s – The Evolution of Wrap Dress
Wrap dresses flooded the markets of the maternity clothing as they were considered as the most comfortable and elegant pieces for expectant moms because of its use after the pregnancy as well.
1950’s – Pants On the Go
It actually took so long before designers realized that pants can also make great piece of maternity clothing! Women used to limit themselves in dresses and skirts but in the 1950’s, garter pants and stretchable trousers have ruled maternity fashion. It all started here and went on to the next decades – up until today.
1960’s – The Maternity Suit
Welcome loose clothing! Loose clothes got a preference over baggy clothes. This led to the introduction of maternity suit as belly bands which had adjustable waistband. This was the period after World War II where people were cutting down fabric usage so men’s suits were converted into loose Maternity suits.
1970’s – The Midi and The Maxi
Maxi dresses, Midi dresses, wide legged and flared trousers, long sleeves and over-embellished shoulders, baby doll dress, bohemian tunic dress made the fashionistas leave a mark on the society.
1980’s – The Oversized Dress
Maternity Fashion took an interesting but not-so-fashionable turn. It led to over-sized, boxy and shapeless maternity range, long tunics and sweaters where comfort was chosen over style.
1990’s – The Working Mum-To-Be
Maternity Business suits came in markets as mommies got into workplaces. These dresses included larger jackets with a masculine touch to hide their bump in the workplace. Classy maternity wear was seen in stores from designers.
2000’s – The Bump Pride
We are talking about a millennium! As the year 2000 comes, expecting mothers are becoming more and more confident and daring. Enough of the hiding and trying to camouflage that beautiful baby bump! Lastly, bodycon dresses have finally made its way to maternity wear. With a lot of maternity clothing stores online offering a lot of choices. It’s quite empowering to see how women are embracing their bumps.
With this timeline of maternity fashion lookbook, it is quite clear that the new mommies have nothing to hide. Women these days, take pride in showing off their baby bumps, clearly stating their desires.
Some crafty expectant moms weave their magic into clothes with some easy hacks while majority prefer buying for them from the maternity clothing stores online. Find here the latest of fashion trends and maternity fashion lookbook to make you feel at ease.
And so, where does this leave us for the future? We have seen maternity wear change incredibly fast in the last 100 and more years as attitudes to women and pregnancy have moved on. From deliberately hiding the pregnant form in the nineteenth century and flaunting it in our generation, maternity fashion and attitudes have come a long way
Enjoy the Bump!
The Mommy Collective Team