Mum's The Word: Vintage Maternity Wear Guide Pt I

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Vintage 1940's maternity wear.
(L) Blouse £25, Trousers £20 (R) Sleeveless Blouse £20, Trousers £20
50's smock tops flattered the pregnant lady.
Patterns for vintage maternity skirts.
(L) DKNY Top £35, Pencil Skirt £95 (R) Wrapover Dress £200

Time to share in some happy news: this particular member of team Rokit has recently announced she is having a bubby, and this got us thinking about whether you have to sacrifice style to the altar of the dreaded maternity jersey wrap dress during pregnancy...

There is no doubting the comforts of modern maternity wear but so much of it seems a little insipid - growing bump = diminishing individuality. Looking to yesteryear for style inspiration is clearly the answer - vintage clothing tends to be made from hard wearing fabrics (no bursting at the seams here, thank you very much) and even pieces not necessarily originally designed as maternity wear can have the right shape and cut to suit a changing figure...

1940s

Even post-war, 1940s styles were still hung up on practicality and a degree of utilitarianism: loose tops and trousers like these pyjama style sets above were the order of the day, designed to discretely skim the bump rather than show it off. Useful considering that by the benchmark of mid twentieth century morals showing off a pregnant tummy was pretty much akin to parading around with a flashing sign saying 'Just got laid!'

Flash forward to 2012 and pyjama dressing is very much in vogue for spring/summer: clashing scarf or tropical prints give you extra fashwaaaan points.

PROS:

  • probably the most flattering way to wear an elasticated waistband
  • no need to do as this Rokit momma did this morning and upend every receptacle in the entire house looking for a safety pin just so she could get another day's wear out of her favourite high waisted jeans

CONS:

  • wearing something so on-trend may draw unfavourable comparisons with sylph-like fashion bloggers - just make sure you don't hang around too long outside Somerset house
  • those dizzying patterns do nothing to quell the nausea

1950s

By the 1950s impending motherhood was ever so slightly more celebrated and accentuated with super cute smock tops worn with capri pants or pencil skirts - check out the bizarre/totally amazing skirt pattern above with a cut out bump hole (that's bumP) and tie waist. Le practicality, c'est chic.

Before you start hacking away at the front of all your skirts, put the scissors down! These days, the pencil skirt comes with your new best friend (yes, it's him again, the elasticated waistband) which can be cleverly disguised with a smock top. Look out for 50s style wrap dresses too.

PROS:

  • You can move the buttons on wrap dresses to accommodate your bump as it grows - so long as you can sew a button you're sorted. (On a side note, if you can't even sew a button back on then you should really learn how to do this before the bubba arrives, it's a life skill doncha know)

CONS:

  • Ahh the smock top. Some say friend, plenty more say foe: proceed with caution and team with a slim fitting lower half.

LATER THIS WEEK - we hit up the 60s, 70s, and 80s/90s to see what offerings they bring to the table for the vintage inspired mum-to-be... There'll be pictures of Mia Farrow in Rosemary's Baby and Kirstie Alley circa Look Who's Talking and everything.