From billowing dresses and maternity corsets intended to conceal a woman’s baby bump to the formfitting trend seen on expectant mothers today, see how pregnancy fashion has changed over the years.
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Back in the Middle Ages in Europe, women’s everyday dresses were typically full and forgiving enough to readily double as maternity wear. It wasn’t until the early 14th century, when silhouettes started to follow the female form a bit more, that specific design elements were introduced to make clothing more pregnancy-friendly.
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Here’s another look at modest maternity style in the 13th century. Heavy materials like velvet became popular for dressing gowns at this time, which helped further conceal bumps.
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No seams to take in or let out, just lace-up panels that could be loosened to accommodate a growing baby bump.
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Aprons, too, were commonly used to help hide a pregnant belly.
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Overcoats had lace-up vents in the back, making them adjustable to fit.
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One of the reasons maternity wear was not as important during the Renaissance era was that during a woman’s later stages of pregnancy, she usually stayed home—meaning she would dress in robes and dressing gowns and had no need for clothing adjustments.
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The first recorded maternity gown came about in the Baroque period and was called the “Adrienne,” which featured an empire waist.
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The Adrienne style dress also consisted of folds under the waistline and flowing fabric that helped with a growing bump….