Picture this. You’ve booked a sitter and are meeting friends for dinner. Getting out without the children is a highlight so you have spent some time making sure you’re looking good – careful makeup, perfectly styled hair and on-trend ensemble. You’ve even slipped on those killer heels you save for special occasions.
Your friends arrive and instantly notice how great you look! Lots of gushing until one friend asks you where you bought your fab skinny jeans.
“Oh, these old things. These are my favourite maternity jeans. I just can’t give them up,” you enthuse.
Crickets. It’s like you have developed turrets but no one wants to point it out. Maternity and chic just don’t seem to work in the same sentence.
Even when the evidence tells us that those maternity jeans are flattering, trendy and are so not obviously maternity, why do we cringe at the thought of wearing maternity clothes when not pregnant?
Well, to answer that question, here are a couple of theories.
1. Our attitudes are stuck in the last Century
Admittedly, maternity wear a few decades ago was woeful. We have all seen the pictures of peter pan collars and muumuu proportioned dresses. ‘Embracing your bump’ would have had more to do with a Grecian nose than a pregnant belly.
But take a look at what is available in today’s maternity styles and it’s a different story. Maternity designers know what’s trending in Paris, New York and Milan and cleverly adapt it for mums-to-be. They also know women want to wear their clothes beyond pregnancy, into breastfeeding and even beyond. Look at the worldwide success of maternity brands such as France’s Séraphine (which was a favourite of the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge), the UK’s JoJo Maman Bébé and Queen Mum from the Netherlands. Not a muumuu in sight.
2. Celebrities don’t help
We have all read about the celebrity who stated she didn’t wear maternity clothes with an implied “eeww”. However, behind the scenes we discover she did have access to a team of seamstresses and high-end designers happy to modify their creations to accommodate her growing belly. Or perhaps, like Jessica Simpson, they go on to launch their own maternity range having convinced us that there are no other worthwhile options. Is it cynical to think that’s just a good marketing spin?