Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Vintage maternity wear

First of all thank you ladies for your wonderful comments on my latest posts, they are much appreciated, even though I didn´t manage to answer them! Still so much to organize and so little time left. But let´s talk about clothes! 

I have to confess: I love my maternity jeans. And I love stretchy shirts, because I didn´t have to buy ridiculously expensive maternity shirts. Seriously, the prices for some of the average looking maternity wear are shocking and the styles are usually horrible. Considering that I won´t wear these clothes for more than maybe 6 or 7 months depending on my recovery I wasn´t willing to waste money on it. Over the last months, when the belly became to large to fit any of my dresses, I´ve been living in the 2 pairs of maternity jeans I bought and all kinds of shirts, tops and cardigans that were already part of my wardrobe. And not to forget that fantastic H&M retro jacket I blogged about last winter that still fits (if I don´t close the second button...) and adds at least a little touch of vintage charme to my wardrobe.

But what did women do in the days of non-elastic fabrics? The answer is quite simple: Belts, push buttons, loose stitches, high waists, fabric inserts and/or lots of fabric, all depending on the decades fashion. Not to forget the huge belly holes in skirts and pants! And while I found a number of english examples labeled as "maternity", german patterns liked to talk about "adjustable" dresses or dresses "for young women"exclusively before the 1950s. Don´t you dare talking about pregnancy!

So, let´s take a look at 5 decades of maternity fashion, shall we?

1920s. source
1936. Source
1939. Source
1939. Source
Praktische Damen- und Kindermode 10/1942
Praktische Damen- und Kindermode 12/1941
Praktische Damen- und Kindermode 12/1941
Praktische Damen- und Kindermode, 1940s
1940s. Source
1940s. Source
1940s. Source
1940s. Source
Der neue Schnitt 4/1952
Der neue Schnitt 4/1952
1950s. Source
1950s. Source
1950s. Source
Neuer Schnitt 8/1959
1961. Source
1960s. Source
1960s. Source
1960s. Source
Pramo 12/1977
Pramo 12/1977

You might have noticed that while some of these outfits are quite cute or elegant, others will make you look like a walking tent, especially in your third trimester when that belly really starts to get huge. Defining a new waistline seems to have stopped in the 20s (when it dropped below the belly) and only came back in style somewhere in the 60s. Another thing you might have noticed: Before the late '50s none of the pictures show an actual pregnant looking woman (and we can still argue whether these other women really do look pregnant). I assume that it´s because of the not so appealing tent-ness of most dresses and the fact that the first rule of pregnancy-club was "Don´t talk about pregnancy-club!"All these '30s to '50s dresses might look nice when worn in an early stage of pregnancy, but I have some serious doubts about their look when you start to smuggle medicineballs. Pictures of pregnant women of that time are rare and many of them left me with mixed feelings. Maybe, if my sewing machine decides to cooperate within the next 4 weeks (Woah, only 4 weeks left!), I will be able to give a review and pictures of a 1940s pattern all sewn up and worn. We´ll see.

What do you think? Does vintage maternity wear deserve a "Yeah!" or rather an "Ewww!"?

3 comments:

  1. It gets a huge "yeah!" my books, especially the styles from the late 30s on into the forties. They'd be my first choice if I was sewing maternity clothes.

    This was a lovely post, honey.

    ♥ Jessica

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  2. die variationen aus den 30-50ern sind ja hübsch ... also, ich weiß gar nicht wo der bauch dann hin soll. meine liebste freundin hat bei ihrer ersten schwangerschaft gern ein 70er kleid getragen, dass sehr an bild no 10 (von oben gezählt) erinnert. mit wunderschönem blumenprint. sie war damals im 6 monat ... und sah wunderbar bezaubend aus ... irgendwie gehts das mit dem bauch.
    ich habe gestern ien jersey kleid im stil der 40er/50er jahre auf dem flohmarkt gekauft und war sehr enttäuscht als ich es daheim anprobierte. ich dachte mir, behalt das mal. ist bestimmt perfekt, wenn du mal schwanger bist ... na mal sehen ;)

    erstmal wünsch ich dir alles gute für deine schwangerschaft und der kleidersuche ...

    ReplyDelete
  3. maternity clothing at next.co.uk. Browse the designs of cheap maternity dresses singapore including dresses and jeans. Find the right design for you and order online!

    ReplyDelete