I’m going to give you a little mother’s day gift today:
A template for maternity fashion that you can trace over to design some Maternity looks for your favorite mother or expecting friend.
Plus, some of my thoughts on maternity clothing and a few great maternity /pregnant looks.
AND a link to my PINTEREST board for maternity fashion where I started collecting great looks for maternity wear.
There are a whole bunch on there! (As usual, I found that diversity in ethnicity and body size were difficult to come by in this research– the usual story with fashion.)
LET”S CHANGE THIS!?
If you’ve created a maternity fashion or figure design board on pinterest, please post your link in the comments below!
As we are all well aware, beautiful pregnant women come in every color, age, shape, and size….more than fashion seems to recognize, even though WE recognize it when we look around us.
Let’s use our power as designers and image-makers always remembering the impact that fashion media, presentation and messages have on all women, young and old, everywhere!
Let’s aim for fashion that SERVES!
You can use the croquis template below to start sketching your ideas onto the body, or you can go much deeper in my FREEDOM Fashion Immersion Semester.
All of my online classes are supportive of the development of fashion drawing, concept, and illustration, design that works for the body that YOU BELIEVE in, not an unrealistic distorted one. Real bodies are BEAUTIFUL!
Ethical Fashion Design
Yes, good design serves the designer, the wearer, and also includes the women (and men) who are picking cotton sprayed with pesticides or organic cotton, or working in safe or unsafe factories, or working in close knit artisan communities and being paid fairly.
When we are leaders in fashion, we play a part in creating/re-creating THOSE images too. Likewise some of the smallest companies can create the some of the newest business and production models. It seems that “TOO BIG” has become part of the problem in fashion, in education, in hospitals (more on that below). I love to collect images of women creating fashion, at all levels, in conjunction with their well being, family life, and community.
Let’s take ONE STEP towards more ethical fashion in each thing we do along our path.
Don’t judge it as small or large, these thoughts and acts grow almost on their own…. like a baby growing in a belly!
( Thank you ethicalfashionacademy.com for all of the great resources and education you have shared with me on this subject!)
Final thoughts on maternity (prenatal and postnatal) fashion design:
( and a bunch of samples below the thoughts, for sketching)
- Don’t forget… mom usually looks pretty pregnant AFTER the baby is born, too, for a short time or a long time…. address her needs for comfort and beauty and easy care BEFORE, DURING, and AFTER the birth!
- Remember, that lactating breasts can and will leak, and make oily stains on garments due to the high fat content. So smooth, light colored and solid colored garments can be very unpractical for as long as the mother nurses, even for years!
- Definitely, natural fibers FEEL BETTER, breathe better!!! Some synthetics dry faster though… consider aeration, breathability, drying factors, easy care, softness, and comfort.
- Let’s face it, expectant moms can really need those clothes urgently and may not wear them forever. They should be well made and beautiful enough to use again and again or pass on to another expectant mom, yet affordable enough to be accessible. #sustainability #recycling #quality:0)
- How about how patterns and prints help mothers be mothers. Banana-sticky hands grabbing at mom, spit up and drool are much harder to detect on patterned and printed clothes . I’m a printophile, anyway!
- Certainly, stretch and jersey are wonderful for everything as they give and conform to curves, and undergarments need it too, especially for nursing. Body hugging pregnant clothes are a wonderful aesthetic. I like it because it affirms the mom and trains the eye :0) #shareyourtruth!
- Slings, Ergo carriers and other forms of baby carrying can become part of the fashion look! (and why don’t fashion mags bother include mothers in these phases of their lives?)
Although, I believe Slings look better, but my babies have always been huge and heavy….the Ergo carrier, while not the most “cute” part of the outfit, LITERALLY IMPROVED MY QUALITY OF LIFE in a way that was overwhelming, with baby #3. I could nurse in it while walking through a busy city, put it on with one hand while holding the baby in the other, and snap it off easily. It washed well and was even organic :0) And She was always happy in there, close to mom. As a single mom of 3,I was able to do EVERYTHING I needed to, hands-free, with an Ergo carrier.
- You know, large prints are more way fun on volume than tiny prints. I feel super-strongly about this. What do you like better on a garment, one flower or two million? I like large, motifs and love the way large, full garments look with large prints. This goes for “plus size fashion as well…That’s just me,….but It works every time!
- Hmmmm….NURSING I nursed my little ones forever…. and there are a TON of clothes you just CANNOT WEAR if you are nursing. Breasts need to be accessible! This means that most of my dresses became totally useless after I had the baby, except if I was going out to sing for 3 hours or so. Nursing is a very practical and important concern for post-natal dressing. Adding a privacy factor to that design is just another plus for moms.
- Actually, Waistbands on maternity clothes really need to be just under the bust or just under the belly in order to function (stay on). Pick one! I love having the pants and skirts under the belly. Just feels good! Ethnic fashions often have drawstrings and volume that works for pregnant or non-pregnant forms, like caftans and wraps. Good act to follow!
Think about this, you think you might be conscious enough to be modest during birth, what would you want to be wearing?? A sports bra? A robe? )
For example, my book research I had a very hard time finding maternity images, I did include two though. ( I also want to mention that for my online students who complete Level One, I will be offering workshop courses such as maternity, children’s, toddlers, menswear, evening wear, and other categories, too. These classes are going live once my first two Level Ones graduate).
That’s all !
ps—-Opps no it isn’t.
The final message is about choices.
Really, the ideal thing for women in birth and prenatal care, and the postnatal period, is education and choices, REAL choices with healthy options. May all women have increasing choices and options to birth in a safe, supportive, gentle, environment that understands and supports the birth process truly and puts the mother and the baby TRULY at the center of the birth, not the health care institutions and money (see the Business of Being Born).
Birth is a life event that has a huge impact in so many facets.
And this thought applies to all things…. health care institutions and practices, educational institutions and practices, fashion’s methods and practices. How can we be more supportive of women and families, of communities, in how we birth our children, our artifacts, our art?…..
May we have access to choices that support our best interest which is the best for all.
Here are some great images from some designers I love . I hope you enjoy. PLEASE let me know of some great maternity designers you love, from all over the GLOBE, PLEASE!!!!!!!!
My current fave maternity look is Megadose.com.br from Brazil, because they don’t seem to be hiding the belly, rather emphasizing it.
3 thoughts on “Maternity Fashion Tips and Ideas”
By telling the truth about our lives, by representing and celebrating and uplifting them and working in ways that support local communities that produce raw materials and make clothing. By paying all workers a living wage. By using our voices to tell the truth and act on behalf of love. By learning more about systems and how they impact women, families and communities locally and abroad, educating ourselves and making choices that resonate with what we really want to make the world better.
Actually though, this is THE QUESTION. Thank you for asking it and how can we all answer it?? HOw would you answer it, right now. I also think keeping families together is important, that mothers and children and fathers too are kept iin close proximity to each other and that the markets sustain a living for these families, this is everything.
How can we be more supportive of women and families, of communities
I really appreciate what this article has to offer! It’s really great to see fashion illustrations helping to promote body positivity and celebrating the beauty of maternity fashion. I think it’s really important to show that pregnant women can still look stylish and feel beautiful. I highly recommend readers visit Mom Outfit (https://momoutfit.com) to get inspired by new trends and find fashionable looks for pregnant women.