Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Vintage Maternity Clothing

 It is no lie that modern maternity clothing are pricey, unfashionable and downright ugly! When did it become appropriate for fashionable women to wear $125.00 cargo capris with a $60.00 fitted, ruched shirt? I know we are pregnant, and in an alternate state of being. But, do not insult my fashion sense by only giving me a selected number of ugly, and overly expensive options. Yes, A Pea in the Pod , and Motherhood - I'm looking at you!

Another knit I need to pick - most department stores have downsized or closed their maternity sections. So, unless you order online, or are fine with wearing very casual Target maternity clothing - you are SOL. I found this out the other weekend when both Nordstrom and Macy's had closed out the maternity clothing section. Thankfully, I was able to find a dress in Plus Size to fit me for Amy's Wedding .

Right around my third month of pregnancy I started to outgrow most of my vintage clothing. Sadly, I placed them (lovingly) into little white cocoons on one side of my closet, closing the door, sending them on a 7+ month hibernation. How was I going to keep my fashion sense, but also stay comfortable with my ever growing body?

Research my dear readers, is how I have been able to make it the last 5 months without crossing into the
cargo pants dark side. 

Month 3 - 7 - I was able to get away with very flouncy, 30's and 40's inspired shirts from Forever 21 and Target, from the regular women's section. I bought a few pairs of black maternity slacks, dark washed denim shorts and black capris from Target. I think each pair cost me $25.00. I purchased enough to get thru a week of clothing. The best thing about maternity bottoms, is that they have an elastic top to them. Both functional (growing with you), and SO comfortable. I desperately miss my waist, but silently wish all pants were this comfy!

ETSY is your friend. I was able to purchase almost a dozen real, vintage maternity tops off of the website. I simply typed, 1950's maternity into the search button bringing up a kaleidoscope of clothing for me to sort through. Most tops were right around the 30$ range. SO cheap (considering a nice maternity top will cost you over 100.00 in a department store) and arrived within a week! I personally don't really care for the 40's or 60's maternity clothing, but if it's your cup of tea - please do a search! 40's maternity is either a smock shirt or dresses with a bazillion snaps (to grow with you). The 60's clothing is made of heavier polyester blends, which would not work for my summer pregnancy in sunny California.

Warning: Just because it's maternity, doesn't mean it's one size fits all. It's very important to look at the bust measurement. If the bust is too small, you will wear it once, forget that it doesn't quite fit and rip the armpits out when you cross your arms.

Sewing: Are you crafty and pregnant? Than you are in SUPER luck! As soon as I found out we were expecting, I jumped on the internet and purchased SO MANY 50's maternity patterns!

Maternity patterns 
(also note the great playsuit pattern in the back which will debut at Viva Las Vegas next year!)

I couldn't get enough of the capri pants and short ensembles!
I loved the shapes of the 50's maternity lines! Larger top with a more fitted bottom. 
Makes you feel less circus tent ;)

Current Situation: Month 8 -I have officially outgrown all the pretty flouncy tops and dresses (which are a little too short in the front now). I have to completely rely on my purchases from Etsy, tops that my Mom is making me - and get going on sewing my own pieces. My body is so uncomfortable that putting on pretty clothing that matches my style, makes my mood so much better! Especially when you are running around in flip flops or compression socks due to obscene amounts of swelling in your lower body (feet/legs which cannot be helped at all!)

One of my FAVORITE Etsy tops, is this lovely 50's chartreuse maternity top. It was one of my first purchases and I cannot get enough of it! I'd wear it everyday if I could.

With my lovely client, Tiffany at her wedding in Solvang.

Tragically, I lost a fabric covered button and splashed hairdye on it (which would not come out). I thought this would be a great time to tear it apart and make a few new shirts. I really loved the color, but the structure is what I really fell in love with. I picked out two fabrics, rip the shirt apart and re-made it!

 The last picture! Love that collar

Fabrics I picked



 Finished project! See, you can be cute - very pregnant and still keep your style :)

Top: Made by me!
Shorts: Denim maternity shorts by Target
Jewelry: Bakelite
Flowers: Made by Me (Michael's Arts and Crafts)

Now, to get through those baby classes!


  1. Missy, how incredibly beautiful you look! :) Well done, you. <3

  2. I love love love your ideas I am just soo tired of wasting money on maternity clothes. I am in the first trimester of my third pregnancy and don't want to look like everyone else this go around. I want to sew my own pieces and bring the look of 50's glam to my homestead but I am only good at sewing pillows and curtains, are the vintage patterns difficult to sew?

    1. Not really. They are pretty much tents :D The best thing is they grow with you :)

  3. Great article, i hear ya about the ugly range of maternity clothes out there! there is definately a niche for tasteful, stylish and CHEAP maternity wear waiting to be filled! I'm off to etsy to get me something nice, thanks!

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