Maternity Clothing Then and Now, Its Future and More For Women, Being Created, Fostered, and Modeled by Rihana

When I look at the photographs of the maternity clothing my mother wore when pregnant with me in 1946 and the maternity clothing I wore in 1973, they are embarrassingly similar. So, I decided to check Wikipedia about the history of maternity clothes. 

Although the complete history of maternity clothing on Wikipedia is interesting, I concentrated on the section, 1900 to the present.

“The first commercial ready-to-wear clothing for pregnant women was sold in the US by Lane Bryant in the 1900s. Lane Bryant offered shirtwaists with an adjustable drawstring waist, and dresses with an adjustable wrap-around front. The next competitor, Page Boy, offered a patented skirt in 1937.”

When stretch fabric appeared so did a “window” appear in the skirts. The slim skirt with a window with a smocked top, which became popular after Lucille Ball wore the outfit in the early 1950’s on television for the first time, remained the norm, adding jeans (with the window) in the 1980’s, after my pregnancies! I clearly remember the window, as the tops had to be very long and full to cover the window. The tops looked like oversized versions of young girls’ clothing, or, in my opinion, looking back on photographs, clownish. 

Pregnant Demi Moore wearing no clothes on the cover of Vogue in 1991 was the first time a pregnant woman was on the cover of a magazine. See, “Flashback: Demi Moore: Esquire legend George Lois recalls Annie Leibovitz’s culture-jolting 1991 V.F. cover of a pregnant Demi Moore,” by George Lois, Vanity Fair, June 22, 2011.

That magazine cover got VERY mixed reviews, but seems to be considered the “culture buster,” not only about pregnancy norms, but also about showing pregnancy.  Pregnant women coming out of hiding for the first time, and it took to 1991!

There is NOTHING further on Wikipedia about modern maternity clothing until 2007-11!

Fast forward to the trends subsequent, which are to the most form fitting maternity clothing, which to some are controversial as showing too much of pregnancy.

Now fast forward again to Rihanna! Rihanna, the billionaire entertainer, who is redefining pregnancy wear for a new generation of pregnant moms. You just look at the photographs of her first pregnancy and now her second on the heels of the first.  Talk about the new controversy!

In 2022, Vogue Magazine featured pictures of pregnant Rihanna, “Is Rihanna Changing Pregnancy Style Forever?” by Michelle Ruiz, March 14, 2022. 

You can see what caused a stir then, described as dramatic:

“The mogul/mom-to-be wore knee-high black boots; her neck and décolletage encircled in layered necklaces, but the most show-stopping accessory was by Mother Nature: Rihanna’s growing belly on full display through black mesh. “

Her controversial and ground breaking style and the changes caused in maternity clothing are described in that 2022 article:

“Rihanna is setting pregnancy style ablaze,” stylist and fashion consultant Solange Franklin told me, presenting a bold vision for mothers-to-be. “It’s not hiding. It’s not accommodating. It’s more of an effusive energy… an unabashed and abundant beauty.”

It is not unexpected that entrepreneur “Rihanna, World’s Most Stylish Mom, Drops Maternity wear,” with a new maternity clothing company. See, Vogue Magazine, by Christian Allaire, August 9, 2023.

As enterprising and savvy as she is, Rihanna’s new line, Savage x Fenty, just is a capsule of what may follow upon its success, is a focus on lingerie and loungewear.

“The new maternity capsule is about bringing that confidence and comfort to moms at every stage of their journeys,” says Rihanna. “I want to remind people that you can still channel sexiness and feel good while being a parent.”  The sexy, yet functional and comfortable maternity ware is designed by Rihanna herself, in sizes for including every pregnant woman or new mother, from XXS to 4X. Prices range reasonably from $35 to $60.

We women have come a long way BUT IT HAS TAKEN A VERY LONG TIME. So many times, we women ponder how women’s issues, women’s health, and yes, everything related to women has taken generations to accomplish. Pioneering women in every field have paved the way, thank goodness. This Grandma honors all those women, and men, who have brought women’s needs and wants to the forefront.

I love Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s quotes on feminism. This one is my favorite:

“You can’t have it all, all at once. Who—man or woman—has it all, all at once? Over my lifespan I think I have had it all.”

I think it sums up my life, and those of my generation, just following her time.

Read more of “Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Quotes About Empowerment and Equality Form an Enduring Legacy,” Harper’s Bazaar, by Amy Mackelden, September 19, 2020.

Rihanna, simultaneously the entrepreneur and mother, is a great role model for today and tomorrow.  I cannot wait to see the rest of what Rihanna creates, fosters, and models, not only an entrepreneur, but as a feminist.

“Women are leaders everywhere you look—from the CEO who runs a Fortune 500 company to the housewife who raises her children and heads her household. Our country was built by strong women, and we will continue to break down walls and defy stereotypes.” – Nancy Pelosi

However controversial and difficult the journey has been and continues to be, we women have come a long way from hiding our pregnancies (and much more) to proudly showing our motherhood, strength, and growing power with



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