The Birth of Maternity Fashion

UNITED STATES - CIRCA 1940: Fashion plates of the latest styles complete with sample fabric from a book sent only to retailers to choose their seasonal collections. (Photo by Buyenlarge/Getty Images)

Compared to pregnancy, the history of maternity clothes is in its infancy. Cristen and Caroline strut through the timeline of maternity fashion and what those prenatal outfits then and now tell us about how we view pregnant bodies.

Episode Sources

Vintage Maternity Clothes History

"Lane Bryant, Inc. History"

"Robust Sales and Trim Figures: Lane Bryant Catalogs, 1921-1947"

"A Brief History of Maternity Clothes"

"Dressing for Two"

"Maternity Clothes: Yea or Nay?"

"Pregnant TV Presenter Kristi Gordon Receives Hate Mail for Her Clothes and 'Gross Body'"

"Maternity Wear: To Conceal or Reveal?"

Academic Insights

"Get Me Out: A History of Childbirth from the Garden of Eden to the Sperm Bank." Randi Hutter Epstein. W.W. Norton & Company. 2011.

"Pregnancy and Body Image: Analysis of Clothing Functions of Maternity Wear." MyungHee Sohn and Elizabeth Bye. Clothing & Textiles Research Journal. November 2014.

"Reproductive Surveillance: The Making of Pregnant Docile Bodies." Molly Wiant Cummins. Kaleidoscope. Vol. 13. 2014.

"Shaping Pregnancy: Representations of Pregnant Women in Australian Women's Magazines." Joy Sha and Maggie Kirkman. Australian Feminist Studies. Vol. 24, No. 61. September 2009.

"Revolutionary Bodies: Women and the Fertility Transition in the Mid-Atlantic Region, 1760-1820." Susan E. Kepp. The Journal of American History. Vol. 85, No. 3. December 1998.

Topics in this Podcast: Beauty, fashion, history, reproduction, pregnancy, motherhood, culture