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Pregnant? Here's What You Need To Know About Vintage Maternity Wear. (With Serena)

Many women struggle with finding maternity wear that’s stylish and comfortable. Especially in the vintage/pin-up fashion community. So I asked Serena: a new mother and vintage fashion enthusiast, common question surrounding vintage maternity wear.

Pregnant? Here's What You Need To Know About Vintage Maternity Wear.

Q: How did you start dressing in vintage fashion?

A: “I started dressing vintage after I had my first baby, and I lost all the weight but my body was not the same prior to pregnancy. I knew I would have to replace my wardrobe to fit my new normal so I made the decision to sew my dream wardrobe. I’ve always loved and admired vintage, and at that point in my life I had absolutely no reason not to go 100% vintage. I was teaching myself to sew in order to reproduce these timeless styles, so I was also very confident in my skills to take on original patterns from the past. Things just seemed to fall into place for me.”


Q: What’s your advice for pregnant women who want to start wearing vintage fashion?


A: “My number one tip for dressing vintage while being a mom is to wear fabrics that wash very well, breathable, and if at all possible does not wrinkle much. As much as I love to look glam, my lifestyle has a huge influence on the fabrics that I use. I am a full time mom so cleaning, messes, bending, playing and cooking are all things that shape my daily life. I love fancy fabrics, but I have to take into account that my clothes are often needing to be washed more than most people. Cotton is perfect for that, it’s breathable, durable and washes well. Poly cotton is the next best because it doesn’t wrinkle as much. I save the fancy fabric for the rare moments I’m with my little one. If you do not sew and you can’t choose fabric that best fits your lifestyle I recommend having a lot of aprons. I don’t have a routine, but I keep my beauty to a minimum so lipstick, eyeliner and blush and I’m usually done. I also recommend having lots of scarves and turbans.”

Q: What’s you advise for vintage wear for women who breastfeed? 

A: “So breastfeeding was just not that common during the 40s and 50s in the US amongst certain communities so the clothes were just not accommodating. However I do have a few tips to stay vintage and still nurse. Wear clothing that buttons in the front. 1940’s blouses, A-line skirts, or full skirts, 40’s style trousers, cardigans, suits, anything that gives you easy access to your breast. Next if you happen to sew, or have access to vintage maternity smocks and jackets, they are so loose that you could slip the baby under your top and nurse just fine. There is a lot of room under there, plus if you like to cover you also get privacy. My last tip is a commitment, but you have the option to pump exclusively and wear whatever you want. I personally nurse exclusively so I’ll be wearing lots of button up pieces for the next two years.”

Pregnant? Here's What You Need To Know About Vintage Maternity Wear.

Q: What eras do you like to recrete the most? 

A: “I personally like the 50s and 40s the most. I love the full dresses and silhouette of the 50’s. I love how extra you could be with your look. When I want drama my go to era is the 50’s. I also adore the 40’s for the style lines, silhouette and garment details. Because of the war and ration, 1940’s patterns require less fabric. The outfits are more understated, but the details and techniques used to create them helped elevate the looks. I can’t say what period I love the most because I love them for very different reasons, but I always feel beautiful in both.”


Q: Do you often take inspiration from maternity wear in the past? 

A: “So when I design any of my clothing, I often try and get as close to original construction as possible and that’s where the vintage patterns come from. Specifically maternity they were designed the way they were for a reason. Unlike today’s maternity, vintage maternity was designed to grow and shrink with the wearer. So you didn’t need to keep shopping for clothes with each trimester. So I keep construction completely authentic. I allow my own creativity to shine with fabric choice and prints. I draw inspiration from my mood, the weather, the season you name it. My maternity fashion came directly from the 50’s I had a few 40’s and 60’s pieces, but 50’s patterns seemed to be what was most available. I really don’t have a favorite, but I think I felt the most fancy in my formal outfits that I created matching hats to complete the look.”


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