27 January 2012

Flashback Friday: The Ghosts of Maternity Fashion Past

Crown Princess Victoria's apparent struggles with maternity fashion (struggles to us that care about clothes and the like, mind you, maybe not struggles to her) have given birth to a bunch of requests for a look back at pregnancy fashion from years past. How did the previous generation(s) do it? Some of you think it was better back then, and would love for our pregnant princesses of today to take a page from this book. I'm not so sure that's the way to go myself, but I shall present the evidence and let you be the judge:
Queen Elizabeth
One thing is true: when you get far enough back in time, maternity fashion just wasn't an issue. Often, pregnant royal ladies virtually disappeared from public life. Perhaps a vaguely worded statement about reducing royal duties might be issued, and then the next thing you knew, there was an announcement about a joyous birth and maybe a nicely posed picture with the new babe. This is the case for Queen Elizabeth, who had her first two children before becoming queen and her last two some years after. I still find it strange to see pictures of her pregnant.
Princess Grace
There more pictures available of Princess Grace pregnant, in which you can see that the maternity fashion of the time was really not "maternity fashion" - just certain pieces made a little bigger. Nothing to write home about, and not anything I can say would be well-recommended today.
Left to Right: Queen Beatrix (2 pictures), Queen Anne-Marie (1), Queen Margrethe (3)
Now, in my opinion, by the time we get to the late 1960s and the early 1970s, we really get rolling. But then, that's probably my opinion on a lot of the fashion at that time - not just maternity. Perhaps the styles of the day just lent themselves particularly well to the maternity spectrum.
L to R: Queen Sonja (3), Queen Silvia (3)
Also, by this time pregnancy had ceased to be a reason to hole yourself up for months on end. Every time I see that picture of Sonja in the yellow, with her giant tiara, I suspect she might be longing for those hidden days of yore. Poor love.
Diana, Princess of Wales
Diana is the one that I see a lot of you specifically pointing to as a great maternity wear example. I...don't know that I agree. On the color spectrum, sure. It's just become clear that I don't have the same perspective on the fashions of the 1980s as some of you do. I'm not sure I'd recommend a whole return to that.
Sarah, Duchess of York
It's a slippery slope, is all I'm saying.

Any tips here you wish pregnant ladies would carry on today?

 Photos: The Illustrated London News/Corbis/The Royal Forums/Polfoto/ANP/Svenskdam