First came the power suit, then the power bob – but now the power bump is taking centre stage.
The latest trend in maternity dressing is all showing off a bare bump – whether it’s through cut-out clothes, with crop tops or drawing attention to it with accessories.
Of course, there’s one celebrity who started this 2022 trend.
‘Bare bump fashion started to rise in popularity ever since the iconic picture of Rihanna was released, rocking Chanel’s hot pink single-buttoned puffer jacket and a Christian Lacroix cross pendant with encrusted jewels hanging over her bare baby bump,’ explains fashion expert commentator Karine Laudort.
‘The iconic image of her walking down the road in Harlem with A$AP Rocky by her side caused a domino effect.
‘That picture sparked a trend within the fashion industry, as well as pop culture, and caused a catalyst for other expectant mothers to be flaunting their bellies loud and proud.’
Other celebrities, including the likes of Ella Baig, Sophie Turner and Adriana Lima, have since followed suit – all with bare bump maternity outfits.
And the new trend is empowering to say the least.
Donna Taylor, a stylist at Sulky Doll, says: ‘The tent-like smocks of yesteryear that previous generations wore are very much a thing of the past.
‘Maternity fashion has evolved massively. In some ways, it’s almost a feminist statement by proudly showing off our femininity and fecundity.’
Of course, Rihanna wasn’t the very first to make waves with bare bump fashion.
‘We cannot forget the iconic Vanity Fair 1991 cover of Demi Moore – the cover that sparked an uproar within society and was deemed to be very controversial at the time,’ adds Karine.
‘I believe that really changed the way pregnant women were perceived and were ultimately what caused the evolution of embracing your sexiest self, while pregnant.’
https://www.instagram.com/p/CcQbBouOXiXIn many ways the bare bump revival (kick-started by Rihanna) in 2022 shows that maternity fashion has evolved and is now accessible. Now, cut-out items and cropped pregnancy looks are something that can be embraced by all.
Claire Bannister, the managing director of House of Colour, says: ‘Women deserve to feel the best version of themselves whether pregnant or not – and this is a movement that clearly demonstrates that there is no limit to how the female body can be dressed.
‘It is a true celebration of the wonderful act of conception and pregnancy that will drive the celebrities to continue to decorate their bumps with diamantes, form-fitted bodices and sexy lingerie.
‘Why can’t pregnant women be seen as empowered, authentic, sexy and beautiful now that there is a baby there?’
Of course, we don’t all have celebrity stylists in our arsenal – so how can you create bare bump fashion looks for yourself?
How to wear it
Crop a shirt
Mosope Ogunjobi, a London-based fashion digital creator and founder of Style Necessity, says a simple cotton shirt could be a good place to start.
She says: ‘I love a good crisp cropped cotton shirt or a you could wear a full-length shirt and tie it in a bow above your baby bump. Cotton is great to help you stay cool, you could combine this look with a cotton maxi skirt – or, if it’s a cooler day/evening, pair with jeans or trousers and a great colourful blazer.’
This also means you can wear things already in your wardrobe – so not only will you save money not buying specific maternity bits (designed to hide a bump) but it’s more environmentally-friendly, too.
Low-rise jeans make a statement
Karine suggests embracing another trend this summer too: low rise jeans.
She says: ‘They are versatile and comfortable, making it easy to be dressed up or down.
‘Depending on the type of look you want to go for, you can pair low-rise jeans with a cropped top and accessorise with a lariat necklace or you pair them with a blouse and leave the belly exposed.’
Mesh it up
If going totally bare scares you, have a think about sheer or mesh fabrics.
Karine says: ‘If you want to show off your baby bump without having it out fully, wearing a mesh top or dress will have the same effect, will still make the look sultry while also making a statement.
‘You can pair the top with a midi skirt and some chunky boots or if you are looking for something more relaxed, match it with some V-line trousers and some bold coloured mules for a chic look.’
Un-buttoned and unbothered
‘Blouses and button-up shirts should be your go-to when wanting to show off your baby belly,’ adds Karine.
‘All you have to do is throw on a button-up and leave a few buttons undone from the bottom and voila.
‘This can be worn with some denim jeans. Or if you want to be snugger, pair it with some joggers and accessorise with some Converse or espadrilles.’
Do what feels comfortable
‘As with everything, it’s a very personal choice how you choose to dress while expecting – but not everyone will, for whatever reason, feel comfortable displaying their bump in such an exposing way,’ adds Donna.
So the most important thing to remember is to wear whatever you feel most comfortable in.
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