The end of traditional maternity wear

The Duchess in her Topshop spots.

The Duchess in her Topshop spots. Photo: Getty

They may not do baby names right, but if there’s one thing celebrity mama-to-bes certainly have a handle on it’s cool maternity dressing. We’ve photo-stalked Kate Middleton for the past seven months now and she’s only worn one ­– just one – maternity-line ensemble, in the form of a black-and-white polka-dot dress from Topshop.

The Duchess seems to be leading a trend toward the end of muumuus, as WWD reports, fewer department and specialty stores are offering maternity lines these days. With concerns regarding costs and wastage in mind, more and more women are adapting their existing wardrobes or buying pieces they’ll continue to wear long after the baby is born. It looks like strictly maternity wear is on its way out.

As her baby bump grows, Kate has eschewed stretchy empire-line dresses in multiple colours for stylish non-maternity wear by her favourite designers and high-street chain stores. On special occasions, the royal fetus likes to be swathed in printed Erdem frocks, embellished Mulberry coats and teal green outerwear by By Malene Birger, it seems.

Love it or hate it (and indeed her) Kim Kardashian hasn't compromised her personal style while pregnant.

Love it or hate it (and indeed her) Kim Kardashian hasn't compromised her personal style while pregnant. Photo: Getty

Halle Berry and Jessica Alba have adopted a similar approach throughout their pregnancies, wearing accessible maternity styles that aren’t necessarily made for pregnant women in mind.

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Margherita Missoni, who’s six months pregnant, divulged her wardrobe plan of attack to Grazia Daily, relying on J Brand denim and boyish loose layers that skim the body in the first and second trimester and breathable silk pyjamas by Prada in the lead-up to her August due date.

While us mere mortals don’t have the army of stylists, personal shoppers and multiple pairs of Prada pyjamas at our disposal, that doesn’t mean we can’t look just as stylish.  

These days, maternity wear options are fashion-aware, not frumpy. A trusty blazer, Bassike and Jac + Jack basics and J Brand leggings worn below the waist are solid investments, while ASOS and Topshop cater for everyone at a mass price point with fashionable items you won’t want to burn as soon as your 40 weeks are up.

Yes, it’s a good time to stow away the stilettos and body-con dresses, but that doesn’t mean succumbing to a permanent rotation of jeggings and belly-banded pants. Sure, in between the nausea, hormones and cravings, picking out a cute outfit may be the last thing on your mind.

But taking a page out of Kate Middleton’s book and incorporating clothing from your pre-pregnancy wardrobe or buying clothes that you can wear long after giving birth will save stress in the long run. All you have to do is ditch the belt or opt for designer dresses one size bigger than usual.

Just because you’re pregnant, doesn’t mean you’re obliged to fade into your surroundings. Though high necklines and loud floral prints rarely go together, we applaud Kim Kardashian for daring to write her own pregnancy dress code, staying true to her personal style even while her body is changing.

As model and daughter of ex-French Vogue editor, Julia Restoin-Roitfeld, the ultimate yummy-mummy, says, “It’s a wrong message that dressing feminine and sexy and being a mother can’t go together.”