All Power To Rihanna But Let's Get Real About Maternity Wear

Dressing your eight-month bump in leather or lingerie isn't a look ordinary mums-to-be are going for.
A vision!
Edward Berthelot via Getty Images
A vision!

All hail Rihanna, beauty icon, fashion queen and now a source of pregnancy inspo. The singer cum business mogul has been taking our breath away with her latest looks.

Recently the star has wowed the folks of Paris Fashion Week (and the rest of us around the world) in skintight leather and then a black lingerie-like ensemble (complete with thong) with all the style and grace only RiRi can pull off.

But as amazing as she looks, it’s unlikely the average expectant mum will be rushing to Intimissimi to grab some similar apparel.

When you’re Rihanna, with access to the best stylists in the world, then of course your options are limitless and you’re going to kill the sartorial game.

But for ordinary people with a bump, maternity wear remains a drab reality, championing comfort over style. We spoke to two women expecting a child about the reality of maternity clothes and how it’s probably best we leave Rihanna to “reinvent maternity fashion” while we just get on with it.

Communications consultant Claire Reid, 35, a Brit who now lives in Berlin, says maternity wear is pretty limited for the average mum-to-be.

“I would freeze to death wearing what Rihanna’s wearing!” she tells HuffPost UK. “I’m 30 weeks pregnant and pre-pregnancy I’d do a lot of dressmaking. So I come from a place of loving fashion but also being acutely aware of fabric choices and sustainability. By its nature, pregnancy wear is fast fashion, so that was hard for me to contend with.”

Aware that maternity clobber won’t be stuff she necessarily wears again, Reid is reluctant to buy too much, and says she even resisted maternity jeans for a long time. “I find it difficult to justify high fashion maternity wear that is designed for one, or even two-off, occasions. Not only because of the cost, but because of the ethical consideration of buying an item with such a short shelf life.”

Claire Reid is 30 weeks pregnant now and can usually be found in comfy wear
Claire Reid
Claire Reid is 30 weeks pregnant now and can usually be found in comfy wear

There’s also comfort to consider. “My midwife reminded me just the other day, it’s important to keep bump warm and also not overheat (something you can be prone to during pregnancy), so practicality comes first,” Reid says.

“With all the other discomforts that you can experience over the nine months – morning sickness, cramps, fatigue etc – it’s much more inviting to snuggle up into some leggings and a t-shirt. That’s what I wear 90% of the time and I love that the brands that design them to be worn after pregnancy, too.”

Henna Noor Rashid, a 29-year-old teacher in Birmingham, is impressed by Rihanna’s pregnancy looks, and wonders if they’ll trickle down to the high street. “Rihanna had access to the best stylists/fashion brands who will most likely create clothing for her specific measurements. I can imagine post her pregnancy there will be a boom in stylish maternity clothes,” she says.

For now, Rashid, who is from a Pakistani background, says western clothes are not doing justice to her pregnancy body.

“Maternity clothes are mostly horrendous. I am fortunate in that I can spend a bit more than some, but even that hasn’t broadened my horizons in terms of the clothes I’ve seen. I’ve been to numerous high street fashion stores and the clothes have been really frumpy. I’m pregnant, not a sack,” she says

“I have tried Pakistani clothes which has more flow and extra space around my belly whilst also fitting my shoulders. My mum can do basic stitching so she was able to alter them for me.”

Rashid appreciates this is more of a cultural option, not available to everybody. When she isn’t wearing a shalwar kameez, she can be found in loungewear.

“I’ve pretty much been in maternity leggings since my fifth month. The trousers took a while to work, my regular jeans became snug across my belly but the maternity range was slipping off – as would a bigger size. It’s been a journey.”

So, go off Rihanna, wow us with your looks. But let’s not expect that level of glam from everyone else, eh?