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How Rihanna is Helping Rebrand Maternity Style

Modern mothers are getting rid of unflattering silhouettes and instead embracing their bumps.

MILAN, ITALY - APRIL 05: Rihanna attends Sephora Fenty Beauty by Rihanna launch event on April 5, 2018 in Milan, Italy. ShutterStock.

Ever since celebrities such as Rhianna fell pregnant, there became no such thing as ‘maternity clothing.’  Crop tops, leather mini dresses, bike shorts, and sheer dresses have become popular.  No longer are mothers hiding their bumps in unflattering shilloutes instead embracing them, and why not incorporate their bump as part of their style, rebranding that classic ‘maternity style’?  

Rihanna’s Pregnancy Style

Is Rihanna changing maternity style forever? From the Met Gala to street style, Rihanna’s looks are a dramatic, bold inspiration for mothers-to-be. Knee-high boots, mesh dresses, crop tops, low-waisted jeans, and a lot of jewelry. And, of course, the most show-stopping accessory, her growing belly. Alongside Rihanna, Beyonce, Cardi B, Kylie Jenner, Kim Kardashian, and Ashley Graham have all given us incredible maternity looks. However, in the last few years, the maternity street style has had a revolution. 

One of this generation’s biggest style icons and undoubtedly one of Rihanna’s greatest looks recreated by many adoring fans. Rihanna strolled down a New York street on a cold winter’s day, with her un-seen bump popping out beneath a pink vintage Chanel puffer coat, from Karl Lagerfeld’s Autumn/Winter 1996 collection.
Rihanna attended the launch of Fenty Beauty at ULTA Beauty in Los Angeles wearing a silver wrap-a-round crop top, a matching column skirt, and a glittering belt across her bare bump. 
Rihanna attending the 2023 Met Gala themed ‘Karl Lagerfeld. Dressed in Valentino.
Rihanna pre Met Gala look, honouring Karl Lagerfeld in custom Chanel.
Officially a low-waisted jean icon, Rihanna wore a Fendi crop top paired with a long denim coat with leopard print faux-fur details from the Roberto Cavalli autumn/winter 2001 archive collection.

Rihanna wearing what looks like a novelty Disney t-shirt, looking closer the t-shirt actually reads: “Who Dat Is? Dat’s Jus My Baby Daddy”. Obsessed is an understatement.

With fashion icons like Rihanna paving the way, it has led to a much more experimental approach to maternity style, which proudly embraces body positivity and self-expression. In the US, especially when female empowerment and women’s rights feel like it’s being stripped, a woman’s right to control and celebrate her body the way she chooses is more important than ever. 

Expecting Social Media Influencers

Expecting social media influencers have also started documenting their individual pregnancy style. Many influencers are learning to style their new body and sharing with followers through TikToks and Reels. Embracing motherhood on their platforms, not just with style but with lifestyle, helping new and expecting mothers feel calm. 

The maternity wear industry is expected to reach $41.3 billion by 2031, nearly doubling its $21.6 billion worth from 2021, according to a report by Future Market Insight. Although for some, motherhood means a time to start dressing more conservatively, for many, that is old-fashioned. #Freethebump is a TikTok trend that’s received a lot of controversies as different generations of women decide whether it is appropriate to have their stomachs out while pregnant. Many women say it’s their body, their right. We couldn’t agree more!

Rebranding motherhood

With the rebrand of style comes the rebrand of the motherhood lifestyle. Although each pregnancy journey is different, a lot of expecting influencers have shown through social media, how fun pregnancy and motherhood can be. Wearing heels, dressing up, going out, and working out, with many keeping a similar lifestyle too before children. Rihanna gave us a halftime show to remember at the 2023 Super Bowl. Wearing a red bodysuit, red playsuit and a red puffer jacket that revealed her bump. 

Maternity is the new sexy. Motherhood can be approached as such a negative thing, many people think you must give up who you were, but they’re wrong. Women are rewriting the rules. 

Written By

Student at Manchester Metropolitan University studying a master's in Luxury Fashion Management.

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