Vintage Celebrity Maternity Looks From The Past 75 Years
Whether you grew up in the decades we're about to revisit or you simply love vintage fashion, celebrity maternity looks have changed over the eras and it's fascinating to see. From the late 1940s, when maternity wear had a formal, stately feel, to a whole lot of fabric in the 1950s and 1960s, followed by sleeker lines in the 1970s, and then back the bulky cuts of the 1980s and 1990s, maternity fashion has bounced around a great deal, especially when it comes to celebrities in the limelight. And, compared with the more revealing maternity looks of the modern era, it's also interesting to note the changes in societal expectations around pregnant women.
While today we're obsessed as a culture with seeing as much of a celebrity's bump as we can get our eyes on, in previous decades, celebrities often hid from the camera — and, in some cases, the photographers even photographed stars from the chest up. Being pregnant appeared to be a much more private experience during those times, highlighted by the fact that women opted for so much fabric to hide their changing figures. And, also interesting to note, the Getty archives we accessed had surprisingly few pictures of pregnant celebrities during these vintage eras, not to mention a notable lack of diversity — both illustrating how times have changed from then to now in terms of celebrity media coverage.
Ready to take a stroll down memory lane? These vintage celebrity maternity looks will transport you to an entirely different time and place.
1948: Princess Elizabeth
You know her now as Queen Elizabeth II, but back in 1948, she was Princess Elizabeth and expecting her first child — Charles, Prince of Wales. And, if you've followed Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton's pregnancies, you know how much (or how little!) royal maternity looks have changed over the decades.
In this photo, Princess Elizabeth was four months pregnant and probably just beginning to show. And, much like her future granddaughter-in-laws, she sported a trim blazer over her growing bump. The royals are known for embracing classic styles that don't go out of fashion, and while this look is classic, it is also timeless when it comes to royal apparel.
1952: Peggy Wilcox
Hop across the pond to the United States and women were embracing a little less formality in their maternity looks in the 1950s — but not much! Here, model Peggy Wilcox layered a bulky jumper over a striped blouse. She added gloves and a hat to keep the look pulled together and add a more formal touch to the playful jumper. Needless to say, it was probably easy to feel a little lost (and hot!) in all that fabric.
1953: Lucille Ball
Lucille Ball also embraced plenty of fabric in this checkered dress she wore while out with her husband, Desi Arnaz in 1953. They were vacationing in Palm Springs, California and had gathered to watch a televised football game. Lucille's dress, which is actually a bit reminiscent of a potato sack, was made a touch cuter with a collar and long bow. Looking at all that fabric makes us hope it wasn't a hot summer's day in the desert!
1955: Silvana Mangano
Italian actress, Silvana Mangano, and her film producer husband, Dino De Laurentiis, stepped out in Rome for an evening together in 1955. Silvana wore her over-sized fur jacket draped over her shoulders to likely hide a sizable bump. And, while fur may no longer be considered the humane choice, she did look glamorous in this shot — leaving us wishing we could see what she wore underneath.
1957: Elizabeth Taylor
Oh, Elizabeth Taylor. Her name alone conjures up images of a different age in Hollywood. Here she posed with her husband of five months, Mike Todd, while wearing a more form-fitted look than the others we've seen so far. Still, the hat and gloves reflected the formality of the era, and the empire waste left much to the imagination. The pair had reportedly fought publicly throughout their trip on the liner Liberte — but they laughed it off as they disembarked.
1958: Janet Leigh
While actress Janet Leigh's neckline on her dress was more revealing than the other looks we've seen from this era, her jacket managed to hide her in a great deal of fabric. Still, the satiny look of both her jacket and dress made for a more intimate, sexy feel than the more formal maternity looks of the time. Here, Janet enjoyed dinner with her husband, actor Tony Curtis.
1959: Audrey Hepburn
One of the most iconic actresses of her time, and even today, Audrey Hepburn set the bar high for fashion. Surprisingly, there were few photos of her available during her pregnancies with her two sons, and ones like this were shot from above the bump. Like many other celebrities of her time, Hepburn opted for an elegant jacket to hide her growing belly. She's seen here with her first husband, Mel Ferrer.
1961: Princess Margaret
In keeping with royal tradition, Princess Margaret stepped out in a timeless sundress and heels, with her fur coat and clutch in one arm. While the dress was flowy, it revealed her bare arms — something we hadn't seen in the celebrity maternity looks of the 1950s and 1940s (although we're sure some women must've worn styles that bared their arms during those times!).
1962: Debbie Reynolds
While Debbie Reynolds (left) was six months pregnant in this shot, it's difficult to tell beneath all that satin fabric. Still, the 3/4 length sleeves are a little shorter than most of the previous looks we've seen. She's standing next to fellow actor, David Janssen and his wife — who is openly smoking a cigarette in the company of a pregnant women, further underlining how much times have changed.
1963: Queen Elizabeth II
It's almost hard to believe Queen Elizabeth II birthed four children — but she did! Here she is pregnant with her fourth child, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex. She stepped out in a velvet dress that hit beneath the knees to attend a ballet performance. In keeping with the other celebrity trends we've seen from this era, her sleeves are a bit shorter, revealing her wrists, oh my! She paired the dress with the classic royal heels, hat, and clutch.
1964: Carmen Sevilla
Spanish actress, singer, and television presenter, Carmen Sevilla posed in a baby blue sheath dress with a (gasp!) visible bump. While still a good amount of fabric (and no real form to the dress), her bare arms and legs are a departure from the more modest looks we've seen so far. This picture was taken in Madrid, Spain, when Carmen was pregnant with her only child, a baby boy.
1965: Patricia Neal
Here actress Patricia Neal attends physical therapy to help her recover from a stroke she had while pregnant in 1965. She wears a summer bonnet and sundress that reveals her arms and legs — as we'd now expect to be the case on a warm summer's day. The floral print is also more playful than all the solids we've seen in the other maternity looks.
1967: Maureen Starkey Tigrett
Ringo Starr's first wife, Maureen Starkey, was a hairdresser made famous by her marriage to Beatles' drummer, Ringo Starr. The couple posed with their first son, two-year-old Zak Starkey in the background. They had three children together, all boys. Here Maureen was practically swimming in fabric, sporting an Indian-inspired gown that revealed her wrists, in keeping with the trends of the time.
1970: Romina Power
Romina Power, wife of Italian singer Al Bano, ushered in the 1970s with the pregnancy of their first child. Her long straight hair and floral gown had a definite flower child feel, but still reflected the loose fabric and sleeves that ended at the wrists, which were so popular in 1960s maternity wear. The couple posed in Venice, Italy with a baby kitten in a sweet maternity shot.
1971: Gerlean Rockett
Singer Johnnie Taylor and his wife, Gerlean Rockett, posed for a cute portrait of Johnnie holding a microphone to his wife's belly in 1971. Gerlean departed from previous trends with a pair of slacks under her maternity blouse, which tied above the waist with a cute bow. The turtleneck with bare arms was definitely on-trend with the era.
1972: Shakira Caine
Shakira Caine, wife of British actor Michael Caine, followed suit in trousers — marking a big shift from all the dresses and skirt suits we saw in the previous decades. Shakira also sported a turtleneck, in keeping with '70s trends.
1974: Daliah Lavi-Gans Schwanger
Israeli actress Daliah Lavi-Gans posed in a cheerful yellow maternity frock with embroidered flowers in Miami, Florida in 1974. The sun hat and long nails added a festive touch.
1975: Yoko Ono
While we can't see a whole lot of Yoko Ono's maternity look in this shot, we can tell she opted for a deep-v cut on her dress and a more form-fitting cut than what we've seen previously. Here she posed with Art Garfunkel, Paul Simon, and John Lennon at the 17th Annual Grammy Awards.
1976: Elaine Joyce
It turns out all those clever maternity shirts aren't just a modern phenomenon. Here actress Elaine Joyce posed with then-husband, Bobby Van. And, her shirt leaves no mystery about who is pregnant.
1977: Princess Anne
In a departure from the other royal maternity looks we've seen so far, Princess Anne is pictured here in slacks, a sweater, and a bandana — with a clearly visible baby bump. We must be entering an age of more prolific paparazzi...
1979: Cybil Shepherd
All glamour but with still plenty of fabric, Cybill Shepherd greeted Queen Elizabeth at the premiere of her film, The Lady Vanishes. The sheer fabric and low back-line added pretty details to Shepherd's gown. Shepherd was seven months pregnant.
1982: Princess Diana
With a large white cardigan and a clutch, Princess Diana still couldn't hide her growing bump as she awaited the arrival of her first son, Prince William in June 1982 — days before his birth.
1983: Jerry Hall
Nautical looks were hot in the 1980s and Jerry Hall managed to pull this sailor blouse off as she posed with her boyfriend, Mick Jagger, in celebration of his 40th birthday in Barbados.
1984: Princess Diana
In a busy print and a large Peter Pan collar with a nautical look, Princess Diana embraced all things '80s with this maternity dress while she was pregnant with her second son, Prince Harry.
1986: Princess Caroline Of Monaco
Casual maternity looks were on the rise in the 1980s as evident by Princess Caroline's white blouse and trousers with an oversized sweater.
1987: Peggy Rowe
As maternity looks became more casual, they also became simpler. Here Peggy Rowe posed with her husband, actor Erik Estrada in a simple cotton shirt dress.
1988: Sarah, Duchess Of York
Remember how we mentioned nautical being a popular style theme in the 1980s? Sarah, Duchess of York opted for a sailor-inspired dress and hat with plenty of fabric to spare.
1991: Demi Moore
The 1990s brought darker fabrics and dresses that looked a little less "maternity." Here Demi Moore accompanied Bruce Willis to the his Hudson Hawk premiere in a black velvet gown with an off-the-shoulder neckline.
1992: Whitney Houston
In a gown that doesn't look maternity, Whitney Houston attended The Bodyguard premiere with husband Bobby Brown. The beadwork and shawl both distracted from Houston's growing bump. She was about six months pregnant at the time.
1992: Kelly Preston
In a swing back towards the boxy maternity looks of the 1980s, Kelly Preston posed with husband John Travolta.
1995: Kris Jenner
Kardashian matriarch Kris Jenner sported a tunic that was more office casual and modest than the maternity looks of her famous daughters. Here she was pregnant with Kendall Jenner.