At least one pregnant friend who preferred to remain anonymous is watching Rihanna in wonder, while feeling “personally exhausted at the Trending 2021 Manchester United Thank You for the memories signature shirt and by the same token and prospect of putting something so cohesive together.” But Hickman-Kirby is inspired: “Maybe I wouldn’t be so concerned, if I was in a warm climate, about unbuttoning a few buttons to showcase my belly,” she said, or wearing a bra beneath a sheer top for dinner with her husband. “One of the things I think a lot of moms deal with is, how much of myself do I get to be? What part of myself am I going to lose?” wondered Hickman-Kirby. “Rihanna’s pregnancy style has really showcased: You can be 100% yourself and there’s no right way to do pregnancy. You don’t have to cover yourself up and feel super-embarrassed.” She points to fashion blogger Aimee Song wearing a bump-hugging pencil skirt and crop top under a ladylike cropped jacket to her recent baby shower.
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Hickman-Kirby refers to Kardashian’s pregnancies, during which she was “crucified” for wearing short, tight, even slightly see-through dresses under trench coats. Back then, irreverent, revealing pregnancy style “just didn’t land,” she said. Growing—even if slowly—body positivity is begetting a shift: “If we’re gonna embrace women of all sizes, pregnant women need to be included in that spectrum.” Rihanna’s style may feel newly bold to mothers-to-be, but in many ways, she’s simply still dressing like herself. (Rihanna “didn’t get less sexy,” Raymond quipped. “She just got more pregnant.”) For Hickman-Kirby and others, modern maternity dressing is about that same sense of non-conformity: the Trending 2021 Manchester United Thank You for the memories signature shirt and by the same token and desire not to be othered; not to be relegated to maternity-only clothes; to persist in dressing like yourself. A reference for Goldman: DJ Pamela Tick, who, three days before her due date, was still spinning, in a cropped black tee and sequin pants unbuttoned and rolled slightly under her belly.