This chic maternity pattern appeared in the Butterick Fashion News store flyer in June, 1956.
[I apologize for the poor quality photos — my new computer won’t run my old photo program!]
The “Party time” version was a skirt and blouse with three-quarter sleeves and side slits; brocade material was recommended.
These 1950’s outfits — which assume that the mother-to-be will lead a normal life, entertaining, shopping, attending parties — are a refreshing contrast to the attitude of previous decades, which suggested that pregnancy should be concealed as long as possible, and that a pregnant woman should try not to attract attention in public. (See Who Would Ever Guess? (1930’s), Some Maternity Clothes of the 1920’s and 1930’s, and Maternity Fashions for December 1942, etc.)
“Designed to conceal condition,” 1934.
I remember the maternity fashions of my own childhood, the fifties, as being pretty — and making the wearer look pretty, too — distinct from the tight-waisted dresses of those days, but available in many versions, from “suitable for church” to “picnic in the back yard,” which included trousers instead of the narrow pencil skirts worn in public. (Trousers were strictly casual — not for school or PTA meetings.) This McCall pattern is from 1959.
There is no nonsense about concealing pregnancy in these fifties’ outfits. Hooray!