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The evolution of maternity style: How to dress a bump without the frump

July 16, 2014 at 10:42 AM ET

It's hard to imagine in this age of celebrity baby bumps, but not too long ago women were expected to hide their pregnancies with shapeless fashions.

Billowing caftans and roomy A-line dresses ruled for nine months — and designers seemed to think that women expecting a baby wanted to dress like one. Think gingham checks and over-sized bows.

Video: TODAY contributor Zanna Roberts Rassi shows us some of the latest in maternity wear, including an adorable striped dress and wedge heels.

Thankfully, maternity style has evolved. While it can still be challenging to dress your growing baby bump, women can find fashionable maternity clothes in a variety of styles and price points. (And can we get a "Hallelujah" for leggings, aka the pregnant lady's best friend?)

"It's all about keeping true to your own style," Zanna Roberts Rassi, senior fashion editor for Marie Claire and fashion correspondent for E! News, told TODAY's Savannah Guthrie (who happens to be eight months pregnant herself).

As TODAY Parents reader Stephanie Walton Anderson told us on Facebook, "I love how everything looks great on a pregnant lady. ... Bumps are always in!"

Rassi put together four maternity looks to help expecting moms stay confident and look fab while rocking the baby bump.

TODAY Show: TODAY Show Producers show off their adorable maternity fashion in Studio 1A on July 16, 2014.
Samantha Okazaki / TODAY
TODAY production manager Amy Danford models her 5-month baby bump.

The second trimester of pregnancy can be a challenging time to dress, as the bump may not be that noticeable yet. Rassi recommends wearing a loose blouse, paired with a pair of skinny jeans (plaid shirt, Wendy Bellissimo for Destination Maternity, $38; grey denim moto pant, Wendy Bellissimo for Destination Maternity, $48).

TODAY Show: TODAY Show Producers show off their adorable maternity fashion in Studio 1A on July 16, 2014.
Samantha Okazaki / TODAY
TODAY producer Allison Berger, who is eight months pregnant, wearing a Target maternity dress.

Embrace the bump with some neutral-colored stripe clothing. "Nothing too rainbow," Rassi said (Liz Lange Maternity dress, Target, $24.95).

TODAY
TODAY
TODAY producers Missy Dunlop and Lindsay Sobel, both 8-months pregnant, sport two summer maternity looks.

Graphic prints may seem scary to put on top of a growing belly, but Rassi promises that with one simple rule, pregnant women can embrace the prints. "Go for something with straight lines that contours the body," she said. And don't forget to pick up staple maxi dresses, as they can work well after pregnancy is over (on the left: dress, Macy's, $98; on the right: dress, Target, $25.99; vest, Gap, $69.99).

TODAY Parents readers have some awesome pregnancy style of their own, and shared some wonderful looks with us on our Facebook page.

Tracy Kerr Carson
Tracy Kerr Carson/Facebook
Tracy Kerr Carson rocks a Lilly Pulitzer dress while 40 weeks pregnant. She gave birth three days after taking this picture.
Eugenia Berg
Eugenia Berg/Facebook
Eugenia Berg, who is eight months pregnant, is staying cool this summer wearing "lots of dresses and maxi dresses."
Mike Fuchs Smith
Mike Fuchs Smith/Facebook
Mike Fuchs Smith dressed up her 33-week-old baby bump for a black-tie wedding in New York City.
Kristen Jones Birkbeck
Kristen Jones Birkbeck/Facebook
Kristen Jones Birkbeck didn't shy away from wearing layers throughout her pregnancy.
Jessica Adams
Jessica Adams/Facebook
Jessica Adams strikes a pose while eight months pregnant.


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