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CHAPTER 15

MATERNITY CLOTHES AND THE LAYETTE

Skirts—Inside Belts—Waists and Blouses—Waist Linings—Coats—Capes—Suits— Materials—Colors—Corsets— Shoes—Lingerie and Underwear—The Layette

MATERNITY clothes have two objects: One is to make your condition unnoticeable, the other is to give you every physical advantage possible. If your clothes make you feel conspicuous and awkward you will shrink from going out and will suffer from lack of exercise and legitimate amusement which would keep you in a happy, contented frame of mind. Under such conditions you would be likely to become morbid, and your depression might seriously affect the physical condition of your child and his character and disposition. If you keep happy and contented yourself you stand a better chance of having a happy, sunny, normal child.

Your clothes must be the right weight so that they will not tire or strain you. They must he the right size so that they give your figure proper support without compressing it or retarding its development.

Clothes that are designed solely for maternity wear are apt to look the part, and call attention to a woman's condition. At this time you do not want to be conspicuous in any way. You want to look as much like other women as possible so that there will be nothing to draw notice to you. It is much better to choose current styles that can be adapted to maternity wear and use them in preference to the special maternity clothes. Your things will be prettier and smarter and of more use to you later. The slight alterations that you make for maternity use can be changed back to normal lines after the baby is born.

You should avoid anything that is extreme or bizarre or that will enlarge your figure unnecessarily. Skirts with plaits, long soft tunics, or soft fulness are admirable, for they give you the size you need at the waist. You should not use a skirt that is extremely narrow. It might become too small for you before the baby is born. If you select such a style it is advisable to add sufficient width to it in cutting.

SKIRTS—A skirt can be adapted to maternity use by allowing extra length at the top in front. The allowance should be three inches deep at the center front and slope to nothing to the hip. As your skirt grows shorter across the front you will let out this allowance to keep it even at the bottom. A skirt that is short across the front and pokes out calls immediate attention to your condition. Until you need this extra allowance it can be turned under and its inside edge covered with seam binding.

THE INSIDE BELT of skirts and dresses should be of elastic webbing. New belts should be put in from time to time so that the belt will always be easy. It should never compress the figure. The point of the elastic webbing is not to allow the belt to stretch to your new proportions; it is to allow for the transient changes in the figure, the temporary inflations that come and go during the day.

WAISTS AND BLOUSES—In selecting waists either for separate blouses or as part of dresses, choose soft styles that do not fit the figure too closely. Long overblouses when in style are very good, because they have plenty of size at the waistline. Surplice waists, especially when they are made with sashes, adapt themselves to your changing figure with the tying of the sash. Waists with soft fulness when they are used as part of a dress made with a soft skirt should be joined to the skirt before either the waist or the top of the skirt is gathered. A casing should be placed at the waistline and the fulness of both the waist and skirt drawn in with the same drawstring. (Chapter 23, page 111.)

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