Maternity wear has come a long way in recent years. I remember my mother describing her 1980s maternity clothes, and how everything was made like a giant sack with a bow on it. She also mentioned one particularly tragic number with a nautical theme that made her feel anything but chic. Fortunately, today’s moms-to-be have a much kinder and fashionable variety of maternity wear to choose from. Yet there are still a collection of maternity fashion rules that need to be broken. Seriously, some rules should go the way of those bow-choked tops from the ‘80s.

Most maternity fashion rules follow the idea that pregnant ladies need to downplay or even hide their baby bump. But this idea seems silly to me because by the time you’re visibly pregnant, you’re likely going to draw attention anyway. If you’re more accustomed to dressing in fun, bold clothes, why stop now? Your developing baby should be celebrated, not hidden (especially not behind oversized bows.)

If you’ve spent years developing a one-of-a-kind fashion sense, you don’t have to throw out your own style just because there’s a baby on the way. So if these outdated fashion rules don’t work for you, here are some ways to remain true to your personal style while accommodating your growing baby.

1. Embrace Your Bump

More body-conscious dresses and tops can actually be very flattering during the latter parts of your pregnancy. By opting for cuts and fabrics that actually hug your curves, you won’t add any visual bulk to your silhouette.

2. Slip Into Skinny Pants

So this does not include the waistband; you want that as generous as possible. But a nice pair of maternity skinny jeans will pair well with flowy tunic tops for a modern, pulled-together look that is still extremely comfy.

3. Flaunt Your Style

Pregnancy shouldn't stop you from showing off yoru own style, even if designers are limiting you from doing so. If you’d rather keep it casual with your husband’s T-shirt instead of opting for a frilly maternity top, go for it. No need to change up your style now.

4. Go For Bold

Pregnant ladies are often advised to dress in monochromatic dark hues, but if you’ve always been drawn to bolder colors, now is not the time to tamp down your normal style. If that punchy fuchsia top speaks to you, rock it with pride.

5. Show Your Print Pride

Pregnant women are advised against drawing attention to their growing belly with intricate prints. But there’s no need to abandon stripes or abstract designs if you like them. How about a little argyle cardigan, or a chic houndstooth maternity dress?

6. Experiment With Silhouettes

Although the A-line is exceptionally flattering to the pregnant form, you can experiment with swingy trapeze tops, ruching, and other cuts and details that flatter your body. As long as the garment makes room for your baby, give it a shot.

7. Accessorisze

I once came across a gorgeous studded purse on Ebay that the seller auctioned because she felt the bag was no longer appropriate for her role as a new mom. And that broek my heart. You don't have to put away your edgier accessories just because you’re pregnant. If you love bold cuff bracelets or studded purses, keep on rocking them.

Images: Courtesy of Carrie A., D T, Maegan Tintari, Tradlands, LearningLark, Ariane Hunter, Phalinn Ooi, Geneva Vanderzeil / Flickr