Maternity: fashion for the months that matter. That was the advertising slogan in the shop window I passed, as I took a shortcut to avoid the depredations of a couple of buskers who were badly interfering with my walkman.
So in exactly what way does it matter? I checked some official medical studies to see if it's true. Is a child's entire fashion sense dictated by what his or her mother wore during pregnancy?*
Of 13 studies, three were inconclusive but nine said that a mother's clothing choices during pregnancy did not generally affect the unborn foetus. (The other one was sponsored by British American Tobacco and found that clothing had no effect, but if the mother smoked while pregnant her child was 17% more likely to look cool.)
My further investigation centered on expectant mothers. Are heavily-pregnant women normally invited to a particularly high number of exclusive parties and high-society "occasions"? The answer would seem to be "no", although several mothers had been invited to pre-natal classes. Consensus opinion judged that fancy dress was not required in this case.
So why could fashion matter particularly during those months?
Answer: it doesn't.
Then why is somebody trying to convince people that it does?
I considered the usual suspects - one of the various alien factions, the CIA, the CoS, bizarre religious cults.
In the end, though, I decided to take a long shot. I know this may seem unlikely, but I think the purpose behind the slogan is to sell more clothes to gullible pregnant women.
Call me paranoid if you like...
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