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Under Cover

Tabloids sell a lot of magazines with their "celebrity bump watch" features.

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Aguilera's and Richie's maternity looks were in stark contrast to Lopez's billowing Grecian gowns and, most recently, the swingy black trapeze coat atop stacked heels that she wore to her New York baby shower last week. In fact, few if any photos of Lopez, who could not be reached for comment (as of press time, rumors have her delivering any day now), in anything less than full-on voluminous glamour outfits have surfaced over the past nine months. Of course, age could be a factor in the maternitywear differences between Aguilera, 27, and Richie, 26, and Lopez, 38. But then there's Halle Berry, who, at 41, is showing off her pregnancy in all manner of form-fitting garb.

Whereas Wolfe contends that accentuating one's pregnant curves is all about being sexy — and certainly anyone baring her belly and then some for a magazine only supports that theory — mothers and mothers-to-be say it's much simpler. "I tried some really loose fitting things, like this Marc Jacobs dress," explains New York socialite Allison Aston, who has a one-year-old son. "It made me look huge." Likewise for Celerie Kemble, now eight months pregnant with her second child. "I think the worst thing is to cover it up and then look like you just got fat. The more it's obvious and localized, the less you sort of get those grazing looks like, 'Oh, poor girl.' And there's something more charming about a marsupial than a hippopotamus."

Certainly it seems that Lopez is bucking the current trend. Yet that may have more to do with her overall approach to fashion these days than with a newfound maternal modesty. Lopez's plunging, pasted-on Versace dress at the 2000 Grammys remains her most memorable fashion moment, although that was eight years and several fashion incarnations ago. Today, she is more about grown-up glamour queen than sexpot.

"I think she's more covered up because she's simply grown out of the booby-tape thing — she's done that," says Jill Kargman, author of "Momzillas." "She's more mature, and the husband probably elicits her more nurturing, grown-up side versus Bennifer on the boat in that video [with Ben Affleck] untying her string bikini."
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