Women have been giving birth since you know, like pretty much the beginning of time. The majority of us ladies are mothers, or will become mothers at some point in our lives. So why oh why is it STILL so difficult to find something attractive to wear during that magical time on your life? Maternity clothes tend to come in really lame pastel colors and are often cut in super matronly styles. I’ve found it to be of a lot of work to dress the way I want while preggers, but since I’ve already done it once (and I’m half way done with round 2, woot!), I thought I’d share some favorite brands and tips and tricks with you. Not pregnant? Pin this for later, you won’t be sorry!
A FEW OF MY FAVORITE MATERNITY BRANDS…
I’m wearing some maternity boyfriend jeans from h&m right now. They’re pretty much the most comfortable pants I’ve ever worn. The maternity selection at h&m isn’t huge, but it’s a great place to start looking for the basics. They’ve got a nice selection of jeans, t-shirts and blouses in a range of neutral and fashion forward colors. Their price point is also very affordable.
Asos is another great place to head for maternity basics. They’re slightly more pricey than h&m, but I’ve found the fit of their garments to be very flattering and they use nicer materials. I’m especially digging their party dresses for this season. I see so many things that would be perfect for a spring/summer wedding guest. They also have a nice selection of maternity swimwear, which can be tricky to find. Last but not least, Asos offers free shipping on orders over $40!
They specialize in high quality jersey dresses that you can wear when you’re pregnant, or when you’re not. They run about $100 – $150, but they look like the kind of items that would quickly become a staple in your wardrobe. They do a lot with stripes and color blocking, I’ll definitely be picking up one of these pretties for the warmer months!
Everything they make is divine, but really not affordable. It all looks comfortable, yet still positively fashion forward. Think of Hatch as a place to shop for a few choice maternity items that you’ll just wear to death. Unless you can afford $300 dresses for every day, in which case, lucky you! I’m particularly smitten with the twilight jumpsuit (pictured above) and the black/white panama dress. They just launched their spring line recently, and it’s just as dreamy as you’d expect!
If you aren’t familiar with gilt, they are a high-end “flash sale” typed retailer. You do need to sign up, but then you have access to the daily sales, of which there are many. They bring you a lot of luxury brands at a more affordable price point, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how many maternity wear options they provide. The one drawback to the flash sale style website is that competition can be fierce. If you see something you want, don’t hesitate! They often feature great maternity brands like Hatch Maternity (mentioned above), Ingrid & Isabel, and Maternal America. One of my favorite things about their site is that you can add brands to your favorites to get a special notification when they have an upcoming sale.
I generally feel kind of “meh, whatever” about LOFT. Their clothes are a bit conservative business casual for my taste, BUT I do really like what they’ve got going on for maternity. They seem to understand how to create clothes that fit a pregnant body, and I like that they throw in the occasional eye-catching pattern. If you need to dress up for work, I’d probably start here. I’ve learned that Loft does ridiculous sales (40-60% OFF) on a pretty regular basis. I pretty much only make purchases from loft when they have a sale going on. I’ve noticed that their clothes tend to run at least one size too big, so keep that in mind if you’re shopping online.
GENERAL TIPS & TRICKS…
• Your are under no obligation to wear maternity clothes! A few pairs of maternity jeans are probably unavoidable, but otherwise, you could probably get away with entirely non-maternity clothing while pregnant. It definitely takes time to wade through the racks or online pages of clothing to find something that will work for you. Look for clothing that either has a LOT of stretch to it, or has no waist at all. I’d look for pieces like kimonos, loose fit tunics, trapeze dresses, and stretchy maxis. If you’re buying online, be sure it’s returnable. It can often be hard to gauge exactly how certain items will fit your changing body, and you definitely don’t want to be stuck with a piece you can’t wear for the next 9 months. Depending on the fit you may be able to stick with your regular size, or you can always size up to be on the safe side. It seems that right now, styles are tending a little looser. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how many maternity-friendly options I’ve seen at stores like Anthropologie and Madewell this season.
• Accessories are your friend! You’ll likely end up with a much more limited wardrobe while you’re pregnant, so make the most of pieces in your closet that still fit you like jewelry and shoes. With the right accessory combinations, you can make the same jeans and t-shirt combo work harder for you, and a steady change in accessories will keep the outfit boredom at bay.
• It only has to hold up for 9 months. You might consider brands that you wouldn’t normally. I recently purchased a few things from Forever 21. A lot of their stuff is cute, and ridiculously affordable. I don’t think I’ve ever shopped there before, but considering I’m only looking for pieces to get me through August, I’m not even be bothered by the cheaper quality.
• Share with your friends and they’ll share with you! If you have an expecting or current mama friend who’s a similar size and has similar taste in clothing, hug her. If everything times out well, you could share maternity clothing with your friend and ask for the same in return. You can basically double your maternity wardrobe for free!
• Consider consignment shops or gently worn clothing online. Again, this wardrobe is temporary, and every mama out there is in the same boat. It’s pretty easy to find barely-worn maternity clothing online, and in your favorite local consignment shops. Prices for used items should be in your favor, but it can be pretty time consuming to wade through it all. If you go the online route, I’d try Ebay, Poshmark, or even Etsy for gently worn options online.
Shop the outfits pictures, left to right: LOFT Maxi Dress, Hatch Jumper, ASOS Navy Top
Have any other maternity clothing tips to add? Please do so in the comments section, and have a beautiful weekend!