The Best Stores for Maternity Wear

The Best Stores for Maternity Workwear | CorporetteWe’ve talked about the best stores for workwear for tall women, for petites, and for plus sizes; the last one we’re going to talk about is the best stores for maternity wear.  Spoiler alert: the choices are never great — but they have expanded quite a bit since I was pregnant (and since we last looked at professional maternity clothes).  Today I’ve asked blogger (and Corporette reader!) K from Work That Bump to guest post and round up some of the best stores for the working pregnant lady.  Welcome, K! – Kat.

Scaling Mount Everest, running a marathon, and collecting a suitable maternity working wardrobe — it may not seem that the last one belongs, but trust me, it does.  So although I can’t comment on the first two feats, I was thrilled when Kat asked me if I would guest post on the third.  I’ve created what I hope to be a comprehensive list of maternity brands and stores (something I wish I had when I was pregnant). Other issues I’ve addressed that may be helpful: I recently spelled out my approach to shopping for maternity wear and my maternity-wear budget. I’ve also tackled the difficult questions of intimate apparel while pregnant and a transition wardrobe while pregnant.

Before we get into the list of stores, though, it is worth noting that you can score some good prices on maternity wear on Gilt, Rue La La, Zulily, and Haute Look.  Gilt currently has eight pages of maternity wear from good brands like Maternal America and Eva Alexander, as well as nursing bras, jeans, and casual tops for the weekends.  For example, I really like this Charlotte dress from Nom Maternity that is available for $60 on Gilt (pictured above) — it should prove to be very versatile: you could wear it with pumps and a blazer for work or with riding boots and a cardigan for chilly weekends.

And now to the list of stores and brands:

Readers, what were/are your favorite stores for maternity workwear?  What were your biggest challenges, style-wise?

Comments

  1. I highly recommend this top: http://www.motherhood.com/Product.asp?Product_Id=965770003&MasterCategory_Id=MC1
    It’s a little silky feeling, and the blue is more toward navy than the bright blue shown. It’s tunic length, and looks great with slacks.

    Overall I’ve had the hardest time shopping for pants. You’re used to shopping by sizes, and then all of a sudden much of what’s offered is only S/M/L/XL, which means nothing quite fits right. Then there’s very little consistency between brands, similar to non-maternity clothes. Gap/Old Navy & ASOS have been the best at quick shipping and easy returns so far.

  2. Diana Barry :

    This is an awesome list. Wonderful to have it all in one place!

  3. 33 weeks today so I am all over this topic. My best bets for workwear have been Isabella Oliver and Seraphine. I also have a fantastic Topshop t-shirt dress that I can wear to work with a cardigan or black blazer.

    My pro tip? Get a maternity slip to smooth things out under your dresses, if you are a committed dress-wearer. I got a great one from Seraphine and wear it pretty much every day.

    My other pro tip is not to worry about giving up heels. I had to do it for safety and comfort at around 28 or 29 weeks and honestly, at this point I can’t even imagine wearing them to work. No-one cares and I am so sore everywhere at the moment that heels would be WAY too much work.

  4. Old Navy, Gap, and ASOS are amazing for free shipping and easy returns! I was also amazed at the enormous difference in quality between Old Navy jeans and Gap jeans. ASOS has very cute maternity coats but I ended up getting a puffer from Old Navy.

    • Agreed! I had an endless cycle of stuff going back and forth between ASOS and me. I liked most of it, but there was no harm if I didn’t.

    • Anonymous :

      I also ordered from Old Navy and ASOS recently. Unfortunately, the puffer coat from Old Navy is pretty useless in terms of keeping me warm. The only option I’ve found for a real maternity winter coat is the M Coat, and the $350-ish price tag is scaring me off. I’m only 15 weeks now, so I’m not sure how I’m going to make it through the winter without a good coat. It got to -5 this morning, and I’m freezing!

  5. My biggest surprise was that, unlike celebrities, I didn’t stay my svelte self all over and just grow a basketball in my middle. Some of my more tailored jackets don’t fit through the arms/shoulders right now (I tend to gain weight in my upper arms in general, which is no fun). I had expected to be able to keep wearing them, just not closed, but they’re just not working for me right now. The extra weight in my hips and backside (because there could be a famine here in 21st century America any second!) doesn’t help either. The high-hip length jackets and cardigans that work on regular me do not flatter pregnant me at all. As for that perfect, round little basketball, some people do grow that bump, but bumps come in all shapes and sizes — high, low, sticky out, oval, etc. And so some dresses that flatter one woman don’t work on another one at all. I’m doing my best, but I certainly am no Princess Kate.

    • Yeah, this whole post is a few years too late for me, but my experience was a ton of weight gain in the lower body. Not a huge bump. I developed very, very, fat legs. It was … astounding to me. And hard to find pants for, too.

  6. Joanna Toews :

    Thyme Maternity, up here in the wilds of Canada, is pretty fantastic.

  7. PSA for petite moms-to-be : Flying Squirrel :

    This is a great list, though I want to add that maternity clothing can be especially challenging for those of us who are vertically-challenged. Not only is it nearly impossible to find XS-sizes in most retail locations, even those are not typically well-proportioned for the short of stature (extra challenge if you are also short-torsoed like me). Add to that you may have a larger chest than you ever had before, and the fact that most v-necks come a little lower than you would prefer generally now turns into an indecent exposure risk.

    So, I just want to add a few tips of my own:

    - Old Navy Maternity is one of the most petite friendly lines I’ve found, though not a great workwear selection.
    - Don’t be afraid of getting maternity pants hemmed. The odd of finding something that doesn’t need this are slim-to-none.
    - The current long-tee and side ruching trend is your friend. 90% of my “maternity” tops are just regular-sized tops that would otherwise run long on me and have side ruching to conceal a small tummy (but stretch for my now much bigger one).
    - TJ Maxx, Nordstrom Rack, Saks Off 5th (Saks Outlet), and Neiman Marcus Last Call (NM Outlet) are your friends. With promotions etc, you can find jersey dresses that are a size or two too large super cheap. Have the bodice slimmed a bit and the hem adjusted (you can even have them make the front longer), and you have a “maternity” dress. I’ve done this for at least 4 dresses, and even with alterations they are the same cost or cheaper than most nicer maternity wear (e.g. Olian, Maternal America, Japanese Weekend). And you have better selection and better fabrics.
    - My biggest splurge has been designer maternity jeans (used a 25% coupon from Revolve Clothing to get them for ~$150). Add in hemming and taxes, and they cost around $180. Absolutely worth it!!!

  8. I sent back almost everything I got from Rosie Pope. Isabella Oliver was a godsend. And if you are in NYC, there is a boutique on the UES called Veronique Maternity that has the best (and most expensive) maternity clothing. I bought an amazing black sheath dress there. It was pricey but also the kind of dress that you can wear to work twice a week and no one would notice.

  9. Anonymous :

    On a related note, can anyone recommend serious maternity support? I’m gearing up for baby #3 and my core is completely shot from the last two, even after PT. I tried the more common options (ie, the elastic belt in its various designs) with baby #2 and the spanx maternity garment has come on line since then, but I’m wondering if there’s still anything like the older full-on corset contraption of yore.

  10. I got this dress from Gilt in navy blue and loved it. Only warning: I wore it to an early baby shower and the flash made it seem see through in pictures. But otherwise, loved it.

    My best tip: Shop consignment. So much more for your money. It helped me not feel guilty about buying more/higher-end clothing for such a short period of time.

    • Anonymous :

      +1 I also liked consignment because I could get designs beyond the current season, which provided some much-needed variety.

  11. I am 29 weeks now and was thrilled to see this post!!! I have actually really enjoyed maternity shopping (an excuse to wear pants with an elastic waistband!). I work at a large midwest law firm, that has a fairly casual dress policy. I have found some of my favorites on Zulilly. My favorite brand, which appears on there often, is Madeleine Maternity. http://www.madeleinematernity.com/. This is my FAVORITE belt, and I have found I can wear it with nearly all my dresses: http://www.madeleinematernity.com/collections/accessories/products/grey-peony-baby-bump-belt

    I also loved this Patty Momma dress I found on Amazon : http://www.amazon.com/PattyBoutik-Stylish-Sleeve-Stretch-Maternity/dp/B009O8M05C/ref=sr_1_4?s=apparel&ie=UTF8&qid=1384802797&sr=1-4&keywords=maternity+clothes
    You definitely need to wear some spanx underneath, but with a different belt/blazer I am able to wear it every week without feeling like people are noticing how frequently it is worn!

    I also love Isabella Oliver (but not the prices). I bought a couple Isabella Oliver pieces off e-bay and loved them all.

    I cannot say enough about the Ingrid and Isabella Bella-Band (I bought their Nordstrom version which I hear is much better than the one Target carries). I am still wearing some pre-pregnancy Ann Taylor pants unbuttoned with a Bella-Band over it.

    Also- the maternity section at Target. I have gotten some excellent basics there including Ingrid & Isabella stretchy tanks, Spanx tights, and Liz Lange maternity tunics. I am lucky in that all my pre-pregnancy suit jackets still fit (unbuttoned of course) so I frequently wear stretchy cotton tunics with jackets unbuttoned over them.

    Additionally, my MIL has lent me some of her Eileen Fisher pieces. The brand is not maternity but the clothes have lots of stretch (and run large) so I have had lots of success with these.

    Also, I went from a normal C-cup up to an E fairly quickly in the pregnancy, which meant I quickly needed new bras. I found the Panache Women’s Underwired Sports Bra and Anita Maternity Women’s Underwire Nursing Bra (both purchased on Amazon) to be great. They were a bit on the pricy side but I LOVE my new sports bra (it is so comfy I often wear it as a regular bra) and the nursing bra should be helpful in a couple months. Also- I found some great Calvin Klein bras at TJMaxx for quite cheap which worked well while they lasted (however, they are all beginning to show dramatic signs of wear and are starting to fall apart).

    Lastly, I know we are sticking to work wear but I had to give a shout out to Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Stretch Oil (also an Amazon purchase!! Can you tell I am an Amazon obsessed prime member :)
    I was using just cocoa butter, but after slathering it on in the morning I would spend 10 minutes trying to rub it in (and would still find up with the gook on my clothes). The oil absorbs quickly, allowing me to get dressed 30 seconds after rubbing it on.

    Good luck to all the other mommas out there!!

    • Re your final shout-out – I am using the same oil and really like it too. Don’t know if its my genes or the oil, but no stretch marks yet. The oil smells nice and absorbs very well. Have been using it religiously and love it.

    • Oooh, they have got some seriously cute stuff! I will add that to the list too. Thanks much!

    • I found three dresses I liked on Madeleine Maternity, but they don’t offer returns??? That’s insane, especially for a company that sells maternity wear online only.

  12. I had no idea they don’t offer returns- in fact their entire return policy is pretty draconian.
    For those who are still interested, I have this dress and love it: http://www.madeleinematernity.com/collections/maternity-clothing-store/products/long-sleeved-etoile-in-dark-grey-melange
    For sizing reference, I was pre-pregnancy 135lbs (5’9), and wore a Size 4 (sometimes would size down to a 2 in dresses). I have already gained over 25lb this pregnancy (largely in my hips) and I ordered the dress in a Medium – it is plenty big (will fit throughout my pregnancy).

  13. LOVE the maternity clothes from this brand: http://www.prelegant.com

  14. PhDMama-to-be :

    This is really timely for me. I’m 14 weeks, and just starting to do some maternity-wear shopping. Also — though I get why this is — it’s rather annoying that the majority of maternity clothes are only available online. I have no idea what is going to fit me because me shape is changing (how does it happen that a two pound weight gain translates into busting out and notably bigger waistline?) so I’ve been reluctant to wade into the buy-receive-return cycle. Thanks for all the tips, ladies!

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