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What's A Pregnant Girl to Wear? A Rant and Some Cute Clothes

By Rebekah Kuschmider |

Skinny pregnant lady pictured is NOT the author.

One of things I’ve had a tough time with this pregnancy is clothes. I made the critical error of having my second due date almost exactly six months after the birthday of my older child so my entire existing maternity wardrobe is the wrong season. Normally, I’m all about an excuse to go shopping for new clothes but I have HATED shopping for maternity clothes this time around.

The first problem I encountered is the disappearance of brick-and-mortal maternity stores. My choices are the pitifully small maternity sections at Old Navy, JC Penney or Target (Look! We have jeans and a selection of three different shirts! Go nuts, pregnant ladies!). The only full-selection maternity store near me is Motherhood Maternity.  They all have more stuff online than they do in person but I like to try clothes on to figure out if its going to irritate my c-section scar or burst at the seams around my ginormous thighs.

The other problem I’ve encountered is the presumption on the part of maternity fashion designers that I wish to be cute and trendy.  Perhaps if I were younger or thinner or went out regularly, cute and trendy would be my priorities but, alas, those things are not true. I’m a 38-year-old stay at home mom who’s already 20 pounds up from pre-pregnancy weight. What I want out of clothes is practical, durable, and comfortable.

I’ve had to start thinking about a summer wardrobe over the past few days and I have a skeleton of what I want in mind: three pairs of capri pants, three sundresses, and five or six t-shirts. This should be an easy proposition, right? Maybe. It depends what clothing makers mean by “slim cut through the hip and thigh”. If they mean “snug enough to be kinda supportive and help combat summertime water retention”, I’m golden. If they mean “Posh Beckham would look hot in this”, I’m screwed. I don’t look like Posh on my best day. And pregnant? I look like Tweedle-Dum. I need all the room in the hip and thighs that designers can give me.

Tops and dresses should give me more breathing room, literally. But I was flipping through the dresses on Motherhood’s site and a lot of them looked like cocktail attire, not playground attire. They also tended to hit well above the knee. My legs don’t look good enough for that – plus I can’t bend to shave very well – and, well, short skirts and hanging on the playground with my 4 year old don’t mix. Unless, that is, I decide my neighbors are dying to know more about my underwear.

And why, oh, why are there so many garish patterns in maternity wear? Bright colors don’t look cute on my bump. They make me feel like a beach ball.

But, a girl must get dressed. Here are a few of the things I’ve bookmarked for spring and summer!

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Spring Maternity Clothes

Maxi Dress

This green floral looks flowy and breezy and it’s long enough to be wearable with no flashing worries!
Purchase at Old Navy for $30

Read more from Rebekah at Mom-in-a-Million, The DC MomsThe Broad Side
Follow Rebekah on Facebook and Twitter too!

Photo credit: Motherhood Maternity

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About Rebekah Kuschmider


Rebekah Kuschmider

Rebekah Kuschmider is a writer and mother with an over-developed sense of irreverence, who has socialist tendencies and a blog. She lives with her husband and two kids outside of Washington, DC. You can read her work regularly at Stay At Home Pundit and The Broad Side. Her work has also been seen at Salon, Redbook, and The Huffington Post. Read bio and latest posts → Read Rebekah Kuschmider's latest posts →

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15 thoughts on “What's A Pregnant Girl to Wear? A Rant and Some Cute Clothes

  1. Olivia says:

    As a plus sized gal, I have to do all my maternity clothes shopping online. I bought 6 or 7 v-neck t shirts in different colors, a couple other maternity shirts, and I have 4 pairs of pants that fit well. I finish off my outfits with cardigans or button up shirts left open for the office. My trouble this time around is that my feet are swelling more than they did during my first pregnancy. I really need sandal weather to get her already so I can stop stuffing these sausages into shoes.

  2. Rachel says:

    As a six-foot-tall pregnant woman, finding maternity wear is especially difficult. The only maternity store in town has a whopping single pair of tall maternity pants and they’re not flattering. I’ve bought very few actual maternity clothes and for the most part just wear yoga pants low on my abdomen, regular dress pants for work that are a size bigger than I’d usually wear. The combo of a tunic sweater, leggings, and boots also works well and I haven’t had to buy those in maternity sizes either. The Gap actually does have tall maternity jeans. At 34 weeks, my entire maternity wardrobe consists of one pair of tall maternity pants from the maternity store, a pair of tall gap maternity jeans, a tunic sweater from gap maternity, four or five maternity tops from the Liz Lange section at Target. The rest is just leggings, yoga pants, and sweater, dresses, etc., that I already owned that happened to be forgiving on a pregnant belly. This has been really frustrating, but in a way, I’m also glad it forced me to find a way to make most of my regular wardrobe work without making a huge investment in maternity wear.

  3. Hollie says:

    I have a really hard time finding tops that fit when I’m NOT pregnant, and when I’m gestating, fugghedaboutit. I have a huge chest but medium-sized body, so the adorable little empire dresses and tops come to my nipples, and wrap tops slide down until I look like I’m advertising strip clubs. TIP!! If you find a brand you like but don’t want to pay Pea in the Pod or Gap prices – hit eBay. I’ve gotten several pairs of Gap jeans in the $15 range, and you know how little use they’ve probably gotten, since you’re in the same boat yourself.

  4. Jen says:

    I’ve always carried my extra weight in my mid-section (the trifecta of thighs, booty, belly) – so I practically lived in that first Old Navy dress pre-pregnancy last summer – one in fuchsia, one in navy and one in black. So even if I have to go up in size to account for this bump, I’m already looking forward to that being a staple this year, too!

    The best part? Postpartum you can just toss a belt at the waistline and I swear, it will be one of the most forgiving dresses of all time!

  5. Steve says:

    My wife and I were out shopping for maternity clothes a few weekends ago and were astounded by the lack of merchandise available at the major brick and mortar retailers. You pretty much summed up our thoughts on Target. Just pitiful! Why retailers so blatantly disregard an entire market is beyond me. We ended up finding a pretty good selection of clothes at a regional department store (Boscov’s). Overall though the trip was a bust. Those stores totally missed out on us dropping a good amount of $$.

  6. Brooke Socia says:

    I went to the mall the other day, I stopped at Kohls, Jcpenny, Belk, Target & ross. All they had to offer, if anything was a tint little section. I could fit into the shirts, but let me tell you. Those jeans were to small. I have a big butt, but not that big to where every pants I put on show every dimple. Of course pregnant woman want a comfortable fit expecially for this hot summer coming up. I dont want to buy online, and not know if it will fit me the way i want it to fit. Come on world, we are already hormonal being pregnant & your making it worse by having more icecream varieties in the grocery store than stores have maternity clothes. Lets just say that day I got a pretzel set down and tried not to be depressed about my body.

  7. Jennifer says:

    Wow – in my medium-sized town, even the brick and mortar stores haven’t carried maternity. My best “maternity” find so far was some plus size clearance pants (that also fold and button into capris, double-duty!) that are very similar to the Old Navy cargo capris (they even have an elastic waistband that’s almost identical to this style, and because I went up sizes they’re extra roomy and will actually ride about halfway up my bump without binding). Got them a few sizes up from my pre-maternity size and voila! Not only do they work, but they’re the most comfortable of any of my “maternity” wear.

  8. Cassie says:

    Seven things from Old Navy & three from Motherhood Maternity? I know you were complaining about the lack of options, but I was kind of hoping you’d find some alternatives. I feel like my pregnancy should be sponsored by Old Navy.

  9. Beth says:

    Oh my goodness, you sound just like me! I’m also a 38 y/o SAHM with an almost 4 y/o and one on the last maternity wardrobe was business casual b/c I was working full time and this time around I’m not wanting to spend alot b/c this may be the end of the baby train for us! Our Macy’s has a tiny section but it is $$, Kohls has an even tinier section but the stuff just isn’t very nice. I think a trip to our local Destination Maternity may be in order..I am willing to try out Old Navy and H&M but my bias is telling me it might be too young-ish..we’ll see! Thanks for the article! Good Luck!

  10. Tristen says:

    I love Kohls pregnancy jeans… I have fuller hips and thighs and they fit and are long enough. I am 5’7″ and pre preggo size 10 or 12. Motherhood has a horrible selection of clothes this spring which is disappointing. Got a great black wrap dress from Gap on sale that will be my staple.

  11. Jessika says:

    I am a 25 y/o SAHM, I’m pretty small (4’10″), and I’m having a lot of trouble finding cute maternity clothes at a decent price. I don’t want to shell out a bunch of money for clothes I’m only gonna wear for a few months, but I don’t wanna look like a huge slob either =/ I swear, when I’m not pregnant, I see all these pregnant ladies in really cute clothes. But when I’m pregnant, where do all those cute clothes go?!?!?! I would LOVE to find a few really cute maxi dresses and shirts in my size, but haven’t had much luck yet. I really wish that clothing stores had a larger maternity section, and I wish that they didn’t charge so much for maternity clothes!

  12. AmandaP says:

    I just got back from the mall 5mo pregnant w/ baby #2. I worked as a nurse full time through my entire first pregnancy, so I was blessed to need a few pairs of MEGA COMFY maternity scrubs. I wore those 5 days a week, 9 hours a day. I only needed some staples for the weekends, which pulled me through.
    This time, I’m at home with my 1 1/2 year old, running errands, and needing more clothes. I hate it. I’m short, long torso, full hips, and a smaller bust. Not a good combo for maternity wear. ON is a joke. Material is too thin. JC Penney is great for some basic staple shirts at a good price. Motherhood is great for my jeans since they carry petite lengths, but are little on the $$ side. Target…nope. Kohls’….nope. I actually do the best finding empire waist shirts and maxi dresses at Belk, upping my usual size by 1. This gives my belly room to grow and I can wear the clothes after the baby is born. It’s sad we mommies give so much and get so little in terms of easy to find fashion.

  13. chris dichiaro says:

    Everyone should try a pair of our super stretch skinny maternity jeans. We have sold over 400 pairs and they are only $69. Check them out on our website or better yet come in to try them on.

  14. Ashley says:

    Check out Mommy Long Legs. They’ve got tall pants and new spring/summer tops and dresses coming in April.

  15. koolchicken says:

    I wish there were places I could go to try stuff on but it’s not an option for me. I live on an island and I haven’t seen maternity clothes at any of our [three] stores. So I’ll be forced into buying online. When I visited the mainland a couple of months ago I checked out a motherhood maternity and was unimpressed with the quality of the clothing. I’m lucky right now as a housewife I don’t ever have to go out. So right now I’m living in pj pants and my husbands tee shirts but eventually I’m going to have to actually buy “real” clothes. I dread the day.

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