I spent a while agonizing over what to write for Green Sunday, I decided, “Screw it. I’m just going to write about what I feel like writing about.” Considering that today I had to pick up more maternity clothes and that last week my best friend was asking about them, it just makes sense to do a post on that. Also, this post took me forever to write and it’s not Sunday anymore.
When it comes to baby items, I’m willing to shell out for good stuff, even if it means paying a bit more. I’ve paid a decent amount of money for very good quality baby carriers, diaper bags, and various other little items that I’ve discovered are nicer than average. I’m also willing to pay a little more for something if it’s hand-made made by an independent business woman (or man) or sold by an independently owned retail location. As an example, it might be cheaper to just purchase more GladRags, but the JustFussy cloth pads are more functional (and prettier and more comfortable) and in spending a little more on them, I’m supporting another mom.
What I’m not willing to do, though, is pay for something that is cute, but not functional.
This same concept doesn’t necessarily hold true for maternity clothes. I’m a total cheap skate when it comes to maternity clothes. Regular clothes, I’ll spend more on because I keep clothes for years and years and years. But not maternity clothes. It’s not like you need them to last more than 9 months, right? They’re basically disposable clothes. But if they fall apart before those nine months are up? Deal’s off my friend. I’m not interested. So what do I look for in maternity clothes? Comfort and fit, durability (you’re going to be washing these puppies all the time!), and style.
You know those maternity stores in the malls? Skip them. Seriously. They have adorable window displays, but I have not found clothes there that actually hold up well with repeated washings. That’s a dealbreaker to me. I’ve got about enough maternity clothes to get me through one week. These clothes get worn a lot. If a pair of jeans falls apart after only a couple of washings, that’s a no-go. Especially if they were really expensive to begin with!
Here are my favorite places to shop for maternity:
That’s right! GAP sells maternity clothes! How cool is that? Really cute ones, too. Even better, they have some killer sales!
When I’m not pregnant, I wear GAP jeans. This time around, I bought a few pairs of GAP maternity jeans, too. Nights get chilly here because we’re so close to the water, so having a couple of pairs of jeans is a must. I like the full panel over the belly. It’s softer than that huge thick band of elastic, and it’s more flexible, too. If it’s too hot, I can always fold it down around my waist so that it fits more like the simple elastic waistband pants. I also like a good dark wash. This means they’re dressy enough that I can wear them to work. It’s all about the versatility folks, because the dress pants I had from when I was pregnant with the Grasshopper no longer fit!
A couple of other things I like from GAP are their Pure Body tank tops. Super comfortable.
GAP Maternity stores can usually be found in the back part of GAP Baby stores. The clothes are great quality, very comfortable, and as stylish as you’d expect from a store like GAP. Prices are reasonable, but the sales make them even better.
Old Navy is a fantastic place to get inexpensive basics. Their ribbed tank tops and jersey stretch tops are some of my favorite layering pieces. For those days that I get a little sweaty and I don’t want gross pit-stains to show through on my shirt, these tanks are perfect. They’re also incredibly cheap, so I can go in and just buy a whole handful of them for not much money.
I’m also fond of the Old Navy gaucho pants. Those were great with the Grasshopper. They eventually got a hole in them, but I only paid $10 for them. It didn’t break my heart to have to replace them. Old Navy is also good when you hit that stage in your 3rd trimester where you’re just so huge that even your maternity clothes don’t fit! I quick visit to their clearance rack can usually net several shirts for almost nothing. And really, for a couple of weeks, who wants to spend much money buying new clothes?
The Target maternity section is pretty small. In my Target, there are only a couple of racks, but they’ve got some great pieces that hold up well. Yesterday, I purchased 2 pairs of capri pants and a couple of tops. The pants are nothing particularly special: cargo pants and some black knit pants. They are, however, in my size, comfortable, and inexpensive. They’ve got good basics at Target and for very little money. You can also get an inexpensive version of the Bella Band. Now, I personally didn’t like the band I got to hold my pants up. Too much gut squishing just made the nausea worse, but I know lots of people love them, so heads up! Target sells a version! Target also sells some fantastic maternity tights that are soft and wonderful.
So the bottom line at Target is this: The selection isn’t great. But the clothing they do have seems to hold up well and are inexpensive and cute.
I think I’ve mentioned this website before: www.babysteals.com. Basically, every day, they post a new “steal” that you can purchase. In addition to baby items like toys, clothing, etc, I’ve also purchased maternity clothes from them. They’ve had maternity clothes from Lilac and Sulee. Now, realistically, I probably wouldn’t pay full price for these clothes. They’re gorgeous. I mean, really pretty. The two shirts I got from Lilac are so versatile, that I was wearing them before I even got pregnant with this baby! But they’re sure not cheap.
If you can afford a few of these pieces, go for it! They’re dressier and fantastic for the office. I’ve gotten two Lilac shirts and two shirts and one pair of shorts from Sulee. I’ve been pleased with all of them. Great quality, great fashion, excellent fit and versatility. So keep an eye on babysteals to see if they show back up!
When I was pregnant with the Grasshopper, most of my clothes came from Kohl’s. I loved the quality, and they were mostly cool, cotton shirts. They were also purchased to fit a smaller me. A me that hadn’t gained 15 extra pounds on purpose in prep for a second HG pregnancy. Sadly, none of my breezy cotton Kohl’s shirts fit. They’re just too tight around the shoulders and now the belly. But do check out Kohl’s if you have one nearby. I was pleased with the quality and the clothes were comfortable and pretty.
Other Maternity Items
There are other maternity items you can get. I’ll run through a quick list here:
- Bella Bands (or Bella-like bands) – Lots of women love them. I didn’t. Made the HG worse. Give them a try though! You might really like them.
- Maternity underwear – Is this a scam? I don’t think so. I think they’re much more comfy. That said, I hated the ones I got at Destination Maternity because they have a huge itchy tag in them. Old Navy used to sell them, but I haven’t seen them for a while. GAP online sells them. If someone gets some, let me know how the GAP ones are.
- Maternity Bras – YES! Get fitted for new bras! Do not go to Destination Maternity or other mall maternity shop to do this. They sell Motherhood and Mimi bras which I hate with the passion of a hundred suns. Think huge tags and pinchy elastic. Get fitted at some place like Nordstrom or Macy’s where they have a proper lingerie section.
I hope this information is useful to other pregnant women out there. Is there anything I’ve missed? Is there some maternity-wear item that you found particularly useful? Or is there some place you like to go to find deals on maternity clothes?