Are you plus-sized and pregnant? Does the idea of trying to find fashionable and fun maternity clothes make you nervous, or worse, defeated?
Here’s the thing I’ve noticed online: when I Google images for “maternity fashion”, tons of photos pop up of women in adorably chic outfits, but not one of them is a plus-sized mama. I don’t know about you, but I want some stylish choices to go with my pregnancy glow!
So, how does a plus-sized mama navigate maternity shopping in a world where 67 percent of the women in the United States look like her, but many retailers don’t sell a single piece of plus-sized clothing?
She gets creative, that’s how.
Finding Maternity Clothes You Love
When it comes to shopping for cute maternity clothes, the struggle can be real. Don’t despair — you’re not out of luck yet! There are many tips and tricks to embracing maternity fashion and making it work for you.
Follow them and you’ll be strutting along in style in no time!
1. Know Your Measurements
Many maternity stores, such as Motherhood Maternity, claim their sizing should pair up with your pre-pregnancy sizing. Here’s the problem: every brand’s sizing is different.
One store’s size 12 is another’s 14. A size 8 at Old Navy measures a 28-inch waist, whereas the waist on a size 8 from Uniqlo measures 33.25 inches—that’s over a 5-inch difference (1).
Finding your maternity size can be a process of trial-and-error. To cut down on this frustration, I recommend taking your measurements before shopping, especially if you’re doing so online. That way you can ensure you’re purchasing items that will actually fit and avoid fitting room frustration.
Measuring Tape Tip
2. Try An Empire Waist
One of the things I hated most about maternity clothing when I had my oldest was that I felt everything I tried on made me look like a blob. All the cuts were so boxy, like they would look more flattering on SpongeBob SquarePants than my growing belly.
Empire waist tops and dresses cinch just below your bust, and make a great maternity wardrobe staple. They create a shapely silhouette, and are often long enough to expand as your bump grows.
They’re not only going to create a flattering shape, but are also versatile, and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.
Hot Mama Tip
3. Look For Double Duty Items
One reason buying maternity clothing can be discouraging for any mama is that, unless you are planning to have multiple children, these items will only be worn for around 9 months.
Because of this, I recommend looking for items that can be worn both during pregnancy and afterwards. (Think flowy tops or dresses you can later belt!) There are also products to literally stretch your pre-pregnancy wardrobe further.
My go-to item is the belly band. Also known as a Tummy Sleeve, this little gadget saved my wallet during my pregnancies. The highly elastic wrap goes around your torso and sits on top of your pre-pregnancy jeans, hiding the fact that they’re unbuttoned.
You can also put them on top of maternity jeans that are still a little too big around your tummy to help you get more life out of them. It can even be worn after your baby is born to help as you transition from maternity jeans back to your pre-pregnancy ones.
4. Swap And Save
Clothing swaps aren’t just for high schoolers anymore. In fact, this is a great way to stretch your budget and increase your maternity wardrobe!
If you have friends that already have children, ask them if they would let you borrow some of their maternity items. Then, you can then add what you bought to the pile, and swap back to them if they get pregnant again!
Or, if you have friends that are pregnant at the same time as you, consider joining your maternity budgets together to get double the amount of wardrobe options.
In either case, make sure to take care of the clothing you’re using, that way future friends can reap the benefits too.
Shopping Plus-Sized Maternity Clothes Online
If the limited selection of plus-size maternity clothes at brick-and-mortar stores has you bummed, you can turn to online shopping as a great alternative.
The availability of plus-size maternity clothing is a lot broader when you go start surfing the world wide web for style solutions!
Here are a few stores that provide great style choices for plus-sized mamas:
1. Old Navy
Old Navy is a store at the top of many a mama’s list. Not only are the clothing items comfortable and stylish, but they’re also super affordable. Although they don’t have a specific plus-size maternity section, their regular maternity section goes up to a size 18, and tops go up to a size 20.
My favorite part? They have an entire line of cute and cozy “hospital to home” items to help you get more bang for your buck.
The maternity clothing at ASOS is so cute, I sometimes can’t believe I’m actually buying maternity clothes. Most of their maternity line goes up to a UK size 20, the equivalent of a US size 18.
You can also venture away from the maternity section on ASOS website and check out the plus-size department. Most items go up to a UK 28, and they have fashionable items in everything from ripped jeans to lingerie.
Many items will work both before, during, and after pregnancy as well.
While they don’t have the biggest selection around, Motherhood Maternity does provide a plus-size section with over a hundred items going up to a size 3X. Even better than maternity clothing though, is their selection of plus-sized bras and panties.
Yours is a clothing store dedicated specifically to plus-sized women. They offer sizes ranging from US 16 to US 36, and have you covered for everything from morning to night! Their collections include trendy tees, floral blouses, and even leggings and yoga pants.
5. H&M Mama
When I first discovered H&M I fell in love with their fashionable, comfortable, and sometimes edgy items. I joked that it was fashionable enough for a young twenty-something, and comfortable enough for a stay-at-home mom.
So can you guess the first place I went looking when I got pregnant?
H&M’s Mama brand offers a wide range of items at affordable prices. Their jeans go up to a US size 22 and tops to a US size 20. Plus, they offer some tops in sets of two, stretching your budget even further.
Let me tell you, when I found PinkBlush maternity line I think my heart actually skipped a beat. Their clothes are so adorable, they look like something you would be able to get at your local boutique store. Here’s the kicker: their prices are so affordable!
Their plus-size maternity line fits moms from a size 1X to 3X, and they also offer a section of plus-size nursing tops.
Be You, Be Beautiful
Pregnancy is a time when everything is changing. How we feel, how we look, and even how we dress.
For plus-sized moms, it can be disheartening to try and shop for clothing options to fit our growing bumps, when the selection of options is even smaller than it was before we got pregnant.
However, don’t lose hope! There are options out there, and they’re not limited to ones that are going to make you look like you’re wearing a tent. You can still buy clothes that are fashionable, fun, flirty, and even form-fitting during your pregnancy. Don’t let anyone make you think otherwise!
Do you have any tips for shopping for plus-size maternity fashion? We’d love to hear your experiences in the comments section below.
And if you have a mom friend who’s trying to figure out where she can get fashionable plus-size maternity clothing, please share this article with her!