Bellies, boobs, and back pain. As if women didn’t have enough to deal with physically and mentally during pregnancy, we also have to navigate the world of maternity clothing.
During my first pregnancy in 2016-2017, I was shocked at the little options there were for women during their ‘expansion time’. Sure, I found some big box companies that had a little rack…some small businesses that had a minimum three-digit pricetag…and hardly any good choices somewhere in between there. Our main store in WNY was Destination Maternity where I found many basics, jeans, and dresses but I didn’t always love the patterns and prints. So much looked outdated to me. *personal view
In my second pregnancy, I opted to keep my personal style (somewhere between city neutrals and boho on any given day) and figured out how to pair clothing I already had with just simple basics, like black and white tanks/dresses. I ordered more at online-only shops like Pink Blush Maternity and ASOS’ maternity line (which I had shopped both during my first baby) and tried other lines like Boohoo and Nordstrom. It was better this time. But I was still frustrated at how difficult it was to keep purchasing and trying on, only to return half of what I ordered in hopes it would work.
My third pregnancy has me in the same mindset: find what works and stick to your style- and also venture out of the box where only boring ill-fitting sweaters and a striped dress live inside a corporate store. The evolution of brick and mortar stores is changing. Like with anything, shopping trends will ebb and flow and we will need to adapt to how we shop and let go of any frustration in simply trying things out, even if it comes from online. Once you find what you like and works for you, then you can focus on being a loyal customer with a fairly pain-free experience. Until then, we need to keep moving it along, ladies. And I have a list of my favorite maternity shops for you to try!
Shops With Maternity Lines
ASOS: I’ve been a dedicated maternity shopper on this line since 2016. It’s worth buying the annual Premier Delivery so you get your items fast and returns are really easy. Items are true to size and affordable with something for every occasion.
Pink Blush Maternity: The first big social media marketing I saw was for this shop in 2016. For me, it is hit or miss for how things fit on me but overall pretty good. Not a wide variety of sizing so make sure you read sizing charts before guessing on your order. I found the items run a little small if you are a curvier individual (big boobs, etc). Easy to return and exchange.
Legoe Heritage: An Australian line that it made well and very city chic. Good basics here that are true to size. On the pricier end but great quality and perfect for building a capsule wardrobe. I have not had to return from here.
Nordstrom: A mix of maternity lines, like Zella and Ingrid & Isabel, with many basics and some good yoga pieces. Prices range from lower to higher. I had dresses from here during first pregnancy and returned a couple tops which was easy.
Boohoo: A fast fashion shop but you can find some more fashion-forward pieces. Inexpensive and easy to return. Items run a little small so check each piece for sizing and measurements.
H&M: Lots of basics/neutrals and sometimes a beautiful printed maxi dress. Range of pricing but overall very affordable. A bigger selection online than in WNY stores. Easy to return in store or online. I find looser pieces that are non-maternity for 1st and 2nd trimester usually.
Gap: Very basic styles and the price is affordable but they also have sales online time to time. Not much online or in store but some options. Easy to return in person or online. Maternity and nursing bras here are also very good.
Seraphine: Good basics with better designs, some designs for Dad’s skin-to-skin, and good workout pieces. On the higher end for pricing but good quality. I have not had to return since they have true to size pieces.
Audrey & Olive: Very limited options but good quality. I found a great crop sweater here that works perfect over dresses. Pricing is fair and returns are easy.
Destination Maternity / Motherhood Maternity: Great for basics, jeans, and work pants. Occasional sales and easy to return/exchange. More true to size than any other shop.
A Pea in the Pod: A classic and chic style that can be on the pricier side. I have found some great dresses here but know that the cuts here run smaller. Best to try on. Returns are easy.
Macy’s: The maternity online is mainly from the lines of other brands (like Motherhood Maternity) but there are sales time to time. Easy to return/exchange in store and online. Price range varies.
Target: I can honestly say I have tried for four years to find something at Target that I like for maternity and it doesn’t happen for me. The cut quality doesn’t cut it for me (no pun intended!). However, this is one store we have in person that you can try things on and there are affordable items so many may want to shop here. Every body is different so others may have a better experience than I!
Vici Collection: A California-based shop that has exploded since their use of influencers on Instagram. I have been shopping here since 2015 and am a loyal customer pregnant or not. Look for oversized sweaters and tops, kimonos, and boho-style dresses while pregnant. Easy to return (note: it is for store credit only).
Free People: I cannot believe I have been a customer here since the early 2000s! *insert jaw drop* This is one of my favorite brands and I get to wear the majority of my pieces during pregnancy and after. Pricing varies and returns/exchange is easy in store at the Walden Galleria or online.
Urban Outfitters: Another brand (sister company of FP) that has some good oversized options to help you during and after pregnancy. Pricing varies and returns are easy in store or online.
Amazon: I have a love/hate with anything clothing-related on Amazon. Many of the items come from overseas with poor fit quality and some can take weeks to arrive. It is really trial and error here. Read thoroughly the sizing charts provided and the shipment/arrival time. Look at reviews and the pictures people upload so you get a sense of what things look like (when you can). I order and return a lot here but once in a while you find that one things that is perfect. Trying maternity/nursing bras here are good, too, as long as you have been fitted and know your sizing. Remember, with any store- you get what you pay for.
Revolve Clothing: An online shop with oversized pieces that will work during and postpartum…you just need to search. Pricing varies and returns are easy.
Need styling ideas? Follow @Buffalovebirds on the LIKEtoKNOW.it app for all of my pregnancy pieces that you can shop for.
Looking for some places that carry a few maternity pieces locally in WNY? Check out my post on Where to Find Maternity Clothing in WNY!
*this post is not sponsored by any above mentioned companies or brands. all opinions are based on personal experience since 2016 and are my own.*