During my first pregnancy, I came quickly to the disappointing realization that there aren’t a lot of great options for stylish, affordable maternity clothes. I had some measured luck finding options for special occasions or casual everyday but finding office-appropriate clothes was a nightmare. Even more frustrating, the only good options I could find were online so I had no way of trying things on. My size seemed to change every day and some maternity retailers have their own sizing systems that are impossible to judge. Needless to say, I did not exactly “nail” pregnancy style while I carried Daisy.
Now that I’m in my second go-round shopping for the bump, some expectant mom friends have asked me for suggestions. With a demanding new job that requires me to be in the office a few days a week and a lot of occasions for celebration this year, this time I’m a little more prepared to give good advice.
I’ll be honest: there isn’t one retailer that I can recommend with five stars – they each have their drawbacks from price to quality – but I’ve put together a list of the best resources I’ve found (ordered least to most expensive). Note: if anyone has the capital to start a new maternity line I have loads of ideas!
I’ve loved Topshop since I studied in London during college and fell in love with their super trendy, sometimes really edgy pieces that appear on racks just weeks after a more expensive version was shown on a designer runway. They offer a really wide range of options for bumping mamas – from trench coats to bathing suits and everything in between – at an equally diverse range of prices so there really is something for everyone here. This is my favorite source for basics to wear under or with more expensive high quality pieces (for ex: a longer, wider camisole like this one - at right - to go under a blazer with jeans for a night out) I also love this batwing dress which would transition well from the office to happy hour.
The clothes on this site are really affordable, comfortable and good for fun occasions. They’re a bit trendy so you won’t necessarily find lasting classics but they specialize in cute jersey pieces like maxi dresses which are great for lounging around the house. Full disclosure, in my experience the quality is a little less than some of the other retailers I’ve mentioned here. I bought this dress when I was pregnant with Daisy for date nights and it looked as good when I felt like a whale as it did after I delivered and was first recovering because it’s loose, flowy and forgiving. They also have a wide selection of delivery robes which are particularly trendy right now. I'm always seeing photos of dewy, glowing mothers post-delivery sitting on hospital beds wearing these robes with new babies in their arms and older children sweetly surrounding them like little cherubs. Somehow these moms look freshly bathed and perfectly coiffed with expert contouring, long luscious lashes and rosebud pink lips. After Daisy's birth I looked like I'd been recently rescued from some locked-in-a-basement-for-fifteen-years-without-access-to-sunlight-or-a-shower situation so don't be expecting any angelic photoshoots from moi.
I originally discovered Rosie Pope on a trip to Manhattan with my Dad in my first trimester of pregnancy with Daisy. Anyone who knows my Dad knows that he loves to shop and spoil the women in his life so it should have come as no surprise to me that he’d researched the best maternity boutiques in the city and planned an afternoon spree to get me outfitted comfortably. At that point, I was working from home full time so we focused on casual pieces like this super comfortable, stretchy top and these leggings that I now have four pairs of because they are CRAZY comfortable and work as tights or pants from Month 1 to Month 9 because they’re opaque and have all sorts of support built in.
This line is my favorite for professional maternity clothes. Their designs feature cuts and fabrics that will never go out of style and work from season to season. They make great tops that work with jeans on the weekend and tailored dress pants for the workday – like the Selina in white star print. I love the Rosa Dress as an option for working mamas – dress it down with leggings and riding boots or up with tights and heeled boots or pumps. I have the Ivybridge Dress (above) in a few colors and what I love about this one is that it’s appropriate for work but shows a little curve so it transitions nicely into date night.
Shopbop is my #1 favorite clothing retailer ever in the history of time. Long before I could afford anything on the site, I was screenshotting outfit inspiration from their lookbooks and pasting photos into a Moleskin I carried in my purse so I could recreate designer looks at Forever21 and H&M. They recently added a maternity section to their site and while it’s really limited for now, the picks are all winners. Every mom needs one good pair of Maternity Jeans and their Citizens for Humanity Avedon Skinny Maternity Jeans are a favorite.
The Hatch Collection
Hatch is a newer brand that was founded by a former Wall Street exec who felt the frustration I’ve expressed with finding chic clothes for pregnancy. The Hatch line is based on comfort, roominess, breathability and adaptability – most of the designs work from the first trimester to the very last day of the third. I love the Tulip Dress (above) for a baby shower or brunch with girlfriends and I plan to live in the Georgie Jumper when I’m bursting at the seams come June.
Rachel Pally Maternity
Rachel Pally is one of my favorite designers. She has always been committed to ethical, locally-manufactured clothing specifically created to go from day to night. Lots of designers boast the “day to night” thing but her designs really work this way. I recently bought the Isa dress which is super comfortable for lounging around the house but looks elegant enough to wear to a special occasion. I may pack this one for a wedding at the end of March in New Orleans.
So I haven’t actually bought anything from this site because the prices are mostly out of my budget but I have spent a fair amount of time gazing at their bohemian creations with stars in my eyes. I have visions of my hippie best friend Natalie wearing one of these dresses in a photo shoot staged in a grassy field or a green forest with blankets and pillows strewn about, maybe a wild horse grazing in the distance. I mean, how gorgeous is this Strawberry Fields Embroidered Gown?! This Botanica maxi (above) is another stunning pick for mamas expecting in summer.
I have had limited luck finding brick-and-mortar stores that carry maternity lines but Destination Maternity and H&M are the best options I've found. Ironically, I never walked into a DM store until I bought stock in the company which performed incredibly well and I decided to see what the fuss was about. They carry a number of reputable brands like Isabella and Oliver and a Pea in the Pod and have great sales - plus you can actually try things on without having to buy them and pay for shipping first. Some H&M locations have decent Maternity sections with great around-the-house options and usually a handful of passable office attire choices.
I hope this is helpful to my fellow mamas and mamas-to-be bouncing around town with bumps in tow. May you be comfortable, well-rested, and stylish for all nine months ❤