To preface this article, you should know I am not a glowing pregnant person. I don’t feel my best – I feel sick, large, and generally awful. So, as you can imagine, I do not enjoy shopping for maternity clothes. During my first pregnancy, I didn’t know where to look for reasonably priced clothing that was either inexpensive enough to only wear for nine months, or versatile enough that I could make it work even after pregnancy (especially for some of the higher-end brands). During my second pregnancy, though, I had a great group of mom friends thanks to my first daughter, and finally found a few maternity brands I loved. So, if you are lost like I was – behold! My five favorite maternity brands, in no particular order:
1. Pink Blush Maternity
You know how, when you think about something, it ends up on your Instagram feed ten minutes later, even if you never thought your thought out loud? This was Pink Blush Maternity. I was just starting to show with my second pregnancy and thought to myself “you know, it’s probably time for some maternity clothes,” and BOOM – a Pink Blush Maternity advertisement popped up on my newsfeed almost immediately after. The ads that appeared on my social media were a little deceiving, and I ignored them for a few weeks before I took the bait – some of the clothes looked more appropriate for teenagers or early 20-somethings in much better shape than I am. A crop top? And leather pants? While pregnant? I’m not sure the designer of that outfit has been pregnant. Hard pass. But eventually I clicked, and what I found was a plethora of reasonably priced basics, flowy tops, and inexpensive dresses for the random weddings and events sprinkled throughout my pregnancy (and okay yes, a few crop tops). They also constantly spammed my e-mail with discount codes. I made my first purchase and never looked back. Pink Blush Maternity clothes made up 80% of my maternity wardrobe by the end of my second pregnancy.
Warning: some of the sizing can be a little wonky, but they have a generous return policy, and if you return for store credit, you usually receive the credit a couple hours after dropping your package at the post office.
I’ll be short and sweet on this one: H&M is my favorite spot for casual dresses. They have endless options that can be dressed up or down, and work well even in postpartum. The best part is they’re almost all under $35. The tie-waist dresses were my favorite, and I never had a problem with length.
Calling all working mamas! Loft needs to be on your radar. Loft was my favorite place for great professional tops that worked in those early days when you are still keeping your pregnancy under wraps, all the way through the end of your pregnancy, and when you are transitioning back to work postpartum. One thing I appreciate is they take the majority of their non-maternity clothing and modify them for maternity – so you still get the great details and styles you love when you aren’t pregnant. Loft is also a great go-to if you find you are pregnant over the holidays – they transition a lot of their festive pieces to maternity.
Warning: for those 5’5 and under, some of the tops run a little too long and roomy, so in some styles you may want to size down. Setting up a return/exchange through the website is relatively painless.
4. Old Navy
Generally speaking, Old Navy was hit or miss for me, but they are on my list because they made my absolute favorite work maternity pants. Their Maternity Full-Panel Pixie Pants come in multiple colors, and are a great ankle-length pant that offers the perfect amount of stretch you need. They worked through the duration of my pregnancy. I loved them so much I bought them in almost every color.
Target was my basics go-to. Hands down, their best maternity product is their Ingrid & Isabel Maternity Seamless Camisole. I wore them almost daily through my pregnancy and still wear them almost every night to bed (now that I’m not pregnant, they’re just like an extra-long stretchy camisole). This was also an essential item in my hospital bag. Target was also great for basic t-shirts and tank tops.
The biggest surprise from Target? Their maternity jeans! I tried finding jeans at so many maternity retailers with zero luck. Then, one day, I did not realize a cold front was moving through and left the house in a skirt and top. I was FREEZING. In an act of desperation, I dropped by Target to just pick any pair of jeans, and the Ingrid & Isabel maternity jeans ended up being my favorite – so much so that I bought another pair of that same jean, and three more styles from their line.
All in all, even if you don’t feel your best during pregnancy, finding a few pieces that make you feel good is never a bad thing. Not spending an arm and a leg for that product is even better!