Thursday, May 23, 2013

Rant: Maternity Clothes

I'm not sure if it is purely coincidental or if it's meant to be that today's yesterday's challenge post is to rant about something. I have had something brewing in my head that seems to just intensify and this is the perfect outlet to rant about it, since surely my husband is sick of hearing it.

I think that the most ridiculous thing that ever was is maternity clothes. I have really just hit the point where I actually need maternity clothes since belly shirts and unbuttoned pants just aren't in right now. I have gone to a few stores and made some online purchases, which I thought would be pretty easy since the companies say to order in your regular size, right? Wrong. 

Disclosure: I have nothing against the stores listed, I have an issue with maternity clothes in general.

I started my maternity shopping extravaganza online at Old Navy during a 30% off sale. I read the reviews, followed suggestions from previous shoppers, ordered my regular sizes, and still got duped. I was so excited when the big package from Old Navy came and I immediately began trying things on. I bought an adorable maxi dress and I actually sized down since all the reviews said it ran really big. Ok, no problem. I usually wear a medium top but I'm only 5'1, so I went with a small for length. It's a cute dress but there are SEVEN inches of fabric on the floor when I put it on. Really, all women wearing a small from Old Navy are at least 5'8? Doubt it. Is this to compensate for the belly? If so, pregnant women wouldn't be able to walk if their bellies stuck out as far as the fabric left over is suggesting.


Next up was the black nursing dress. It's a really cute, simple cotton dress that has a nursing panel in the chest. I thought I would get good use out of it this summer and into the fall once the baby is here. I tried it on and got stuck. Literally. My neck was popping out of the nursing panel and my arm was through the other other side of the panel. If this was meant to simplify nursing, then why do you need a Ph.D to figure out how to get it on? Ain't nobody got time for that!


Then, I bought one pair of khakis for work. I figure that since I'll only be teaching summer school, I won't really need long pants. Well, I actually ordered these a size up just in case my hips or thighs spread. I figured they would bit a bit loose which I would prefer for right now. They look like they are painted on. Like, I can't even breathe, even with that belly panel. These are a size bigger than I usually wear and my regular pair, from the same store, still fits but I just can't deal with the belly band.

Which brings me to the next issue... the belly band. Am I wearing this thing wrong? When I sit down, it shifts and I have to rearrange my pants constantly. I teach fifth grade and it is not okay that my pants are falling down. The directions say to fold it over three times to cover the lumps from my buttons but when I fold it over three times, it looks like I'm wearing a headband. So I fold it twice and it shifts. Or I don't fold it and you can see that my pants aren't buttoned. I thought I would love this but sadly, I was mistaken.

Then I was browsing online at Target and the selection didn't seem so bad, so I went in to try things on. Well, I didn't find anything online in the store and everything that was in the store was hideous or super simple and I had trouble justifying spending extra money on simple shirts and pants that can only be worn for a few more months. The sizes, the color combos, even the selection was sparse. I went up to a rack that had only three tanks left on it and they were XS and XL. Hmm. It wasn't all bad, though. I ended up leaving the maternity section and buying a bunch of XL 'long and lean' tanks from the Juniors section so that they would fit my belly all summer. Again, I'm normally a medium but I'm hoping to get through to at least September. These tanks were 3 for $20 so I couldn't resist. That's a deal I can't turn down and whaddya know, it's not maternity! Finally, something I can feel good about!

I guess I am just confused about maternity clothes. Shouldn't the maternity section be just like the regular clothes section, except with room for pregnant bellies? Why do I have to compromise style or comfortable fit because I'm pregnant? I'm already gaining weight, checking for stretch marks, breaking out, and sweating like a hooligan. And I'm having an easy pregnancy! I have to say that not everything is terrible but I refuse to spend a ridiculous amount of money for clothes that I can't even wear next season. Plus, with all the cute mama's in their maternity wear on Pinterest, I thought I would be totally styling for 9 months. My hopes were high. I did end up finding a couple of things but I would say that for every cute outfit I found, there were 10 hideous/ill-fitting items being left at the fitting rooms.

Seriously, I would be better off going to Homegoods and getting a frickin' table cloth.


  1. Maternity clothes are SO HARD! I have been living in the long Mossimo tshirts from Target and a couple pair of maternity pants that I found that fit. My suggestion is to go to an Old Navy (or GAP! I LOVE their maternity pants!) and actually try some stuff on. Just so you see what you like. Check to make sure that the store you're going to has maternity though... they don't all have it in store. :)

  2. I had the same issue with the belly band. It didn't work for me at all. I did have good luck with ASOS maternity clothes and Gap maternity. But mostly, I just bought tops a size or two bigger.

  3. Here is what I have found with maternity clothes- a lot of them really don't work until you have a HUGE belly! It's annoying but they need to start making them for stages of pregnancy. I've reached the point where maxi dresses are too short on me- I'm tall to begin with but my belly is sticking out so far they're getting short. I have found that Gap and ASOS are the best. Gap has been my major go to. Just wait for Gap to have a sale and check your local store- my store just started selling maternity so you can actually try them on. I have loved ASOS too they are actually true to size and not too expensive. I found both my baby shower dresses on there.
    I have also bought stuff form Motherhood Maternity for work- none of it is that cute but its the best I've found for work clothes.

  4. THANK YOU!!! And I agree with Nat up there - I actually didn't start wearing maternity clothes until about 7 months along (besides the maternity leggings - do you have a pair of those? They are a GODSEND). Now that I'm about to pop, I own 2 pairs of maternity pants (one pair of ankle pants and one pair of capris) and 3 shirts that are actually maternity shirts. The best solution I found was this - tunics and shirts with side ruching. has some really cheap shirts with side ruching that are basically the exact same thing as maternity shirts. I found a couple really cute striped shirts with side ruching at (GASP) WAL-MART. Wear cute maxi dresses (they don't even have to be maternity - just made out of a jersey material) and/or dresses with empire waists. Maxi skirts are great, too - just wear them a little under your belly. It IS possible to get out of this whole pregnancy thing without spending a fortune on plain, ugly clothes! You just have to get a little creative!!

  5. ew. i hate maternity clothes. jeans especially. they never stay on me. hello saggy grandma butt. MN weather needs to get its act together so i can continue to wear more non maternity dresses and call it a day.

  6. I feel your pain! I've been unable to wear any type of normal clothing for a few months now and the belly band? Yeah, stupid. It worked well really early on for about 3 weeks and then it was a mess. I'm 5'2" and ended up getting all my pants chopped off by a tailor.

    I did go shopping at a local boutique and got two gorgeous Rosie Pope dresses. Not cheap but they fit so well and I was so annoyed w/my wardrobe that the splurge was worth it!

  7. Yeah I definitely haven't gotten that many maternity clothes and a lot of the ones i have gotten are still too big. I do like my maternity leggings and these maternity jean capris, but I don't think i'm getting any more pants (I'm due in July so hopefully I wont need them). The long, stretchy tanks still fit and a lot of other dresses and shirts fit too. I'd much rather get clothes I could potentially wear again than clothes I can only wear for a few months. Just get some basics and then make them look different with accessories and cardigans and stuff like that :)

    Good luck!


  8. I have that black and white dress and FYI when I washed it, it shrunk up like SIX INCHES. Not kidding. I had to re-wash it and stretch it (I'm 5'7" and it was a TAD long on me before.)

    I did have GREAT luck at Destination Maternity but it's WAY expensive. I was in desperate need of leggings that weren't sheer (thanks Old Navy) and got 2 pairs of cropped leggings from A Pea in the Pod for SIXTY DOLLARS. Yep. But it's hot and FL and I need them. I really need to just win the lottery so I can afford the nicer, more comfy clothes!

  9. i completely understand your frustration with maternity clothes! i am needing to buy something for a bachelorette party next weekend and some showers coming up and i am dreading trying to find something... ive gotten a couple of comfy maxi skirts from target, but i'm quite a bit taller than you- so im not sure if they'd work.