I’ve had boobs since the 5th grade, so I have a lot of experience shopping for clothes in larger sizes. I despise shopping online because I’m only 5’ tall and can wear size 22 – 26 depending on the cut. If I don’t try clothes on before I buy, I’m usually stuck feeling like a midget in need of stilts or I have a “fat guy in a little coat” experience. Either way I try to avoid online shopping as much as possible. I’m also a bargain hunter and shop from the back of stores forward because that’s where all of the clearance items reside. When I became pregnant I never doubted I’d be able to find cute clothes plus size maternity clothes in stores; I just wasn’t sure I’d be able to afford them.
My dear friend Jessi and I often went bargain hunting for maternity clothes. Our due dates were just a few days apart and we were both first time moms. Consignment store shopping was frustrating! I’d watch Jessi easily slip into size medium maternity pants while I scowled at the racks ending in size XL. Such is the life of a plus size girl. Thankfully Motherhood Maternity equaled the playing field. Their selection of plus size clothes wasn’t the greatest but it was actually the best I found.
While Motherhood Maternity was my favorite store, below are 10 plus size maternity (or regular) clothing items I lived in during my pregnancy:
1. Boy Shorts Panties, Lane Bryant – Three months into my pregnancy, I wasn’t showing yet but my boobs were huge and sore. I went to Lane Bryant, with a coupon in hand, to see how far down the bra alphabet I had gone. Thankfully it was only one size and I selected a bra with room for growth. On my way to the register I eyed some cute boy shorts panties and they became my first smart “maternity” purchase. As my belly grew, they were accommodating and forgiving. The lace lining made me feel sexy even when I felt like I had swallowed a watermelon. You can’t really put a price on feeling sexy now can you? Well, maybe. The coupon helped a lot but these panties were still around $15 each. Good investment though because I’m still wearing them!
2. Wrap Nursing Sleep Bra, Motherhood Maternity – I have to admit I was skeptical at first but soon realized the buy one get one 50% off Wrap Nursing Sleep Bra was one of the best purchases I made. This bra supported me enough to feel confident if friends stopped by and comfortable enough for wearing to bed. Okay, so it wasn’t the cutest purchase I made but it was a great staple clothing item and good for nursing too!
3. Clearance, Motherhood Maternity - I found some fantastic deals by just going directly to the clearance rack! Any cute tops I wore during my pregnancy were clearance items. I found the top I wore for my baby shower and another adorable purple top for under $15 each! I also bought a pair of shorts for $5 and a few other great items!
4. Maternity Jeans, Motherhood Maternity – Hear me out because this wasn’t a cheap purchase…I live in jeans so I didn’t want that to change when I became pregnant. Plus, I wanted something with that obnoxious bellyband! I wanted to feel like all of my average size pregnant friends while I waited a very long time for my bump to make its début. These jeans worked well with a lot of tops I already owned and were super cute. I justified spending the $40 because I knew I’d wear them a lot and I did!
5. Tank-Tops, Old Navy – I never tried Old Navy’s maternity line because the clothes looked small to me. I’ve had success with their XXL clothes so I continued combing the clearance racks during my pregnancy. There I found a fiber combination that has to be the softest and most comfortable ever made: 60% cotton and 40% modal! I purchased six tank tops for only $2.95 each! The moment I got home from work each night I’d slip on one of these delightfully comfortable tanks. I also purchased a long sleeved black top with this same heavenly fabric combination for only $6 and lived it in until the weather made it too hot to wear.
6. Sundresses, Ross –I found some adorable sundresses for around $10 each! While these weren’t maternity dresses, they were loosely fitted and lasted my entire pregnancy. On a cold day I could throw on leggings and a sweater with the dress and on a warm day I’d add a shrug.
7. My Closet – I was pleasantly surprised by how many tops and dresses in my closet fit me throughout my pregnancy! I lost 18 lbs while I was pregnant so some items actually fit better than before!
8. Belly Support Band, Husband’s Boxer Briefs – Go ahead and chuckle! Sure I could justify spending $40 on a pair of jeans but not $20 – $50 on a Belly Support Band. What worked for me? My husband’s boxer briefs!
9. Gaucho Pants, Target – I had heard so many great things about Target’s maternity selection but was really disappointed when my experience mirrored that of Old Navy: the clothes looked too small. Unlike Old Navy, I did try on a few items and purchased two very forgiving sundresses.
Outside of their maternity line I purchased my all time favorite clothing item: Merona’s Women’s Plus Black Wide-Leg Gaucho Pant a.k.a. my version of the little back dress! I could dress it up or dress it down depending upon what top I wore. Thankfully it wasn’t a dress so I could put my tired feet up on a chair at work without giving everyone a show! I LOVED those gaucho pants!
10. Fuzzy Socks – Okay so these aren’t a maternity item but they were my top comfort item for sleeping. Every night my husband would help maneuver me into my sleeping pillow and then put fuzzy socks on my feet! After he’d put the fuzzy socks on he’d give me a kiss – it was cute and romantic!
You’ll look stunning regardless of what you’re wearing or how you’re feeling thanks to that unmistakable pregnancy GLOW. It’s the best accessory every!
Results from survey on Plus Size Mommy Memoirs Facebook Page