Pregnancy is an exciting and joyous time in a woman’s life, but it can also be one of the more difficult and confusing periods. As your body expands to accommodate your growing child, finding clothing can be a challenge. This especially holds true if you’re a full-figured woman, as plus-sized maternity fashion isn’t always easy to find.
Know What You’re Looking For
Before you hit big box retailers or small, local boutiques, it’s best to know which styles and cuts will most flatter your body as pregnancy progresses. Tops and dresses with empire waists might be things that you would ordinarily avoid, but there’s a reason why they’re embraced by pregnant women of all shapes and sizes: they can be flattering and comfortable as your baby bump gets larger. As an added bonus, they’re stylish enough that you can probably find them in your favorite clothing store without scouring the maternity section. Another trendy and viable solution is elastic-waist prairie skirts a size or two up from your normal one. The stretchiness of the waist and roomy cut of the skirt will allow you to grow without becoming restrictive or forcing you to sacrifice your stylish sensibilities during pregnancy. Even if your style doesn’t lean in a bohemian direction ordinarily, embracing your inner earth mother can help you survive pregnancy without resorting to sweatpants. Invest in a few fashion staples, like black dress pants, solid-colored shirts, cardigans and one well-made, flattering jacket.
Where to Shop
Some pregnant women can get by with modifying non-maternity pieces, but some occasions are likely to call for dedicated clothing designed to flatter your full figure and make room for a pregnant belly. Your local Gap, JCPenney and Old Navy stores will almost certainly carry some plus-sized maternity wear and are great places to stock up on core items. If you live in a smaller town or rural community, however, these stores may not be immediately available to you. That’s where online retailers like Due Maternity, Babies ‘N’ Bellies and Motherhood Maternity come in handy. Due Maternity items are designed specifically with the plus-sized mom-to-be in mind, while Babies ‘N’ Bellies stock everything from comfortable clothing to formal maternity wear in sizes up to 5X. Retail chain Motherhood Maternity does stock a full selection in their online store for sizes up to 3X, but doesn’t always have those items available in store. If there’s a Motherhood Maternity in your area, a quick phone call or visit will allow you to determine whether or not that particular location is among those that stock plus-sized clothing.
Clearance and discount stores like Avenue, Maternity-Clothing-Fashions.com, PlusMomMaternity.com, Maternity4Less and Woman Within stock plenty of fun, stylish items for plus-sized pregnant women that would rather save as much money as possible for the birth of their child, rather than investing in a full maternity wardrobe. Destination Maternity and A Pea in the Pod Maternity both offer lines that are beloved by plus-sized pregnant women, with fashionable and functional choices to set off your burgeoning bump without breaking the bank. It’s wise to be fully apprised of any return policies that online retailers have in place, however, since you won’t be able to physically try on new maternity wear you’re thinking of purchasing over the Internet.
Maternity fashion for plus-sized women has come a long way. These days, you’re not resigned to cheaply-made or poorly designed clothing for the duration of your pregnancy and you don’t have to be a size two with a big belly to fit into celebrity-inspired pieces. Remember that you probably won’t even start showing until well into your second trimester, which gives you plenty of time to look around for the perfect pre-labor wardrobe. By mixing traditional maternity wear with carefully-selected non-maternity pieces, you can save money without sacrificing your personal sense of style during the later months of your pregnancy.