Friday, April 11, 2008

Plus-Size Maternity Wear: What's Out There? — by Guest Mom Lindsey Rose Johnson

(image via Flickr)

As a plus-size pregnant mom, I've had my share of troubles finding flattering, cute maternity clothes. Do they exist?
Well, yes and no. I don't think clothing manufacturers are all the way there yet. I can't even count the hours I've spent looking. You've got everything from stores like Gap and Old Navy to independent companies selling tent dresses. I want to see other major clothing manufacturers make cute, stylish clothes for us bigger gals.

What's true is that every woman whether Size 0 or Size 24, wants to look and feel beautiful, especially during those long 9 months of pregnancy.

For me, I've found that I like simple, classic pieces that I can use casually or when I need to dress up. I have especially loved buying skirts with a drawstring waist. I have two linen skirts I have worn through all my pregnancies that are comfortable and allow for growth. (And bonus — they've lasted through many washes.)

I really like this maternity shirt from Old Navy, available up to XXL. Clean lines, but room for a belly. And not too low-cut, a problem I see all the time in plus-size maternity wear.

I've been able to get away with not buying tent dresses by buying a size or two larger than my pre-pregnancy size. I find I can usually wear those clothes for nine months and a little while afterwards. Some plus-sized clothing manufacturers make their pants with elastic waist bands — that comes in handy.

This shirt from Liz Claiborne, though not maternity, would work for awhile to give an expanding tummy extra room, while still being stylish. And I think it's darling. (It also comes in dark gray.)

Another option is the
BellaBand, which I'm sure every pregnant woman knows about. I'm getting ready to order a few for myself now that I'm starting to enter the bigger belly stage. BellaBands range in size from 0 to 24+.

Other sources for plus-size pregnant moms:

-Gap and Old Navy (also check out the plus-size section) offer maternity clothes up to size 20.
-Ann Taylor Loft Maternity just added more sizes and has darling clothes up to size 18/XXL. Plus size maternity tops. Sizes XL - 6X.
How to find plus-size maternity wear — BabyCenter
JCPenney Plus-Size Maternity Department
Motherhood Maternity Clothes, Maternity Clothing and Maternity Accessories On-Line

If you live outside of the U.S.,
H&M offers a great plus-size line of clothing called BIB. Most U.S. stores carry the H&M Maternity line. Do a search by country. I bought several of my favorite maternity items from the H&M BIB line when I was traveling in Norway. Some countries also have an online store.

- — Clothing Coupons & Shopping
Plus-size-pregnancy.orgMaternity Resources FAQ Index
Pregnancy Weight Gain: What's Healthy?

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Anonymous K said...

Lane Bryant has a bunch of cute plus-sized maternity clothes available online.

Friday, April 11, 2008 at 9:43:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Household6 said...

It's hard for us petite girls too. Nothing fits correctly! In this day in age you would think someone could come out with decent maternity clothes. Old Navy's last through one wash!!


Friday, April 11, 2008 at 9:45:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Cafe Johnsonia said...

That's right! How could I have forgotten to mention Lane Bryant?

Yes, Heather. I have a lot of petite friends who have had similar issues.

We need someone to start a maternity company that caters to REAL women of all sizes.

Friday, April 11, 2008 at 9:57:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Amber said...

I'm a size 14 and it has been hard finding things that fit and are actually stylish. Thanks for the post!

Friday, April 11, 2008 at 9:59:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for posting this. I struggled to find plus-size maternity wear. Thank god I was pregnant during the summer (wait, did I just say that??) and could wear capris (I'm 6' tall and finding plus-sized, maternity, tall jeans was impossible).

Friday, April 11, 2008 at 9:59:00 AM EDT  
Blogger breckster said...

Just curious, do you know if any of the H&Ms in New York carry the plus size line? I went to the one on 34th looking for clothes for my husband and son (I'm a size 22 so I wasn't expecting to find anything for me) I didn't even go down stairs to see what was there expecting it to be like ever other store... affordable tiny cute clothes. I'm pregnant and realized that I wore through my casual business clothes I had during my last pregnancy so I am in desperate need of pants.

Friday, April 11, 2008 at 10:52:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Lindy said...

THANK YOU for this post! I am at 23 weeks, am definitely plus-sized, and am very frustrated at the lack of maternity wear available for one like me. Thanks again for acknowledging all kinds of people!

Friday, April 11, 2008 at 11:52:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Cafe Johnsonia said...

Hi, Breckster!

Sorry. As far as I know, the H&M stores in the U.S. do not carry the plus-size line. Boo-hoo. I've shopped at that very same store many times and haven't had any luck.

If you have transportation to do so, you should head up to the Woodbury Commons in Monroe, NY. I shop there all the time at the Liz Claiborne outlet. They have a great plus-size section with dressy and casual clothes. I bought three pairs of cute pants in a larger size and they are totally going to fit during my whole pregnancy. They also usually have some kind of dress shirt available that is long enough and roomy. I bought two from there--white and blue.

I love that place. E-mail me if you need directions, etc. (cafejohnsonia(at)

Friday, April 11, 2008 at 1:16:00 PM EDT  
Blogger kate said...

I always bought a size or two bigger than what I usually wore as well. I found that empire waist dresses were invaluable during my pregnancies.

Friday, April 11, 2008 at 1:18:00 PM EDT  
Blogger MamaChristy said...

Thanks for this nice article! I'm plus size and maternity clothes are so difficult to find, but many of the options you mentioned were life savers. I have less than eight weeks left, so I'm not going to buy (much of) anything else, but I had to chime in and say that I didn't like the Bella Band as a big lady. Blush topless undershirts are less expensive and more comfortable and I'm looking forward to using them while nursing as well.

Friday, April 11, 2008 at 3:06:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, the Bella Band didn't work for me. I have a very hourglass-y figure, so the band would roll up in back from my big round tush to my much narrower back waist. I only wore it once or twice and got tired of tugging.

Gap and Old Navy were my maternity stalwarts (after 3 pregnancies, I had about 20 Old Navy Perfect Fit tees), and I sometimes would find cute things at Target, including my favorite ever maternity capris.

Friday, April 11, 2008 at 3:37:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Cafe Johnsonia said...

Thanks for the heads up on the BellaBand. I'll check into getting some shirts from Blush.

Friday, April 11, 2008 at 7:50:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Beth said...

I'm 36 weeks pregnant with my fourth and I want to say I HATE maternity clothes! Everything I wear maternity is so uncomfortable and ill-fitting! I've got stuff from Gap, Old Navy, Motherhood, and most of the basic brands. I've found that the best fitting stuff is just plus-size clothes. I normally wear size 10 jeans but today I'm sporting size 17 stretch jeans from JC Penney with a huge belt that keeps them up, under my belly. I'm so glad long shirts are in style because the best ones have not been the tent maternity shirts, but the long, modest-type regular t-shirts that stretch and cover over everything!
Hooray for me: I only have to live like this for 4 more weeks.
Pass the Tums, please!

Saturday, April 12, 2008 at 9:03:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Beth said...

All I can say is, Agreed. I also have yet to find anything for us TALL girls. People don't make affordable clothes for us 6 footers. Or, it shrinks short after one wash. Nada good. I've learned that capris are my good friend.

Monday, April 14, 2008 at 7:08:00 PM EDT  
Blogger daytrippingmom said...

Thanks for a great post. Being plus sized I have also struggled finding stylish maternity clothes during pregnancy. I love Old Navy's line but I also found some great pieces from Liz Lange's Target line. I believe the line goes up to XXL- I also found some cute pieces from Motherhood. They have a really great plus size collection available online. I also found that a great wrap dress a size or two bigger than you normally wear goes a long way.

Monday, April 14, 2008 at 9:36:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Disco Mom said...

Thanks for this post - there were some suggestions I didn't know about. All my maternity clothes have come from Target and Old Navy, and a few tops from H&M, but I find the selection at all of these to be a little unpredictable, and when you're pregnant and need something you have to choose from what there is. I'd love more manufacturers to catch on that us thicker girls have style - and money to spend on it - too :)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008 at 1:27:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can identify with all of the plus-sized moms-to-be. This is my thrid pregnancy, and I absolutely love fashion, so not being able to find cute clothes while I'm pregnant is so incredibly depressing. However, I have been able to find a few good finds this time around. Forever 21 only goes up to a large, but they have some cute oversized tops that have grown with me (I'm 6 months and look a good 8, lol). Also, stores like Dots and Rainbow for those of you who have them around, have cute tops that are very confortable. As far as the pants, that is still my struggle, I have very few pairs of pants and jeans. If someone out there knows where I can find cute affordable pants, and OMG some maternity skinny jeans (Im' dying without my skinny jeans), please let me know!

Friday, March 20, 2009 at 6:08:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Heather L. said...

I too am a plus-sized mom. I actually gave away all of my maternity clothes just before finding out I was pregnant again! Anyways, I just thought I would let people know that Lane Bryant, as well as Fashion Bug, has gotten rid of their plus-size maternity line. I did come across Old Navy, and my first order should be here tomorrow. I am very disappointed that they do not carry XXL in stores, even though they carry XL in stores. I don't see the point of why not having that last size there.

I have been looking for maternity clothes for almost 7 months (since the beginning). If these clothes don't work, I'll have to settle on Motherhood Maternity. The problem with that is if anyone has tried their jeans, they made them extra stretchy for "comfort", however they are waaaayy too stretchy. After about 5 minutes, my jeans are falling off me. I bought a size smaller, and still the same thing. So just beware, although lounging around the house all day they are comfy, they are not practical to go out anywhere in because you'll end up looking foolish pulling up your pants all day!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009 at 8:00:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Jayne said...

You can find Good maternity wear for all seasons maternity wear at
as they are thinking about selling for all seasons as not all mums wanna stick in one place ! and like to travel in style !

Wednesday, October 7, 2009 at 5:19:00 AM EDT  

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