First look: Maternity wear for plus-sized gals

January 17, 2011

1st pregnancy

Since Stefania already mentioned it in the comments of this post, I thought I’d dive right in.

When I was pregnant with Alex, there was not a lot to choose from. It was a struggle to find maternity wear, especially maternity wear that was work appropriate. There has been one significant new player to the game since then and an expansion of choices at the others so things are looking up for us.

Lets start with the new kid on the block. Old Navy has been a tried and true friend to our family for a long time. I was pleased as punch not only to see they carry plus-size maternity wear, but that their regularly sized maternity wear goes up to a size I can wear and expanded my choices. Their clothing is priced well and is comfortable. The clothing runs big but they have a generous return policy. As it is with all of their plus-sized clothing, purchasing and returns are all done online. So if you really need to try something on, this will not be for you.

The surprise for me? Motherhood Maternity. I was able to go to their store. They has a small supply of plus-size items in the store, but I found that when I tried them on, they were very big. I am not barely plus-sized either, I am firmly in the plus camp. The saleswoman suggested trying on an XL in their regular sizes and lo and behold.. it fit! The selection was great and I was able to try everything on. The quality of the clothing was strong and I was able to purchase some great additions to my wardrobe (including a yummy sweater that can certainly be worn postpartum).  When I went to the store last weekend, they were having a great sale. I was able to pick up 2 very full bags of items for just about $100. Some of these things were clearance summer items, but I will still be pregnant then! I highly recommend their merchandise.

Another choice out there is JC Penney. I think it depends on what store you go to, but although many of their plus-size items are marked as “Also in stores” they were NOT in my local store. In fact, there were NO larger sizes in stock and the associate I asked said “We dont carry anything like that here” and walked away. Rather rude. They have a decent online selection, so I would stick to that. I cant vouch for their quality and would buy from either of the above retail stores first.

Next up is Sears. Yes, I was surprised by this too but I was able to pick up some well prices, well made pieces in their store. This was another place where it was worth it to go in and try on some clothes. I discovered I can fit in to pants that I otherwise would not have purchased online.

Have not tried Kohl’s to see what they carry in-store but even online seems limited. Sizes go to XL and I’m not sure I know what that means yet. Is it an XL I can wear? Hard to tell.

And finally, call ahead to some consignment shops. I know that a couple of my local shops carry some pieces, but speak to them, perhaps they can help you keep an eye out for specific pieces you need for your wardrobe.

I have not tried the maternity spanx.. but I’m told they’re a dream! Will keep a look out for these for myself!

My advice on maternity wear in general is to get several key pieces and keep rotating them through. Some leggings and skirts/dresses go a long way as well as a good pair of black pants and a good pair of jeans.

Are there others that you are using out there? Who else is plus-size friendly for the expecting mom?



  1. JCPenny was definitely my friend for the mini. The stuff was good quality but very inexpensive. I loved the jeans!! They were insanely comfortable. I actually had a couple tailored (they were too long) and wore them most of my pregnancy. 🙂 Didn’t try much from Old navy.

  2. target has a pretty good selection of maternity clothes that I feel like are very generous with their sizing. a lot of their plus sized clothing is also very loose in the abdomen area, so could be used as maternity wear. check out a half-price clothing store if you have any of those around. a lot of their plus-sized clothing
    is very smock-y and would work for a shirt to wear under a cardigan to the office, or over jeans/pants/leggings. as we both know, I’m not pregnant, but boy does my beer belly look like it’s due any day now! hope you find some cute stuff. oh yeah, and bring back overalls, they’re adorable and they’ll cover little jalapeño tamalè polay

  3. Target has a house brand of Spanx – I believe it is actually made by Spanx, too. It’s called Assets and they have a maternity selection too! I posted a link in the website field up there ^^ but I’m not sure that’s going to work. I went to target.com and searched for Assets maternity. 🙂

    My local JC Penneys in Seattle area malls all have an extensive “woman’s sizes” section – where they keep the plus sizes. I dance along the borderline of plus sizes often and am regularly appreciative of their selection for me.

  4. i have to say, i still have a few beloved maternity pieces that i just can’t let go of. and i found such a huge difference in my body during both pregnancies, i almost had to buy a whole new wardrobe. old navy fit me very strangely, but motherhood was a dream. and, oddly enough, i wore their “petite” jeans, as their regular ones were too loose on the butt and too long. trust me: i’ve never worn *anything* petite.

  5. I think Assets is the new brand name for Spanx. They were at BlogHer last summer.

    More on point, I also recommend Target. They come in at a good price point, especially when you reach that point in pregnancy where you feel like if you have to wear that same giant whatever one more freaking time, you might kill someone. Also, when I was pregnant with Josie, there were a few work-appropriate dresses with empire waists that I could wear from their regular collection. (At least to 7 or 8 months.) They may have similar pieces in their regular plus-size offerings.

  6. Target has some great pieces, I agree. And seriously, if you are a bargain shopper, you can find some good loot at Salvation Army and Goodwill, if you look often.

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