Stylish Maternity Clothes (They Exist!)

Growing up, I remember my friends and I talking about how awful it would be if pregnant during the summer; we pictured ourselves being over heated and constantly uncomfortable. Of course, we had no idea what we were talking about. (And as a teenager, most everything in adult life seemed terrifying—or maybe that’s just how I saw it.)

Fast forward through high school and here we are. Several of my friends are expecting babies this summer! Most of them, their first child. Which circles back to our childhood discussion—is it really that unmanageable? Can you find clothes that are flattering and make you feel good in the heat?

I’ll admit that I feel a bit terrible for not having a mental checklist of ‘go-to’ maternity shops. I’m not sure what’s the reason for this. I’m not pregnant, but I’m also not tall, petite or plus size and yet I can dress all three of those body types. What I’ve discovered, and it only happened this past winter when my closest friend became pregnant and I wanted to help her find amazing maternity clothes, is that the retail world is not so kind to dressing pregnant women. What I mean by this is, your options kind of suck.

Even when I asked stylish mommies for their recommendations on where to find the best maternity clothes, they each threw out the big box stores (Gap/Old Navy, LOFT) and then sort of just shrugged and told me it’s pretty much hell and you just try to get by for the 9 + months.

The majority expressed that they didn’t want to spend a lot on maternity clothes (and that the specialty shops ARE expensive.) I completely understand this; most people want to splurge when they are feeling their best and/or at their ideal shape and size. (I hear this all the time when working with custom clothes.)

Like I said, I felt pretty bad for not being able to round up a bunch of outfits that my friend would love. Until I stumbled upon a little delight. While sitting poolside, at seriously the most relaxing hotel, I found a book that not only made me laugh out loud (every chapter) but helped me to realize that damn near every woman has had some type of struggle with clothes during her pregnancy. (I’m not speaking to you—ladies that wear your same clothes, but just go up a size. Apparently, your fellow soon-to-be mommies have slight anger towards you! Ha.)

Anyway, here’s an excerpt where Jenny McCarthy talks about not wanting to buy more clothes for just a few more weeks of wear, and instead begs her husband to go to Sears and stock up on muumuus. #Classic!

Photo by Lena Porter, poolside in Palm Springs. :)

Photo by Lena Porter, poolside in Palm Springs. :)


If you feel like wearing a muumuu is throwing in the towel (style-wise) or if you want more variety, here are a couple suggestions.

* My criteria: must carry a design you would actually think of wearing if you were not pregnant and not be ridiculously over priced.

Asos: They carry 8 brands of maternity wear!

Zara: As of April ’13 they have added a maternity line to their online inventory. Prices range from $8-$80. Yahoo!

Hatch: Their mantra is that you can wear the line before, during and after pregnancy. Pricier than the above brands. Their Hatch-to-Hospital Box is a cute (and luxurious) self-given gift.

Pret-a-Pregnant: A blog curated for the stylish mommy and soon to be. I particularly like her category ‘The Diaper Bag of…’ in which a celebrity or fashionable female is highlighted.

Bella Belli: My Metro Detroit favorite. On trend maternity clothes and items for the baby. (Spoiler! Any showers I’m attending will likely include a gift from here. :))

And lastly, just for fun. I love (and can relate to) this write up from Daily Candy entitled “I Love That Nail Polish.” Pregnancy makes friend dates a bit boring (no sushi, no wine, no unpasteurized cheese, no freaking deli meat). Which is why RGB’s natural, nontoxic nail polish should be celebrated with weekly manicure dates.


Photo: Daily

Photo: Daily



For when you need to dress up. Sequined Peter Pan collar highlights the face.  Photo:

For when you need to dress up. Sequined Peter Pan collar highlights the face.











For a meeting or everyday work clothes (in the corporate world). Photo:

For a meeting or everyday work clothes (in the corporate world).











For when you want to bring 'sexy back.' An all over pattern is flattering and keeps the eye moving.  Photo:

For when you want to bring ‘sexy back.’ An all over pattern is flattering and keeps the eye moving.


















Thank you to Adrianne, Heather, Kara & Jessica for contributing—cheers to stylish moms!





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5 Responses to Stylish Maternity Clothes (They Exist!)

  1. Kristin Nightingale says:

    Love this Lena!!!!

  2. Kara Markusen says:

    Nice post, Lena! And you’re welcome for ‘contributing’ some ideas :). Don’t forget Ingrid & Isabel! They have some really great basics–things that get you through the pregnancy day-to-day. It’s really one of those things that once you try on a few brands, you see what really flatters a pregnant body best and what just adds pounds to you! I’m surprised people have told you it’s hell for 9 months fashion-wise–I sometimes feel a tad a limited and of course can’t wait to go shopping after baby gets here, but I feel that nowadays is the best time to be preggo (compared to what previous generations had to select from–basically, tent-like dresses!). Pea in a Pod has some pretty things though it can be a tad pricey–but it’s nice to invest in at least a few nice pieces over the course of nine months! And there are some other great online boutiques if you really search. The thing I’d say they could offer more of: bathing suits! I have one black one that just gets me through. I wish they had some cuter options in that department!

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