Today is laundry day, and I as I was hanging up a shirt, it hit me for the first time, just how much I miss my non-maternity clothes! I haven’t reached the point where I want to throw out my maternity clothes, but I def miss having a variety in my closet!
Being plus sized, and trying to be fashionable is enough of a challenge as it is. I knew, in the event that I ever got pregnant, it would be even worse. At the very least you can find plus size clothes in almost any town, if it’s big enough for a Wal-Mart, it will have plus size clothing. The options might suck (let’s be honest, they do), but at least there is a physical place to buy something if you need it. Plus size maternity clothes? Fat chance. Prior to moving to Wyoming, I lived in an area with 500,000 people. Not a roaring metropolis, but big enough that shopping in brick and mortar stores is possible. In this area, there was one, ONE store that carried plus size maternity clothes. Motherhood Maternity. I should throw out the caveat,that prior to getting pregnant, I was on the cusp of plus-size, and non plus-size in certain stores. Old Navy’s xxl size (straight size) was usually swimming on me, but the XL was just a little too snug. Of the three Old Navy stores in my area, only ONE carried maternity clothes, and even then the selection was paltry.
I knew that I didnt want to spend a fortune on maternity clothes, and I knew that I was going to have to order some of them online.
Here is what I ended up purchasing:
3 pairs of maternity slacks for work
5 pairs of maternity jeans (2 that didn’t work for me past the beginning on the 2nd tri, just felt wierd around my belly, so I had to buy two more).
1 maternity skirt
2 pairs of maternity work out pants (one was legitimately maternity, the other was just two sizes up from my normal, they were huge at first, but fit now, 4 days from my due date, I call that a succcess)
2 maternity workout shirts (again these are just regular work out shirts, but two sizes bigger than my non maternity. I never thought I would get big enough to fill them out. Ha freaking ha).
3 bigger bras
3 maternity ribbed tank tops
1 maternity white tank top for layering
and about 13 maternity tops.
All told I probably spent about $600.00 on clothes. Ugh. that number frustrates me, but you essentially have to re-build your entire wardrobe!
Now, I have to disclose that my sister-in-law did give me some of her maternity clothes. She and I have different styles, and she is actually a size smaller than me, but most of the stuff she gave me fit through my second trimester, and some of the stuff fits now. She didn’t give me any bottoms though.
Here are some tips for plus size women, who are going through the hell that is maternity fashion:
- side ruching is your friend, and is incredibly hard to find. I almost always chose my maternity tops with side ruching over those that don’t have it, because I just find them so much more flattering.
- Full belly panels are also your friend. Mid-level panels often have a THICK band of elastic, and I found that very uncomfortable once my belly started hardening and rounding out.
- DON’T DISCOUNT YOUR NON MATERNITY WARDROBE. I have 2 pairs of pajamas, 3 shirts, and about 6 camis that are all non maternity. And all of them still fit. Thank you clothing industry for insisting on putting spandex in everything. Once my belly dropped, the camis became too short, so I could no longer wear them with just a cardigan, but they still work well for layering, since everythign insists on being big up top (and I have big boobs! what gives!).
- Embrace cardigans. I was never really a cardigan girl until about two years ago, but they have become a staple during pregnancy for me (as most of my pregnancy was during the winter). I was able to make my outfits go further, and have certain tops do double duty (liked the ribbed maternity tanks) since they are wearable both with and without a cardigan.
- If you are a size 18/20 don’t ignore straight size maternity clothes. Due to the generous nature of maternity clothes, and the presence of spandex, lots of straight size XL’s might fit. I had straight size maternity clothes that either still fit, or fit up until about 36 weeks from: JCPenny, Old Navy (and their XXL’s are sometimes still too big–not in the belly!), Motherhood Maternity, and H&M.
- Maxi dresses are your friend!! I wore a dress on Easter, almost 37 weeks pregnant, that I got at Ross last year, when I was at my skinniest. It fit, and looked great. These would be ideal for women pregnant in the summer
- Don’t buy something that you wouldn’t wear if it were non maternity, and you weren’t pregnant. You won’t wear it, and that will just be money down the drain!
Most importantly, don’t get frustrated, and be patient.