Do warm, non-synthetic, petite maternity pants exist?
December 28, 2013 7:35 AM   Subscribe

I'm mid-second trimester and not fitting into any of my pre-pregnancy pants anymore, so I'm looking for suggestions of maternity clothing -- stores, brands, styles -- with the following constraints:

* Everything I've found so far seems to be terrible synthetic blends, which lead to the following problems:
** Not warm -- New England winter winds go straight through.
** Cat-hair magnet
** Can't be hemmed unobtrusively (see below).

* Too long -- I'm 5'1". Pants/leggings from everywhere from Target to Isabella Oliver are 2-4 inches too long, and look goofy cuffed and won't hold a hem.

Additional information:
* My office is on the casual side of business casual; previously I mostly wore L. L. Bean chinos.

* I'm fine with wearing mostly dresses, but still need to find leggings/tights that fit.

* I am a reasonably competent seamstress, but we're in the process of moving; my sewing machine and supplies are inconvenient but not inaccessible, so pattern suggestions are also welcome.

*Bonus points if it's something I can actually find in a store and try on (Boston area).
posted by nonane to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (15 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I don't know if I they can help with your other requirements, but I've gotten petite sized maternity pants from Motherhood Maternity.
posted by chiababe at 7:52 AM on December 28, 2013

I thought the Old Navy maternity stuff wasn't too bad.
posted by k8t at 8:00 AM on December 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

Also why not try a belly band for awhile? You can wear your old pants unbuttoned.
posted by k8t at 8:01 AM on December 28, 2013

Agree with Old Navy. Try the Gap, too. If you want to save money, go for ebay; it's super easy to find The Gap's always skinny maternity cords, which should look fine hemmed and be reasonably warm.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:04 AM on December 28, 2013

Oh, and for second trimester, if you're anything like me, under the belly panels are awesome. As the second trimester ends, you'll probably want some maternity pants that go over the belly (and then you'll be at 34 weeks, like I am now, and just give in to wearing yoga pants 24/7. C'est la vie.)
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:06 AM on December 28, 2013

There are a number of Pea In the Pod and Destination Maternity stores in the Boston area. Beware, the stuff is super pricey, but you can usually find more reasonably priced items on sale.
posted by TheCavorter at 8:08 AM on December 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'm 2 weeks postpartum an also in New England. I'm 5'2" and petite and I had all the same problems as you including the cat hair issue! I bought XS petite pants from Motherhood. Most of their stuff doesn't come in petite but a few things do - the most basic items usually. I had jeans and a pair of grey linen pants that I wore 80% of the time. I had to hem the linen pants myself- and I also had to hem some thick yoga pants from Gap that I wore. I agree that the clothes are bad quality and flimsy. I was so surprised that there weren't more options available! I wore silk long underwear on really cold days.

For the last 4 weeks I didn't have any coat that could cover the bump so I wore men's cashmere sweaters from a tag sale - great quality, much too big, but it did the job and looked semi-intentional.
posted by Cygnet at 8:22 AM on December 28, 2013

Oh, and Motherhood Maternity (cheap and flimsy) and Pea in the Pod (super pricy) are indeed the only dedicated maternity stores in the whole city. I was surprised.
posted by Cygnet at 8:24 AM on December 28, 2013

Oh one more thing: Motherhood Maternity sells leggings and I managed to find a pair that was supposed to be "Capri" or whatever but they fit me like regular leggings.
posted by Cygnet at 8:26 AM on December 28, 2013

I'm not petite (5'7"), but I'm also having little luck finding maternity clothes in the Boston area. I'm pretty much resigned to ordering stuff and sending 90% of it back. And I don't even mind synthetics much. I wanted to add that there's a maternity consignment store in Salem, Mighty Aphrodite that gets good Yelp reviews. Although a poster on another board I'm on said that the selection wasn't great when she was there a few weeks ago. I'm still planning to give it a try some time next month.
posted by Kriesa at 9:23 AM on December 28, 2013

I am 5'2"ish and bought my winter maternity wear almost exclusively at the Gap, Old Navy, and Target. Gap and Old Navy have maternity pants in the Ankle length, that fit me nicely. I only bought dresses from Target, they had some nice ponte knit ones that were very warm. I wore them with Berkshire maternity tights that I bought on Amazon, they have a petite size. I bought a really nice pair of pants from Loft (I think these or something very similar) that were not too long, but you can only buy their maternity stuff online and all of the rest of their stuff did not fit me at all.

I found that Motherhood/Destination Maternity carried clothes made mostly of synthetic materials. I think Pea in the Pod (the highest end of the three) had more cotton items, but even then it was mostly a blend of cotton and synthetic materials. I really liked the Pea in the Pod t-shirts, though.

If you're worried about being able to try on or things not fitting, Gap and Old Navy have free shipping and returns on all of their maternity clothes. Target has free shipping on orders over $50 (and on everything if you have their red card) and you can return items to the store for free. The Motherhood/Destination Maternity/Pea in the Pod stores have really awful return policies (like you can't return anything you buy online to the store for a refund - they'll only give you store credit and anything you do buy in store has to be returned within two weeks or something ridiculous like that).
posted by echo0720 at 2:24 PM on December 28, 2013

Jcrew's minnie pants line and maybe others comes in maternity, and I think maybe petite/short, if not, easily hem-able. I tried them because I hate regular pants and wanted stretch pants that looked like pants, but at 5'2" and 100-105 Ibs, the crotch area didn't fit me well. Maybe they'll work for you!
posted by ribboncake at 2:32 PM on December 28, 2013

I'm also in my 2nd trimester in Boston and have been ordering most of my maternity things online because selection in stores is pitiful. I like the leggings I got from H&M, but... I'm 5'6" and they're a little long.

I guess I'm unhelpfully chiming in to say that selection in stores here is dismal, your best bet is to order from a store with a good returns policy. I mostly wear skirts anyway, so both pregnancies have been all about leggings for me in the leg-covering department.

(Also, from experience, Motherhood brand falls apart. They are dead to me. My stuff from them didn't even make it through my last pregnancy and I won't buy from them again. Holes! Holes everywhere! In clothes that were not cheap!)
posted by sonika at 2:38 PM on December 28, 2013

Not really, no. Maternity pants pretty much have to stretch, and have a short lifespan, so synthetic makes more sense. That being said, you can get good ones online; try Figure 8 maternity. I've found them to be very helpful over email.
posted by snickerdoodle at 4:00 PM on December 28, 2013

I'm 38 weeks right now and would just second what everyone else is saying that most maternity-wear is terrible plastic-y crap - It's not just you or your location, I think, it's more of a general thing. I have like one pair of pants that doesn't make me want to rip them off immediately, and even they feel like they are made of plastic bags. I'm in LA, so coldness is less of an issue (rather, being too warm is an issue and the plastic materials don't help there either), but my attempts at maternity shopping left me with the following impression re: pants: The Motherhood ones are plastic, yes, but also the best and most comfortable. They also have some great fold-over waistband leggings that I do actually recommend, very comfortable. Also, their basic T-shirts (the plan v-neck ones) are easily the best pregnant-lady shirts I've bought. The Gap pants are the most like real pants, but got very uncomfortable after 30 weeks - the stretch part wasn't cut low enough, I think, and was just stabbing me all day. FYI the Gap maternity clothes are usually hidden in the back of the Gap Kids locations, not in the regular stores (depends on location tho, look online for where they stock the maternity clothes). Old Navy has lots of things that *look* like a good idea, but they are the crappiest of all - avoid. Pea in the Pod is just ridiculously expensive, so no there too. I could never find a Target location that actually had any maternity clothes in stock, so I can't comment on them. In general, the below-belly waistbands are nice earlier on, but in my experience became very uncomfortable in the 3rd trimester. In the interest of not spending all your hard earned cash on pants, I would suggest trying to only buy the tall-waist kind. My best pregnant lady tip is honestly to try and buy inexpensive regular things in sizes that work for you - I had really good luck at H&M for various leggings and their weird really long shirts and drapery type things that you can just belt. Much cuter, more comfortable, and astonishingly better fabrics than the dedicated maternity stuff. Hopefully since you are in Boston and it's winter now all these stores will have more cold-weather options for you than I've seen here.
posted by annie o at 10:17 AM on December 30, 2013

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