Clothing for the pregnant lady: non-maternity edition
June 5, 2015 3:44 AM   Subscribe

I'm pregnant. It's about to become disgusting hot and gross out. What do I wear?

Maternity clothes just don't fit me. Even when pregnant, then rest of my body doesn't get any bigger, so my normal "everything is too big at the chest and hip" issues are exacerbated. I'm normally a 30A/31 inch hips with slim shoulders; at 20 weeks, I'm a 30C with 32 inch hips. Basically, I've gone from being a stick shape to a stick shape with a lump in the middle.

During past pregnancies, knitwear has been my friend, but I can't imagine myself wearing anything body conscious on the subway in July. Everything I try on that's meant to be looser gapes indecently at the chest/armholes, or poofs out at the hips/falls off. I'm looking for regular, affordable clothes that can accommodate my stomach. Specifically:

1. Lightweight tees and tanks that are relaxed but not oversized, but not too sheer
2. Dresses that are at least knee length
3. Jeans/pants/skirts that are sufficiently low rise, with stretchy waist

Help me, style mavens of Metafilter!
posted by snickerdoodle to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Kohl's Apt 9 brand t-shirts are super stretchy, in my experience. Old Navy used to have some summer pants and shorts with a stretchy waistband and drawstring at the waist that I wore for the first few months of my pregnancies (at which point I, unlike you, gained too much to wear them), not sure if they still do. For skirts, the key words you should be looking for are "fold over waist" or "roll over waist" - Old Navy has those too, but so do lots of other places. You can also find yoga pants with a fold over waist, but I don't know if you're looking to go that casual.
posted by amro at 4:14 AM on June 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

I tend to wear light fabric leggings and dresses cinched over my belly with a belt. That way it doesn't really matter what the shape of the dress is. they definitely end up being a lot blowsier than I'd go for.
posted by betsybetsy at 4:54 AM on June 5, 2015

Well, it's the season for maxi dresses, and the non-maternity versions of those are frequently very bump-friendly (empire waists, fuller skirts with plenty of fabric in front). Very cool and breezy, too, IME. Target has some nice options: 1 2 (for instance).
posted by Bardolph at 5:33 AM on June 5, 2015 [6 favorites]

I'm not pregnant, but I have a similar problem with the flowy/baggy dresses, that just gap open too much in the arm holes. (I think they're supposed to be worn that way? With a bandeau bra? But I don't like it. Nah.)

I've taken to buying them and having the arm holes sewn up by a tailor. Costs like $5 (in NYC) and has made my life immeasurably simpler.

Most recently I had this one's armholes fixed, which looks like it would accommodate a bump nicely. (It even has a little buttoned cinch on the back to let it out even more!)

I also imagine this one doing well, if you hike the waistline above the bump.

Yeah, actually, if you free yourself up for a bit of cheap tailoring, there are a lot of good ideas on that page.
posted by functionequalsform at 6:05 AM on June 5, 2015

I wore these tank tops during my pregnancy last summer and continue to wear them. They're maternity tanks, but really they're just long and stretchy with no obvious "maternity" shaping. They're completely opaque and soft and cheap, and though they're fitted they're not at all stuffy or gross in the summer. They are seriously great.

I also wore a zillion maxi dresses of both the maternity and non-maternity varieties. For anything too open at the top (why are maternity dresses so damn cleavagey?) you can try a plain sports bra underneath: it'll look like a tank top, stretch to accommodate your changing boobs, and help wick sweat.

For jeans, I really liked the kind with stretchy insets at either side of the waist - which were annoyingly hard to find. I managed to get a really good deal on some Paige maternity jeans; you might have luck finding a gently pre-owned pair on eBay, consignment shops, local parents' swap groups, etc.
posted by Metroid Baby at 6:27 AM on June 5, 2015

I've never been pregnant, but a good friend who is built like you was pregnant in the summer two years ago, and to work she wore a lot of regular dresses from h&m, which were a size or two up from her normal size, which was enough to accommodate her stomach. She's also tall and the dresses were work length appropriate (right around her knees). Since fast fashion trends have obviously changed a bit in the last two years, I don't know if the current styles at h&m are as flowy as they were then, but it might be worth checking out.
posted by Caz721 at 6:41 AM on June 5, 2015

One thing to consider is that maternity shirts are often longer than regular shirts. Otherwise, late in pregnancy they tend to not cover your belly. So if you buy non-maternity t-shirts, make sure they're pretty long.
posted by amro at 6:45 AM on June 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

What about something like Hatch, which is designed to be billowy and suitable for both pregnant and non-pregnant bodies? Then it's not too big for you, it's just how it looks.
posted by mchorn at 6:57 AM on June 5, 2015

I'm 8 months pregnant and don't have a maternity store nearby, but I'm petite enough that I can build a wardrobe out of normal clothes. First, I invested in lululemon trousers with roll top waists.... I had them cropped for summer... I'll still be able to wear them after.

Then I got shirts in xl from h and m, and just put a few stitches in the arms so that they fit me better.

Forever 21 also has some great amazing wonderful long soft cotton shirts that cover my tummy but fit normally.

And yeah..... Maxi dresses.
posted by catspajammies at 7:01 AM on June 5, 2015

Have you checked out asos maternity? They have sizes that go pretty small (e.g., I am a small at gap/old navy and would be like a 6 or 8 there and they have 0 or 2s).

I might, depending on how casual you can be, look at american apparel or a similar store that has a lot jersey skirts and tops.
posted by typecloud at 8:03 AM on June 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

I'm pregnant right now and have a similarly slim build, carrying just in my belly. H&M has really good separates that are cheap and lightweight, labeled "basics". I bought some stretchy short skirts there last pregnancy and I like to wear camisoles (with shelf bras) and long layers. I just bought a bunch of these to wear over a cami.
posted by boofidies at 9:02 AM on June 5, 2015

Yes, what boofidies says - I did something similar and you can continue to use this look postpartum if you're nursing, so if you buy stretchy nursing camis (with the clips on the straps) now, you can dual purpose them with the layer over the top being helpful for modestly nursing in public without having to use a cover. Old Navy has very similar layering tank tops/shirts for over top, and so does Target - Target has good nursing camis for a good price.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 9:06 AM on June 5, 2015

Also built kind of like you. When I was about 5mo pregnant a friend gave me a hand me down Patagonia dress, kind of like this one. The material was outdoorsy stretchy stuff...I wore it through most of the pregnancy and after it was great for nursing (go braless, just pop a boob out). The material disappeared any sweat or boob leakage.
posted by jrobin276 at 1:24 PM on June 5, 2015

I would steer clear of Asos, I ordered several maternity tops from them and all were really cheap fabric blends that don't breathe at all- and they had cheaply done the sleeves, rolled them up and stitched them in place of a nice hem.
posted by catspajammies at 1:43 PM on June 5, 2015

Ok I think the dress I linked to was cotton; the one I have is 85% polyester and 15% spandex. Wearing it pregnant didn't stretch it out, either - I can still wear it!
posted by jrobin276 at 4:49 PM on June 5, 2015

So after a weekend devoted to this mission, here's what I have to report:

The good:
- Athleta for dresses (midi, maxi) and elastic waist pants that are mid rise but still streamlined
- Vince for t-shirts and low-rise pants (crazily expensive except at sample sale prices)
- LillaP for tanks (crazily expensive except at sample sale prices)
- DL1961 and Citizens of Humanity for jeans
Storq maternity for dresses and skirts (but not tanks)

The bad:
Hatch, ASOS maternity, H&M maternity, Everyone shirts, and Paige maternity. They were all definitely too big, with a combination of gaping neckline, too high a rise, or too large a waist (with the exception of this nursing shirt). Love the Paige jeans otherwise, though; if they came in a 24 I would have been sold.
posted by snickerdoodle at 11:53 AM on June 8, 2015

« Older How to host a Friday Night Buddha Bowl dinner.   |   text-only browsing in Firefox Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.