Sources for non-crap maternity clothing for Canucks?
April 20, 2007 10:28 AM   Subscribe

I want maternity clothes that are not poor quality, not made from artificial fibres, not ill-fitting, not $250 each, and not "trendy."


To try to sum up: I think the ideal might be a slightly more formal L.L. Bean.

To ramble on: as for the usual suspects: I've found decent stuff at the Gap -- some. Old Navy is a write-off at the moment; it's all slutty pseudo-athletic-wear. (IANA21-yr-old.) There's no Target in Canada. Wal-Mart has garbage. Ditto Thyme Maternity. Motherhood has supplied a few okay things. Second-hand stores have been good, but going to six stores to score one shirt is getting tedious. The Bay, eh. EBay, with its "I'll charge you $15 for shipping, and spend $4 on ditto," isn't worth it for Canadians.

The nicest bit of summer clothing for the eggplant-shaped I have is a linen blazer from Lands' End; irritatingly, they aren't really doing maternity anymore.

Similar previous questions have led me to browse; not bad, but no shipping to Canada. I ordered stuff from Motherwear on 22 March; I have no Motherwear, and nothing good to say about their customer service. Any comments on Special Addition (despite horrid name)?

I want a plain linen suit, I want a linen shift dress, I want a light coat; size 6 (S is often too small, M too big -- WTF is it with the "you're pregnant; it doesn't need to flatter" sizing?), no luck so far. My chest is breaking out periodically, so the popularity of low-cut stuff is another kick in the face.

Hopefully I'm overlooking some little wee boutique on-line stores with non-crap stuff? If it has exactly what I want at a good price and only ships to the US, and is not Motherwear, I'll consider having a friend send it along, but Canadian-friendly places are the ideal.
posted by kmennie to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (14 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Have you tried Crave? They're in the UK but ship everywhere. Their things seem very nice, decidedly un-crap.
posted by iconomy at 10:49 AM on April 20, 2007

What about high-end second-hand shops? I think there would be a big resale market for maternity wear, since it can only be worn for a few months and doesn't tend to wear out. Check the high-end consignment shops in your area (i.e. the kind that resell designer stuff, not Goodwill).
posted by boomchicka at 10:54 AM on April 20, 2007

Ok I'm an idiot who can't read posts properly; please disregard my comment. :)
posted by boomchicka at 10:55 AM on April 20, 2007

Do you sew or know someone who does? You can make some pretty nifty maternity stuff for cheap if you do. Other than a suit (which was horribly overpriced), I ended up making most of my stuff. Vogue makes some great maternity patterns.
posted by Flakypastry at 11:01 AM on April 20, 2007

Belly Basics?
posted by needled at 11:05 AM on April 20, 2007

I deliver in a week so I have been feeling your pain!! For some reason, all maternity clothes these days has to look like a teenager going to the club with her belly sticking out!! I have found that JC Penney has some decent, mature things. Not sure if they ship to Canada, but they are reasonably priced and the things have worn well. Good Luck!!
posted by pearlybob at 11:11 AM on April 20, 2007

I never found a maternity clothing panacea, but bought a bunch of stuff from babystyle and mimi maternity. I don't know if mimi ships to canada, but its worth a look. If not, perhaps you have some south of the border friends who can receive and forward shipments for you? I also got a lot of mileage out of non-maternity tops with the empire waist, which thankfully is "trendy" right now, and looks great with a pregnant belly. That won't work once you get really huge, but lasts a good while. I also bought regular t-shirts from gap in a size larger than usual. One tip - the belly band, which is absolutely 100% essential IMO. I wear one every single day, even with maternity tops which do not fully cover my belly now I am huge.
posted by Joh at 11:50 AM on April 20, 2007

I am exactly in the same boat as you other than the shipping issues (and note: while sewing works sometimes, I find I'm rather hit and miss about making something I actually like!).

Currently I"m investigating online maternity consignment stores. While getting the actual styles you want is a bit hit-and-miss for each place, they're at least larger in selection than your average local consignment store. Haven't found too many yet; probably due to the difficulties of running a consignment store online.

Here's a couple for now that at first glance had reasonable selection and shipping to Canada:

Stylish Stork
posted by artifarce at 12:11 PM on April 20, 2007

Although most of the Old Navy maternity line is fairly depressing, I do have to say that their maternity jeans are the cheapest and best fitting that I've seen. If you're into jeans, that is.

You may want to check out Due Maternity as well - they're based in San Francisco, but ship internationally. And they have linen maternity pants.
posted by Wavelet at 12:28 PM on April 20, 2007

Find fashion kimonos (authentic or close-to styles). They fold across the center so far that you can gradually let them out farther and farther. They look great, they feel great. I lived in them through two pregnancies.
posted by nax at 3:58 PM on April 20, 2007

Response by poster: And they have linen maternity pants.

While this question was being answered, I hit the stores here. They do have some token bits of blended (why?) linen now.

Invariably thin and unlined. I mean, truly unwearable, much of this stuff -- who on earth is buying transparent white pants?

Thinking about it, I figured it the manufacturers believe pregnant women are so obviously promiscuous that it must be assumed that they've long ago dropped any pretense at modesty. The dirty whores, &c.

the Old Navy maternity line is fairly depressing

That sums it up wonderfully.

Crave has a partly linen suit, I see -- £££, but very tempting. I think I either have to spend a lot, get used to whinging, or chuck all dignity and just wear this.

On the off chance anybody's still reading, I'm also interested in warnings about various brands. The Belly Basics recommendation is a useful one -- I have one shirt from them that's very close to the non-maternity shirts I have. I eventually decided that was a fluke; even the cheap lines can occasionally hit on the right bolt of fabric and right sweatshop, but if that shirt = their normal quality, they are worth a look.
posted by kmennie at 1:59 AM on April 21, 2007

Special Addition is based in my town (Austin TX) and they have fabulous customer service, at least at the bricks-and-mortar store. The clothes are pricey but seem very nice.

Don't count out the non-maternity ladies' section for tops -- baby doll cuts are the fashion of the moment and work great as maternity wear. I'm 34 weeks and wearing a regular tank top from JC Penneys right now, no belly peekage or anything.
posted by kmel at 11:07 AM on April 21, 2007

Oh BTW, it looks like Mimi Maternity does ship overseas, so check out their site. I have bought from their stores before, and the only thing to avoid is the mesh tops, which are all artificial fibres.
posted by Joh at 7:41 PM on April 21, 2007

Response by poster: Update: Motherwear stuff arrived.

("Will arrive within 14-21 days, depending on destination" means "Will arrive in 21 BUSINESS days, even if you are in the downtown of a major city, and we count days from the day we ship, not the day you ordered.")

It is not the place to go for "non-crap." It is crap.

"Dresses" made out of fabric so thin I can only see it as suitable for lingerie. Stuff that doesn't cover the bump. One thing that was the wrong colour. One sweater that looks like it's already falling apart. The seams are risible; even by "Made in China" (which everything is) standards, they're poor. One decent t-shirt, though not decent enough to make it worth mailing away for. Christ, it's bad. The designs are not slutty per se, but with odd cuts, cheap construction, and thin spandex, the result is pretty whorish.

Pregnant MeFites of the future: just say no to Motherwear!
posted by kmennie at 8:22 AM on April 23, 2007

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