Where to Shop for Designer and Fashionable Maternity Clothes

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You're huge. You're bloated, not just with water, but hormones and feeling quite irrational and definitely unattractive. What's going on? You're pregnant! But you still want to look good right?? Every woman, especially when stepping through the challenging process of making baby, deserves to look and feel stylish.

This factoid is dedicated to my pregnant girlfriends (and myself since I'm on the road hopefully to joining them soon!) as well as all you hopeful ladies out there who have been searching for something to wear over that beautiful baby bump.

The key to finding trendy and stylish maternity clothes is to be resourceful. You will never find fashionable maternity wear in the mainstream stores. The mainstream stores are good for getting the basics at best -- black pants, basic tops, etc. If you normally shop for more contemporary styles at trendier places like Nordstrom Savvy, Shopbop, Revolve Clothing, Forever 21,  Theory, Tory Burch, etc then you're not going to be happy shopping at a Pea in the Pod, Japanese Weekend Maternity and the likes.

Top 10 Websites to Find Designer, Contemporary, and Stylish Maternity Clothes

  1. Unbuttoned

    This one topped my list for blowing me away with all the cute pieces they offer for pregnant women. They've got stuff here that I'd wear even if I wasn't pregnant!

  2. Isabella Olivier

    This site offers more a more upscale and fashionably-luxe look for mother-to-be. I found their website to be well designed and easy to look through.

  3. Due Maternity

    Comparable to a Banana Republic or Arden B, this shop offers a decent selection of things you could go out to dinner with to more casual picks for hanging out at the park. They carry a wide range of brands, from A Pea in a Pod to their own brand (I'm guessing) called "Due".

  4. Meringue Boutique

    This shop offers hoodies and more casual bottoms for the Mom-to-Be that's looking for comfort.

  5. Gap Maternity

    Knowing how painful it can be to spend all this money on stuff you know you'll only be using for a few months, plus the fact that you do not feel especially stylish at this time of your life.. you can't go wrong with the values that Gap offer. Just as you will need to be creative about dressing things up in a luxemix-type way.. it's up to you to blend these basics from Gap into a stylish ensemble. Get creative!

  6. Belly Dance Maternity

    Not a huge selection but what was there was pretty cute. They've got some adorable swimsuits (at the time of this post).

  7. Babystyle.com

    This store has physical store locations so do a search to see if there's one nearby. This was one place that I could actually find a full work suit. Other than that, the options are decent, but not quite contemporary enough.

  8. 2 Chix (Maternity Tee-Shirts)

    Looking for casual tees for those days you feel like beaching out on the sofa? There's some cute tees with funny slogans like "Knocked up" and "With bump not plump". If we had a nice sign on our foreheads for that it might save some of the embarrasing moments of asking "How many months?" to a non-preggers lady!!

  9. Old Navy Maternity

    This one makes the list for sheer practically sake. Cheap and simple.

  10. Pea in the Pod

    This one barely makes the cut.. why? Because I think the sales people in their physical stores suck. Maybe it's just the location I'm going to at Valley Fair in San Jose but this one girl in particular bugs the hell out of me. Maybe that's not fair but I also feel their clothing is over priced.. and their style is decent at best. Definitely nothing to write home to Grandma-to-be about.

One other maternity retailer that didn't make my list but is ausual suspect and might be worth giving a try:

Japanese Weekend Maternity (not enough of an interesting selection to make the list),

Styling Tips

  1. Use a B-Buckle or good old hair tie to extend the waistband of your pre-pregnancy pants and jeans. They sell this thing called a B-Buckle (http://www.unbuttonedmaternity.com/ecom/fulldetails/618/5) which snaps through your belt loops and keeps your pants closed, but leaves more room for your expanding belly. You can also use a normal hair tie.

    Directions: 1. Loop the hair tie through the hole on the left side of your pants where the buckle is supposed to go through. 2). Take the double loop that's now created by step 1 and loop it around your belt buckle. This is the first phase of the waistband trick. As your stomach expands, you can slightly modify this trick in step 1 by instead of allowing the hair tie to create a double loop, instead push the loop through itself so it's only a single loop, then take that across your belly and wrap it around your pant buckle. Tip: The best hair ties are these ouchless ones from Goody. Get the thinner ones if you are trying to do this trick with pants that don't have buckles but have the other kind of fasteners (can't recall what they are called).

  2. Use a Bella Band over your pre-pregancy pants to keep them closed without buttoning them.

    A Bella Band is kind of like a tube top that you wear over your pants, while they are unbuttoned (or if you are using styling tip #1 above). You can also wear the band over maternity pants if you are still too small and transitioning into them.

  3. You can never go wrong in black

    This may seem obvious but just wanted to remind you, you can never go wrong in dousing yourself in all black head to toe. Anytime you want to slim down just throw on a black dress, or a black top. Black leggings are an obvious go-to-staple for pregnant girls.

  4. Enhance the bust area, play down the belly.

    A great look for pregnant bodies is to wear something that fits snugly around the chest and then loosens up right below the chest. A simple way to get this silhouette is to wear a long flowy blouse or dress and wear a thin belt under the bosom. Try it out!

Finally, just want to leave you with the encouragement that men, especially your man, finds you incredibly sexy at this stage of your life so don't mumu yourself out or hide in nasty, oversized sweats. If I catch you doing this I'll have to come after you!

Check out my blog Luxemix for more fashion blabberings.

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Payton Rowan
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