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Maternity clothes - issues...!

(80 Posts)
sassylassie Mon 01-Aug-11 21:33:04

Sorry, this is going to be a bit of a rant! I'm really struggling to find decent quality maternity clothes that will see me through the winter (EDD 17 Jan). I've already accepted that I have to shop online and that there is no way I'll get trousers suitable for work to fit (at 5'3 everything is way too long) and that's fine. But I'm still struggling to find suitable clothes. I bought a load of stuff from Red Herring, which are mostly great, but trousers are proving to be a real issue. I sent back a pair of "maternity chinos" which turned out to be capris and looked ridiculous on me - was a bit annoyed they hadn't been marked as capris.

I'm only finding clothes which are:
- Poor quality, really thin see-through (not warm enough for winter) fabrics or polyester/artificial materials. I'm struggling to find decent quality cotton and linen maternity trousers.
- Too casual - where is all the workwear??! Do they think we all give up work the moment we get pregnant? Why are the only trousers I can find jeans, leggings, capri pants or nasty polyester fabrics?! I need smart tops and smart trousers - I can't get away with jeans and leggings at work, where I'll be spending most of my pregnancy.
- Crazily expensive. John Lewis seems to have some decent quality smart maternity trousers, but they're about £60. Why is it that I can get a decent quality pair of non-maternity trousers for half that price? I feel as if we're a captive market so we're going to be ripped off.

Sorry again for the rant. Put it down to pregnancy hormones! blush

Any suggestions?

I'm also struggling to find strapless bras so that I have something to wear under a summer dress or strappy/strapless top. Should I just get a normal underwired one?

Heather55 Fri 25-Jan-13 05:05:07

I am 14 weeks pregnant and after reading many blogs, decided its high time i own maternity jeans. So I bought the Morph maternity jeans through online. They are extremely comfortable and well-fitting. I am so glad I decided to give them a try.

EmmaJ28 Wed 02-Nov-11 09:54:15

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

dozyrosie Sun 14-Aug-11 19:52:05

Oh tell me about it. I never knew there were so many kinds of prams/travel systems etc.
If you have collected your second Bounty pack yet then there is a good product guide in there, the reviews on here are good, this site was also a big help they have a mobile app which I have used religiously since week 6. If your on a budget then has some great deals and good reviews.
After weeks of trawling the web, shops and books I've just made my mind up on a pram, car seat and cot today. With the aim of getting good quality, value for money, that will last as long as possible, I'm going for:

Sorry for the long post, but I know how confusing it can all get. Happy shopping.

sassylassie Sun 14-Aug-11 11:27:30

Thanks dozyrosie. I've just finally got round to ordering a bump band and kit from that site. Great tip! Can't wait - hopefully it'll give me more wear out of my normal trousers and skirts and save me buying too many new ones. Think I'm almost set with maternity clothes for now.

Now worrying about buying baby stuff - the whole pram/car seat/carrier thing has sent my head spinning!

dozyrosie Thu 11-Aug-11 19:35:04
Sassy it's definitely worth getting this kit to go with the bump bands. It's just a little bit of elastic that attaches to either side of the top button and hole of your current trousers then hidden by the bump band. My trousers have stayed up and in place for an entire 8 hour shift on my feet and food shopping after.

BikeRunSki Wed 10-Aug-11 21:56:55

Jojomamanbebe and Gap maternity saved me from a naked pg, think Gap do leg length mat trousers too,

sassylassie Wed 10-Aug-11 21:46:26

Not been able to get online for about a week so thanks for all your suggestions. smile I ended up buying some really nice cotton trousers from Vertbaudet (a black and taupe pair for about £25 each), as well as some white linen shorts. (Unfortunately at 17 weeks I already can't get into any of my pre-maternity shorts and we're going on holiday in a couple of weeks. OK, it's only Devon so to be honest I'm probably being a bit optimistic, if this wonderful "summer" weather continues.) Got a swimming costume too - way too big at the moment (lots of folds where the bump will be), so hope I can make do with my usual one until I grow into it.

dozyrosie - sounds great, I really want a belly band too so will try the site you mention.

Hi oeisha, nice to see you on here too! Yes, I'm lurking in the Jan 2012 thread but I only seem to manage to check MN once or twice a week at the moment, so by the time I've read even half of the messages since the last time I looked, it's time to go to bed and I haven't got time to actually post anything!

thegingerone Wed 10-Aug-11 21:43:41

I haven't got any advice about where to get decent mat wear at moment. This is pg #3 and although I've bought stuff this time, it's been casual stuff. I have a decent back catalogue of work stuff. My only advice or at least the thing I realised is that..... prior to pg 1 I felt obliged to have a HUGE wardrobe of differant outfits for work. Due to the fact that pg is only 9 mths (or in my case 27 mths!!) I didn't want to spend massive ammounts of money on clothes that last a few months out of the 9. So I basically "put up" with a couple of pairs of black trousers (One cotton JoJo (ebay purchase) and one (yes polyester) DP pair) In defence of the poly pair, they didn't look too bad and they do dry quickly (for repeated use!!)
My current mat wear collection is a mixture of tops i normally wear (empire line), tops in bigger sizes, mat stuff from 2003(yikes!), stuff from Red Herring /Mothercare, lots of bump bands and the afore mentioned trousers. I also decided that buying lots of black tops for work and wearing lovely necklaces,etc means that no one notices I'm only alternating two pairs of trousers and one black dress!!
I also had no shame when it came to finding a dress that looked nice and had lots of potential to last all preg. I bought it in black and pink! I love looking well dressed, but I have had to decide that as long as I look well presented at work I'll have to "deal with" not being the trendiest person in my team for thr time being!!!
Good luck with your search!

dozyrosie Wed 10-Aug-11 20:56:25
I'm 5ft exactly and a size 8 but with a big bump for 15wks. Last week I ordered 2 ruched belly bands in a size 6/8 and a belly belt combo kit (elastic extenders with various fastenings). Ruched come up long covering all my bum and bump, so if you are particularly short I wouldn't worry about getting longer fit till you get a really big bump.
They are simply fantastic as I did't stand a chance of finding decent fitting maternity clothes. I can get a few more months wear from my old pre pregnancy cloths.

theidsalright Mon 08-Aug-11 20:38:58

merinda zara pregnancy clothes are fantastic but it's a very small range. It's smart casual workwear and jeans/tops. Not all stores do it. I'm guessing Zara won't be much good for the 5ft 2in OP though!!

sarahjamie Mon 08-Aug-11 19:20:30

I can't believe how expensive everything is especially as I will only be needing the clothes for 9 months! Does anyone know if there is a website that hires bundles of clothes for work or everyday? I'm just back from the states and they hire baby clothes out there!! Great idea I think and eco friendly!

Merinda Fri 05-Aug-11 23:25:00

I keep hearing about Zara maternity range, but have not been able to track it anywhere. Does anyone know if any Zara stores in London sell maternity clothes?

Sawasdee Fri 05-Aug-11 12:55:16


I bought most of my maternity clothes from Isabella Oliver when they had the sale on - amazing bargains. You might find that investing in one good quality pair of black trousers - sale or no sale - will see you through most of your pregnancy. Team them with a nice T and a cardigan (cardigan does not have to be maternity) or a wrap top / blouse for work. It was fine for me in a formal office environment.

Generally, I found I bought too much stuff and soon had my favourites which I felt comfortable in throughout my pregnancy and continued to wear for a couple of months after the arrival of DD. Check out ebay as well for bargains on second hand maternity wear.

P.S. Congratulations on your pregnancy!

Nanny01 Fri 05-Aug-11 12:37:59

I havd had difficulty getting clothes as I am a size 24 so bourght a belly belt that you add to your existing clothes. I am really impressed with it so haven't bourght anything else.

Conchita Thu 04-Aug-11 22:31:36

Aha! good to know, have been getting really fed up of that 'oh great my jeans are halfway down my bum' feeling and all the hoiking!

Oeisha Thu 04-Aug-11 21:15:55

Bump bands tend to sit on your hip up to sort of above the waist, covering bump (I'm short, so the bands are easily reaching empire line) so yes, you can hide undoing flies and trousers/skirts that aren't buttoned/zipped properly etc. If you've ever worn a boob-tube, same idea - they're elasticated and pretty comfy. No, I dont' feel like my trousers are undone, I know they are, but they're sitting nice and snug (I wouldn't want someone to test it by yanking on them). They do creep if you're hoiking stuff about a lot, but usually stay put very well. I've not noticed myself re-arranging myself any more than before pg.
They can also make a nice 'base' blank if you love a pair of trousers/skirt that fit under your bump, but you don't want to show off bump to the world.
IMHO totally worth the money.
If you're interested in the new look ones, and are a size 14 or under, go for the smaller ones (s/m i think).

Conchita Thu 04-Aug-11 20:49:01

Can anyone explain to me how bump bands work? Do they actually hold unbuttoned trousers up or are they more for covering up the waistband. When you wear them is it comfortable or do you still feel like you are walking about with your trousers undone? Are they worth the money? Thanks!

Oeisha Thu 04-Aug-11 20:23:25

sassy I'm 5ft3 also...also found it an utter bitch to find anything. EDD 18/01 fo me! smile Do I recognise you form the antenatal forums...?
Anyway, I found Next trousers gave me the best compramise. Luckily I don't have to shop for work though. So, to avoid all the stupid personal invasions of your privacy that Next will try and put you through if you sign up to their site, then just get number off the website and take it in to your local store...
Blue Jeans Over the bump
Black Jeans (actually very dark blue, but do go with black, under/on the bump.#
You'll have to pay on order, but I just tried them on when they came into store...and then returned anything that didn't fit/I didn't like.
From what I saw their work stuff wasn't bad...

I also got some bump bands from New look bump bandsto bring in those jeans a bit (I've managed to loose weight so far, but gain front) and make my current summer range last a bit longer.

As for bras, I'm a J-cup, so there's no way in hell I wasn't wearing underwires...will do so until DC is kicking the life out of my ribs, then I'll be in to external scaffolding as I have a non-wired bra for bed and can't wear it standing for too long (previously broken ribs get in the way). If you're a larger cup size D+ then I'd advise Bravissimo, they're great! Basically, if you're not suffering from bloated tum/baby kicking you in the ribs then yes you can wear an underwire...

MissRee Thu 04-Aug-11 18:07:32

I have to say, I just bought a GORGEOUS dress on ASOS for a wedding on Saturday. It shows off my bump beautifully, has plenty of growing room left in it so can be worn right up to term i reckon and I even think I'll get away with wearing it post-preggers due to the ruching all the way down!!! Bargain at £35!

TinyTear Thu 04-Aug-11 17:24:03

the problem is if you don't like buying things online you are done!

bought some trousers on mamas & papas and I am only 1,64 so also on the short side...

jamama Thu 04-Aug-11 10:57:27

sassy, the selection at the Manchester St Ann's Sq Gap is not great (at least the last time I went in a few weeks ago). Went to Oxford St branch whilst in Ldn - completely different story, loads of choice, nice fabrics and reasonable prices. Now that they've realised that there is a market in the UK for their stuff online, might be worth a try.

Catsycat Thu 04-Aug-11 10:54:49

If you are really having problems finding a specific item, you could consider having it made. I am a dressmaker (currently on an extended / self imposed maternity leave till the DDs go to school!) and am always up for a challenge! I have made maternity stuff before (a pregnant bridesmaid whose dress needed to look exactly the same as the none pg ones, even a breastfeeding wedding dress!).

If you go to someone who has a City and Guilds or some other proper qualification, they will probably have studied "non-standard" cutting during their training. It isn't an instant solution, as you would need to have one or two fittings, but a good dressmaker should design exactly what you want, help you find the fabric you like, and do you a toile in calico to check the fit and style. It wouldn't be New Look / DP prices, but if you wanted a couple of the same trouser, for example, in different colours, I would expect to pay quite a lot less for the second pair (as the design and pattern cutting would not need doing twice). Might be worth considering if you really get stuck.

Franchini Thu 04-Aug-11 10:29:58

Hi all,

I have found it quite difficult to get Maternity wear as I am a size 18 (top) and most of the nice stuff you can get on line only goes up to a 16. Why do they think you can't get pregnant if you are over a size 16!!!!

I have found that Next are invaluable for maternity clothes - reasonably priced and good quality. (go up to a size 22 online!) Really nice linen trousers which are good for best and for work.
I have bought a couple of pairs of linen trousers from Peacocks (I'm size 14 bottoms) too which seem to be going the distance even though they have gon a bit bobbley between the legs! DP are good for casual stuff.
I have also bought a massive waterfall cardi from Debenhams which I am thinking I can wear over a t-shirt when the weather gets a bit cooler.

AlpinePony Thu 04-Aug-11 07:14:14

sassy Unfortunately I think you were just a smidgeon too late because the sale ended midnight tuesday. sad Normal prices are obscene out of my reach.

chinateacup Wed 03-Aug-11 23:21:46

I have bought loads of fab stuff on eBay this pregnancy. Mamas & Papas good and def Isabella Oliver though their sizing isn't supergenerous especially across the chest. (not important for trousers I know!)

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