Mom Street Style – Julia’s Non-Maternity Wear


25 Weeks.3

After three pregnancies spanning several years and all four seasons, I don’t even want to start thinking about what I’ve spent on items that fit for roughly three months a go.  As a new-mom-to-be in 2007, I was a total rookie, but ANMJ reader Julia, who’s glowingly prego with her first, is taking a more pragmatic (and fabulous!) approach to her maternity wardrobe. . .

Can someone please explain to me why maternity clothes cost so freaking much more than regular clothes?! Yes, I understand that a bit more material is needed but seriously?! Is it really an extra $40 or $50 worth…um, no!! I couldn’t even convince myself to splurge on the pair of maternity 7’s and went with GAP instead thanks to your denim post!

This is my first pregnancy (Yay!) and I’ve decided that I’m going to rock “normal” clothes as long as I can and so far it’s working out magnificently! I very quickly learned that maternity clothes very rarely go on sale more than 20-30% off which, when they’re priced so much higher than normal, really isn’t very helpful! So I scour all of the usual websites (Tobi, Piperlime, ShopBop, etc…) for sales and for flattering cuts that will work post-pregnancy as well! Per usual, Splendid, Velvet, C&C California and Vince are by far my favorite brands!

Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you for your many inspiring blogs and to let all the other pregg-os out there: Don’t confine yourself to the maternity stores/sections just because you’re expecting! 

Julia makes an excellent point.  Yes, maternity wear (especially items from higher end chain retailers) is quite a bit more expensive than non-maternity wear, presumably because a.) they believe they have the market cornered and b.) because they’re counting on new-mom-to-be hormones and excitement trumping all common sense (as in my case).

25 Weeks.2

25 Weeks.1

(Wearing: James Perse Long Racerback Tank, Splendid Chunky Slub Cowl Pullover Sweater – on sale at Piperlime, GAP 1969 full panel long & lean jeans, Cole Haan Suede booties)

However, smart mamas such as Ms. Julia can capitalize on current non-maternity trends like flowy/drapey tops paired with cute maternity denim (which has, without a doubt, finally gotten current).  These pieces will look great as your bump grows, may even go the distance to delivery, and will get you through those early transitional postpartum months.  Also, affordable, on-trend maternity wear is a lot easier to come by with overseas competitors like ASOS and Topshop (my third pregnancy favs) entering the market.  Check out our ASOS/Topshop maternity round up from last week.

Julia, gestating a human being totally becomes you.  You’re rockin’ it mama style at 25 weeks (more than half way there and you look amazing!).  Thank you for writing in and best wishes for a happy, healthy pregnancy.

– M.



  1. Me too, me too! I figured out quickly that maternity clothes just weren’t going to work for me–I was much better off finding things I loved from traditional retailers that fit and flattered my belly. Like Julia, california-chic styles were my staples, with a lot of JCrew vintage cotton tees thrown in and a lot of maxi dresses.
    In fact, I only bought “maternity” tanks and leggings for my whole pregnancy. Way cheeper, and I still love a lot of the stuff–and I’ve worn it way longer than 3 months!
    Love this. More women need to figure this one out–it’s so easy!

  2. On top of being so expensive, why is it so ugly? I went to Motherhood out of sheer desperation for some variety when I was pregnant almost 3 years ago. Their patterns and fabrics were so hideous. Mostly ugly florals and polka dots and itchy, cheap fabric. I told myself to only keep what wouldn’t look dated when I had the next baby, so I gave away 75% of my maternity clothes. My favorite top ended up being a non-maternity peasant tank from Old Navy, so next time I’ll be trying to think outside the box more and shop the regular clothes first.

  3. Maternity pants I think are worth the splurge, especially if you are going to have more than one baby. But, for tops, I totally went with non-maternity for most of them. Just be sure to find tops that are LONG. Once that belly really starts sticking out around 30 weeks, you’ll need the length. I did buy maternity t-shirts for this reason, and I pare them with cardigans at work. They will work postpartum, too as just a nice long t-shirt.

  4. I think the best thing that I realized (and it took until my 2nd pregnancy) was to shop for pooch-hiding, nursing-friendly tops around the 5th month so that I actually had post-partum options! Belt above the bump to accentuate during the pregnancy (because you don’t want people to think you just got fat!), and let tops drape flatteringly when you’ve had the baby and want to hide the pooch.

  5. I picked up a pair of skinny jeans during Pea In the Pod online sale for $14 reduced from something like a 100. They had many great options in $14 – $35 range, reduced from hundreds of dollars, including Hiedi Klum’s new line Lush. I think the sale might still be going on, at least worth to check it out. It was online only, not in their stores.
    If the clothes do not work for you you can ship it back (at your own expense) for a cash refund or return it to one of their stores for store credit.

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