How to Build a Maternity Wardrobe, Part 3: SHOP!

We finally reached part three in my How to Build a Maternity Wardrobe series, and this one is probably the most fun. Why? Because it’s time to get your shop on. (But don’t jump the gun if you’ve missed parts one and two! Before shopping, make sure you’ve evaluated your non-maternity wardrobe and lifestyle and identified the holes in your closet!)how to build a maternity wardrobe: tips for shopping and all of the best maternity stores!


But not really. Start out slowly. You’ll be tempted to fulfill your entire list early on, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Your body is going to grow and change over the next couple of months, and it’s going to be hard to estimate how you’ll carry or what will be the most comfortable.

Cut your list in half (at least) to start

If you’ve identified that you need 3-4 pairs of work pants, start out with about half that amount. See how you feel after an entire day of wearing them, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different panels. (This was one mistake I made. I bought strictly demi panel work pants, which were very comfortable in my second trimester, but the last two months were nearly unwearable due to the way they cut into my belly while I sat at my desk!)

Don’t be afraid to buy multiples of what you do love

I keep coming back to my cropped work pants, but they were definitely the hardest thing for me to find. Most retailers did not carry anything in that style. So once I found one I liked, I bought multiple pairs in different colors. When it comes to shopping for normal clothes, I rarely buy multiples, but with maternity there are a lot less options! Make things easier on yourself! Basic tees and tanks were another that I bought multiples of. Liz Lange for Target tees and Be Maternity tanks were favorites – I had both black and white ones that were part of my daily wardrobe!

Don’t forget to think about remixability!

How your items mix and match together is paramount! Is everything you’re buying black? Is everything you like printed? Remember to look for basics! (Revisit part two for tips with sticking to basics!)

Bargain shop!

Building a maternity wardrobe shouldn’t cost you a lot. There are so many affordable options out there, especially online! My local Target was really lacking in the maternity department, but their online selections were great! Be sure to shop at stores with great return policies like Gap, since you might have to do all trying on at home!

My favorite stores to shop maternity:

Target: In both the Liz Lange and Merona Maternity lines, items fit TTS. I was a medium pre-pregnancy, and wore a medium in their pregnancy clothes. I also picked up 1-2 non-maternity items (a fold-over maxi skirt and maxi dress) in size large that fit throughout my second and third trimester.

Gap: Gap was the only retailer where I could find my beloved cropped pants. Their skinny mini pants and demi slim cropped pants both fit TTS. (I ordered my pre-pregnancy size.) Although the demi panels were not comfortable for sitting in the last 1.5-2 months of pregnancy, the pants continued to fit through my third trimester. I also ordered one dress from Gap and found it fit TTS.

ASOS: The two dresses I ordered (in my third trimester) fit TTS; however, I also ordered two tops and found them a little on the large side. If you’re in between sizes, I wouldn’t hesitate to size down!

Other affordable retailers:

Old Navy: I only ended up buying one tee from Old Navy during my entire pregnancy. I tried several pairs of their shorts, but just hated the way they looked on me. I’m not a huge fan of Old Navy’s regular clothing line on me when it comes to pants and shorts, so this might just be an issue of fit with me personally.

LOFT: I browsed their online selection several times over pregnancy but found things to be overpriced. There are plenty of times when sales pop up and you can score a great deal, but I never found anything I loved enough to wait for!

Motherhood Maternity: I purchased one dress and top from Motherhood and would say they fit TTS. I tried on about every style of their work pant and pretty much hated the fit on me. They were a bit short for my height (5’7″) and didn’t carry styles I liked. I also purchased one set of maternity underwear (bikini style) from Motherhood that I wasn’t a huge fan of.

Zulily: The only downside to Zulily is that there are no returns. I did have some luck with their flash sales though, snagging one or two PinkBlush Maternity dresses and a pair of palazzo pants that I loved. We even found our nursery glider on the site!

eBay: Obviously there are issues with returns here too, but you can always resell what you don’t love. I purchased two pairs of designer maternity jean shorts on the site (Hudson and Joes’s, using my pre-pregnancy size) at a fraction of the price that A Pea In the Pod sold them at. If you love designer options, this is definitely a site you might want to stalk for maternity!

Ready for more? Check out my wardrobe remixing tips in Part 4!


8 thoughts on “How to Build a Maternity Wardrobe, Part 3: SHOP!

  1. Ashley

    I am loving this series, Lauren. I am having the WORST time finding any sort of interesting pants. I have jeans and a pair of black pants for work, but I can’t find anything else. I prefer cropped slim styles as well. I looked at GAP online and I’m only seeing black unfortunately 🙁 I wonder if they are out of season. I am so frustrated with the selection of maternity bottoms out there!

    1. Lauren Post author

      I’m so glad to hear it’s been helpful! I just checked Gap again, and the Skinny Mini Pant are still up there in almost all sizes! They have khaki and white!

  2. Sarah Polk

    I had the hardest time finding petite pants! When it came to bottoms, I wore leggings almost entirely. I wish more stores actually carried maternity clothes in their store, not just online. Women are pregnant all the time…it seems like a guaranteed profit.

  3. Niki

    Such great tips! I’ve already taken advantage of buying multiples of things that I like – I have two of the same sweater and a bunch of tank tops in different colors! But that’s a great suggestion about cutting my shopping in half and seeing how I feel in the items first! I always want to go full force, but especially with maternity stuff I’m finding it better to hold back at first! And I keep meaning to check out Target’s maternity section! Everything I see you wearing from there is adorable!

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