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How to Shop for the Best Plus Size Maternity Clothes
Updated on
September 11, 2023

How to Shop for the Best Plus Size Maternity Clothes

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How to Shop for the Best Plus Size Maternity Clothes.
How to Shop for the Best Plus Size Maternity Clothes

If you’re a pregnant person shopping for plus size maternity clothes and coming up short, you’re not alone. Building a plus size maternity wardrobe can be frustrating. There are less stores to choose from and a smaller selection than if you were shopping for maternity clothes in other sizes. It’s all a bit daunting and requires a lot more effort than it should.

Knowing what types of clothing to shop for, how plus size maternity clothing sizing works and (most importantly) where to shop for the best selection of plus size maternity clothes can help—a lot.

We’re breaking down how and where to shop for the best plus size maternity clothes from your first trimester all the way through delivery and postpartum.

1. Think Before You Shop

Whether you’re shopping for plus size maternity clothes or not, there are few things every pregnant person should do before they begin to build a new wardrobe.

  • Think through your lifestyle. Do you work from home or in an office? If you do work outside the home, what’s the dress code like? What kinds of clothes are you the most comfortable in, and do you wear exercise or athleisure clothes a lot? Pregnancy will definitely change a lot about your life, but it’s not going to change the basics of what types of clothes you’ll be wearing every day. Spend some time thinking about your current wardrobe so you’ll know what kinds of clothing to look for when you start your maternity clothes shopping.
  • Set a budget. Plus size maternity clothes, just like maternity clothes in non-plus options, come in a range of prices. Before you go on a spending spree, think about how much you want to spend and where you want to invest most of your money. (We always recommend versatile staples like a good pair of jeans or a well-made dress that you can dress up or down, but more on that later.) Other questions to think through include if you’ll need your maternity clothes for multiple pregnancies, if you’ll need any special occasion maternity clothing and if you need to budget for any higher-priced seasonal items like a winter coat.

2. Work with What You Have

We’ve heard from lots of pregnant people that shopping for plus size maternity clothes can be frustrating. But the good news is you don’t have to tackle it all from day one; there are a few ways to make your current wardrobe work for well into your first trimester and sometimes even into your second.

  • A support band, like the Bellaband, for example, is a cheap and easy way to extend the life of your current pants and provide belly support at the same time. This seamless, stretchy band sits over your unbuttoned pants to help smooth them out (and hold them up!). It can be worn folded down or pulled up over your stomach. The Bellaband goes up to size 24+ with their size four band.
  • If you loved leggings before you became pregnant, your love for them is only going to grow now that you’re in need of plus size maternity clothes. Leggings are easy to find, stretchy but supportive, and go with just about anything. Depending on what type of leggings you already own, you’ll likely be able to wear your current pairs well into your pregnancy. Need a bigger size but can’t find plus size maternity leggings? No worries—just size up in non-maternity styles. They’ll likely be cheaper, too.

3. Shop Online

Online shopping is pretty great no matter what you’re looking for—but it’s especially amazing when you’re shopping for plus size maternity clothes.

There aren’t a ton of in-store options when it comes to plus size maternity wear. According to the pregnant people we spoke to, all of them had much better luck shopping for plus size maternity clothes online rather than in-person and found better variety and size availability. Keep these tips in mind before you fill your online shopping cart.

  • Know your measurements. Sizing is different on each website and for each brand. An XXL can be a 20-22 for one brand and a 16-18 for another. Take your measurements before you start shopping and be sure to check size charts.
  • Understand sizing. Another thing to note on sizing is that some brands base their sizes on your pre-pregnancy size while others use your current size. Make sure you double check this before you place your order so you don’t have to deal with the hassle of returns.

These are the websites and retailers to hit for the best plus size maternity clothes.

And don’t forget other options like Facebook Marketplace, resale websites and apps like Poshmark, thredUP or Mercari.

4. Consider a Capsule

A capsule wardrobe is a curated selection of a few versatile, essential items that can be mixed and matched. We appreciate the many perks of a good capsule wardrobe pre-pregnancy, but a capsule is an especially good idea if you’re building a plus size maternity wardrobe.

A capsule wardrobe is timeless and super versatile. It can be dressed up or down and can take you from a day at the office to a casual weekend brunch. Since it sticks mostly to basics, it’s a good option if you’re struggling with finding plus size maternity clothes that you love. Capsules do require some planning ahead, but once you’ve figured out what you want to buy, they take all the guesswork out of getting dressed each morning.

Here are the pieces to target when you’re building a plus size maternity capsule wardrobe.

  • Plus size maternity jeans. A straight leg and a darker wash will be the most versatile.
  • Black pants you can dress up or down.
  • A plus size maternity dress or two. Preferably a solid color and something you can layer with a blazer or sweater and wear with flats, heels, boots or even sneakers. Dresses not your thing? A jumpsuit also works.
  • Layering tanks—one in black and one in white.
  • A plus size maternity blazer, jacket or long cardigan.
  • A few tops. It’s fine to go for color and pattern here, just make sure you’ll be able to mix and match them with your jeans and black pants.
  • Bump-friendly underwear. You’ll also likely need to size up your bras once (or more) as your pregnancy progresses. Don’t worry about nursing bras until after you delivery—it’s tough to estimate your size beforehand.
  • Extras, if needed: plus size maternity swimsuit; maternity workout clothing and a maternity sports bra if you plan on exercising throughout your pregnancy; a plus size maternity dress or outfit for pregnancy photoshoot and/or for baby shower; comfy shoes (keep in mind that your feet may swell during pregnancy so you may want to size up here too).

5. Keep Postpartum in Mind

Lots of pregnant people don’t immediately think about the postpartum period when they’re shopping for maternity clothes. It’s a sensitive, emotional time that can catch you off guard and can also be a bit of a head-scratcher when it comes to your wardrobe—some of your maternity clothes may be too big but you won’t be back to your pre-pregnancy size, either.

The good news is that you can likely make your maternity wardrobe work for quite a while. Just like in the beginning of your pregnancy, you’ll want to focus on stretchy, comfortable pieces like leggings and loose tops during this time. (The Bellaband is great to use during the postpartum period, as is a belly wrap if you’ve had a C-section or are looking for more support.) You may also want to stock up on some “in between size” pieces so you’ll have some clothing to transition to as your body adjusts.

Just remember to be forgiving with yourself. You just grew a whole new person! Wear whatever makes you feel confident and comfortable.

This information is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. We do not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here. Babylist may earn compensation from affiliate links in this content. Learn more about how we write Babylist content and review products, as well as the Babylist Health Advisory Board.