The Best Maternity Suits for Professional Women

maternity suits for professional womenHave you found maternity suits to be essential at your office, conservative or otherwise? Not really necessary, no matter what your company’s dress code? Hard to find, either way — and when you do, not exactly … stylish? Did you wear maternity suits, or did you avoid them entirely by layering a blazer over a maternity dress (or otherwise wearing separates), or getting a regular-sized suit that was too large and then having it tailored? Unfortunately, when we’ve previously talked about maternity suits, both here and at Corporette, there just hasn’t been much to recommend (especially regarding plus-size maternity suits, not surprisingly). Still, it’s time for an update to share what’s out there if you’re hunting for maternity suits for professional women!

For some reason, this time around, the maternity-suits situation seems worse than usual. Sadly, the British brand Eva Alexander is no more (Nordstrom does have one jacket, but without coordinating pants); brand Maternal America seems to have zero suiting options at the moment, and its site says, “We are Under Construction,” which doesn’t bode well; all of A Pea in the Pod’s options currently only have very limited sizes in stock (both at their own site and at Macy’s), and so on. It doesn’t help that some brands that offer maternity workwear in addition to their regular offerings — like Loft and ASOS — just don’t make maternity suits. (If this is your second or third pregnancy and you’re yet again searching for maternity suits, have you found it tougher to find a good one this time around?) By the way, if you’re looking for something from a brand that’s gone out of business or is just hard to find (for example, Theory maternity suits, which we and readers have mentioned in the past), try sites like Poshmark, ThredUp, and eBay.

Readers, do tell: Where have you found maternity suits you’ve liked? What do you think are the best maternity suits for professional women? Have you decided to buy a few relatively inexpensive maternity suits or buy a single higher-end maternity suit? At what point in your pregnancy did you have to stop wearing your regular suits to the office? Or, if you’re not on Team Maternity Suit, what are your favorite alternatives? 

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Budgeting for Your Maternity Wardrobe

Budgeting for Your Maternity Wardrobe Behold: a chart of what I spent on my maternity wardrobe during my first pregnancy.

I share my maternity wardrobe budget not because this is the definitive list for maternity clothes (trust me, it’s not), but simply for shock and awe value, at least for newly pregnant moms. You’re going to be amazed at a few things here: a) how cheap everything was — nothing designer, nothing fancy, all bought on sale, b) how many pieces were gifted (usually by my mother sending me something in the mail), and c) how small my collection of maternity clothes was, and d) how I still managed to spend almost $900 on maternity clothes that were only worn for about four months. For most moms-to-be that is not an insignificant amount of money, so budgeting of any kind can be very helpful. (Stay tuned for our upcoming post on how to save money on maternity clothes!)

I recorded my thoughts in 2011, during my first pregnancy, as well as during my second pregnancy, in 2014 — note that I was still working as a lawyer during much of my first pregnancy (my final day was in May and my son was born in August), and that for my second pregnancy I barely gained any weight at all. (I did buy a few more tops and warmer bottoms for my second pregnancy — those totaled $138 — but by and large I wore my maternity clothes from my first pregnancy.)

maternity-wardrobe-budget

 

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General Advice for Maternity Shopping for Work

maternity shopping for workwear advice and tipsIt’s been two and a half years since I wrote my little ebook on Dressing Professionally for Your Pregnancy, so I’m in the midst of revamping it. Here’s an update on my general advice for maternity shopping for work. (Pictured — for more specific pieces to buy, don’t forget to check out our Guide to Maternity Workwear.) Ladies, what are/were your best general tips for maternity shopping for workwear?

Some of my best tips on maternity shopping for workwear include:

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Maternity Clothes You Still Wear

maternity clothes you still wearHere’s a fun question: Is anyone else occasionally still wearing maternity clothes, many moons after your pregnancy ended? I’ve graduated from my maternity jeans but I still find myself pulling out maternity t-shirts for sleeping or working out. After my recent ACL surgery I wound up wearing my maternity yoga pants because all my newer workout pants were too tight-fitting at the knee and the thought of being in PJs for weeks bummed me out. (I thought I’d donated the vast majority of my maternity clothes, but nope — I was happy to find I still have a few odd pieces.)

In addition to my maternity yoga pants and maternity t-shirts, I have a few nursing things I still wear, too — namely some of my nursing bras for sleeping. My favorites are my Bravado bras, but I have a random nursing bra from Destination Maternity or one of those mall stores that I bought during my first pregnancy and still find myself wearing if everything else is dirty. (I’m such a fan of the Bravado bras I’m even considering buying one or two new ones to keep on hand in case my older ones die on me.)

So let’s hear it, ladies: Have you held onto any maternity clothes to wear even if you’re not pregnant anymore? Do you do it because they’re functional and on hand (e.g., a t-shirt to sleep in), or is there something you prefer about maternity clothes? (I will admit, part of the reason I like sleeping in my maternity t-shirts is that they feel vaguely fitted but nice and loose in the tummy, which isn’t my favorite body area.) I know a few of my girlfriends who had C-sections preferred maternity jeans for a long while after birth — while still others stayed in maternity clothes for a long time postpartum because those clothes fit (and their old, non-maternity clothes did not).

(Pictured: My maternity yoga pants are from Gap and somewhere like Destination Maternity, but if I were looking today I’d be mighty tempted by these affordable yoga pants at Amazon — some colors and sizes are as low as $9.99 and eligible for Prime, and they have hundreds of positive reviews.)

Social media pictures via Stencil.

We asked our working mom readers: what maternity clothes do you still wear? Which maternity dresses, shirts, pants, and more are stylish and comfortable enough that you still wear them even after the pregnancy is over, whether you're immediately postpartum or your child is several years old? Great responses from the readers! working moms discuss maternity clothes you still wear even after your child is born - image of a stylish pregnant working mom

 

The Hunt for Stylish Maternity Suits — and What to Wear Instead

2018 Update: Looking for stylish maternity suits? Check out our latest roundup of maternity suits for professional women

Over at Corporette, we followed up on our recent roundup of suiting brands for women with a “Part 2” post of suiting in specialty sizes — including maternity suits. As we all know, maternity workwear can feel really limited, but stylish maternity suits are particularly lacking. The options we noted:

But I thought it would make a good topic for discussion over here.  For those of you who needed a suit while pregnant, which brand was your favorite? If you cobbled together a mismatched suit from separates, what are your tips?  I bought some maternity blazers in my first pregnancy, but in my second pregnancy (where admittedly I only gained the minimum weight), I found that my regular, non-maternity blazers fit up until week 38 or so.

Commenters have discussed this topic in the past, as well, coming up with the following ideas:

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Plus Size Maternity Clothes for Work

plus size maternity clothes for work2017 Update: We’ve updated links below to reflect some new options for plus size maternity clothes for work. You may also want to sign up for CorporettePlus, our newsletter featuring plus size work fashion

It can be tough to find professional and stylish plus-size maternity clothes for work , so we’ve rounded up a bunch of tips that CorporetteMoms readers shared about plus-size maternity workwear.  Ladies who are (or have been) plus size during a pregnancy, where did you shop for work-appropriate maternity plus sizes?  Which were your favorite work outfits?

Brand Recommendations / Stores That Carry Plus Size Maternity Clothes for Work

  • Old Navy/GapReader quote: “Old Navy maternity is BIG. I did just fine in Old Navy XXL Maternity sizes for almost everything — especially yoga pants, tops, etc.” (Pictured above: reddish sweater knit maternity dress, available up to size XXL.)
  • Motherhood Maternity/Destination MaternityReader quote: “I had a few pairs of pants from Motherhood Maternity. They were not fabric I enjoyed, but they looked OK.” (Update: Destination Maternity now has an entire plus-size line!)
  • JCPenneyReader quote: “JCPenney carries good work clothes for plus size maternity. I was really happy with their stuff. (God bless JCPenney!) Their pants are way better than Destination Maternity pants.” (Pictured above: black maternity dress in sizes 1X-3X.)
  • Target: Reader quote: “I’m surprised by how generous a lot of the XL and XXL maternity clothes are from Target & Old Navy/Gap.”
  • PinkBlush Maternity: Many of the plus-size offerings from PinkBlush are too casual for work, but there are some styles that are office-friendly — and budget-friendly, too — like a $67 wrap dress. Sizes go up to 3X, and shipping within the U.S. is free.
  • Nordstrom: It doesn’t carry a lot, but it does carry a few plus-size jeans.
  • Mommylicious Maternity: It looks like this little shop also carries a lot of plus-size maternity clothes for work.

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