There are many sacrifices one makes while pregnant: You give up on sleeping through the night, attending entire meetings without getting hangry, and tying your own shoelaces. Perhaps most disappointing is losing the ability to fit comfortably into most of your wardrobe. But this isn’t the 1980s and an expanding waistline doesn’t have to be hidden under a ruffled floral muumuu. (Though if that’s your style, you do you.) Maternity clothes can be both fashionable and functional; here’s where to find the best nearby.
This U Village favorite has been Seattle’s preeminent destination for cute clothes for both mama and baby for more than 35 years—so long, in fact, that founder Shelley Capretto’s daughter Anna Williams now runs the business. A few years ago, Williams purchased NOM Maternity, a clothing line they’ve long carried in the store, and moved its design and production to Seattle. They specialize in closet staples, like this NOM jumpsuit so popular it’s sold out three times.
When looking to invest as little as possible in a short-term wardrobe, or searching for a single-use garment like belly-friendly formal wear, this Madison Valley consignment shop is a prime destination for its small but mighty selection of used maternity clothing and accessories—priced at about one-third of what they’d cost new. Owner Malia Martin says she puts out items as fast as they come in, so check back regularly.
Known for their size inclusivity and super soft fabrics, this Seattle-based brand includes maternity clothing in their “fit liberty” program, a revolutionary concept in which they let you buy for the size you are now, but swap for a smaller or larger size later—for free. Another bonus: Where most brands carry only small, medium, and large, Universal Standard makes their cozy dresses and tops in sizes 4XS to 4XL.
Call it denial or practicality, but some people choose to shop in “regular” sizes and simply find styles like tunics and stretchy jumpsuits that suit the bump. It totally works and means you can repurpose those clothes after pregnancy, says Velouria co-owner Cat Wilcox. This delightful Pioneer Square boutique doesn’t stock maternity clothes per se, but Wilcox says finding clients clothing that will accommodate pregnancy is one of their favorite things. Their website even has an online collection built around the concept, but Wilcox warns it may not be suitable for those final weeks when the belly is its biggest.
With a tagline like “fits regardless,” it’s no wonder that this Tacoma-based brand specializes in styles that are maternity friendly, though not maternity exclusive. Designer Rebekah Adams wants women to feel comfortable and confident regardless of their shape; Poppyseed’s website shows styles of modern, classic tops and pants (with elastic waistbands!) worn on both pregnant and not-pregnant models.
The Pencil Test
Maternity and nursing bras may be low on the priority list, but as foundational layers, they can make or break day-to-day comfort. This Renton bra shop stocks a wide variety of suitable styles; the website carries underwire-free options only, owner Holly Powell says, because it’s best to get sized for an underwire bra in person. Powell recommends having a comfy, soft nursing bra on hand for when baby comes, then waiting a couple of weeks before being fitted to allow for the new bra size to stabilize.
Chinatown–International District-based designer Rian Robison’s hand-dyed kimonos are the stuff dreams are made of: stylish and unique enough to dress up for a special event, casual enough to throw over a pair of leggings and a tank top for a day of lounging. The clincher for the pregnant crowd is that these one-size-fits-most robes can be tied over the belly or simply left open—they’d work well for nursing for those that go that route. New releases show up on the website most Tuesdays.
When pregnant through the summer, the single most important garment one can own may be under-dress maternity bike shorts. This Seattle-made brand makes bike shorts (as well as leggings) from recycled fishing nets in five colors and up to size 6XL; the result is a seamless, breathable layer comfortable enough to live in.