Where to Buy Plus Size Maternity Work Fashion - Wardrobe Oxygen

Where to Buy Plus Size Maternity Work Clothes

maternity Plus Size Fashion

I'd love to see if you can dig up any information on plus size maternity clothes. There are a couple of decent roundups online, but the clothes all seem to skew a little young, cutesy, and boho for my taste, or too casual. I'm a 34 year old size 18 professional woman (expecting twins!) working in an artsy, creative environment whose tastes run more towards the minimalist. Everything I see seems to be covered in crochet, flowers, and lace, or too casual to wear to a workplace that isn't corporate formal, but isn't jeans and peasant tops either.

I understand your issue; when I was pregnant I had a hard time finding professional maternity clothing and at the time I was a size 12. Luckily, both maternity and plus size fashion has improved over the years and it seems retailers are finally realizing that women in Corporate America do get pregnant and need maternity work clothing. Here’s the retailers I found who offer maternity fashion that isn’t too cutesy, too twee, or too casual for the office:

Pink Blush Maternity

Pink Blush Maternity considers itself, “Not your mother’s maternity clothes” and prides itself on offering styles that can be wearable after your pregnancy. The best thing is they have an extensive plus size selection. While Pink Blush skews more boho/romantic and casual, they have some great dresses that would work in the office and with your minimalist personal style. My picks:

plus size maternity clothing for work - wardrobe oxygen

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Target

Target was my go-to for maternity work fashion and where I found silk-like shells, suits, and more for the office. The Liz Lange for Target collection was amazing and such great quality the pieces I had were passed down to several other women and we all wore them to work when we were expecting.  Sadly, it seems that much of their selection is not only casual, but smaller sizes. However, there’s still some gems and most come in XXL. My picks:

plus size maternity fashion choices for work where to shop - wardrobe oxygen

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Motherhood Maternity

Motherhood Maternity carries plus size clothing, but like many other retailers their collection is quite casual. However, they have a good selection of office-friendly pants and they should be checked periodically as they seem to change their dress and blouse selection regularly:

plus size maternity work pants - wardrobe oxygen

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Zulily

Zulily is a great place to score baby and kid items for less, but they also have great deals on adult clothing too! I checked and was pleased to find an extensive plus size maternity collection with pieces I hadn’t seen elsewhere online. Zulily’s selection changes daily so it’s worth it to check in periodically. A few of my favorites for the workplace:

plus size maternity clothing for the office - wardrobe oxygen

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JCPenney

When I was pregnant, I found unicorns of amazing maternity fashion at JCPenney. While most of the selection was extremely basic (or cheesy) I’d occasionally find a blouse or dress that was stylish, well made, and good for the workplace. I checked with them for this post and the selection seems similar to what I experienced years ago, but I was pleased to find as many unicorns in plus size as standard. My picks:

maternity work clothes in plus size where to buy - wardrobe oxygen

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eBay

eBay was where I found some of my maternity wardrobe… and where I sold it. You can score some great gently used pieces on there that are not only great prices, but great styles not currently available in stores. While you will have to scroll through a ton of well-worn tee shirts and yoga pants, you can find plenty of professional pieces. Some items I found when writing this piece:

where to find plus size maternity work clothes - wardrobe oxygen

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Non-Maternity Fashion

While I was able to find a maternity suit from Liz Lange for Target, one of my favorite maternity suit jackets wasn’t maternity at all. It was a ponte knit collarless jacket that may not have been able to button over my belly mid-third trimester, but it looked polished and professional.

Considering dresses as tunics, using knits, and sizing up can provide you with more options that aren’t necessarily maternity but will work with your changing figure. If you know you need a polished blazer, consider buying large and having it tailored to fit in the shoulders and arms.

Where to Buy Plus Size Maternity Work Fashion - Wardrobe Oxygen

Tips for Maternity Office Clothing:

  • You Can’t Predict Your Size (or hemlength!) – I made the mistake of hemming all my maternity pants early on in my pregnancy. By my third trimester they were highwaters. Not only does the belly take up some of your inseam, but your whole body changes. Hips, rear, thighs, bust, arms… it all affects not only size but length.
  • Give Yourself Some Slack – Rarely will a job expect you to have as extensive and polished of a wardrobe when pregnant as you do when not. I’ve worked with many a pregnant woman who wore the same black dress more than once a week. When I was pregnant, I had two pairs of pants and I would wear one or the other almost every day of the workweek. I had a single pink matte jersey top that looked professional and I wore it sometimes twice a week, and I too was one of those women who had a black dress that was worn multiple times a week. I relied on scarves and necklaces to switch up the look. If you have two dresses, two pairs of pants, two non-tee shirt tops, a sweater and a cardigan or jacket, and a pair of comfortable black flats you have enough to survive Corporate America.
  • Keep it Simple – I don’t know why so much maternity fashion is elaborate. Ditzy florals, ruffles, keyhole necklines, self belts, flutter sleeves, ribbon trim, crystal buttons and that can all be on one blouse. When you find classic pieces I recommend snagging them. They’re not as memorable so you can rewear them in the same week, and you’re less likely to hate them after a few weeks of very regular wear.
  • Comfort Trumps Style – I found stiff cotton shirts and fitted non-stretch pieces uncomfortable especially later in pregnancy. Though I was due in January, I was so warm in my third pregnancy that I was wearing short sleeves. I found matte jersey and ponte to be my career wear best buds when I was expecting because they stretched, were machine washable, didn’t wrinkle, and looked office appropriate. With the addition of a scarf you can make a lot of simple knit dresses and tops looks professional.

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11 Comments

  • Mrs. M in MI September 15, 2016

    I’ve got two weeks to go in my second pregnancy, and while I can’t offer plus size advice, I can tell you that you need far less than you think! I was working full time before my first was born in February 2015, and I wore one of four sweater dresses, a tank, leggings, and boots everyday. Jewelry, scarves, and regular cardigans or jackets worn open changed the look. Some were maternity, some were dresses I already had. I bought a maternity pencil skirt and found my ponte dress pants worked the whole pregnancy with a rubber band. I bought two maternity tops, but mostly wore maternity tanks under my regular tops to bridge the gap. One pair of maternity jeans and that was it. By the end you don’t want to wear anything but sweatpants and burn the whole lot anyway, so save your money for the cute baby clothes instead!

  • Ros September 15, 2016

    Congrats on the pregnancy!

    A few things that helped me (in my last pregnancy and my current one – size 18 both times)

    Old Navy: black pants + black tank top. Layer with high-quality non-maternity blazer, booties, scarf, necklaces, etc. The base layer just needs to fit well and be cheap, the higher-quality stuff can be the blazer, and it still looks put-together and not froofy. 🙂

    Gap does excellent maternity pants in size 18 (I personally love the jeans with the 2-inch elastic around the bottom, and hate the tiny side-panels or the huge belly panel, but your opinion may be different). They also tend to have really great dresses (again: body-con dress and maternity tights, add cute boots and blazer, looks nice).

  • Lisa S September 14, 2016

    I got pregnant as a size 14. Here are some more choices that may work:

    — Look at Eileen Fisher! I am not joking: her dresses accommodate that bulky midsection and there’s a ton of trapeze tops that work beautifully with a tank underneath. And the fabric is to die for. And you can consign or eBay the clothes afterward. I just sized up one size in EF (which is cut large anyway) and rocked the “interestingly plain” look.

    — Gap Maternity is good for staples like jeans, wraparound cardigans, tanks. I liked the demi-panel waistband, personally, and do not mind admitting I wore those jeans postpartum for a few months.

    — I stayed the hell away from Motherhood Maternity and Pea in a Pod, etc., because they will sell your information to EVERYONE. You end up on every mailing list known to man. Also, their return policies used to be nightmarish; I’m not sure if they still are. Google site:consumerist.com “motherhood maternity” for more details.

    Congratulations on the impending arrival! Here’s hoping your partner is giving lots of foot and ankle rubs.

  • Emily September 14, 2016

    This was my question! Thank you so much, Allie, for answering, and thanks to everyone who is commenting for their awesome information. I’m glad to hear that it’s not just helpful to me but to others as well. Old Navy has been great for casual and a few work things until now (I’m living in the Pixie full panel ankle pants), but I’m excited about other options. I wish so much searching wasn’t involved, but that’s the story with regular plus size clothing as well – why should pregnancy be any different?

  • Jubilance September 14, 2016

    I’m currently 24wks and was a size 20 when I got pregnant. I’m diving into maternity wear now, so thanks for this list. A few extra notes:

    -Pinkblush says they have plus size sizing but I find their size chart to be inconsistent with their actual clothing. It all runs small, and this has been echoed in a FB group for plus size pregnancy. I think it may work better for those who are under size 20.

    – I visited Destination Maternity yesterday and was pleasantly surprised at the new plus size maternity options! Really cute stuff and good fit. I just wish they carried more in store but its nice to know I don’t have to order everything online.

    • Emily September 14, 2016

      What is this facebook group for plus sized pregnancy? I would LOVE to know!

      • Jubilance September 14, 2016

        It’s called Plus Size Mommy Memoirs! There’s also a FB page with the same name that’s open. The group is closed but if you request access you’ll probably be added quickly.

  • Heather O. September 14, 2016

    This was a great much-needed post. I am a 16 or 16W and had my son about a year and a half ago and spent so much time searching for maternity clothes online. Similar to what Allie said above, I was able to get three ponte dresses from the Merona maternity line at Target and wore them all the time. I also got two pairs of dress pants with the full belly panel from GAP – a store that I typically never shop in when I’m not pregnant, and a couple of dresses from Old Navy. One other store that had a few hidden gems was Kohl’s. Their maternity line in store was minimal and unappealing, but I was able to shop online and ordert a pair of shorts and a few workhorse tops to pair with the GAP dress pants and blazers that I had pre-pregnancy. (Worth noting: Kohl’s typically has coupon code and a generous return policy – both important when purchasing clothes that won’t necessarily be worn in the long term.)

  • Jennifer Mazza Stowe September 14, 2016

    JC Penney online was surprisingly successful for me! Give it a shot!

  • Joy September 14, 2016

    As a recent Motherhood Maternity employee, I have to comment with a few tips.

    – A size 18 is a 1X in Motherhood sizing. All clothes are designed for up to 40lb of weight gain, but most mothers of multiples size up later in pregnancy for comfort.

    – The entire plus line was recently revamped, and now includes ankle dress pants in navy and black as well as what is shown above.

    – I know that for the next two months (at least, I just left the company last week) new styles will be released with each floorset. For instance, my store had two new dresses and non-flouncy tops when I left.

    – Regardless of whether or not your local store carries plus, any online order can be returned in store.

    I hope this helps, and congratulations!

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