One of my least favorite parts about being pregnant was wearing maternity clothes. My clothes are a huge part of my personality, and when I had to trade in some of my favorite pieces for fugly jeans with an elastic waist, I was left feeling less than fabulous. So when I found out I was pregnant the second time around, I decided to save money by skipping the maternity clothes all together and wearing leggings and oversized sweaters instead. The industry has come a long way from the muumuus and tent dresses of yesterday, but there are still some things maternity stores need to change.
Today's pregnant woman goes to work, goes to the gym, and goes to parties But, unfortunately, the maternity fashion industry isn't really keeping up with her active lifestyle. Adding more stylish activewear, evening wear, and plus-size clothing options would go a long way in helping expectant moms feel just as sexy and confident as they were before getting pregnant.
Natalie Portman, Blake Lively, and Kerry Washington are just a few of the Hollywood A-listers who've proven that pregnancy isn't something women need to hide behind oversized tunics and baggy pants. Now we just need maternity fashion retailers to get the memo. Here are a few things maternity stores should change to better serve its customers.
1. Add More Activewear Options
Gone are the days when being pregnant means sitting around eating ice cream all day. Unless they have specific orders from their doctor to limit their activity, many moms-to-be continue to run, bike, and do yoga throughout their pregnancies. This means they're going to need plenty of leggings and sports bras that are designed for their active bodies.
2. Create More Plus Size Options
In case you didn't know, plus size women get pregnant too. And they need to have stylish clothes for work and play. Maternity fashion designers need to consider women of all shapes and sizes when designing their collections.
3. Get Rid Of The Cheesy Tees
For the most part, it's pretty obvious when a woman is pregnant. Her backaches and swollen toes remind her everyday that she's carrying a tiny little life inside of her belly. She definitely doesn't need a t-shirt to announce to the world that she's got a "bun in the oven."
4. Incorporate More Evening Wear
Just because you're pregnant doesn't mean you stop getting invited to cocktail parties and weddings. In fact, when you're feeling like you look like a beached whale, you'll welcome any opportunity you get to put on something that makes you feel pretty.
5. Make Things More Affordable
Maternity clothes are one of the hidden costs of pregnancy that most women rarely budget for. Maternity clothes can cost hundreds of dollars per piece, according to What to Expect. That's a lot of money to spend on clothes you'll probably only wear for less than a year.
6. Sell Pieces We'd Actually Want To Wear Later
One of the main reasons I refused to buy maternity clothes with my second pregnancy is that I knew that there was no way I would never wear them again once my baby was born. If women have to invest in an entirely new wardrobe for pregnancy, it would be nice if there were a few pieces they wouldn't mind wearing after their baby arrives.