When I started my (endless) search for maternity clothes, several people told me that I absolutely had to check out Target, as it is a mecca of affordable maternity wear. So I did. And I didn't find a thing at my (smallish) local store. I then promptly forgot about Target for a couple of months. More recently, though, I've given it another go, and found that if I can see their full selection (which means shopping online at their far-less-than-stellar website), Target really does have good maternity wear. The most surprising part? A lot of it is NOT in the maternity section!
At this stage of pregnancy, and in this season, what I really need/want is clothes that move with and around me and are layer-able. Specifically, cotton/jersey dresses and cardigans are awesome. Unfortunately, my pre-pregnancy cardigans have gone from just not buttoning to looking ridiculous, so my first stop at Target online was cardigans. I am luck that the style right now is for the open-front variety, which are a lot more pregnancy-friendly than the traditional button-up kind. The actual maternity options left me cold, but in the non-maternity section, I found two winners:
Merona Womens Pointelle Cardigan, $27.99, in Elephant
Mossimo Womens Ultrasoft Cocoon Sweater, $22.99, in Red
I love both of these sweaters. They're open in the front, so they work for my increasing belly, and they're (bless the Lord!) LONG enough! They're also both short/half-sleeved and lightweight, so they will be great for spring layering. My only real complaint is that I don't love the colors they come in. The pointelle cardigan comes only in neutrals (black, white, gray) and an orange-coral color called "Guava Berry." The cocoon cardigan comes in more colors, but they're still mostly neutral (black, gray, navy, oatmeal) or a bit strange (a very bright blue or something called "mineral yellow"). The sweater I ordered was labeled "red," but it's really more orange (very similar to the Guava Berry color on the pointelle cardigan). I didn't think I'd like it, but I actually do. If it came in another bright spring-y color, I'd buy another one.
I ordered my sweaters both in the size I'd typically grab at Target for something like this--extra large--and I think they'll fit until it's too warm to wear them (i.e the last month or so of this pregnancy). They're not huge, but the style gives plenty of space.
While I was browsing Target's site for sweaters, I noticed they have a whole section of cotton jersey dresses under $20. Perfect for maternity wear! I tried out the following ones:
Merona Womens V-Neck Cap Sleeve Value Dress, $19.99, in Viking Purple
Merona Womens Faux Wrap Dress, $20, in Zonk Blue
Merona Womens Draped Neck Value Dress, $19.99, in Xavier Navy
On most people, I think all three of these dresses would work great for pregnancy--lots of stretch and belly room. Unfortunately, the first two were just too short for me, especially when further shortened by the belly bump. The last one, though, is a winner--it's knee-length, totally comfortable, and I think it looks really cute. Unlike the sweaters, all three of these dresses come in great colors, too! I tempted to buy another one of the draped neck ones in another color.
Like the sweaters, I went ahead and ordered these dresses in an XL, which is what I'd typically try them in, and they seem to work fine.
My next stop on Target's site was maxi dresses and skirts. I knew pre-pregnancy (from peeping at lots of mama style blogs, mostly) that I wanted maxis to be a staple for me, and they're fast becoming one. Some of last summer's dresses, though, aren't working--mostly due to too-small busts. So I was hoping to find a couple more to slip into the rotation. Target has lots, both in the maternity section and in the regular one, and I eventually settled on these two:
Mossimo Womens Challis Maxi Dress, $29.99, in Purple Print
Mossimo Womens Cowl Neck Maxi Dress with Shirred Side Seam, $29.99, in Erie Canal
The purple maxi works like a dream--plenty of room for both belly and boobs, very comfortable, and the print is cuter in person. The green one, however, was a nightmare. It was just plain lewd, showing every bump and curve and pulling tightly over my belly already, at six months. Definitely not going to work. Too bad, because it's really cute, and I like the color a lot.
Again, I ordered both dresses in my pre-pregnancy size of XL and I think that was the right choice. I don't think a bigger size would fix the issues with the second dress--they're just problems with the fitted style of the dress.
Finally, I checked Target for jersey maxi skirts. I have a navy one from Old Navy I've been wearing a lot, and it works, but the narrow waistband is getting uncomfortable, so I was hoping to find something with a wider or roll-down/roll-up waist that would give me a bit more belly support. And Target didn't disappoint!
Mossimo Womens Convertible Maxi Skirt, $20, in Black
This may be my perfect maternity maxi skirt. It's the right length, it's the right weight, and it has that great wide rolled waistband that makes it a ton more comfortable to wear. I bought a black one and I'm seriously considering getting another one in gray.
Yeah, OK, I'll call that a goldmine. Interestingly, though, NONE of the things that I found so awesome are maternity clothing!
I'm trying to convince myself now that I don't really need any more maternity stuff, but if I did, a few more things I might try from Target, some from the actual maternity section:
Liz Lange for Target Maternity Sleeveless Maxi Dress, $34.99, in Gray/Red/Purple
How cute is this dress? This one they do have in my store, and I have to keep myself from buying it every time I am in there buying cat litter.
Merona Maternity Sleeveless Halter Maxi Dress, $29.99, in Blue/White
If this one were available in-store, I think I would have bought it already. I love everything about it--the interesting back, the narrow stripes, the asymmetrical skirt...
Merona Maternity 3/4-Sleeve Boatneck Tunic Top, $24.99, in Deep Teal
Tunics are the tall pregnant lady's friend, y'all. Even regular maternity t-shirts are rapidly getting too short, and something with a longer length makes me feel so much less like my belly is going to announce it's round self to the world without my consent. I really like the sort of hippy/yoga teacher feel of this one, too.
Merona Womens Gathered Crossover Tee, $7-$10, in Xavier Navy
I'm not sure if this tee would be long enough, and they don't seem to carry it at my store, but if it were a big on the long-side, I think it would be great for this next stage of pregnancy. It still looks like real clothes, and not sloppy, but it's flexible and soft and has room for both expanding boobs and expanding belly.
Mossimo Womens Layering Top, $19.99, in Hollyhock Purple
This is another good top-layer option for sleeveless things--nice and lightweight, with plenty of belly room. I'm a bit trepidatious about the length, though.
Mossimo Supply Co. Juniors Foldover Maxi Skirt, $15, in Fighter Pilot Blue/Shell Stripe
This skirt has the same basic shape as my perfect maxi, including the great foldover waist, but because it's a juniors version it is a bit shorter, almost midi-skirt length on me, probably. Plus it comes in this awesome blue-and-white stripe, which is something I can't get enough of.
As I get bigger, dressing in a way that is, if not fashionable, at least presentable, becomes more important to me. I'm feeling pretty good, and reasonably at ease with this body, and I want to present that to the outside world. So (clearly), I've been thinking quite a lot about my clothes, and I'm thinking I may need a blog-challenge to keep me motivated to dress decently as I start the third trimester. Plus it would help get me back into blogging. Maybe a Maternity 30-for-30? Something different? What do you all think?