You’ve been successfully hiding your pregnancy for weeks now, but it’s Saturday morning (or worse, Monday morning) and suddenly, you have a belly. Nothing fits. The gig is up. The gig basically ended overnight.
As frustrating as not fitting into your favorite pair of dress slacks can be, it can be even more frustrating when you realize, during a desperate search for new work or casual attire, that brands touting oh-so-adorable maternity lines don’t actually carry clothes with comfy waist bands in stores. You have to order online, pay too much for shipping, and still wait a few days for maternity clothes that are not atrocious to arrive.
Before you resign yourself to wearing your pool muumuu to work (which looks great, by the way—you’re simply glowing), read through our breakdown of brands carrying maternity lines: where you can buy them, how much they cost, and how fast you can get something decent to wear.
For cost comparison, we’ve highlighted the prices of maternity dresses at many of the locations.
Which stores might have maternity clothes?
If you’re hoping to have your “usual” shopping experience at some of your favorite brick-and-mortar stores, maternity clothes are not impossible to find, but it’s not easy. While most major brands do design and manufacture maternity clothes, whether they’re available in store varies from place to place. It is imperative that you call ahead.
These stores include H&M, the Gap family (Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic), J. Crew, Nordstrom, and Macy’s, though there are likely others. Of those stores, these are the ones that have maternity lines available online:
If you want to keep with the latest Instagramable trends, H&M is a fun, more casual option. Dresses here cost between $25 and $40, and shipping is free for orders over $40. Those deliveries take five to seven business days. You can get next-day delivery for $25, or you can have your order shipped to the closest store for free—though it’ll take three to five business days.
Work dresses abound at this popular chain, costing about $50 or $60. Free shipping is available for all orders, arriving in five to seven business days. Quicker shipping options start at $7 (three to five business days) and end at next-day shipping, which costs $22.
Dresses at Old Navy cost between $30 and $40 and come in bright colors and patterns. Items ship for free if you spend $50 or more and take about five to seven business days to arrive. Like Gap, expedited shipping is available.
Maternity dresses at Nordstrom cost between $70 and $100, though as you’ll see in our “fastest shipping” category, the store has liberal return policies and extra-quick delivery. Nordstrom also sells comfy nursing tanks and robes for those late nights when you’re up with baby.
Macy’s carries lines from Motherhood Maternity and A Pea in the Pod, which are detailed in the next section. Dresses cost about $40 or $50, and shipping is free. Orders usually ship to your provided address within three business days.
No options nearby in this group nearby? Below is a mix of affordable options and stores that carry sought-after brands.
Which stores definitely carry maternity clothes?
The maternity-only stores are your best bet for on-demand maternity clothes (not really a huge surprise there). They’re great if you’re not brand loyal and you’re willing to pay a premium. You’ll certainly be able to find a few things to wear to the office, but you might overpay for some staples or yearn for some more fashion-forward styles.
With stores all over the U.S., Motherhood Maternity carries standard- and plus-sized pregnancy wear. Options include casual and work-appropriate dresses, pants, shirts, shorts, etc. as well as undergarments and swimsuits. Maternity dresses cost between $40 and $60, and standard shipping on orders over $25 is free. If ordering online and in a rush, expect to pay $25 for express shipping, otherwise standard shipping takes about 10 business days.
From the same parent company as Motherhood Maternity, A Pea in the Pod considers itself the trendier sister store carrying designer brands from AG, Citizens of Humanity, Frame, Z Supply, and many more. It’s a great place to find the maternity version of your favorite jeans, but it comes with a warning: You won’t get away on the cheap. Maternity dresses cost between $75 and $250. Economy shipping (10 business days) is free for orders of $50 or more. Express shipping costs $25, and your items arrive in one business day.
The actual parent store to A Pea in the Pod and Motherhood Maternity, this store combines a few fashion lines from both, giving you the broadest range of options, but it excludes many of the top designers you can find at A Pea in the Pod. The pricing reflects the wide range of brands and quality with dresses ranging from $25 to $250. Online orders come with a flat fee of $5 for standard shipping (10 business days) and orders of more than $79 ship free. Express shipping costs $25 for delivery in one business day.
For better deals but more limited options...
While the Destination Maternity family of stores are fairly widespread, they still probably aren’t as close as your nearest Target or Walmart, two stores that can almost always help you out in a pinch. Department size and options will vary by store, but Target is a great place for your first Belly Band, which can buy you quite a bit of time as you look for more options. They also carry the Ingrid & Isabel line, which has excellent staple pieces. Try Walmart if you need to buy your first maternity leggings.
Which stores have the fastest shipping for when you can’t wait another day?
Shopbop’s maternity inventory is fairly limited, but they provide fast shipping and easy returns for some harder-to-access maternity brands, like Hatch and Yumi Kim, and for special occasion clothes when you want to splurge. If you’re an Amazon Prime member, two-day shipping is free—score! Dresses from Shopbop range from $80 to $300. Beware: Returns are free, but only if they are received within 15 days of receipt of your original package, otherwise you’ll incur a $10 fee.
Nordstrom has impressively fast shipping and a ridiculously friendly return policy—by mail, in the store, tomorrow, next year, it’s all good. They have a large selection of brands and even offer formal wear for the expectant mom (bridesmaid dresses, wedding dresses, and more). Dresses range from $25 to $500 (for the formal wear). Shipping is free, and in our experience, you can expect your order to arrive in four to five days.
More and more people are using Amazon for clothes shopping, and that goes for maternity wear, too. Between two-day shipping for Prime members and the new Amazon Wardrobe, we can see why. With Amazon Wardrobe you can try out new clothing items at home—free of charge—before deciding whether you’d like to keep them. You only pay for what you keep. Dresses cost as little as $10.
You might be surprised to learn that Zappos sells a lot more than shoes, including some maternity staples that could be very helpful in a pinch. While the maternity dress selection is very limited, pants, shorts, and intimates are in solid supply. Pants range in cost from $30 to $110. Fast shipping and free returns come standard, and you can always add some comfortable shoes to your order as an added plus!
Which stores have affordable maternity clothes?
Everyone needs some decent maternity jeans, and this is hands down the best place to find them at a discount. All your favorite brands—Citizens of Humanity, Paige, 7 Jeans—at less than half the price. After all, who wants to pay $200 for jeans you’re only going to wear for seven months? Caveat: Inventory is limited, so if you wear a popular size, it can be hard to take advantage of the really great deals. Orders less than $100 will cost you at least $7.95 to ship and, based on our experience, will take up to two weeks to arrive. This isn’t your best option if you’re in a hurry.
Looking for the latest styles and modern maternity wear that won’t break the bank? ASOS has emerged as a new leader in this category. While this British retailer doesn’t have stores in the U.S. (yet), they do have a distribution center in Atlanta. Maternity dresses, which they have in abundance, range from $13 to $200. In addition to having loads of innovative styles, they have some creative shipping options, too. Standard shipping, one to two weeks, is around $5 or free for orders bigger than $50; express shipping, approximately one week, costs around $8 but may vary depending on your location; and for a flat fee of $19 you can get Premier Delivery USA, which is unlimited two-day shipping with no minimum order value.
Target, H&M and Walmart are also great bets in this category too.
Which stores have plus-size clothes you’d actually wear?
Finding extended sizes is, unfortunately, still very complicated. Some stores offer specific plus-size maternity lines, while others have curated lines from their regular collections that are meant to be growing-belly friendly. A few on that list are Macy’s, JCPenny, Destination Maternity, Motherhood Maternity, Asos, and Target. Definitely call ahead to make sure they offer both maternity and extended sizes in store.
These are some additional sites where you can find maternity wear.
Torrid’s customers begged for a maternity line, and the brand listened. Sizes at Torrid range from 10 to 30, and dresses can cost upwards of $80. The big wins here are the maternity leggings and the nursing bras, which are both super comfy. Flat-rate standard shipping costs $6 and arrives between four and 10 business days. For emergencies, overnight shipping costs $28 or $38 depending on how much you ordered.
Dresses here cost between $50 and $70, with sizes 1X to 3X available. Standard shipping is free, but if you spend $82, you qualify for free three-day shipping. In our experience, it’s hard not to spend $82.
This U.K. brand carries sizes 14 to 34, and dresses cost about $50, depending on the exchange rate. Tracked post costs $10 (four to 10 business days), and express courier is $25 for up to three business days.