20 Steps: Clothes Shopping While Pregnant

By | April 16, 2014

My sister is getting married next month.

kirsty and i

I am the maid of honor–or rather, the mother of honor. On her wedding day I will be a whopping 31 weeks pregnant.

I have yet to find a dress.

Yesterday, my sweet mom, two offspring and I went out on a grand hunt for the dress. We used Google maps and everything.

Scouring maternity sections high and low, we arrived at the dismal conclusion that maternity wear has not quite had the fashion breakthrough we would hope for at this moment in history.

Turns out, pregnant women, rich or poor, want to be comfortable. So cotton separates it is. And while it may be the fabric of our lives, cotton is not really welcome at most weddings.

After walking the mall three times over, I sat down on a bench and began to weep. My kids played on the germ-infested indoor playground, and I cried like a baby. Apparently this isn’t a foreign sight, as no one offered me tissue or solace.

It is just so not fair. Considering what comes AFTER nine months of gestation, why does pregnancy have to be so brutal? I mean, isn’t labor and delivery enough?

No? Ok, how about breastfeeding. Or the toddler years. Or potty-training. Or ear infections. Or math homework. Or mean girls. Or puberty. Or teen years. Or…the fact that we have to pay for a wedding. WHY does pregnancy have to be hard, too?

I know you don’t have the answer. Don’t pretend to, please. I’m in no mood to hear it.

This is my third time experiencing pregnancy. It has challenged me each time for various reasons. This is the first time I will be in a wedding party during my third trimester. Yes, this is different. Whatever experiences I had prior did nothing to prepare me for the daunting task of finding a bridesmaid dress this time around.

Since I’m such a philanthropist, I’d like to share with you what I learned. If it can spare you some trouble I’ll be delighted. If not, lets commiserate. I like that, too. Misery loves company, and I happen to be an extrovert.

Here is my list: 20 Steps to Clothes-Shopping While Pregnant

maternity dresses

1.) Set out hungry and hopeful.

(Do not confuse the natural longing for a delicious lunch with the horrendous task of finding a dress. You WILL be disappointed. Not with lunch, but with the dress.)

2.) Eat a large lunch.

3.) Go pee.

4.) Find a maternity store and think, ” This has got to be the store for me!”

5.) Realize that the maternity store has all of two styles within it and just about everything makes you look like a cupcake.

6.) Go pee.

7.) Entertain the idea of just buying a larger size in regular women’s clothing.

8.) See all the cute clothes you’re missing out on this season because you’re pregnant.

9.) Find something three sizes too big and gasp when you try it on. There is just no way in hell this could ever look good.

10.) Go pee.

11.) Go to another maternity store.

12.) Vow to only wear black for the remainder of your pregnancy.

13.) See adorable, skinny girls walk by and seethe with rage.

14.) Go pee.

15.) Decide that Jessica Simpson just isn’t doing enough for maternity wear.

16.) Vow to go on a diet.

17.) Remember that you can’t really go on a diet, and even if you did you’re too far gone with baby weight.

18.) Go pee.

19.) Buy some chocolate to drown your sorrows with.

20.) Decide to try online shopping and hope for the best.

Moral of the story: I haven’t found a bridesmaid dress. Wait, that’s no moral, is it? Um, lets try, “Don’t Stop Believing!” and if that fails to work, read Ecclesiastes. Because there is nothing new under the sun and you are NOT the first pregnant woman to need a bridesmaid dress.

It’ll all be ok. Ten years from now.

Have you been here before? I would cherish your misery like a foot massage. I need it, folks. Give me your pregnancy horror stories (please, no birth stories. Not quite ready for that.) Give me your feeling-fat-stories. Your shopping stories. I beg you.

15 thoughts on “20 Steps: Clothes Shopping While Pregnant

  1. Megan

    So my best friend got married when I was about 22 weeks, and since it was my first time I wasn’t quite big enough to be DEFINITELY pregnant looking but definitely too big to wear normal clothes. I hunted and scoured months in advance all over the internet to find something in her theme that was maternity. After about a month of looking I gave up, bought a pattern and fabric and had a good friend who used to work for David’s Bridal and now does formal alterations from home make it for me. It’s a cute dress, I’ll have to try it on and see if it’ll work for nursing too and maybe I can wear it for Easter. Cause I have all of like three short sleeved tops I can fit in now that my baby is 11 weeks old.

    1. hillary

      Genius! I don’t know anyone with that kind of sewing skill though.

      1. Feliciti

        Actually, you kind of do! Mima (Grandpa Jerry’s ex-wife) used to be a seamstress. Her eyes aren’t good enough to sew any more but she’s pretty good at giving instructions. She taught me how to sew an Easter dress for myself years ago. ????

  2. Nicole

    My friend is 31 or 32 weeks pregnant now and is going to be a bridesmaid in a wedding in three weeks. She ordered a dress off Etsy and waited and waited and waited… The shop took her money but hasn’t shipped the dress or responded to any of the multiple emails she sent or complaints she’s filed. Now I’m working on sewing her bridesmaid dress, but the pattern she picked out isn’t a maternity one and I’m having to do a LOT of adjusting. So it may not be my pregnancy, but I’m desperately hoping it doesn’t turn into my horror story!

    1. hillary

      Oh geez! You are such a good friend to do that for her. But I would be a stress-ball with that on my hands. I’m sure you will rock it–considering that there is like nothing out there. So nice of you to save her like this!

  3. Chris Carter

    Oh honey!! I wish i could have gone with you so I could cry with you and buy you chocolate and hug you in that germ infested indoor mall playground!!! Our kids would play together as we weeped together. Then I would say “HEY LOOK!! ICE CREAM!!” And steer your cute prego bod over to the food court and buy you more food… ask you about the baby and try to persuade you to wear a cute little pretty dress that just flows nice and airy and all… cause you still GOT, IT. And then I would kiss your belly and say “I wuv you little one and so does your mommy.”.

    1. hillary

      Food is a great distraction ???? Thanks, friend. I’m glad I’m not the only one who has had to go through this. It helped to write it out and find a way to laugh. Now if only I can stay that humorous for the wedding day!

  4. Moriah

    I had my cousin as a bridesmaid for my wedding and she was 34-35 weeks pregnant when the day finally came. Look at the infinity dresses. very pretty and can be worn hundreds of ways. We choose this dress for all the girls but the decision was based around her belly. All the lady asked is that we send each girls measurements (she told us exactly how to measure & what we were measuring) and she did the rest. ???? We went through BL Couture ( https://www.etsy.com/shop/BLCouture) and she was wonderful, and there are tons of colors! I’m tempted to get one just because it was so pretty on her and I’m in my 3rd pregnancy too! (I have a 4 yr old boy & 2 yr old boy, plus its TWINS! :/ ) I know the not-so-pretty feeling all too well. And glowing? Who glows?? I’m all broken out in pimples worse than a teenager in puberty, and the closest I get to a “pregnancy glow” is the red face and sweat sheen I get with the hot flashes!! ???? Good luck, Momma! I feel for ya!

  5. Leslie chui

    I was in TWO weddings last year! The first, I wasn’t showing. The second, I was huge. I got am empire waist dress thinking I would look so cute.. NOPE. JUST BIG! So maybe something a little more form fitting, even if you feel like a whale…people will know you’re preggo. Not just fat lol

    1. hillary

      Yah, I can’t do the empire waist thing. The boobs are too big that you see no distinction between boobs and belly. I’d rather show that I have a baby growing than look like a tent.

  6. Amanda

    I got a dress for Christmas Eve from Asos Maternity and I absolutely loved it. They have a lot of choice and the service was great, it arrived real fast! But I totally get you, it is difficult to find hip pregnancy clothes that are not overpriced, but I think you are on to something with number 7, empire cut dresses, wrap tops, and long blouses + sweaters not targeted at pregnant women can totally work. That and maternity jeans… so soft and comfy.

  7. Gained Too Much During PregnancyBecause my life is fascinating

    […] If you want to read about what its like to go shopping as a preggo read 20 Steps: Clothes Shopping While Pregnant […]

  8. Karee

    I googled mint maternity dress and several options came up. All online, which is scary in its own way, but still a possibility. Maybe you could find a dress you love and just be the pop of color in the bridal party. You will look gorgeous in what you find. I can’t wait to see it! Promise. Love you!

    1. hillary

      Thanks, Karee! I’m ordering a few today and I’ll just hope one works out.


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