Women's Issues

FYI Ladies, Once You’ve Been Pregnant, You Can Wear Maternity Clothes Whenever You Want

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Target is getting some flack today for some interesting labeling choices. Apparently, their webmaster has a hard time deciphering between “plus size” and “pregnant.” In one of their ads for plus size dresses, there is clearly a pregnant woman modeling it. It has since been removed from their site, of course – but not before Jezebel got a screen shot of it:

Screen Shot 2014-01-06 at 1.27.10 PM


Target is really stupid. They’ve had this kind of slip before. For some reason, they really don’t know what to do with plus-size women. But Target-gate got me thinking of something else this morning; how cute and comfortable maternity clothes can be. As far as I’m concerned – once you’ve been pregnant you have carte-blanche to wear maternity clothes for the rest of your life. Actually – anyone can wear whatever the hell they want, whether they’ve been pregnant or not – I’m just justifying my own actions right now.

When my daughter was 4 months old, I took her to my sister’s wedding in DC. I wore a simple black dress that everyone loved. I was clearly no longer pregnant. It was a maternity dress. No one knew the difference. Even though I had no problem with this decision, I would be reluctant to wander into a maternity section and buy those clothes now. Why?

The obvious answer is because I am not pregnant. Maybe I’ve been brainwashed by all the “post-pregnancy” body bullshit that’s out there; I’m supposed to be trashing my maternity clothes, right? If I still fit into them I’m definitely not supposed to feel comfortable wearing them. I constantly find myself thinking, Oh, that’s cute! when I walk by the maternity section at Target. But I’ve never allowed myself to try any of those things on since I’m no longer pregnant. Isn’t this kind of stupid? I have a big butt and thighs, so I could actually probably use the extra space a maternity cut provides. I don’t think a dress like the one above would look weird on me at all – although I’m not a huge fan of horizontal stripes.

I can’t be the only one who has glanced at the maternity section and thought the clothes were cute. Does anyone still buy maternity clothes, even though they are no longer pregnant and have no desire to be pregnant again? Or is that just weird? Weird or not – I think once you’ve been pregnant you can wear your maternity clothes again whenever you want.


  1. personal

    January 6, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    I am currently sitting here wearing a maternity top and a pair of (non-maternity) jeans. My son is a year old. You said it, sister.

  2. EX

    January 6, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    I bought maternity clothes in between my two pregnancies. I wasn’t currently pregnant at the time but I was hoping to become pregnant which is how I justified my purchases. Does that count? And I plan on wearing some of my maternity clothes (the ones that hide the belly, not the ones that show it off – oh I’m going to miss my pregnant belly) for as long as I can get away with it…

  3. AlexMMR

    January 6, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    I still wear some of my maternity clothes. Being a fat woman, it’s just comfy and I’m not going to look very cute no matter what I wear anyway. They always put the plus sized clothes right next to maternity so it’s hard to tell when you’ve crossed the line from one section to another while shopping. I’ll gladly wear maternity clothes to flow over my oversized stomach on one condition – that it doesn’t give me the pregnant silhouette if I’m not actually pregnant. But for general “I’m a big fat girl who needs full coverage that doesn’t make me look like an overstuffed sausage” clothes? I’m all for it!

  4. kay

    January 6, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    While pregnant I bought a lot of the “nursing friendly” tops and dresses at target. Cause then I didn’t even have to pretend I was putting them away after the baby was born.

  5. AnastasiaMcNally

    January 6, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    A few weeks ago I accidentally tried on maternity swimmers and they were so nice, but once I took them off and realised the tags said maternity so I put then back and found another pair! So silly, no one would ever have known.

  6. Kay_Sue

    January 6, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    I would kill to be able to still fit in my maternity jeans. Those were the most comfortable pants I have *ever* owned. But they got stretched out. *wipes away tear*

    I do have nursing tops, nursing bras, and pregnancy camis that I still rock, because you can’t beat them, and a *gorgeous* dress that I will give up over my dead body. I do have to wear heels with it, because it turns out that it is a wee bit long without the belly. 😉

    • Bethany Ramos

      January 6, 2014 at 4:48 pm

      Too bad my nursing bras were hideous!! That’s the only thing I was so, so happy to do away with.

    • Kay_Sue

      January 6, 2014 at 4:57 pm

      I love lingerie. Unabashedly. I have more amateur boudoir photos than I care to admit. I had to have pretty nursing bras. I only have one or two that still fit because they were more stretchy, so they still fit even after everything…deflated…

    • candyvines

      January 6, 2014 at 6:59 pm

      Any tips where to buy cute & comfy nursing bras? I’ve no idea where to start!

    • Kay_Sue

      January 6, 2014 at 7:07 pm

      I liked Zulilly, personally. I can’t remember where I got these last two from, because the Zulilly ones were not as stretchy as these. But they are cute, and they always made me feel better when I looked in the mirror those first few weeks. If you catch their sales, they are also significantly cheaper than Motherhood Maternity and some of the other similar boutique type set ups. 😉

    • candyvines

      January 6, 2014 at 7:10 pm

      Thanks so much, appreciate it!

    • Maria Guido

      January 7, 2014 at 10:09 am

      I have a comfy recommendation – not really cute though. This one is so easy and comfortable. I love it.


    • candyvines

      January 7, 2014 at 12:49 pm

      My boobs thank you!

  7. Momma425

    January 6, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    I still have a few shirts- they were tighter on me when I was pregnant, and now they fit my larger- frame better. I don’t look pregnant in them.
    My husband was doing the laundry one time (THE ONE TIME HE DID THE LAUNDRY, hahaha) and noticed one of the shirts said maternity on it. He nearly passed out, haha. Nope, I’m just fat.

  8. MaebykittyRN

    January 6, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    Maternity clothes are THE BEST. I was sad to see them go 🙁

  9. Katia

    January 6, 2014 at 7:37 pm

    I didn’t really buy maternity clothes, I’m tall and pear shaped and though my babies were big my weight gain was about 20-30 pounds, (less gain for the last 2 because I wasn’t -still am not- back to my normal weight) I just wore leggings and dresses. There’s one dress that grew with the belly and it will never be back to its old self, other wise just loose things , I stretched out some yoga pants and they’re now donated. At the time of my 1st pregnancy I went to “thyme maternity and bought the ugliest pants I’ve ever owned for $80 plus some really over priced pantyhose that still didn’t stay up and some nursing bras, what a waste of money. Wish I had known about buying that stuff on Craigslist then or known that I really didn’t need it. I would never buy/ wear mater it’s clothes because they are overpriced and since I’m pear shaped I don’t want to look like In addition to my badonkadonk I have a gut (or be asked about my pregnancy because someone’s confused)
    But now you guys have me thinking I should check h&ms clearance rack for stuff, who knows what pretty things will be there, and I can always alter it.

  10. The Kez

    January 6, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    New maternity clothes, yep totally fine, but there is no way I can get excited about wearing my old maternity clothes. I was very frugal in my purchases and after a few months of wearing the same dresses ALL THE DAMN TIME the only thing I wanted to do when I was no longer pregnant was set the whole lot on fire.

    • Timba

      January 6, 2014 at 9:08 pm

      Oh, God, me too! I’m due this week and am tempted to set them on fire NOW, and just be naked til bebe (#2, so I am REAL tired if these things) gets here.

    • Alexandra

      January 7, 2014 at 10:02 am

      Agree!! I have about 10 maternity pieces total – so I’ll be trashing them asap!! But in general, my pregnancy jeans are the most comfortable jeans in the entire universe! 🙂

  11. jendra_berri

    January 6, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    …I still wear my pregnancy tights. I feel slightly less silly about it now.

  12. Guest

    January 6, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    I bought maternity tops after my first child because my chest never really went down and Target makes maternity tops that actually fit my large chest and my narrow shoulders ( I am a 29 G) They fit so much better than other clothes where I have to decide between going up another size for my chest and looking frumpy or not being able to move my shoulders because it is too tight on my chest but fitting everywhere else.

  13. evilstepmom

    January 6, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    I found a sweater on clearance at Target. It was perfect for work and a great price, so I bought it. I did notice that it was longer than other sweaters I had, but did not notice that it was a maternity top until I got home. It looked great on me, so I didn’t care. Eventually it got too big for me and I passed it on to a friend. So many maternity sweaters and t-shirts are just longer. I’ve never been pregnant and I will completely buy maternity tops if I want them longer!

    • evilstepmom

      January 6, 2014 at 8:57 pm

      Also, if you have any sort of abdominal surgery (i.e., gall bladder removal), maternity pants are the greatest thing ever!

  14. Jem

    January 6, 2014 at 9:34 pm

    The only maternity thing I wear to this day (my son is 2) is Target’s maternity tank tops. Being a tall, long waisted person I NEVER could find tank tops/undershirts that actually went past my belly button until I found maternity tank tops. Now I’ll never give them up!

  15. Jallun-Keatres

    January 6, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    I’m wearing a maternity top right now!

    I bought a ton of maternity stuff when I found out I was pregnant the first time and kept wearing the stuff until… well, I never stopped.

  16. FormerlyKnownAsWendy

    January 6, 2014 at 9:47 pm

    What about the ones with the damn string that ties in the back, though? Are we still allowed to wear those? Because I have a regular (non-maternity) shirt with a tie but I can’t even wear it because as soon as I do, my chubby tummy looks like a pregnant one. And I have a ton of maternity shirts left over I could wear. So someone must tell me: strings ok?

  17. S

    January 6, 2014 at 9:47 pm

    I still wear most of my maternity jeans. The ones I wore towards the end are way too big but the second trimester ones are still good. They are the comfiest jeans I’ve ever had and I can’t see giving them up any time soon. I tried to go back to my old jeans a few times and it was horrible.

  18. Benwhoski

    January 6, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    I’ve never been pregnant, but I still wear a few maternity tops. One of the features of women in my family is a long torso with really short legs. This means that I look ridiculous in most shorter-length tops. I look and feel best in long, flowy blouses and the maternity section always has lots of them.

    Any haters can just deal with it. I wear what I want 😀

  19. DatNanny

    January 7, 2014 at 12:30 am

    I’m a fairly small woman. I totally look longingly at cute maternity clothes, no pregnancies yet. There are some really nice outfits, especially dresses, which now are really designed to flatter. Pregnancy weight, essentially, is an exaggeration of a woman’s natural shape. It’s not like maternity clothes are meant for a different species. Of course, I feel like I can’t wear them, or even look too hard at the section, until I get knocked up… oh the power we allow the clothing stores to have.

  20. ted3553

    January 7, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    I had my baby at the end of July so I was wearing my maternity pants in the middle of summer. I couldn’t wait to get rid of that nylon/polyester panel that went up my back and made my lowerback sweat and my belly itch from the heat. That being said, I still have a couple maternity t-shirts and tanks that I still wear. In fact, I have a girlfriend who discovered it on her own and I decided the same-for tall ladies, buying tanks in the maternity section is genius. They are much longer. Regular tanks for me are often too short.

  21. IM Curvy Trendy Plus Size Clot

    January 11, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    Even though I had no problem with this decision, I would be reluctant to
    wander into a maternity section and buy those clothes now.

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