Shopping for Maternity Clothes

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I would bet all the money in my wallet right now that there isn’t a woman I know (myself included) who doesn’t have a pair of ‘skinny jeans’ tucked away in the back of her closet. And by that, I’m not referring to the current fashion fad. Hands up ladies if you know what I’m talking about. My particular pair of ‘skinny jeans’ dates back to 2004. Yours? I’ve moved homes, I’ve moved continents, I’ve culled my wardrobe countless times but those jeans remain with me. They have a hole above the right back pocket and I haven’t been able to wear them without looking like the poster girl for the Muffintop Association since 2007. I still hang onto to them though because some part of my vain brain imagines that one day I will be able to wear them again. I’m sure psychologists have a name for this.

With that in mind, I never thought that I would also, one day, have a stash of ‘big clothes’ too.

Expecting Expats - Shopping for Maternity Clothes

One of the perks of pregnancy is the need to go clothes shopping. Unfortunately, putting the word “maternity” in front of a product is like putting the word “wedding” in front of words like ‘cake’ and ‘venue’. All of a sudden the price at least doubles. And with all the other things that need buying to get ready for baby, it can be hard to justify the costs associated with a whole new wardrobe that you’re only going to wear for 4-6 months.

What’s more, it seems that for too long, clothing manufacturers assumed that because I was having a baby meant that I wanted to look like one too. I mean, come on! What’s up with the whole “smock” look? Luckily, there are so many more options available to expectant moms today.

But if you thought that finding that perfect pair of jeans was hard before you got pregnant . . . just wait. Luckily, you don’t need to ditch your favourite pair of denims just yet. May I introduce you to the best trick out there! I actually did this with a hair elastic and thought myself incredibly clever. Then I discovered that countless other smock-adverse women have been doing this for years. It’s sometimes called the “rubberband maternity trick.” Then I discovered the BellyBelt. When they say that necessity is the mother of invention . . . this is what they had in mind!

It’s no great revelation that one of the secrets to feeling good is looking good. And when you’re in your third trimester and can no longer feel your fingertips due to carpal tunnel, you really need all the help you can get. With my first pregnancy, I wasn’t working during my last trimester so I got by with wearing leggings and baggy tops. I didn’t buy “maternity;” I just bought larger sizes. But I was probably more miserable about the way that I looked than I had to be. My thought process then was that I just didn’t want to shell out the money seeing as I wasn’t working. Big mistake. Huge mistake.

When it came to my second pregnancy, I worked right up until 37 weeks. And dammit! I was not going to go to work in leggings and t-shirts! Once I’d finally made up my mind to invest in some good maternity outfits, I vividly remember going into a well stocked shop in one of the larger department stores here in Bangkok. Imagine my utter embarrassment and humiliation when the size zero sales girl came sauntering over to tell me unapologetically “No size for you.” Too ‘fat’ for maternity clothes. I’d definitely hit a new low in Asia.

So what did I do? First, I had a little cry on the way home before eating a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. Then I looked online. The wait time on shipping to Thailand: about 5 working days. The cost of shipping to Thailand: about 100% of the cost of the clothes. The boost to my self-esteem to look presentable and feel good in public: PRICELESS!

Moreover, there are so many more stores now in Bangkok catering to the expectant mother’s fashion needs with no smocks in sight. I even had some great tops and dresses modified and tailor made for me from my favourite bespoke tailor Costume.

And truth be told, maternity pants and the BellyBelt remain useful for several months after delivery. I was still occasionally wearing both when I went back to work when my son was 3.5 months old.

All this to tell you that what L’Oreal has been telling us for years is true: you’re worth it! I know it’s a cliche but now that I’m on the other side of having babies, I truly wish I’d learnt to indulge and pamper myself earlier.


In this video interview, Jodie, one of the writers for, talks about her experience shopping for clothing while pregnant in Bangkok.

Image courtesy of Flickr, Ben Grey


My name is Jodie. I'm a 38 year old Canadian working and living in Bangkok, Thailand. My husband and I are both international teachers - though I'm taking this year off to be a full-time mom.

When we're not busy with other people's kids, we try our hand at raising our own very curious nearly four year old son and his 9 and half month old brother. When it comes to parenting, like most of us, I’m making a lot of it up as I go along .

1 Comment

  1. Rouge  /  March 2, 2017, 11:50 am Reply

    For mums-to-be out there – check out this handy list of Maternity Shops in Thailand

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