Maternity clothes often get a bad rap, but there are many retailers selling quality clothes that are stylish, comfortable and flattering on a mom-to-be's new figure (in other words, clothes that don't make you look as though you're hiding in a tent!). If you're an expectant mom in the South Bay, try shopping at these stores for clothes that will carry you through your pregnancy and postpartum recovery period:
- Old Navy: Two locations in the South Bay -- Del Amo Fashion Center in Torrance and Manhattan Gateway in Manhattan Beach -- carry the maternity collection at reasonable prices. Stock up on versatile basics, like tank tops, short- and long-sleeved tees for layering, jeans and soft jersey knit skirts. If you don't find what you're looking for in the store, try the more extensive maternity collection online.
- Gap: The closest location to the South Bay with a maternity collection is at the Westfield Century City mall, but it may be worth the drive for the duds, which are more tailored, work-appropriate versions of the Old Navy maternity clothes (of course, the prices are higher, too). In addition to the basics, you'll find trench coats, pencil skirts, wrap dresses and diaper bags. GapMaternity online also sells Medela nursing bras.
- Pumpkin Patch: This chain specializes in babies' and kids' clothing but also has a small selection of casual maternity clothes (jeans, sweater cardigans, cute graphic tees and the like). The closest location is at the South Bay Galleria in Redondo Beach.
- Motherhood Maternity: You'll find a little bit of everything here -- weekend wear, dresses, work shirts, nursing tanks and bras -- at decent prices. Expect to spend a bit of time sifting through the large selection. There are four South Bay locations.
- Target: Check out your local Target for its well-priced Liz Lange Maternity line. You'll find jeans, work-appropriate pants, swimwear, tops and dresses.
- A Pea in the Pod: If you want to splurge for a special occasion, or if you just have to have those designer jeans, this is the place to go. Prices are sky-high, but the quality is generally excellent, and you'd be hard-pressed to find more stylish maternity wear. The closest locations are at the Westfield Century City mall and 325 N. Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills.
Wherever you shop, don't forget to pick up a belly band, stretchy fabric tubes that you can put over unbuttoned, unzipped pants -- they'll help you go well into the second trimester (and maybe even into your third trimester) in your prepregnancy bottoms, and they come in handy postpartum, before you've lost all the baby weight. You'll find these at Target, most maternity clothing stores and online. Happy shopping!
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