Ask Caroline: Where to Find Modest Maternity Shirts |

Any suggestions as to where I can find modest maternity shirts that won’t wear out quite as quickly? The shirts in my local stores are very thin… And I can only find skirts on most of the online clothing stores I’ve used.”

Trying to find modest maternity shirts sometimes feels like trying to find that needle in the haystack. There is not just one store you can consistently go to that offers modest maternity clothing. You have to think of finding maternity clothes as a great adventure, otherwise you are likely to get frustrated!

You have a few options when it comes to finding maternity clothes. You can sew them yourself, order online, go to the traditional Motherhood store and shop, or look at garage sales and consignment sales. Let’s chat about each option more closely.

Sewing Your Own Maternity Clothes

I sewed some of my own clothes with my first pregnancy. After that I was so sick during the first trimester, and struggling to just keep care of the baby (or babies) I already had that I never found much time for sewing after that. The two dresses I sewed with my first pregnancy turned out pretty large, which was great at the end but not as great earlier.

Long maternity jumper

This is a picture from my first pregnancy, wearing a jumper that made me look huge! Seriously, we have a picture where I look like I’m having twins or triplets wearing this jumper. I’ve learned a lot about what clothes are modest and fashionable since this time. 🙂

If you are looking for modest maternity patterns in the store, you won’t find very many. My best suggestion is to look on Ebay for older style maternity shirt patterns. I’ve purchased several patterns on Ebay with good results. From my quick search on the pattern websites I wasn’t finding many good options. This pattern from Butterick was the only one I saw.

Order Online

Ordering online is an option that our mothers did not have,  and I’m so grateful to have this option! Whether you are ordering modest maternity skirts, or searching for tops, this really expands your search. Here are some places you can look for tops online.

Nine Little Months sells gently used maternity clothing

Gingham maternity shirt

Gap has this gingham maternity top available in several different colors. It’s more then I’d spend on this top, but at least it covers.

ThredUP now has a maternity section of gently used clothing. I found a few cute styles there, like this pink Motherhood top.

Pink Motherhood Maternity Top

All the other usual places to shop for maternity clothes are online as well, Motherhood, Old Navy, Target, Kohls.

Zulily is another good option, as they almost always have maternity clothes that are marked down on their site.

Shop Consignment Sales and Garage Sales

This is how I find most of my maternity tops. Even when I’m not pregnant, if I see a really cute maternity top for a few dollars I’ll grab it. I’ve had huge success finding maternity tops at garage sales. You can search your local craiglist listing for garage sales that say maternity clothes in the listing.

Visit your local children’s consignment sales, all the ones I’ve been to have a maternity section. If you need help finding some close to you, Consignment Mommies has a listing for every state. I just went to one last week and found a sweet maternity dress, so I went ahead and bought it even though I’m not pregnant.

Be Creative and Use Your Imagination

Now more then ever you will need to improvise and layer. It’s not what most pregnant mom’s like hearing, they already are huge and hot and they don’t want bulk! I wore my halftees and cropped layering shells a lot during my last few pregnancies. They didn’t add bulk as they don’t cover your stomach, but they allow you to wear low cut shirts. Which for some reason the manufactures think pregnant women are just dying to show off cleavage when pregnant. *sigh*

Wrap maternity top with a layering shell on for modesty

This is a wrap style maternity top that you can find about anywhere. I would never wear this without a cami underneath, but high cut cami’s are hard to find when pregnant. I was wearing a cropped layering shell in this picture.

If you are needing to layer a shirt for length, the Undercover Mama shirts work great and can be worn during pregnancy. I’ve had quite a few longer torso moms hold them up and say they are long enough, especially the ones with lace.

Lower cut maternity top layered with a modest cami

Another maternity top that I layered with a black layering shell.

Maternity top

A cute maternity tank that I layered with a long sleeve shirt. If the tank is thick enough, you could always use a short sleeve halftee to layer in the summertime.

**We are going to start doing a Ask Caroline post on a regular basis. If you have a question on modesty, feel free to email me your question and I will do my best to answer it!**

10 Comments on Ask Caroline: Where To Find Modest Maternity Shirts?

  1. If you need to add length, belly bands are also a great option, and SUPER simple to make yourself. It is basically a tube of knit fabric you wear around your middle. I’m plus sized, and maternity shirts were never long enough for me, so I wore one every day!

  2. Wonderful question and great answer! I also always have a difficult time finding modest maternity shirts! Pregnant with #6 now and it’s the first time that I will be hugely pregnant in the summer in 8 years – I am so thankful for maxi skirts – but I am in desperate need for modest tops that I’m not going to sweat the summer away in 😉 Thanks, Caroline!

  3. I’m currently pregnant with my fourth and have sewn many of my maternity clothes from vintage patterns which tend to be more modest than modern maternity clothing. The tops are great and have plenty of room, and the bottoms all have really high waistbands which is way more comfy especially towards the end when you’re huge and waistbands can cut awkwardly into your belly. You can see some of my vintage maternity sewing on my blog
    I have no idea why the modern concept of maternity clothing is all about too short, too tight, and too low cut. After all if there were ever a time in a woman’s life that she felt like showing every little outline and bulge, I would think during pregnancy would be the last time. Pregnancy can be and is such a beautiful time, why ruin it by wearing uncomfortable and revealing clothing?

  4. These are good suggestions. It does seem like designers think all pregnant women want to show off everything! I, too, wear camis under my lower-cut tops and belly bands under my shorter tops. A few weeks ago, I wore a maternity tank top with a cute 3/4 sleeve cardigan over it. Since I only needed the cardi to cover my arms, it didn’t have to be maternity! Worked great and looked cute. =)

  5. How many halftees do you think would get me through a summer pregnancy? I want to get some cropped layering tanks to wear under regular tanks until and after my baby comes in July! And yes, maxi skirts are a lifesaver for summer pregnancies, Kristin!

  6. I have been pregnant 2 summers in a row, and lived in maxi skirts. I also like anything with an elastic waistband. Most of my bottoms were not maternity, the tops are hard to find. Most of my favorite tops came from garage sales and the goodwill store. It really is like a fun scavenger hunt! I am very glad to not be pregnant going into summer this year.

  7. I’ve found my favorite maternity tops from garage sales and thrift stores…however, many of the modest tops are made of woven fabrics and I like knits better, especially towards the end! This tutorial to draft your own pattern for a peasant style top has been my favorite! ( It is roomy enough, especially when using knit fabrics, to not even need to alter the pattern except to add length. It is a quick and easy sew and by adding elastic or a belt under the bust works very well for maternity while still being modest! Bonus: my husband really likes this style of top on me!

  8. I’ve had good success buying tops on Ebay. Much better selection and much better price than in stores or on mainstream website.

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