At the beginning of this month, I got a reader email question wondering where to buy maternity clothes:
I was wondering where you bought maternity clothes in Germany. Thus far I have only been able to find clothes at H&M and I was wondering if any of the other chains carried maternity clothes (or what you would recommend).
I answered quickly and planned to expand on my answer in a blog post on a rainy day. Over on Problogger this week is a Rediscover Your Blogging Groove challenge, and today’s topic is Answer a Question. I thought, okay, perfect opportunity to post my thoughts on the subject. So here is my newly expanded answer to the question:
First thing to know, maternity clothing is called Umstandsmode in German. Second, if you are under a size 10/12, you’ll be fine, but if you are above this, you are probably going to have some work ahead building a decent wardrobe. Most boutiques only carry up to size 42. The major stores typically carry up to size 46, and occasionally have larger sizes. I found a few places online that claim to carry clothes up to size 56/58. I don’t know what you are expected to do if you are bigger than this. I guess you’ll need to have a friend ship you stuff from the US. For me, ordering tops online was no problem, but I really needed to try on pants. It seems that the typical German of my size has smaller thighs and a less prominent tushy than I do. I also encountered problems finding proper fitting bras. Germans seem to have pretty narrow shoulders and smaller rib cages than Americans. As a 38C, I generally find myself needing the largest available size here (and the pretty bra brands, although they are supposedly “my size,” don’t fit – e.g. Chantelle), also the size XL Medela pregnancy bra (which should be plenty big enough, since according to the size chart, I am a size L) is seriously TIGHT around the ribcage. I’ve always got deep red painful indents when I take it off in the evening. It’s very disappointing to know that I could walk into any Victoria’s Secret in the US and find pretty bras stocked in up to 42DD.
Here’s a list of shops and websites that are either in Germany or will ship baby stuff to Germany. I’ve put an asterisk behind websites that I’ve used and been happy with (*=ordered once, **=twice, ***=three or more times). As I come across new sites, I will update this list. Remember that for sites outside the EU, you will be responsible for paying duty on items valued at more than €22. See also a related post Buying Baby Stuff in Deutschland.
Major chain stores that carry maternity wear: H&M, C&A, and Baby-Walz
- H&M clothes were my least favorite at first, but they are the ones that have held up best and are most comfortable now. Not all locations have maternity clothes, so check the website first. If I remember right, their maternity wear goes up to size 46. You can order off their website too.
- Esprit – Carries maternity wear. On the website, look under Women, then For Moms.
- C&A maternity clothes were my favorite when I was around 6 months pregnant, but I find that they don’t really fit me anymore (especially the pants)! So if you buy there, I’d make sure the stuff is roomy. All the C&A’s that I explored had maternity sections. I think their stuff goes up to size 48/50, and maybe even bigger.
- Baby-Walz*** also carries maternity clothes that are pretty good quality. If there is not one near you, you can order off their website. The sizes here generally go up to 46.
Large Online Retailers that carry maternity wear: Baby-Walz and H&M (see above), Quelle, Neckermann, and Otto
- The Quelle, Neckermann, and Otto websites also carry some things. Neckermann has the slightly higher quality and selection out of the three, but the clothes are a bit grandmotherly, even the ones that look okay online (my husband told me to send them straight back after they arrived). Most items on these sites only go up to size 44 or 46, but in clicking around, I saw there are some things available up to at least size 56.
There are smaller retail and online stores for maternity clothes.
- Babygerecht.de– carries Hoppeditz belly bands, Paolo Maria, MaM, Expressiva, Emma-Jane, Mamaway, BabyB, Carriwell, Nicosch, Still|Leben, Glamourmom and Bravado clothing. Also has a secondhand section.
- Baby Inside – Austrian site that carries La Belly belly bands, maternity and nursing clothing, LilyPadz, MobyWraps, and Manduca baby carriers.
- Belissimama – This maternity-wear store includes Plus and Tall sizes, evening and bridal wear. Carries Bravado and Anita bras, also has a secondhand section.
- Bellamama – Clothing from Mama Licious, Torelle, Happy mura, Christoff, elenie, be! and Mitex. Has a small plus size selection (XXL Mama).
- BellyButton – Big selection of really nice looking maternity wear, including evening and bridal wear.
- Hebamen Shop– Products selected by midwives and nursing consultants, the selection includes Noppies and Medela nursing bras, and Boob nursing tops.
- Klapperstorch – Maternity wear from Noppies, Esprit for moms, Queen Mum, Christoff, Bellybutton and others. They carry sizes 34 through 52.
- Mamarella – this was a favorite of the women in my birthing class. They carry Fragile, Chiarakruza, Crave, Séraphine, Bella Materna, Femmes, Amoralia, Cherry Picking, and Blossom clothing.
- Mia Nana Berlin – Fun and colorful maternity wear up to size 48, includes evening and bridal wear .
- Paulina – expect in style – Want what the celebs are wearing? Then this site is for you.
- StillLeben* – Glamourmom breastfeeding tops, LilyPadz, Medela and Bravado breastfeeding bras, Lele belly bands
- Sweet Belly Couture – maternity wear for fashionistas, by Sandra M. Another site with celebrity worn stuff. Really nice evening and bridal wear selection. Makes me wish I was pregnant and going to a gala or something.
- Trend Mama – clothing from Mama Licious, Bebefield, Vero Mode, Funmum and Valja.
- If you need a swanky dress for a wedding or a couple dressier outfits for work, you can get nicer stuff from Seraphine and Isabella Oliver*** in the UK. edit: I’ve ordered a few outfits from Isabella Oliver and they are really nice. I still wear one of the nursing tops and I quit nursing quite a while ago.
- Another option that worked well for me, is buying tunics from LandsEnd.de one size bigger than what I’d normally wear. The cloth is nice and soft, and because it’s higher quality cotton, it’s breathable. I was also able to wear their knit pants in one size bigger than my normal size up until just recently (I’m due in a week), but that could just be my body.
In Regensburg, the C&A in DEZ, the H&M in the Arkaden and the Baby-Walz in the Köwe Center carry maternity wear. There is also a boutique called Zaubergarten that has maternity wear and kids clothes at Maximilianstr. 6 in the Altstadt.
I hope that helps you in your search. Anybody else have advice to add?