Thursday, April 30, 2009

The plight of the tall pregnant lady

I am 5'10". I checked the statistics at, and I am taller than 97% of the American population of women. If I took into account the number of you who follow by blog who are female, reduced further by the percentage of those who are pregnant or have been pregnant, I would probably come up with less than .01% of you who understands firsthand the plight of a tall pregnant lady. There might be more who care to hear me explain, so I will press on with my post.

Finding maternity clothes that fit my tallness is quite difficult. During my first pregnancy, I resorted to the horrible look of high-water pants designed for a women who are 5'4". The shirts were always too short, so I showed off the lovely full panel at the top of the pants. During my second pregnancy, it became easier to find longer lengths in maternity clothes because the manufacturers took notice of the 3% of the pregnant population walking around looking ridiculous. I looked considerably more fashionable during Mandy's pregnancy, but paid the high price for maternity clothes.

This time around, I've discovered a secret to having some cute clothes and paying less. I buy things in the women's section that are styled loosely. The dress above is from Target and I got in on sale for $23. The empire waist and flowing skirt work perfect for my growing bump. A very similar dress at Motherhood Maternity is $49.

At home I love to wear yoga pants. I haven't once done Yoga in them, but they sure are comfortable for laying around eating sugar-free bon bons. Target now has long lengths in their Champion semi-fitted athletic pants for women. The cut of these pants is actually flattering and perfect for maternity or not because of the wide, low waist band. They are only $20.

I've also found great success with women's shirts that are styled long and loose. My favorites are ones that have a bit of cinching at the bottom. Maternity shirts are $20-$40 for just a regular t-shirt that is often not as long as a regular women's shirt -- don't ask me why. This shirt is from Gap and is $15. Check out Gap Maternity and almost the identical shirt is $34.

For the next months of my pregnancy, these kinds of shirts will get me by just fine. If you are one of those pregnant ladies who gets an absolutely huge belly, this won't work for you. Like my hair-dresser who had twins and couldn't touch her fingers over her belly.... nope. You are regulated to the maternity section only.

My next dilemma would be finding jeans that are long enough. Only a few stores carry long lengths in jeans that I can afford (Gap, Old Navy and Motherhood), but they still are hard to find. In one store, a sale's lady recommended I stick with capris when I asked about long length maternity jeans. Thank you. I have capris, but it is 43 degrees today. 

Aren't maternity pants just the most beautiful things you've ever seen? No? One of my friends said the top panel reminded her of something you would roast a turkey in. I can't get that image out of my head.

I couldn't bring myself to spend $35 or more for jeans when I just know the weather will warm up as soon as I do. In desperation I looked at Ross Dress For Less and I found a great pair for $14. They are barely long enough, so if they even darken the door of a dryer, tears will be shed. Wonderful husband, are you reading this? No dryer! These jeans will get me through. Get this: the brand is called Puff Lady. What crazy bunch of men came up with that brand name for maternity clothes? For $14, I'm not going to complain.

Thanks for reading this post if you are not tall. I appreciate your compassionate comments, even if you are secretly thinking I shouldn't whine about being tall. If you are tall, maybe my fashion secrets will help you. It would be the first time in my life when anything I know about fashion helped someone else. And that would just make my year. Or you can pass on some more secrets, or better yet, all the maternity clothes from some trendy, rich, (and tall) lady.


Stacy said...

I only know your pain in that NOTHING fits any pregnant lady at the end.

You might find these post I remember from awhile back on a blog I read frequently about sewing her own maternity shirts helpful.

All the picture you showed are beautiful and you'll look like a very stylish pregnant lady, I think.

Dan & Hillary and little Russell said...

I remember asking my mom what my Grandma VD wore during her pregnancies. She said, "Grandpa's clothes and a belt." A lot has changed since then;-)

Thanks for the e-mail. Love the post, too. I don't know if being big-boobed is better than being tall, though...

Kellie said...

I'm only 5'8" and understand the plight of a tall pregnant woman and can't even imagine trying to cover two more inches in ridiculously sized maternity clothes. When I was pregnant with Grace I was generously given 2 gigantic boxes of maternity clothes and I did my best to make those clothes work. I did have to buy pants since I needed them in February and it was way too cold for capris. I should have just stuck with the capris because those horrid "pants" were high waters and wouldn't stay up for the world. I almost burned them after I was out of maternity clothes 3 months after Grace was born. The thought of those awful "pants" still makes me cringe.

Thankfully I mostly needed maternity pants during the summer when I was pregnant with Ethan so capris worked out ok. It was getting pretty cold when he was born in October but I had no maternity "pants" that fit by that point and there was no way I was going to buy a pair for the week or two I had left. I'm way too cheap for that so I froze for two weeks and then felt no shame in wearing yoga pants and pajama bottoms in public. Sorry to those who had to witness.

Sounds like you found some good non-maternity clothes solutions which look pretty stylish. Certainly better then the super wide yet too short boxy shirts I had to work with. I bought myself one maternity shirt each pregnancy (that's right only one, I couldn't justify more since I had two gigantic boxes of unstylish but still free clothes). I needed one shirt that I felt good in and didn't make me cringe in the mirror. Surely all pregnant women can relate.

Tawny said...

That's it. This 6 footer is never getting preggers.

Erika said...

I don’t know what the nearest farm supply store (like Costal or Wilco) is to you, but a lot of times they have a rack of irregular women’s jeans for $9.95. You can usually find them with an inseam of 36” or 38”. My favorite pair of maternity jeans was a pair that I made from an irregular pair of jeans. I usually can’t tell why the jeans are considered irregular.
Here’s how I did it. I took the waist band and belt loops off the pants. I didn’t remove the zipper but you could. You would probably need to sew it closed no matter which way you do it. I took a piece of knit material and a wide piece of elastic and made a waist band like the lower cut maternity pants with no panel. You have to be careful to pick a cut of jeans that you can pull off over your rear end without un-buttoning. I made this mistake with my second pair and when I got finished I couldn’t pull them over my hips. My first pair cost me about $12 dollars, they fit, and they were long enough.

Lesley Miller said...

Ditto what Tawny said.

Alyce said...

I'm totally jealous of your height! :) As someone who is 5'2 I have the opposite problem. In maternity clothes I wore capris that pretty much looked like regular length jeans. There was no way I could wear a regular length maternity jean - I would have been swimming in them.

Oh, and because I was so short my stomach had no place to go but out - it got huge in my second pregnancy. I was always jealous of you tall gals who seemed (at least to me) to not get that big.

My biggest problem with clothes is finding regular jeans that fit. Pants in general are a real challenge because I'm too intimidated by the sewing machine to hem them, especially the jeans. So I usually cave and pay extra for petite jeans.

I'm so glad you've been able to find good deals on maternity clothes!

Cathy said...

I'm not tall (barely 5'5, but my daughter, Brittany is 5'10 and she hates it!. She has the hardest time finding clothes that fit right. American Eagle also has long jeans, but spendy if not on sale and you have to find the ones that aren't so dang low on the butt. But, you're cute no matter what you wear...keep on bargain hunting! Are we going to see you in any of these clothes on your blog??? hint hint :-)

Choco Girl said...

I'm on the shorter side, 5'4" and not married nor pregnant but I sympathize with you. The things that pregnant women go through!

Anonymous said...

I have another tall friend and she added colorful cuffs to the short lady jeans and then she wore a coordinated blouse. It was "very cute" as my Lucy would say. Also, don't give up on regular clothes, especially the pants with a low waist band. Costco has some nice loose blouses that would work for maternity. Have fun shopping! Jenni Birch

Linds and Manda said...

Oh, the plight of a tall person. Sometimes I feeling like I am all leg. I'm a little shorter than you but I have had my share of difficulties in the clothes department. It didn't improve during pregnancy. Somebody told me the other day that long legs are what everybody wants. I think that's true but much easier to live with if you have a clothes budget similar to that of Heidi Klum.

There were several moments during each of my pregnancies where I had to swallow my desire to be as cute as every other pregnant woman out there. A lot of people told me I looked cute...but what else are you going to say to a pregnant lady? They are nice because they know that if their words are not chosen carefully they could end up wearing whatever we happened to be inhaling at the moment. :) Pizza pop, DQ blizzard, poutine :). I would like to say (and I am not trying to dodge a Pizza pop when I say this) that you are beautiful! You do such a good job at digging for deals and finding cute stuff. You are beautiful inside and out, pregnant or not. I look forward to seeing some pics with you in your new clothes. love you.

Grandma Sherri said...

Erika's idea sounds very possible since you sew. Looks like those yoga pants will work real well right up till the last few weeks since you don't get that big and by then shorts and capris will probably be all you want unless Sept. is cold this year like the year Mandy was born,

Annie said...

I am so tired of maternity clothes right now. Fortunately I hit the jackpot early in this pregnancy. I love a brand called Patch Maternity (Clackamas Mall). Anyway, they were closing out when I went and selling everything for under 10$.
I also got some Liz Lange jeans from Target that work pretty well (but I still have to wear a belt to hold them up). I can't decide If I am 5'10" or 5'11".

Anonymous said...

I'm a tall gal~5'11".~I just looked on ebay~~and they had some great finds.

Sara said...

I'm going to have to second Alyce's comment - being short has it's difficulties too. All my maternity jeans are way too long and even my capris tend to be too long and look more like high-water pants (I know, if I could sew, this could be remedied). But also as Alyce said, most tall pregnant women look way too darn cute - just a little bump, whereas we short preggers seem to bulge out all over. If only you and I had tons of money and could go buy designer maternity clothes (90% of my maternity clothes are hand-me-downs and garage sale finds), neither of us would probably have any issues with clothing not fitting us properly. =)

Michal said...

puff lady? seriously?

i am so tired of my maternity clothes and hate to spend more money on them with only two months to go, especially since the spring/summer stuff isn't on sale. the dress is a good idea, as most maternity pants start falling off of me in the last month or two. i'll go looking for a few dresses that can go either way, then i can wear them post-partum as well. except for the nursing thing. ahhhhhhh!

Margie said...

This is a very useful post. I'm not currently pregnant, but it's something I'm thinking about in the next couple of years, and at 6'4" (40 inch inseam), I need all the advice I can possibly get.

Actually, my plan is to either adopt or make sure that I'm only pregnant from March to September, haha.