I'm getting to that point where pants are ceasing to fit. I can get them on, but zipping them up and/or buttoning is getting to be a challenge. It's time for me to buy some maternity clothes.

It's really fitting that the last episode of Project Runway was a maternity challenge. Though, it was a little irksome that Heidi Klum and Rebecca Romjin were lamenting that it was difficult to find fashionable and flattering maternity wear. With their high incomes? Seriously!?

In my initial foray into shopping for maternity clothes, I have so far found out that there aren't that many stores that sell it (compared to non-maternity), if stores do sell it, they only sell it on their website (such as Nordstrom), and that it can be quite pricey. In the Project Runway episode, one of the designers declared that there is no reason that maternity wear cannot be fashionable and flattering (or something like that). Initially, I thought the same thing. However, if you think about it, the market is quite limited. Yes, many women are pregnant at one point in their lives, however, the need for maternity wear can vary for each pregnancy. Right now, I'm at 18 weeks and can still wear some of my pants, albeit my fat pants. But I'm not really showing all that much. I can imagine that it's a tough market to compete in and that there isn't a huge financial incentive to do so. Fashion and good design can be expensive, and many moms-to-be aren't up to paying the price.

During the Nordstorm Anniversary sale, I bought a couple pieces that were on sale (online, since they don't have maternity wear in their stores) - this dress and this shirt. Also, a Bella Band since I hear they are a must have. And some pajamas, since I know I'll be needing those for my big belly. But these items don't help me in the pants department. And when it comes to pants, I just need to try them on.

A friend had mentioned that the Gap has great maternity wear. Their website is promising, but when I visited a store I was a little disappointed. First of all, out of all the Gap locations in this state, there are only 2 that carry the line in the store. I went to the Downtown Seattle location after work one day, and they had put the maternity wear section in a corner of the Kid's & Baby section. And there must be a whole lot of people my size, because there were only a handful of pants that I could actually buy. I ended up leaving with nothing. One pair of pants fit really well, but was made with itchy wool and was dry clean only. I could probably get away with washing them, but I wouldn't be able to get over the itch factor. Going over to Old Navy wasn't much better. Admittedly, the Gap and Old Navy have a much larger selection online and it appears that's the way I'll be headed.

Today, I check out another store - Motherhood Maternity. I heard their stuff isn't as good, but it's one of the only stores around selling maternity. Other places I'll be checking out - Kohl's and Target. A Pea in the Pod is another store I'd like to check out, but I heard they're more spendy. Eventually, I'll be needing a swimsuit for a prenatal water aerobics class I'll be taking, so it's another thing I'll have to shop for as well.

Moms out there - Where did you shop for your maternity wear?

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