Gone are the days when being pregnant meant you were forced to accommodate your growing bump in a tent dress. Expectant moms-to-be demanded more choice when it comes to places to buy maternity clothing, and South African retailers have delivered. Here are some of our favourite local maternity wear stores (and best of all, most are available online, so you don’t even have to leave your home).
Best for effortless style: Anneen Henze
The Anneen Henze Collection is where comfort meets couture. It’s a proudly South African company and all their clothing is handmade in their Cape Town studio.
Browse their online shop and you’ll find skin-to-skin tops for baby wearing mamas, gorgeous tailored coats, easy-to-wear dresses and comfy loungewear.
Best for quality staples: H&M
The fashion retailer H&M has an impressive selection of maternity bottoms, including leggings, jeans and tracksuit pants. Although they currently don’t have an online store, it’s a great excuse to get out and go shopping.
You’ll also be able to stock up on breastfeeding-friendly tops, longer-length tees designed to flatter your bump and comfy dresses – and don’t forget to browse their racks of pregnancy and post-birth bras and undies.
Best for workwear: Maternity Way
No need for mamas-to-be to compromise on style when they’re heading to the office – Maternity Way has an extensive selection of just about everything from jeans to smart dresses, and you can shop in-store at Mall of Africa and online.
Their designed-to-flatter dresses (from R449) and tops (from R225) make clever use of ruching detail and belts to conceal and reveal where you want to, and there’s even a sleepwear range. And don’t worry, although you’ll find corporate attire here, the styles are all versatile enough to take you from work to weekend with ease.
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Best for pretty practicality: Lonzi & Bean
When the founders of Lonzi & Bean were expecting themselves, they were disappointed in the range of comfortable and stylish maternity wear available locally, and what started out as just a few scribbles in a notebook has become a beloved South African brand.
Their signature crossover dresses are as pretty as they are practical (from R699). Made to be suitable during pregnancy and the breastfeeding period, with smart design details that make nursing a breeze – they’ve also just added a new range of nursing bras and post-birth panties. And we love that all their garments, and 95% of their fabric, are made in South Africa and support local communities.
Best for everyday wear: Cherry Melon
An old favourite that expecting women turn to again and again, Cherry Melon is the perfect spot to stock up on everyday maternity (and nursing) wear.
Everything is specially designed to grow with your bump so you’ll be able to wear the same dress, pants or tee in the first trimester and the last – genius (and imagine all the money you’ll save)!
Best for versatility: Tummies Maternity Wear
If you’re on a budget – and when you’re shopping for maternity wear, who isn’t? – then check out one of Tummy Maternity Wear‘s bestsellers: the ‘6 in 1 multi-wear maternity skirt/top’. R245. You can twist, tie and layer it to create different looks every day – warning: you may be tempted to buy one in every colour!
The range of products here is impressive; you can buy swimwear, pajamas, workwear and leggings. There’s even a section where you can buy and sell pre-loved maternity wear – win, win!
Best for budget-savvy ‘buys’: Baby Bump
You know all those gorgeous, flowing dresses those glamorous moms-to-be wear in photoshoots? You’ve probably wanted one, but who wants to spend a small fortune on a dress you’ll only be able to wear a handful of times?
Well, we’ll let you in on a little secret: you don’t have to buy one. Instead, try BabyBump where you can hire spectacular maternity dresses for photo shoots, baby showers, gender reveals or any special occasion.
Best for affordability: Mr Price
Here, you’ll be treated to all the fast fashion trends and great prices you find in the regular MRP range, just tweaked to accommodate a growing belly.
Think swing dresses, tunics, crossover tops, tees and leggings to get you through the entire nine months, and then some. The added bonus? Sizes on most items go up to a 42 (select items available in a 44) and you can shop online or in store.
Best for fun finds: Foxy Mama
If you’re looking for some fun maternity wear, you’ll find it at Foxy Mama. Say ‘goodbye’ to boring or bland colours and ‘hello’ to vibrant prints, interesting textures and attention-grabbing separates. The best bit? The prices are affordable – and a lot of the clothing items are also suitable for use in the post-partum period so you get more bang for your buck.
They also sell belly binders, post-birth panties, Expanda-a-Belt (for when your regular jeans get too tight) for only R176, cloth nappy covers, lactation bars and much, much more.
Best for simple elegance: Annabella Maternity
Yes, Annabella Maternity is a maternity wear store but it’s also so much more than that: it’s a one-stop-shop for all things mom and baby related.
Browse the clothing, underwear and sleepwear (that’s so much prettier than your partner’s oversized T-shirt) but you’ll also find Mexican Bola Pregnancy Chimes, sleeping wedges, nursing cushions, Love To Dream swaddles and pots of Aromadough. Plus, we like the prices!
Best for activewear: FitMama
Staying active when you’re pregnant is good for both you and the baby (provided you have your doctor’s sign off, of course) but what about when your usual workout pants are a little too snug around the waistband?
Introducing FitMama: breathable fitness gear designed to support you, and stretch, in all the right places while you’re pregnant. Smart support leggings, racerback tops and training tops are all available up to a size 40.