I dug through rack after rack at the Motherhood Maternity outlet, searching for a nice blazer or suit, but all I found was a nice pair of pants. None of the tops were formal enough, so I headed home with my pants and jumped online.
Well, it turns out that Motherhood Maternity does sell some very nice blazers. Unfortunately, the cheapest I could find was ON SALE for $100. I don't even pay that much for clothes I can wear during the majority of my life when I'm not pregnant.
So I kept up the search, and the more I looked, the more I realized that if a woman wants to maintain her professional experience throughout her pregnancy, she has to really be ready to shell out some serious cash. I suppose if you are a pregnant professional, this might not be too much of a hardship. But when you're still pursuing the opportunity to be one, like me at this point, that is a ridiculous amount of money to spend. What's worse is that other sites were selling blazers for 2-3 times as much. Who would buy that? But I guess people do.
Anyway, I was not about to admit defeat. I kept scouring the Web, and I found a few stores and/or websites where you can purchase professional maternity clothes for a reasonable price. Also, I found that sometimes the best way to complete the outfit is to go for a nice shirt or blouse and just top it off with a basic, non-maternity blazer. I am 4 months along, and I plan to wear one of my pre-prego blazers - unbuttoned, of course - over a nice red top. If you are further along, you might need to buy a size or two bigger, but you don't necessarily have to purchase a maternity blazer. Selecting a jacket with higher buttons allows you the option of just buttoning one and leaving the rest open. Or, just leave them all unbuttoned.
There are a lot more options for affordable maternity shirts, including Kohl's, Gap, and even Motherhood Maternity.
There were only two stores where I found nice blazers for under the $50 price point: Target and Matriarch Maternity. Although they do not offer a ton of options, they do have the basic black that you can pair with pretty much anything. If none of these work for you, my advice is to stock up on the cheaper, professional tops and pants and move out of the maternity department for your jackets. Kohl's, JCPenney, and a lot of other stores have great suit separates for a fraction of what the maternity stores charge.