When I became pregnant I was amazed at how few high street shops actually stock maternity clothes. H&M is one of the few to carry a range in store to select from and try on without the hassle of order to store or delivery to home.
I have visited the Chester and Cheshire Oaks branches. Both have several racks of clothes. There is a reasonable amount of variety and sizes though don't expect anywhere near the choice you would get in non-maternity. Also don't expect stylish presentation. In both stores the clothes were crammed together on rails. This makes browsing harder but you may well simply be grateful for the choice!
The styles reflect the seasons looks you can see in the rest of the store. I purchased a stripy t-shirt dress for £13.99. There were similar non-maternity items elsewhere in the store. I was amazed at the fit - the dress is slightly ruched around the tummy and still looks good having been worn from 4 to 7.5 months. I also purchased some shorts in the sale reduced to £4 and a cotton shirt sleeved shirt. The fit on both is good. The shorts have an elasticated 'over the bump' band. The shirt, also reduced to £4, has elasticated tucks in the back so it hangs well.
The quality is ok. Most women have a 'capsule' maternity wardrobe so items are washed more frequently. The dress I bought has been worn a lot - with tights and a long sleeve T underneath in colder weather and minus these items now the sun has come out. The stretch jersey material has not bobbled at all despite many wears.
The best thing about buying on the high street is being able to try on immediately. The sizings seem a bit all over the place. I'm a 12 bottom with broad shoulders meaning a 14 top is sometimes needed. My dress is a large and the shorts are a 16 so I would say size up and/or try on!
H&m sell a small range of nursing tops too. I have bought a couple, two for £19.99. They are long and cover my current bump so I can start wearing them now.
All in all the bar is not high for high street maternity fashion. H&m would earn one star for just continuing to stock this! I would give them four stars for the choice, range of sizes, price and reasonable quality. I would deduct one for the haphazard presentation and the inconsistent sizing.
During my pregnany i bought quite a few pieces of H&M's maternity range "Mama".
I have always like H&M anyway, they always have very fashionable clothes at a decent price as well as some lovely quirky pieces. They are also good for basics.
Some people complain that H&M can be messy, but having worked in fashion retail ever since i left school i can safely say i will never judge a company on this...i'm sure the staff work very very hard and they can't help how busy the store gets. I seriously doubt they like seeing their work ripped apart everyday.
Anway - in my local H&M maternity is tucked away in a corner next to the baby section (it was sooo tempting to pick up some cute baby clothes i can't tell you. i think their childrenswear is by far the most modern and cutest).
The first item i bought from them was a pair of skinny jeans with a band that went over the bump.
I had to go a size up, in typical H&M fashion, this is the biggest downside to H&M i think. Their sizing is totally bizarre and on the seriously tiny side wether it's maternity or nomal womenswear. I don't have this problem anywhere else.
The jeans looked fantastic and before my bump started showing alot of people asked me where i got them!
Their maternity wear is supposed to last through out your pregnancy, it should "grow with you", meaning you shouldn't need to go and buy bigger sizes later on.
However, by about 5 months of pregnancy these jeans were becoming very uncomforable and really cutting into the bottom of my bump...actually, they were quite painful. The bump band also developed a random hole. So they were quickly replaced with a new pair from new look.
the second item i bought was a plain black vest top, although this fitted well and "grew with me" it developed holes in the sides along the seams. as alot of H&M vests do.
I also bought a pair of black leggings, these slipped off my bump alot (annoying) and developed lots of holes, where as the normal womenswear leggings i got from H&M in a bigSger size were fine and far cheaper..hmmm..
Lastly, i bought a denim dress which was fantastic - very fashionable and good quality, very comfy too. i still wear it now as it's fashionable.
When I became pregnant I went in H&M a few times to look at maternity wear as bizarrely it seems to be the only place in Sheffield city centre apart from Mothercare that sells any.
You go through the main entrance and walk through the shop to get to the escalator and go up two flights to the maternity wear, passing all the colourful, fashionable clothes thinking this is going to be great, no frumpy Mothercare smocks for me. When you get to the correct floor the maternity section is quite difficult to find. This is because it is about two rails of black and navy blue t-shirts and trousers and doesn't stand out at all.
As I said I went more than once thinking it might just have been a bad day but apparently not. I did buy a dress from H&M that would accomodate my bump all the way up to 9 months but it was not from the maternity section.
When I learned that I was pregnant, clothing wasn't the first thing on my mind. But as the bump got bigger and my clothes smaller, it became more of a reality. I started looking around for maternity wear, but found them to not only be very expensive, but also very outdated. I was in my twenties, and didn't want to wear pants that went up to my breasts, or frumpy sweaters.
Then I discovered H&M, I had previously bought many items but never wandered past the women's section. And the maternity floor was a new and quite surprising, experience. They had everything from suit jackets, to patterned skirts, and pirate pants.
I walked out the store door without bursting my budget and with youthful stylish clothing. I could look trendy and feel beautiful without having to resort to designer shops, it really helped me boost my confidence. Among my other purchases I bought two breastfeeding tops as well, that were very reasonable and best of all, easy to use.
The online catalog is also very easy to use and great for previewing clothing on. You can view their clothing online, but unfortunately it is not available to order from if you are a resident of England.
Here is the link: http://www.hm.com/
I am now an avid supporter and fan of H&M, they have clothing for every occasion, from gala gowns to sports outfits and of course maternity wear. I have however found the stores in Ireland that recently opened to be sadly lacking, and the variety quite limited compared to the stores in England and Norway.
Overall though I think their clothing is affordable, comfortable, durable and best of all fashionable.
I bought trousers and tops there last June (2002) when I was five months with a small bump and wore them constantly and still do! The lycra keeps the shape and the longer length helps hide the post pregnancy rolls! I have to agree with many of the points in the other reviews, but I found the best H&M maternity selection in Bluewater, where the layout is less chaotic. If they stock a pair of wide legged black cotton/lycra (thick, not thin fabric) with a roll down waitband, buy them. They are fantastic, the band can go over or under the bump depending on size/inclination. I found anything tight or seamed too uncomfortable and irritating. However, as the bump got bigger and the weather colder, I rolled the waist band over the bump and it was very comforting. If you get a top with a lot of lycra, you can show off your bump and still retain a figure (of sorts!), but you can still wear it afterwards while your body works out what shape it wants to be, as the lycra returns the top to its original shape. I may have been lucky, but the items I bought have lasted ages, so hunt through the rails and try things on, the sizes are very accomodating even if the look smallish. All the other maternity ranges filled me with horror or were hideously expensive, but still had those nasty stretch panels - why? Finally, if you buy just a few key items, you can mix and match, unless you get big very early on, it will only be for a few months and most will withstand repeated washings. And lets face it, most people are only interested in the bump and won't notice what you're wearing anyway. And it gets you into practice for afterwards when clothing gets decorated with little sick patches and everyone looks at the baby, not you! Good luck
I found H&M maternity wear to be gr8. I was so not looking forward to the horribly/dated clothes in Mothercare & Dorothy Perkins and didn't want to spend loads of money shopping at Next Directory or M&S. I found H&M prices very reasonable & the clothes very trendy Bearinginmind I only bought bottoms. I loved the Kick flare jeans in this seasons navy rinse and bought a pair of dress up or down black pants. The thing I liked most is they all don't have that horrible elastic material round the front to go over the bump but like Gap they have adjustable side panels - which all the shops are doing. But bear in mind you have to be very determined to go shopping at h&m - the shops are sooo disorganised and none of the staff ever know if they have anything is in stock and if it is on the shop floor they can never find it!!
I heard from many of my friends that it is possible to get very cheap clothes at H & M so I thought I would give it a go. I went to the store based in Bond Street and it is one of the bigger ones on London. From outside it looked promising and I was expecting great things when I went inside but was hugely disappointed. What a mess the store was in. There seemed to be no organisation to the store at all and it looked like clothes were just randomly thrown together on rails and based in the shop! It was untidy, unruly and uninviting. Even Top Shop was in better shape! I was dismayed at the shop but decided to give it a chance so went around looking at the various rails of clothing. All that came to my mind was cheap and nasty. Ok I agree the clothes are very cheap but there is a reason why they are that cheap- they are very badly made! Some clothes I wouldn't even give to Oxfam. It seems to me that they mass produce a load of crap and sell it cheap to unsuspecting or uncaring people. Of course there are exceptions to the rules, you can find a few nice pieces. They sell everything from trousers to underwear to accessories. I would have to say that the underwear section is most probably the only decent section. I did buy a jumper or 2 from here one time but after a wash it just lost it shape and I never wore it again- so a waste of £12. It is possible to pick up cheap shirts for work here- they last longer than the jumpers but that's not too hard. H & M seems to have forsaken quality for cheapness. I could not wear an entire outfit from here as I would feel too tacky. It is handy in picking up a few cheap things but it greatly lacks any real class and style. The shop is very poorly laid out that it reminds you of a market stall. The staff are usually nowhere to be found and the choice of clothing is limited. I agree H & M is very cheap but there is a reason why- there clothes are very poorly made and not made
to last either!
For the mother-to-be who wants to continue dressing fashionably during her pregnancy. The emphasis is on functional cuts, comfortable and modern materials. The styles follow the trends in the Hennes collection.