Today I’ll be sharing with you some of the most popular stores where you can get maternity clothing and my experience with them.
As someone who frequented malls like PARCO, I had no clue where to get maternity clothing when the time came. Thankfully, Google was there to save the day and I did a quick search in Japanese to see where I could fine something to wear.
Maternity clothing in Japan is quite different than that of North America. In North America, moms-to-be tend to like to show off their belly whereas in Japan, it’s all about loose clothing that hides the growing baby. However, there are enough Western clothing brands in Japan that you may be able to find something that is chic and works with your belly.
Stores for Maternity Clothing
I love jeans from UNIQLO, which is why I was really excited for their maternity clothing. Unfortunately, only a few stores in Tokyo carry maternity clothing and it’s actually quite expensive. I’ve never seen their clothes go on sale but if you want maternity jeans that can be hemmed and are available in a variety of sizes, UNIQLO is a good option.
I did, however, buy one of their long bra-top summer dresses in a normal (i.e., not maternity) size small and it fits perfectly. It may have been a bit too “sexy” for Japan but I love my bump in it and am happy to show it off. (Although now that I’m almost 38 weeks pregnant, the built-in bra is starting to feel a bit tight.)
- Babies R Us
I’ve found the clothing here to be the most affordable when it is marked down. In fact, I haven’t spent more than ¥1500 on a single piece of clothing, including jeans! So keep your eyes out for sales and markdowns because the price really can’t be beat, and all of the clothing I’ve bought from there has been so comfortable. The clothing tends to be quite baggy and loose, however, as per Japanese style.
I also bought some bra extenders from the online store and it has been a life-saver!
- Akachan Honpo
This is one of the most popular baby stores in Japan. The maternity clothes here are a bit more expensive than Babies R Us and I haven’t seen anything marked down that I liked. The only thing I have bought from this store are maternity pajamas, which are quite comfortable. I tried on one dress but the fit was a bit strange. Overall, the clothes are quite loose and simple; however, it’s worth it to take a look.
- Nishi Matsuya
This store is probably the cheapest before markdowns. I have a few maternity/nursing bras from here that were very affordable and are quite comfortable (I’m wearing one right now, actually). I’ve also picked up some underwear from here (although wearing a size up in normal underwear is fine too) as well as some pajamas and tights. Their clothing selection in general is small but very budget-friendly.
H&M is great because of its variety of sizes and styles that suit Westerners. It also tends to be quite cheap as it’s “fast fashion”; however, the maternity clothing tends to cost much more than their normal clothes and is only sold in certain locations (as far as I know, locations near Tokyo that offer maternity clothing are Lalaport Tokyo Bay in Chiba and COCOON CITY in Saitama) or online. I’ve found that their maternity clothing does not go on sale in stores but can be marked down considerably online, so it’s good to take a look in the stores to see if there’s something you like and then checking online for maybe a month in case it’s marked down or there’s a special sale (sometimes you can get up to 20% off your purchase during certain times of year; for instance, as I write this there is a 24 hour sale where all dresses online are 20% off).
I’ve bought a dress from here, which I wore a lot when I was at work, as well as tank tops, shorts and t-shirts. The online store is also the only place out of all of these stores listed that had maternity swimming suits, although I ended up just buying a ¥1200 normal bikini in two sizes up (and I dare say it looked pretty good, but perhaps too sexy to wear in public without a wrap or cover, at least in Japan).
Muji is perfect for those who like simple but high quality clothing. I found the price tag for their maternity clothing to be a bit too much but my husband had a coupon and I was able to get a really nice denim dress as well as two bra tank tops at 15% off. The bra tank tops are probably among some of my favorite maternity purchases because of how soft and comfortable they are (I know, I know, I’ve mentioned comfort a million times but it’s so important when your body is expanding to accommodate for another human being).
- Gap (online store only)
Maternity clothing from Gap is unfortunately only sold online, but that didn’t stop me from picking up a few things when there was a 40% off sale (I also became a member and snagged an extra 10% off). I picked up a few shirts that I could use for work as well as a couple of dresses. The shirts fit great as did some of the dresses. Some of the other dresses, however, were too thin so I ended up returning them. I also returned a pair of overall shorts that probably would have looked better at 8 months pregnant but were not worth the cost if I was only going to be wearing it for a month.
I have no idea whether maternity clothing from ZARA is sold in stores (the stores I’ve been to in Tokyo did not carry any) but online there is a wide variety of stylish clothes for mamas-to-be.
I also wore some dresses and shirts that were non-maternity, such as this wide flowing dress from Mercury Duo:
as well as dresses and shirts that I had gotten from a Design Tshirts Store graniph fukubukuro (lucky bag) back in January.
The great thing about Japan is that a lot of dresses and shirts are baggy, so you can simply just invest in some cheaper “normal” clothing. However, it’s important to keep in mind that these clothes may not be so ideal postpartum if you’re breastfeeding as it may be difficult to feed without nursing-friendly designs.
I hope this list of stores that sells maternity clothing in Japan has been helpful to you, and please let me know if there are any stores you would recommend that aren’t included on this list.