As more women embrace pregnancy but not the tent-like dresses that come with it, fashionable maternity wear is becoming en vogue. Shops like Japanese Weekend market towards the young (or young at heart), hip woman who just happens to have a protruding belly.
The brand has everything a pregnant woman needs to get her through those nine months and beyond - from tops to nightwear, coats to swimsuits, you'll find what you're looking for and in different styles to boot.
What's In a Name
Japanese Weekend's namesake is a dance performance choreographed by founder Barbie White over thirty years ago. As a dancer, White understands how the human body changes and moves, aiding her in designing maternity wear for women in their first trimester to nursing and beyond.
Almost all of production takes place in the United States - the designing, sewing, and shipping are handled in San Francisco, California. Even the fabrics come from Californian distributors as often as possible, so I encourage buyers from the U.S. to support this shop. Not only would you purchase outstanding quality maternity clothing, but you'd also feel great knowing that you're helping jobs and resources in your country.
Looking at the website, there are a variety of styles offered. Here are some hand-picked items that I recommend purchasing based on comfort, practicality, value, and of course style.
Put It On My Tab Nursing Top
If you decide to nurse your baby, a few high-quality nursing tops are a must. Normal tops can restrict movement and make nursing difficult, but these specially designed blouses are fully functional and discreet - looking at one, you'd never guess at first that it was a nursing shirt! Japanese Weekend nursing tops combine practicality with contemporary chic, and come in a range of colors. The secret is an inner layer that detaches from the top, allowing the mother to nurse in public without awkwardly slipping half her shirt off. This makes nursing quick, easy, and leaves both mom and baby happy.
Embrace the Lace Nursing Nightgown
Another nursing must-have, this nightgown mends fashion and functionality seamlessly. As the name suggests, it features soft lace trim at the neckline and sleeves. It comes in two alluring colors - red and black, and can easily be worn after your maternity period as a regular nightgown. Feel beautiful and comfortable whether or not you're nursing your baby.
Maternity Transition Jacket
Keep warm this winter with a jacket you can wear during and after pregnancy. Straight from their aptly titled, "During and After" line, the Maternity Transition Jacket is fully adjustable, so after baby arrives you can still wear the coat snugly during those cold months.
Collar Loop Starlight Maternity Dress
Go out and show off that baby bump in this sparkling number. Dresses are ideal because they're easy to wear and the free waist allows limitless room for your belly, so whether you're three months along or in your final trimester, you can wear this slimming black dress to any fancy or casual occasion.
All pieces described above are over $60, so Japanese Weekend isn't for those with a faint wallet. However, the prices reflect their superior value and style (plus you can still wear most clothing after pregnancy, saving you money) so I'd say these items are worth every penny. My advice is to save up for clothes that'll last you a long time rather than spending money on cheap frocks that fall apart within a year. Low prices are tempting, but the old adage, "You get what you pay for" usually rings true. By continually buying poorly-made clothing, you end up spending more than if you had bought the apparel that was more expensive.
Where to Buy
Baby boutiques sell Japanese Weekend in locations around the United States and a select few cities around the world. If you aren't near one, though, you can always visit their online store and order from there. Other online retailers include Nordstrom, Belly Dance Maternity, Amazon, and Diapers.