Duo Maternity is one of the exclusive lines sold at JCPenney stores. The company's founder, James Cash Penney, entered a partnership to open and operate several department stores under the Golden Rule franchise in 1902. After Penney and his cohorts dissolved their partnership in 1907, however, he renamed his existing stores as JCPenney and began to expand his presence in the Rocky Mountain states. Penney partnered with Henry McManus to spread his new chain across the country, and the company had opened more than 1,600 stores across all 48 states by the early 1940s.
In the 1960s, JCPenney started opening its first "full-line" department stores, which sold everything from apparel to appliances to auto parts. The company's growth peaked in the 1970s when it was hit hard by a major recession, but it has continued to maintain a major retail presence across the country. JCPenney has gone through several major rebranding phases to try to keep up with the times--including a transition into e-commerce. Today, the company has headquarters in Plano, Texas, and operates more than 1,100 stores nationwide. A long-term decline in the company's worth turned around in early 2014. JCPenney sells major name brand goods in addition to its own store brands like Duo Maternity.
Under the Duo Maternity label, JCPenney has long sold a variety of styles for expectant mothers. Options are slightly more formal than other maternity brands, making it a great choice for moms-to-be who need clothing to wear to the office. Tops include fashion blouses, tunics, and button-down shirts made from flowing fabrics. Many of these options include intricate prints or patterns. You can also find options like loose-fitting cardigans and dresses for optimal comfort. Clothes like nursing bras and tops help the brand's functionality stretch beyond your pregnancy into your first few months at home with your new bundle of joy.
Pants range from jeans to more formal khakis and slacks. Most styles feature an over-belly elastic panel that helps provide as much support as possible. With expandable elastic, these pants can last throughout your pregnancy while still remaining comfortable. They also manage to look more professional than some other maternity work clothes. Pencil skirts are also available with similar panels so that you don't have to wear pants to the office throughout your entire pregnancy.
The history behind JCPenney dates back more than 100 years, so the company's reputation is almost unparalleled among retailers. As a result, you can feel more than comfortable trusting the manufacturer's store brands like Duo Maternity. Still, these styles won't appeal to everyone because they are mostly designed for semi-formal or formal situations.
Duo Maternity toes the line between traditional and contemporary styles for expectant moms. The clothes are mostly looser fitting--which helps make them comfortable but keeps them from fully embracing the latest trends. You also won't find much in the way of loungewear or even casualwear, so the definition of "comfort" is relative. Still, for the quality of these clothes, we give Duo Maternity 4 stars out of 5.