Saturday, August 2, 2008

Maternity Clothes Woes...

I think I have decided my new career (after starting the mother thing) will be a clothing designer, specializing only in maternity clothes. I have spent at least two Saturday's looking for summer maternity clothes to get me through this awkward phase. The phase that screams, "NO, I am not overeating and getting fat, I am pregnant!" My dear friend Apryl was very gracious to give me all her fall and winter clothes, so I am set for the cold weather. However, the majority of my shirts are now too "short" to make it over the belly bump, and my shorts are just uncomfortable. Thank heavens I am still able to make it into some of my work pants. So here's my dilemma: I need some cheap summer maternity clothes! I realize that I am only going to wear them for 1 month to 2 months max, and I refuse to spend a fortune on them!!

Since beginning to shop for the summer clothes, I began to realize ALL the designers think ALL pregnant women immediately become HUGE all over. The thought of "fitted" cute maternity clothes has not even crossed their minds. Everything I tried on makes me look like I am wearing a "moo-moo." I hate to tell them but the strings that tie in the back don't help a "moo-moo" look ANY better. I guess I expected to find my normal "Ann Taylor Loft" type clothes with just a little extra room for my baby bump. WRONG!! I want to wear clothes that say, "You still have an attractive figure and you are pregnant." Is that too much to ask? Anytime I have ever bought clothes, I will only buy something that is flattering to my figure...why does it have to be different when it comes to maternity clothes?

The designers also think that every pregnant women's breast's grow at least 3 cup sizes, so they allow for way too much room in the chest area. I hate to tell them, but some of us don't even move ONE cup size!!! Not only am I wearing a "moo-moo," but I look like I need some majorly padded bras to even remotely come close to filling in the top of the shirt. People continue to tell me, just wait, they will grow... yeah right -- I don't believe you yet!!!

In my maternity line (name is still unkown), I envision clothes for the "business" professional. I would carry tailored, form fitting shirts that accommodate for the "bump" but not a huge waistline. I would design dress pants without a huge panel in the front, that sit low on the hips. They would fit like normal dress pants -- not all bunched near the panel. The casual line would also be tailored. Just because it's the weekend, pregnant women don't need to look like they are wearing their PJ's or husbands extra-large shirts. All of my clothes would be very affordable b/c I realize most women will only be in my clothes for 1 season. All of the fabric would be from the USA and the clothes made in the USA! Those are just a few ideas I have for my new clothing line.

Below you will find some random tid-bits that I have learned shopping:

- Old Navy's maternity clothes are the WORST -- the XS is still a "moo-moo." I would hate to see what the XL looks like? I could probably carry 8 babies at once and still have "wiggle room."

- Target by far has the best deals and most fitted clothes of anywhere I have looked. However, only a few Target stores actually carry more than 1-2 racks TOTAL of maternity clothes.

- Kohl's has some cute clothes. They have a little more of the "fitted" style, but plenty of "moo-moo's" too! They are good about having sales on their clothes. I got a khaki and black pair of shorts that I do enjoy.

- Motherhood Maternity's return policy is horrible. If you buy anything on sale, you cannot return it! What??? Yep, everything on sale is final. Also, if you buy anything that is regularly priced (and why would you?), you have only 10 days to return it. Although they have cute clothes, you better be sure you want what you purchase or you are stuck with it!

- Gap Online has cute stuff plus it has free returns. My only problem is that I am horrible about finding stuff online -- I need to try things on before purchasing them!! Ditto with Old Navy online.

- Ann Taylor Loft Online has maternity clothes, but heck -- I don't want to spend that kind of money on maternity clothes that will go into storage in a few months! Too bad they don't have the maternity clothes in the stores to try on!!

- JC Penny has a whole 2-3 racks of maternity "moo-moo's." Their summer selection was just sad!!

After my many days of shopping (which really wear this pregnant mama out), I have decided I will just have to stick to the few shirts/shorts I have purchased. So for all of you that see me on a frequent basis, sorry you have to see the same clothes "over and over again."

Allyson and Peanut(s)


Cassie Leeper said...

I have a friend going through the same problems - being too big for her normal clothes but not wanting to spend a fortune on something she will wear for a month. She did discover a website called mimi maternity and they have a line called secret belly and its a thin soft panel that you wear the entire time you are pregnant. No worries about an expanding belly, or after the baby(ies) are born and before you are back in your normal clothes. They also have lots of sales and only $7 shipping on anything.

On a side note about the mismatch of proportions - I have long held the belief that clothes should be made in sizes and cup sizes as well - I am have medium shoulders but A cup, so small tank tops fit fine but medium shirts make me look totally flat. That should be a part of your new line of clothes - I'm a medium A, or small C, etc.

Hope this helps!

Erin A. said...

I'm glad you've done a lot of leg work on finding good maternity clothes. Maybe I can take you shopping with me or borrow some of your finds when the time comes for me. :)