Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Wonderful World of Maternity: Part 1

I've been pregnant now for 28 weeks.

I spent at least 5 of those weeks in total ignorance of this whole situation; about 1 in total denial; 10 waiting for something, hell ANYTHING, to feel different; and the past 7 trying to figure out how to clothe myself while not getting fired for wearing sweatpants to a PAC event. Then I moved and have just been wearing the same cotton dress for like three weeks.

Yup, ever since I went from the post-Thanksgiving bulge to full on baby belly, things in my closet got a little sad. First of all, a lot of maternity stuff on the market really doesn't look good unless you have a nice round belly that you are proudly showing off, which doesn't happen until you are at least a solid 20 weeks along. Second, nothing else in your closet will still fit you. So...right.

Miracle, my ass.

Despite only recently being able to look decent in maternity clothes, I've surveyed the interwebs and the maternity floors and the drapey sections of regular clothes in order to give you all a field guide to maternity clothes.

Part 1: The basic species of clothing you will find in maternity stores, plus some ways to still shop at normal stores.

Things that Are Ruched

The first thing I noticed when I started to shop for maternity clothes was how many of the shirts had ruching along the sides. At the first shop I visited with legitimate intentions of buying something, Belly Dance Maternity, the salesgirl explained that this was to allow the shirt room to grow with your belly. When you are early in the pregnancy, it looks a little drapey and soft around the midsection, then fills out as you grow. This is especially fun if you get a shirt that has a design like polka dots or stripes which change shape as you get bigger. Pregnancy! Fun shape shifting for everyone!

Things that Drape

This is one of the categories you are most likely going to able to find in the regular sections of clothing stores. With the resurgence (well...surgence, I guess) of open draped cardigans, it's like everyone is wearing maternity! No seriously, check out Anthropologie and Forever 21 and it's cotton knit open front sweaters as far as the eye can see. Also in this category are oversized sweaters meant to be worn over leggings, etc. These items are nice because they will last through multiple seasons and can be worn post-pregnancy.

Things that are Tent-Like

About two summers ago, every dress in the stores was either empire waisted or just plain tent like. Seriously, like everyone was wearing a bell made of fabric. And I loved it. On someone who is a little shorter (like me!) whose best assets are arms, bust and lower legs (like me!) this was a dream come true. Except that one dress I wore unbelted to work sparked some serious controversy about whether my wedding was of the shotgun variety. But, the trend passed and I put my beloved tent dresses away, vowing to exhume them when I was legitimately with child. And I DID! They look awesome. Moral of the story, if someone tells you you look pregnant in a outfit, don't burn it. Save it until you are pregnant.

Tomorrow! Part 2 where I explore stretchy waistbands, or, why you will be the envy of all your non-preggo friends.


Lauren B said...

I love this. :) I'm now 33 weeks pregnant and am at the awkward point of "everything I was stretching to make work for maternity doesn't fit over the basketball anymore, but I don't want to spend a lot of money for 4 more weeks of maternity." I definitely fall into the Drape and Tent categories. Leggings are my favorite things ever - even after I spilled paint on my favorite pair...I refuse to throw them away. You get to a point where you don't want to close your legs (because you can't) and so they are necessary for dresses. Speaking of, I also wear the same dress over and over and over (see "awkward point.") A friend recently posted on her Facebook status that Forever 21 now - gasps - sells maternity clothes! She was horrified, I was ECSTATIC! This might be our answer to affordable, cute, non-homily maternity clothes!

Good luck and I look forward to reading more. :)

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