Tuesday, July 20, 2010

it is now time...

... for the rant for which, i'm sure, you've all been waiting.  and the focus of this rant is maternity clothes.  MATERNITY CLOTHES ARE HORRIBLE.  i'm sorry to disappoint you soon-to-be pregnant ladies, or those of you who are dreaming about the new wardrobe you'll acquire once you see those two pink lines, but any optimism you might have is misplaced.  better to focus on the fact that your hair and nails grow a lot faster (thanks pre-natal vitamins!), and you can make your husband bring you things at any time of the day or night simply by giving him that "but honey, i'm pregnant" look. 

i call bullshit on ann taylor loft, who likes to boast that her pregnancy duds are "so stylish and comfortable... you'll want to wear them for longer than 9 months."  puuuuhhhlease.  while i can admit that i have found things that are comfortable enough (meaning, i can stand moving, sitting, standing and walking while wearing), i'm not itching to trade my pre-pregnancy wardrobe for overpriced mumus.

shame on the millions of women who have put up with this injustice and done nothing to help their knocked up sisters!  i mean, really.  women have been carrying babies for how long, and our options are so severely limited, it's laughable.  there are more video game stores in this town than there are maternity stores.  and this town is something like 95% catholic.  practice what you preach, people!  if god wants us popping out babies every 9 months, then start outfitting us!  i've never understood the barefoot and pregnant thing, but, at any rate, i've never heard anything about "naked and pregnant" or "dressed in a mumu and pregnant." 

think i'm being dramatic?  i've come prepared.  and you should also prepare yourself... for the horror that is the modern day pregnant woman's wardrobe options.

i present to you, exhibit a.

ok, really?  i don't even like the term "baby mama," and i'm certainly not going to walk around wearing it emblazoned on my steadily growing chest. 

exhibit b:

is any explanation really necessary? 

at this point, you may be asking yourself if i'm just not looking in the right places.  surely there are wear to work options for professional expectant mothers.  ohhh you sad, silly, naive blog readers.  and now let me present exhibit c, something allegedly acceptable for the workplace:

are those silver studs?  in whose workplace is this appropriate?  do lawyers or stockbrokers or investment bankers ever get pregnant?  and if they do, what are they wearing to work? 

in my quest to find decent clothes to wear for the next 3-4 months, i have encountered the friend or acquaintance who ask why i can't just seek out regular clothes with empire waists that i can wear as maternity frocks.  i have a few things from before i was pregnant with which i've made do, but, for the most part, it's not really possible.  your body changes in lots of different ways, so trying to throw on that boho chic flowy top you loved pre-pregnancy just doesn't really work.  my pre-pregnancy work wardrobe was very tailored, very form fitting.  lots of pencil skirts and adorable fitted jackets.  well, fast forward to now.  my boobs have grown enormously and none of those jackets fit (even if i left them unbuttoned).  i suppose i'm pickier than most.  i tailor my clothes to fit me and i hate when things are too long, too short, too tight or uncomfortable.  in short, i'm not cut out for "making do" with anything. 

another annoyance on this journey has been the people who model maternity clothes online.  is it so much to ask that women who are actually pregnant model these clothes?  instead, size 0 models pose in an awkward lean to make everyone think there's a bump under their shirt.  ohhh, that's realistic.  because being pregnant looks (and feels) like you're just leaning a bit more!  i call bullshit again!  pregnancy changes the way your body looks, so it would be more than appropriate to have someone who's actually experiencing that modeling maternity fashions.

there seems to be a prevalent notion that women who are expecting want to look either cutesy or frumpy.  i don't need to tie my bump up with a bow, as if it's a little gift.  and i don't want to hide the fact that it exists. can't we find some happy medium?  maternity pants are the same as regular pants with a stretchy top panel sewed in.  i'm THIS CLOSE to cutting my pre-pregnancy pants and sewing my own panel in out of desperation.  it shouldn't be this hard!

and about this time in the rant, i start thinking... i should have been a doctor.  or a nurse.  or an optometrist.  or a dental hygenist.  that way i could wear scrubs to work, and my pregnancy could have been filled with oversized cotton prints.  really, how easy!  instead, i wake up every morning, praying that some ingenius combination of the four things i can actually wear to work will blossom into a fashion miracle before my very eyes.  (this has yet to happen).

on the weekends, my anger over this situations subsides.  i can wear john's t-shirts and shorts around the house, and if we need to make an appearance at any public location, i have several sundresses and other casual outfits from which i can choose. by the time monday rolls around, i've almost forgotten that i don't own a single thing that screams "yes, i'm a lawyer, and yes, i know you're paying me by the hour, but i'm polished and professional and i'm going to get the job done."  by tuesday, we're right back to square one again... and i remain angry til friday night. 

i recently had a lunch/shopping date with a friend, and we decided to stop at motherhood maternity because she was so excited to see all the cute pregnancy clothing options. (ha!)  she was shocked and appalled at the lack of choices.  we both groaned over the screen printed "pregnant is the new skinny" tee, and tried our best to keep from shuddering over the other specimens.  it's slim pickings, ladies!  trust me! 

but i truly believe, in my heart, that awareness is the most important step of this journey.  had i been prepared for the idea that maternity clothes suck, and they're not going to get better no matter how much they cost or where you try to find them, i might have hit acceptance awhile ago.  instead, i lived in denial for the first 4 months, believing that there were stylish clothes out there somewhere, i just wasn't looking hard enough.  let me be the first to tell you (again): maternity clothes are HORRIBLE.  AWFUL.  on the off chance you find a nice shirt or pair of pants that don't make you feel gross, buy them, no matter how expensive they are.  focus on the other happy moments of pregnancy.  like feeling the baby kick (which my little guy is doing all the time now!) or seeing the baby on screen at your ultrasound. because (don't shoot the messenger) you are not going to find any comfort in maternity clothes. 

this public service announcement has been brought to you by a very hungry expectant mother who really should get back to studying for the wisconsin bar exam...


  1. i guess i should consider myself lucky that i only had to buy like 3 or 4 maternity items while i was pregnant... steph, one good thing is you look great in all things maternity and that baby looks good on you.

  2. thanks, meg :) i'm slowly learning to deal... haha.