Sunday, May 23, 2010

On Maternity Clothing: A Rant. By me.

First of all, I'd like someone to explain to me why men's pants, jeans, drawers, britches and other lower articles of clothing are all sold in every permutation of waist/inseam measurements in inches, while women, whose bodies are surely more complex in variations, are stuck with basic sizes-- 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, etc. And then we it gets down to maternity clothes (where you would imagine that greater variation can occur) we get Small, Medium, Large. All of a sudden, my hips don't count any more because my belly overshadows them?

In fact, even men's dress shirts and suits and such are sold in chest/neck sizes, and women get... Small, Medium, Large.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to find maternity clothes that fit decently? I can take any article of clothing in a medium, and it's almost guaranteed to be either baggy, or tight around my hips. Am I a plain ol' medium? No, I am my own version of medium, and in order to find a medium-sized article of clothing that actually fits me, I have to try on no less than 957 to find one or two that stay on and are comfortable. (Add to that the difficulty of finding something that fits AND is affordable... aiee. I can't see spending $30 on a pair of jeans that I'm gonna wear for a few months. I don't spend that on jeans anytime. So I have to go with second-hand and that? Even fewer options.)

And then there's the style. What is it with people who make maternity clothes? I get pregnant, so now my usual style counts for nothing? According to them, I have a baby belly, therefore I have to be relegated to either shlumpadinka or frumpy. Cutesy pastels and little ties around my midriff, flowers and polkadots and stripes, all arranged in such a ways as to scream, "FRUMP!". Make no mention of the high necklines that only make me look like a whale. And forget about stretch-- shirts are just made into tents.

Now I will admit that I'm not much into style. I'm really a t-shirt and jeans kinda gal. I'm pretty much home most of the time, so I don't need to really dress up, but I still like to look neat and decent. However, I'm also pretty picky about clothes. Perhaps this is an unfortunate shortcoming in my character, but there it is. I drove my Mom nuts when I was a kid. Someone would give us some handmedowns, or Mom would get me something, and I would more often than not be unable to wear it. Too tight here, too scratchy there... whatever. How many packages of socks my poor mother bought for me that went unused because the toe-seam bugged me? Sigh. I have a lot of rules. No high-necklines, no constricting armpits, no short shirts that accent my butt. No high-waists (oh, don't get me started on how much I despise those over-the-belly-panel maternity pants!), no extra-low-waists, no constricting hips, and give me a slight flare at the ankle, in just the right length, thanks. Also, no pink or pastels or flowers or busy patterns. I prefer a trim fit with a bit of stretch for comfort.

(Sheesh, maybe I'm the one with the problem here. No matter-- it's my body and my post, so I'll keep ranting.)

So when it comes to maternity clothes, my options narrow considerably. People have given me some things, but most of the time they don't fit (see "small, medium, large," above). I do have to say that I am VERY thankful for the current style of long shirts. I've been able to find quite a few non-maternity clothes, perhaps a size or two up, that I can wear because they're long enough to cover. I had thought I had several pairs of belly jeans, capris and shorts, only to find out that they don't fit (see "small, medium, large," above) when I go to try them on. So I currently have one well-fitting pair of jeans, one of capris, and thanks to a good friend, a few pairs of shorts (and it's getting hot here!). I have a small handful of shirts. So I'm pretty much going to wear the same few outfits, depending on weather, for the next 7 weeks (give or take a couple) until I can start all over again trying to find something to fit the post-baby flab.


Sack-cloth, anyone?

(P.S. I'll try to get up the guts to post a belly pic soon. Really.)


  1. Sack cloth sounds good--or sacks in general. how bout sewing? No? your local goodwill? actually I have no answers at all. But then you did not want any answers you wanted to vent! When I had my baby 38 years ago this was my song of woe too. It was all polyester and the ugliest stuff in the universe! It also itched. I don't do itch--like ever. I thought times had improved. Ya'll got a Craigs list?

    I like Lands End myself. They use tape measures. I think they have a small line of maternity. I was thinking about browsin the second hand shops for ya but you clarified the enormity of the task so maybe not.

    Yeah it was a rant session-- I hope you feel better now but the question is? What are ya wearing?

    I wore my jeans with the zipper down and mens shirts. Another good trick is really big loose overalls. Or you know if your way out in the country you could run around in some pajamas or a nightie. Pajamas just rock! Nice stretchy pj's.

    I will shut up and go away now.

  2. I hear you loud and clear....I think, men design clothes not REAL women..