Kids

The Pregnancy Chronicles... Adventures In Maternity Clothes Shopping

December 13, 2011 by Chido Samantha Mbavarira
shefinds | Kids

I don’t normally venture outside of my house on Black Friday. This is a drilled-in response from growing up as a jaded, cynical New Yorker. While other people line up outside of their local Walmarts at 1:30 a.m., I have my computer primed and ready for Cyber Week. It’s not out of snobbishness; I simply don’t like crowds, and frankly, unless I’m getting an iPad for $50 without getting tasered to the face, I really don’t want to put in the effort.

But the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, it started becoming pretty clear that my normal clothes had started pressing here and pulling there. So, what does a girl do?

I hit up MOMinds to find some swank garb nearby, so I could just grab one or two things for the weekend. Only, lots of stores don’t carry maternity lines anymore.

Did you know this? Sure, Old Navy has their clothes online… but what if you want to try the clothes on?

No dice. I tried four or five stores before one sweet sales agent told me, “Honestly, I think it’s the recession.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“People are getting nervous about having kids they can’t pay for. They’re reusing hand-me-downs, and people aren’t coming in for maternity clothes anymore.”

How, in a world of Duggars and Kate + 8’s, could it be this hard to look good? I had pretty much lost hope after only two days of looking.

But up in Westchester, just one day after telling my family that my husband and I had a wee little Peanut on the way, my cousin convinced me to drive with her and my sister-in-law to Destination Maternity.

Have you heard of this uterine-centric wonderland? It was like heaven heard my plight, and instead of sending frogs or locusts, it sent a fairly fantastic shopping experience!

First of all, they gave me free apple juice and water. So, they already win because, well, I like food. Next, the woman assisting us brought me the “maternity pillow.”

This. Is. Brilliant.

You strap it on under your clothes, and it shows you what you’ll look like at 9 months, so you know how all your clothes will fit. The first time I walked out of the dressing room with it on under my ever-so-soft oatmeal colored sweater, my mom kvelled!

“Is that what you’ll look like in 6 months?! MY GRANDCHILD IS IN THERE!!” and she came rushing at me in a fit of love/Jewish-grandmother-in-training. I had to remind her that, in fact, what she was touching was a squishy pillow that probably dozens of women had tried on before me, but she didn’t seem too distracted.

For those who have been pregnant and have had to purchase office-appropriate maternity garb, let me just say this: these clothes are a gift from the fashion world. To use a quote from a friend, it’s like “organic lamb’s wool that has been bathed in rainbows and conditioner.” Not only are they soft, but they’re fairly on-the-mark style-wise. I spent a… well, let’s say a significant amount of cash to re-do my wardrobe for the next 10 months (6 months for baby, 4 months to lose the weight), and plus clothes for the second pregnancy we hope to have.

All in all, it was an extremely successful, fantastically fun time! I will say that I had no idea the challenges facing moms-to-be, as far as getting office attire… but honestly, sitting here now in my beautiful sweater and every so comfy pinstripe pants, I may never wear anything else again. Why aren’t ALL clothes made like this?!

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