Recently I was online and one of the clothing brands I follow asked for feedback on their maternity range. I ended up bombarding them with my feedback, which as my sister pointed out actually came across a little aggressive, oops! I just didn’t realize how passionate I was about it all until I was offered a soapbox. So after my feedback I thought I would put it all together in a little post and see if some of you agree or even have anything else to add!
|The shorts here are maternity - top is not!|
Off the shoulder clothing is difficult to wear if you have a large bust, which is what most pregnant women have. Wearing a strapless bra is far less comfortable if you are pregnant and certainly not an option in the last 3-4 months of pregnancy.
Cheap flimsy fabrics
When you put on weight the last thing you want is a fabric that shows every lump and bump. Yes I love a bodycon as much as the next person – being an hourglass figure this is the style that suits me best – but when you’re 7 months pregnant you really can’t be bothered wearing maternity shapewear. Pregnant ladies need to pee – a lot. Giant tight underwear from knee to underarm is something no one can be bothered with every time they have to use the bathroom. If the ability to wear a dress or skirt becomes dependent entirely on the need to wear this kind of underwear, count me out. Make a dress in a thicker/better quality stretch fabric and save me the hassle of trying to become a contortionist every 30 minutes.
Showing too much skin
Not every pregnant person is 21. My grandmother taught me that an elegant lady shows legs or cleavage but never both at the same time. That means I don’t want a mini dress with a top so low I have to wear layers underneath. Also most of my maternity purchases are because we need something decent to wear to work not to the nightclub.
|Maternity Cape Dress|
Lack of style
Yes we want a basic dress we can style multiple ways, but we also want a variety of styles, colours and prints. This is why I buy online because of a complete lack of interesting, modern or stylish options in traditional maternity stores. Nothing makes a tired, nauseas woman feel more blah, than a dull grey dress.
Print is too big or fabric too bulky
The law of design – the bigger the print, the bigger you look. Also goes for the busier the print. Most women are not supermodels and are already feeling conscious of their increasing size. No one is going to buy a dress if the print or added fabric makes them look even bigger. Let’s keep Moby Dick in the book thanks.
Thoughts about undergarments
Again, this ties in with my thoughts about flimsy fabrics and the off the shoulder trend. Please consider the kind of undergarments we will be wearing. Off the shoulder tops or dresses with spaghetti straps will require a strapless bra to be worn. The average women can go up 2-3 cup sizes or more when she is pregnant. So someone who is normally a size C could then become an E-F cup. It is hard enough to find a strapless bra in that size let alone one that will support and feel comfortable sitting above a giant watermelon.
|Black maternity pants with a plain stretch top and scarf|
Focus on shape
When you are pregnant you don’t just grow a belly. Most women put on weight all over as their body begins to store energy it needs for breastfeeding. That means that clothing needs to not just flatter a giant tummy but other areas of the body too. Considering that everyone stores their weight differently depending on their body type, this means that the same style garment will not suit every shape. The more weight you put on the more important to stick to rules about what suits different body shapes. As mentioned – I cannot wear anything that’s not fitted. My friend puts her weight across her arms, back and shoulders – so she only wears 3/4 sleeves that cover her arms. Generally speaking I try to avoid high neck tops unless I have a giant statement necklace to break up my chest area and there is just too much bulk in my upper half with my belly and bust.
I prefer options that that are not nursing friendly, but this is purely a personal preference, as I have never been pregnant and breastfeeding at the same time. Nursing tops generally scream that they are nursing tops. The best nursing tops I own are mainstream items that are zip front or zip shoulder or wrap front tops.
Fabrics with no stretch
This is an obvious one – but if the dress has too little give it can only be worn a limited amount of times.
|Maternity denim with a non maternity blouse that has stretch|
Pants and skirts
Ok, its super easy to find good maternity denim these days. Some people prefer over the bump, some under the bump, some skinny, some straight leg. The problem is finding non-denim pants. I have found it really difficult to find work pants as the main options on the market are really legging, jeggins or jeans. Again, most of my need for maternity clothing is for work. Because of this I usually end up wearing dresses and maternity tights (because its winter).
The extremes of style
As mentioned, I find that either clothing is way too conservative and boring (often the brands that do maternity clothing only) or too ‘high fashion’, cheap, nasty or aimed at a teenager. I often end up wondering why it is so difficult to make the same items currently sold at mainstream stores to fit maternity. Why do they need to create new prints or styles. This is probably why I ended up shopping in normal stores and buying items in large sizes and making small alterations myself. Skirts seem to be my biggest problem. Most of the time I buy skirts in a stretch fabric from a normal store but in a few sizes up to fit my belly. I have a leopard print skirt I get comments on all the time that features a full length metal zip in the back. I just bought it at Bardot two sizes up.
There always needs to be a balance with price. I am never going to spend $200 on a white shirt or a dress that I can only wear a few times or a few ways. I will always looks for some cheaper style pieces that I can wear a lot rather than just a few plain items. As most pregnant women will know, with your body constantly changing, a lot of clothes will generally only fit you for a small period of time before needing to be replaced so no matter how good it looks in the store, you will rarely get enough wear out of an item to justify a high cost.
|Plain stretch top with maternity pants|
I find it difficult to buy clothing for the right season. A lot of online stores only sell the season for their home country which is a problem for those of us in a different climate or if you have planned a babymoon somewhere warmer. Winter tops are always a pain to buy. If I want a giant, unflattering jumper, I would just wear my husbands. I just want a nice long sleeve fitted top that doesn’t add bulk– is that too difficult to ask? Apparently so!
Some of my favourite purchases so far
The caped dress – the cape hides any underwear lines at the back and is currently on trend. Skirt length is not too short and comes in a good choice of colours.
The maternity leather skirt – I have seriously worn this thing to death. It had enough stretch to be able to wear for a number of months as well as being super trendy.
|Maternity cape dress|
Have you had similar problems with maternity wear? Or do you think I have missed something? I would love to hear your thoughts!!