A Sorry State of Maternity

September 2, 2009 • Fashion


I was planning on waiting to write something about the sorry state of maternity clothing until well…I guess I had popped. I'm superstitious that way. Besides, we are not really a mommy blog. But last week's Project Runway challenge to create something amazing for a very pregnant Rebecca Romijn, really got me thinking I should post something a little sooner.The designers were basically clueless which resonates throughout the maternity and fashion industries.

Initially, when I found out I was finally pregnant almost 8 months ago, I was excited to explore the world of maternity wear. I mean, I'm in fashion and have accesses to pretty much everything here in NYC. I couldn't wait to be a stylish expectant Ugly_maternity_2 mother. Especially in this era of fashion overload. Well, much to my surprise, much hasn't changed since my mother was pregnant with me. There are few acceptable high-fashion choices. At least for those of us who are not famous enough to have our favorite designers make something specifically for us or are the tiny Nicole Richie type pregnant person in which everything just fits.

My goal was to look chic and fashionable, but due to morning sickness the entire first trimester my diet was mostly carbs and my doctor ordered me to stop working out due to some other issues. Needless to say, I have packed on the lbs. I don't think the Crumbs cupcakes have helped either. So, I have had to accept the fact that my size 6 figure is gone for a long time and learn deal with what I now have. That's a losing proposition. The maternity options are beyond abysmal, they are downright depressing. Don't get me wrong, yes, there is a massive Destination Maternity nearby…but I can not find anything high-end or chic. Most of their selection is made of modal and t-shirt stretch material which just looks cheap. I have had some dressy events to attend. I needed more elegant and structured garments. So I ran all over NYC looking for acceptable clothes that fit a 'real-sized' pregnant woman.

My frustration has grown to epic proportions. If one more salesperson or so-called friend suggests I shop regular clothes, but just buy a larger size I am going to scream or worse. First of all, everything has expanded…my hips, my thighs, my ribs and my chest (I swear I am carrying this baby in my rear). NormalUgly_maternity_3 sized clothing just didn't fit as well as maternity. Second, I really don't want a closet full of a range of sizes. I hardly have enough room for what I already own. 

Rosie Pope in NYC carries the style of clothes I love, but I do not fit in most of them! They are tailored for the petite size 2 woman who just pops a bit of a belly and probably doesn't eat her entire pregnancy. You know, the kind who poses in a bikini 3 months after she has given birth? Do they even know what thigh expansion is? In that dressing room I felt like I was the only expectant mother on earth who could not fit into their cute denim. In fact, they didn't make it up to my hips! I have strapped on a feed bag and have come to terms that I am going to be living at the gym and existing on lettuce for 6 months to a year after I have my baby. Isabella Oliver carries some cute items (of which I own a few), but the selection is limited and it's difficult to get the sizing right when you can't try items on.

So what's the deal with maternity clothes? Why are there so few options? I mean pregnant woman are a sure thing. We are going to need to buy some new clothes! Why has Zara stopped producing maternity? Why are designers shying away from it? Why is maternity clothing so cheaply made and ugly? These are questions I can not answer. But, if it's this hard to shop in NYC I can only imagine what it's like in the rest of the country. It ain't pretty…and neither am I! Thank God I have less than 2 months to go. I will just have to hide out with my lame maternity clothes until my little one arrives and I can diet back into my existing wardrobe. For someone who lives and breathes clothes…being pregnant is depressing, and it shouldn't be!

– Lauren Dimet Waters

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3 Responses to A Sorry State of Maternity

  1. You are going through went I went through 4 times already Miss Lauren. Because if you are inclined to wear Moomoo dresses, then maternity wear is for you. Or if you have the big bucks to shell out then of course there are options…but when you spend $80 on a shirt that won’t fit you by your second trimester, who has that kind of money?
    To be honest, each time I was pregnant I shopped Old Navy’s maternity section. At least, for the most part, I could still keep my confidence intact with my ginormous belly.
    Do you get the magazine Plum? It has some really great stylish maternity designers in it.

  2. MJ says:

    I found that I DO need a closet full of a range of sizes- for postpartum! The baby weight fell off fairly quickly, but not exactly evenly, and maternity clothes didn’t work for me AT ALL about a month after I delivered. Eight months later, I’m still a different shape and not quite, but almost into my old clothes. The process sure stinks, though. There is just no good option.
    Unless some smart designer can figure out how make maternity clothes that convert for postpartum…
    PS If Isabella Oliver had been in the budget, I would totally have outfitted there.

  3. Lauren - Second City Style says:

    Talk about postpartum depression! Yikes. You mean I won’t be back in my normal clothes in a few months? Dang. ;)The problem is, the seasons will be off. So I guess I will just have to buy what I need…cheaply, if possible. Sadly, I have expensive tastes AND they don’t like you bringing babies into sample sales! Now I am totally pre-partum-depressed.

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