Tuesday, June 14, 2005
Adventures in maternity clothes shopping
I am now the proud owner of some maternity clothes. This is a good thing, since as I have mentioned, my waist is disappearing, and much of my fitted clothing does not fit me. Also, we just got through the first heat wave of the summer (and, if you believe Environment Canada, this is the first of many), and I didn't have a bathing suit that was compatible with my new chest size. My first expedition was with Mom. We went to Thyme Maternity in Hull, which is conveniently located near the Star Cité movie complex. I can't remember the last time I tried on so much clothing! Of course, I am basically creating an entirely new wardrobe. I suppose I could have borrowed some maternity clothes from in-laws or friends of friends, but to be honest, none of them are really my size, and I kind of wanted to have my own new clothes in styles I prefer. Buying a bigger size might also have worked for now, but it seemed more logical to me to get outfits which will last throughout most of my pregnancy (weather permitting). There seems to be a trend in some maternity clothes lately to show off the belly - this is not my style, and happily there was enough diversity in the clothing to accodmodate my desire for comfortable, work-acceptable summer clothes. I haven't really delved into fall-appropriate clothes yet, since I figure I have plenty of time. Mostly, I bought skirts and tops to match. I was impressed by the structural ingenuity of maternity clothes. For the most part, they look like normal clothing, but they are built to accomodate the distending body. The prices were fairly reasonable at Thyme, and the sales clerks were very helpful. I did reach a point where I was incredibly frustrated though... my problem is really chest size. Many maternity tops (and this makes no sense to me), are designed with this line that crosses under the bust. I have always avoided this type of shirt in the past, because in order for that line to fall where it should, I have to buy the extra large shirt, which has such a gaping neckline that virtually my entire chest is exposed. I was also disappointed by the number of shirts with spaghetti straps. Even a small woman is going to gain a few cup sizes. Who are these shirts for? Every book I've read underlines the importance of wearing a bra during pregnancy. But I digress... It was frustrating in the way that it is always frustrating to try on something you really like, only to discover that you are too big to wear it, and that the larger sizes are too large and don't hang properly. However, overall, the shopping was successful. But I still lacked a bathing suit and a pair of jeans! They did not seem to have more than two styles of bathing suit at Thym. Solution: Montreal! In Montreal, I went to Bloom Maternity - which is a lovely store in Westmount. The owner was there, and she was the most knowledgeable and helpful lady ever. I must have tried on five different bathing suits before finally settling on a two-piece tankini. No maternity bathing suits seem to have underwire. Why??? Apparently, women find it uncomfortable. I have never found it to be uncomfortable, even in a bathing suit. But I suppose it would make the top less accomodating to expansion. The tankini top did have wiring on the sides, which helps, and was adjustable in so many ways that I felt comfortable buying it. They even gave me the belly thing to try on. The belly thing is a belly-shaped pillow that you put over your own belly. This particular one added 6 months. I was kind of creepy, and I made the unhappy realization that at the end of the road, breasts and tummy might actually meet. I also acquired maternity jeans - very similar to normal jeans, but with elastic paneling. I have really missed being able to wear my jeans, so this makes me happy.