Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Fat Lady Has New Clothes

People, I am wearing pants with an elastic waistband. Just four days shy of being 20 weeks pregnant, and I've had to resort to this. All of my regular pants in larger sizes are at the dry cleaners. The problem is I haven't yet mastered the feel of an elastic waistband, so I'm in a constant state of feeling like my pants are going to fall down. Maybe they are.

An elastic waistband.

I had my first real anxiety attack about clothes two weekends ago, when I learned that maternity pants, even the "career pants" are not lined. I do not enjoy unlined pants. I surmise that this is because the lining in pants most likely does not stretch, but that doesn't mean I'll enjoy feeling my inseam rub against my thigh either. Motherhood Maternity, Mimi Maternity and Pea in a Pod are all owned by the same parent company, it seems. The interesting part is that the quality of their pants is all the same. Doesn't matter if you get the low-end Motherhood ones, or if you go with Diane Von Furstenberg's high end version in a Pea in a Pod. Sadly, it's pretty much all the same quality, just a matter if you're going to pay $24.99 or $220 for that quality.

That's not to say the stores are all created equal. Most Motherhood stores make me break out into a rash. I mean, did you click on the Motherhood Maternity website? I believe it features a woman in a canary yellow satin dress with a bow. Eck. There's just way too much color going on in that store and not in a good way. Crappy styles too--almost impossible to find pants for work that aren't actually yoga pants that they're trying to pass off as work pants. I mean seriously, in my job a knit pant is completely unacceptable and to me is decidedly NOT a dress pant. The only luck I've had with Motherhood is when I've found their brand in department stores or in a Mimi Maternity. Mimi actually isn't too bad. Their stuff is slightly more tailored so I can see myself shopping there. So far I've only gotten pants though; I have yet to buy any maternity shirts. I'm sticking with my usual brands for shirts for awhile.

So, I'm picky about clothes. We know this. The problem with maternity clothes is that there is so many ways to go wrong. Like the bows. There are cute bows and then there are bad, bad maternity bows. There are a lot of really bad floral patterns out there too. Actually, there are just a lot of really bad patterns in general. And the ties behind the back. I hate the ties behind the back. I realize this is to give a woman some sort of shape, so she doesn't look like she's wearing a tent, but really? I think it's a look strictly for the last trimester. If I wore one of those now, I'd look ridiculous.

But I digress. I think the key to dressing, particularly for work, involves getting some decent tailored (or as tailored as you can get with a messed up waistband) pants in colors like grey and black and pairing them with structured sweaters and shirts. I went on a totally shopping bender over the weekend and got a good start on a work wardrobe. I think I'll probably invest in some basic sleeveless dresses for work too since I'll be pregnant during most of the summer and pair them with some cardigans. For my casual clothes, since I never, ever dress in sweats, except when going to the gym, my jeans, capris, tees and other casual stuff will most likely come from Old Navy and the Gap.

It's not easy, this dressing-while-pregnant business. It involves being selective. But it is a shopping challenge and we all know how much I like a shopping challenge. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go hike up my pants.

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