A travel and style blog

Some Thoughts on Maternity Wear

Ahh the pain in the ass that is trying to find relatively stylish maternity wear. Or maternity wear that feels remotely like 'you' anyway. I'm tempted to sum up the hours I've spent both on-line and on foot, searching for frocks to shroud my gradually expanding lady lumps, with the words 'what a shower of shite' but that would, of course, be uncouth and not the positive uplifting piece of prose that you might expect, and deserve, on a relaxing Sunday morning. 

It seems that my visions of floating effortlessly from one antenatal checkup to the next, in a series of minimal yet stylish dresses, remain just that, visions. Herein lies the problems I've found trying to buy maternity clothes.

Practically nowhere in my home town of Preston has a maternity section in store. I trawled the obvious high street choices in a scene not too dissimilar from that of an immaculately concepted Mary, searching modestly for a comfortable mid census dwelling. In short I was greeted by a series of solemnly shook heads, turned away with the suggestion, "try looking on-line."

I had momentary hope when I heard that New Look at the Deepdale Retail Outlet had a maternity section, but hope was fleeting as I browsed the small selection of clothes shoved upstairs in a back corner of the store. In fairness I did pick up two t.shirts and a pair of black linen type dungarees but the dungarees shrunk the first time I washed them. I was left with shattered dreams and an unmistakable 'hungry bum' or constant wedgie if you will, that quite frankly was just asking for bacterial vaginosis.

I found H&M's maternity section equally if not more disappointing. I couldn't even find something that could be shrunk in the wash later. Mamas & Papas didn't stock maternity wear anymore and the clothing up for grabs in Mothercare, although comfy looking, was bland to say the least. The hunt continued... online.

I should add a disclaimer here, that I was very kindly given a large selection of pre-loved maternity clothes from friends and family which have been, and are, an absolute God send. I inherited maternity jeans, leggings and t.shirts from retailers such as H&M, Asos, and Blooming Marvellous which have served me well through days at work along with 'normal' but oversized clothes that I already owned. I may well have torn my hair out had it not been for these donations.

Strictly speaking I probably could've made do and not bought anything new but nine months is a long time not to treat yourself, and there came a point when the apparent maternity uniform of skinny jean and stripy tight t.shirt, grew samey. There came a point, plain and simple, that I felt like I needed a nice new frock. 

Hello Zara Mum and your floaty 70's esque printed shirt dress. A job well done, although ... I came to realise that Zara Mum isn't strictly speaking maternity wear. The dress I'm wearing here for example, is in the Mum section but also in the regular section. It seems that the offerings of Zara Mum are so called because they're deemed by those with the say so, that it's floaty enough to be worn by both. 

I was a bit dissapointed when the penny dropped, having waited keenly for my practical 'maternity dress' to arrive but on the other hand, perhaps I'll still be able to wear it afterwards when there's more on my mind than what the frig should I wear today?

In the meantime my hunt for dresses still goes on. Actual maternity wear is without doubt more comfortable but it has that pregnant lass uniform feel to it that stops a gal from feeling like herself. I'm in the market for relatively stylish, comfortable, not bank breaking pieces. Any suggestions?

Thanks so much for reading.

Elaine, desperately clinging to a sense of personal style x

Link to Zara Dress here

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