pregnancy gripe: clothes shopping

pregnancy gripe: clothes shopping

I realized last week that only one of my skirts now fits. (It isn’t a maternity skirt at all but it has a stretchy waistband and a full cut. I’ve worn this same skirt to Sunday mass for three weeks now. So I decided this week to go clothes shopping, brought at last to face the mall by the necessity of purchasing an advent wreath at the Carmelite bookstore.
My first stop was the food court to get a little snack to carry me through the shopping ordeal. Fortunately the food court of today is much more health friendly than I remember from my youth. I was able to get a ham and cheese croissant and fresh squeezed orange juice from Au Bon Pain.

Thus fortified, I betook myself to the maternity store where I spend a good fifteen minutes browsing in vain before the salesgirl sensed my desperation and came to my aid. I found a handful of knee-length skirts, but I really want something in the ankle-length category because winter is coming after all and I’m a thin-blooded Texan. I specified I wanted something a bit dressier than the calf-length denim and khaki skirts I’d seen, preferably in black or grey. She took me on a whirlwind tour of the store and we were able to locate exactly two long black skirts, only one of which was available in my size.

It was made of a thin, clingy polyester spandex blend, but at least did actually reach my ankles. Even though I doubt I’ll wear it much once the temperature drops into the thirties, I snatched it up… a bargain at least, at $19. I was really hoping for something a bit heavier, in a wool blend or perhaps a velvet. The salesgirl was nice and pointed me toward the department stores with maternity departments and their other store in the other mall in town.

I was able to locate an acceptable advent wreath, shunning all the fake pine boughs and holly that were liberally dusted with glitter, I opted for a plain gold circle that we can decorate for ourselves if we choose. I saw a lady I recognized from daily mass and waved hello. I don’t know her name, but I see her about town once in a while. We always smile and greet each other, though.It is nice to be a part of a community, and I miss going. Hopefully I’ll get back on a sleep schedule that will let me get out of the house by nine.

After a restful stop in the Carmelite chapel, a visit to the Blessed Sacrament, I forged back out into the pre-holiday bustle of the mall to pursue my dream skirt once again.

One department store had a very sad maternity section with about five racks of clothes, nothing dressy at all. The other had the same line of clothing as the stand-alone shop where I got the skirt, so I had very little hope of finding anything different. But I rifled through the racks , finding a few velvet dresses and some wool pants, but nothing except short skirts. A very nice and very pregnant salesgirl offered to help and I described my dream skirt. She looked quite dubious and pulled out the one long skirt that they had, the same one I had just purchased. She then went on to suggest that if I wanted festive holiday velvet I could try some velvet pants, dressed up with heels. I thanked her for the suggestion, I could tell she meant well and it wasn;t her fault that the fashion industry has decided that classic femininity, in the form of long graceful skirts, is passe. I don’t wear heels very often, I’m tall enough and they hurt my feet. And now that I’m pregnant, I’m even more paranoid about tripping. To me pants just aren’t all that dressy. I wear jeans and a t-shirt most every day of the week, but on Sundays and holidays I like to sport a more graceful look. I’d probably do it more often too, if the clothes that let me pull off the look I want were easier to find.

I thought maybe I could find a skirt like the one that still fits: a long velvet skirt with a stretchy waistband that might make do. But most of the velvet skirts I found were only calf length and the one place I found the style I wanted catered to petite women and had nothing bigger than a size three.

The department store clerk helpfully suggested the malls in Burlington or Natick, but I’m dubious. Will their selection be any better? I doubt it.

I don’t really want to have to make my own clothes. I’ve got a big sewing project right now: the quilt I’m making for my sister as a combination bridesmaid’s thank you and birthday present (assuming I complete it by Dec 26!) And I’m not that confident in my ability to make a maternity skirt anyway. I just want to walk into a store and pull what I want off a rack.

I thought the selection of ultra-feminine/ non-slutty clothes was slim before I got pregnant! I guess long skirts are just not in. Or maybe most pregnant women just want to wear pants. I guess I’ll soon be resorting to dressy pants just because I have no choice. Urgh.

Join the discussion

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • Shame on the father-unit for suggesting that someone might not be able to make out the baby. S/he’s there in all the baby-glory possible! I’m glad you’re feeling a little better, though look forward to hearing that you’re ALL better. Imagine the Holy Child in likewise pose, awaiting the Nativity. What a marvel, unborn life!

  • He/she is beautiful!  Isn’t modern technology wonderful?  I’m glad you’re feeling better.  Although colds are awful when you’re pregnant…

  • Dearest Melanie,

    Woot! Yay! A Two-legged jig. (instead of a one-legged when I first heard—had a broken ankle).

    Sooo cute and precious. I am so happy for you.

    Love and Prayers,

    friend of Lamma-girl

    PS. I should be “home” for Epiphany. I hope you and Dom will be there. Glad to hear you’re feeling better.

  • To be fair to Dom, my sister’s response when she first opened up the email was: Ok, so what am I looking at here? Once I’d pointed out that it was mostly a head shot, with the face looking up, she quickly saw it. But she did ask the question.

    Personally, I think this is the most beautiful baby picture I’ve ever seen… at least until I get to see my dear one face to face and we get those pics. But I’ll be the first to admit that I might be a wee bit biased. smile

    My experience of advent is definitely shaded very differently this year as I await the birth of my own child. Indeed what joy!