Maternity wear used to be huge, tent-like structure embellished with an abundance of ribbons, bows and cute prints (e.g. teddy bears). If they were not in floral or cute-sy prints, they would be in some other kind of gawdy prints. It was as if the fashion evolution process completely bypassed the maternity wear department and we were still stuck with things that our mothers wore. In their days, one should be embarrassed to go around announcing one’s pregnancy. People were supposed to gradually realise the fact. I do not understand why. Maybe pregnancy was considered embarrassing news because it basically implied that one recently had sex and sex was not polite conversation topic? Anyway, in line with this social taboo, it was considered modest to wear big, baggy wear to “conceal” the growing bump. Tight fitting wear was considered unsightly. Pants were not favoured, black colour was taboo, and to walk around with the bump uncovered to any extent is equivalent to walking around topless.
I loathe those maternity wear as they are unfashionable and unflattering to one’s appearance.
A number of years back, maternity wear fashion started to experience some kind of a renaissance awakening, and we started seeing more fashionable items in the market. The social taboo of our mothers’ days died out as the younger generation became bolder and less apologetic about their pregnancy status. As a result, we started seeing more maternity pants, separates, tighter outfit, fashionable cuts, better prints, better fabrics, better colours (black is allowed!) and even some peek-a-boo designs.
I was happy to splurge on the newer, fashionable maternity wear. They made one ‘pregnant and glowing’ instead of ‘pregnant and dowdy’. I was even bold enough to wear peek-a-boo design, which did invite quite a bit of stares from the older folks.
With my latest pregnancy, because my bump was growing too big, and because I needed to add on to my maternity wardrobe, I went shopping again. That was when I came to dislike the current maternity wear trend and even started to appreciate the tent-like items a little.
Wherever I went, the sales pitch was this ” You can even wear them after you give birth”. That seemed to be the mantra of the maternity wear fashion. The teenage salesgirls proudly announced that even they bought and wore what they sold even though they were not expecting. Hmmm….
Sounds good? After all, most people are cost conscious. A lot of people tend to go for the cheaper maternity clothes because they think that it is not worth spending too much money on something that they will only wear for 9 months. Now, you have something that can even be worn after the baby is born. That makes it more worthwhile to pay a bit more, right?
Well, I had the most frustrating experience with such maternity clothes.
Because they have to be good after the pregnancy, these clothes tend to be slim-cut. So what you end up with is something that is neither good for maternity, nor for post-partum. Let me explain.
By 5 months, I already couldn’t fit into most of these slim cut maternity wear. When I was near full term, most of these clothes became peek-a-boo design because there just wasn’t enough fabric to cover my huge bump.
I should explain here that I tend to have huge bumps that protrude sharply. The typical bump shape that old folks will guess it’s a boy. I didn’t put on a lot of weight on other parts of my body and most of my weight gain tend to concentrate on my bum and thighs (maybe because they need to support such a huge bump). So if I were to get a bigger size, it will fit my bump but be loose everywhere else. See pic above.
The situation was so bad that by the final weeks of my pregnancy, I literally had to ration my maternity wear. By this I mean I had to conscientiously set aside that pathetic one or two outfits that still fitted me for the times that I was going out of the house, e.g. for my check up. Other than absolutely necessary, I stayed at home because I didn’t have anything decent to wear out and whatever still fitted were reserved for check ups and other unavoidable outings. At home, I wore my husband’s tee-shirts. For once, I thank God my husband is not skinny.
Right after I gave birth, there were several occasions I had to go out. Naturally, I couldn’t fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes yet. So I tried those ‘can wear after giving birth’ maternity clothes I bought. To my dismay they didn’t fit well either! In fact, they made me look terrible. There are clothes that make you look pudgy and clothes that make you look like you are pregnant. I looked like I was still 5 months pregnant in those maternity clothes. Nothing accentuates your bulge more than these slim cut maternity clothes. The whole look was just wrong.
So I concluded that the current maternity wear trend is really good for nothing. They are useless for maternity (unless you are like Junita Simon who looked like 3 months pregnant when she was near full term) and useless for post-partum.
If you are pregnant and shopping for maternity clothes now, bear in mind that your bump will be bigger near full term. The growth tend to accelerates after your 6th month. If you want the clothes to fit right up to full term, go for those with a little more fabric. And don’t get sold on the sales pitch ” you can even wear them after you give birth”. Sometimes, things are are made to serve too many (conflicting) purposes end up being good for nothing.