Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Trippy Shopping Trip

Went shopping for maternity clothes last Sunday. OMG!! What a trip!

Friday I had lunch with my BFF and her delicious 8 month old boy (via donor egg). She brought me 2 shopping bags full of maternity clothes. She’s going to have to take most of it back. Of the 2 shopping bags full of clothes, about 5 things work for me. My friend did not take into consideration how differently we’re built. My chest is about 3 times as big as hers. The under the bust seams on the maternity tops and dresses only come down about as far as my nipples. So sad. Some of it is beautiful stuff, but no go.

So Sunday I pushed myself out of my apartment and went to Destination Maternity. Just one more thing to make this all feel more real! Geez, this stuff is expensive (and I only got sale items)! Hate spending so much for things I’ll only wear for a few months, but I’ve been so uncomfortable in my regular clothes. The cheap knock-off belly bands I’ve gotten on eBay have helped, but I’m tired of tugging and leaving buttons open. So, rejecting basically anything with under the boobs seaming, I found a bunch of stuff to try on.

Over the years, I have learned some things that help me make more flattering choices, but that can be limiting as well. Other than the big boob thing (on a fairly small frame, narrow shoulders, small ribcage, no back fat), I have heavy upper arms. I’ve learned that, counter to intuition, my arms look MUCH better in sleeveless tops than in short sleeves or, the worst, cap sleeves. Think about it this way, short sleeves cut across my chubby upper arms at their heaviest point, emphasizing the chub. Sleeveless gives me an unbroken line from my shoulder down. As far as sleeves, long sleeves and 3/4 sleeves are fine, but not in NYC in the Summer. Ick! I did find a couple of tops with sleeves to the elbow. That works too. This concept applies to skirts as well. If a skirt cuts across the middle of my calf (thickest part), I look heavier and, frankly, dumpy. (I’m only 5’3”.) The ideal skirt length for me is just at the bottom of my knee cap. But at least skirts can usually be shortened easily (unless there’s detailing at the hem).

OY! Sorry for going on about my clothing fit philosophy, but a girl wants to look as good as she can as her waist disappears.

So, I’m trying on things. Mostly, I can tell right away if something works. I was wavering on a skirt, not sure about the way it was hanging, when I noticed the strap on belly. The! Strap! On! Belly! Holy crap! It was labeled “7 month belly,” and even had a belly button. I put it on. Suddenly the skirt hung perfectly. I put on a top and looked in the mirror. Who was this PREGNANT woman? I stepped out of the dressing room, freaking out a bit. Another woman trying on clothes and one of the sales women looked at me indulgently. “Your first?” one of them asked. “Yes,” I squeaked.

Seriously SURREAL!

I left the store after spending too much money on 5 tops and a skirt. With the fancy shopping bag with the word MATERNITY emblazoned on it. I wondered if it would get me a seat on the subway, since my little belly isn’t doing it yet.

For some reason I had trouble sleeping that night.

BTW, if anyone has any maternity clothes they’d consider passing on (and that they think might work for my body), I’d be happy to pay postage.


Bella said... fun! Enjoy your new clothes and I hope you find some sweet sales!

Kristin said...

EBay also ROCKS for maternity clothes. Got an entire summer maternity wardrobe for $120 on eBay.

I hope you had a wonderufl time shopping.

Also, what size do you wear? Email and let me know, I may have some things that would work.

battynurse said...

Sounds like fun. I remember my cousin telling me about the strap on belly. Glad you got some stuff.

Beautiful Mess said...

Oh fun! And surreal! Enjoy your new clothes. I lucked out and got a bunch of nice stuff from a neighbor. Sadly, I can't help you since we gave them to a shelter. Good luck on your hunt!

Cassandra said...

I spotted my first strap-on belly in a store this weekend. It didn't work because my own belly already protrudes so the strap-on doesn't rest against my body properly.

Also this weekend, a good friend who gave birth to IUI twins tried to give me three bags of maternity clothes. Sizes ranged from S to XL (she started out as a size 0 !!! but got quite big with the twins). I had the same boob seam problem, and some of the L clothes were already too small on me. There was one shirt that she never grew into, and it fits me perfectly right now. Ended up with half a dozen items; some don't fit perfectly but free is free.

Two words for you: maternity consignment! An excellent way to fill out the holes in the wardrobe for WAY less than retail.

Geohde said...

I had such a massive change in bust size (A to E cup) and ass size that nothing I purchased at the beginning lasted for long. Also belly size.

It was fascinating in a vaguely horrifying kind of way :)

The boobs I would have liked to keep, but no dice!


Dora said...

Kristin, I'll email you when I get a few minutes. Work is crazy.

Cassandra, I wish there was a maternity consignment shop around. I went into a regular consignment shop in DC, and the owner said she didn't have a maternity section because she found that people passed on things to friends and family.

Single Mom Seeking said...

Oooh, I wish I had maternity clothes to send to you!

Have you tried the Swap Mama site?

Another Dreamer said...

Awww. That is so exciting :) I'm glad you had fun, even if you did spend more than you intended.

Jo said...

First time I've heard of a belly band ! (good to know).

Sounds wonderful. How fun! Glad you are basking in the moment. !

In Due Time said...

Enjoy your new clothes!

have you tried consignment stores or Target/Walmart for basics?

Fat Chick said...

SOOOO EXCITING! I'm so happy for you.

Ditto the ebay suggestion. Maybe some thrift stores? Also, even if you don't have maternity consignment stores, if you have regular consignment stores or children's/baby's consignment stores, you may be able to find clothes there.