Saturday, May 03, 2008

Maternity woes

Or maternity clothes. Take your pick.

This is my first summer pregnancy. Did I mention we're going to a destination wedding in July? To an island where black Chicos pants would broil me alive.

So how am I going to outfit myself for the in-laws (who, by the way, have never seen me pregnant) without:

A. blowing all my money

-or-

B. looking like a beached whale. In polyester.

Stay tuned, 'cause I'm going to let y'all be the judge.

44 comments:

mama k said...

separates? a nice top and a simple skirt? If you can sew you can easily convert a thrifted skirt into maternity by putting on a stretchy tshirt waistband. (There are directions on craftster)

Anonymous said...

Meredith, if you don't feel like you look pretty and dressed as nicely as the other guests, you will just wind up feeling self conscience and won't enjoy the wedding. If you are lucky enough to find a "Pea in a Pod" or some other good maternity dress secondhand that would be great; otherwise,I think you should use the money you are saving by having only one car right now and go for it. I think your husband would be happy for you to spend more for a dress than you normally do so that you will look spectacular. I think it is especially important to look your most stylish since you are pregnant. You might find a deal on eBay. Here's hoping you find the perfect dress and feel beautiful!

HopiQ said...

My brother got married when I was eight months pregnant. I borrowed a beautiful maternity dress from a friend. I did feel fabulous! Most of my maternity clothes were thrifted or given to me by friends. I know the Lord is going to provide something special for you!

Donna said...

I would suggest that you not outfit yourself for your inlaws, but instead find something that makes YOU feel special and beautiful. The perceptions of others are simply that, perceptions. If they judge you for how you look when you're carrying their son's child, then may God bless them.

And by the way, I have never seen you in any photograph on this blog looking anything but lovely, and it truly pains me to think that you think of yourself as frumpy.

Becky said...

I've done reasonably well with clearance at JC Penny's. They tend to always have quite a selection marked down and they also have a catalogue. It's not as cheap as thrift but it's still not too bad.

You might also be able to pull off a forgiving sundress in July. JoAnne's has been having "by the inch" fabric for sale that has the gathered elastic top already and then you just sew a straight seam. That coupled with a pretty shawl might see you through the wedding.

I keep being tempted by it but it just won't work for breastfeeding.

Anonymous said...

I was thinking of something in linen. It breathes and I have seen some linen outfits that were dressy enough for a wedding. Maybe with a cute necklace, bag and strappy sandals with a low, comfortable heel? Or skip the necklace and wear your hair up (cooler) and statement earrings?

Ruth

Kacie said...

Well I have no idea! I'm sure you'll find something lovely though. Do you have any friends that could lend you an item?

Meredith said...

I've gathered a few options, but I just can't decide.

Tomorrow after church I'm going to take a few photos.

I am reasonably confident in other areas of style, but hopeless when it comes to clothes.

Just want to look nice the one time of the year we'll be seeing all the in-laws...

...and don't want to spend a fortune for a one-time wear.

Karen said...

Motherhood has a lot of clothing at fairly reasonable prices. I think you could find an inexpensive dress or separates there. They have some nice sundresses, it depends on what kind of "destination" the wedding is at. Go take a look, but be warned -- don't buy anything unless you're sure about it -- they don't make returns, only exchanges. I've found work outfits for $55 that I like very much, and I can resell them later if I want to.

Good luck!

anita said...

I'd go with a pretty cotton or linen sundress. then you can pair it with a sweater and use it again afterwards.

Marci said...

Do you have Kohl's in your area? I noticed they had some nice looking maternity clothes recently. I personally think spending a bit on maternity clothes is money well spent because it helps my self esteem tremendously.(And I am a real deal chaser so this says a lot!) A sleeveless linen type dress with formal sandals. I personally feel linen type material and the flowing line of a dress is more flattering than skirts. My humble opinion,though,I have been pregnant while living in Costa Rica:) Best wishes!

momof2girls said...

Take a look at the clearance racks at Target. I was there last week and they had maternity separates that were cute, especially a black and white skirt that looked cool and comfy. I haven't had a need for maternity clothes for eleven years-maternity styles have come a long way since then (for the better!). Do you have someone you could borrow from? I was blessed that I worked with someone whose wife was gracious enough to loan me several maternity outfits.

Heather said...

I can't wait to see the pictures of your options! I was noticing two hugely pregnant teens at Goodwill the other day laughing it up in the maternity section - ridiculing the perfectly lovely modest dresses and chic skirts that were their 'options' now that they were expecting. Both girls looked like they had been poured into their long thin white t-shirts and bulging black bras, and I have very little doubt that if I looked long enough I would have seen the babies kicking!
I really wanted to tell them that the dresses that they were mocking may not be to their taste, but they were a far cry from the maternity options 10 years ago, but I decided the less said the better. For once!

I am sure you will find something comfortable that makes you feel fresh and lovely - and pack some nice peppermint foot lotion to keep your tootsies cool too!

Amelia said...

There was a group of gals in my small group at church who shared maternity clothes over the years. We chuckled over the shirts and dresses we had all worn at some point in time, but it was such a blessing for all of us. We had all the bases covered - from swimsuits to sweaters to dresses for weddings. If you know ladies you might be able to borrow from it's a great option.

Anonymous said...

OK, my comment kind of echos some of those above. But first, I've got to ask you an honest question. What are your in-law's ideas about your lifestyle in general? Are they supportive of the whole thrift thing, or are they people who generally spend a lot of money and have lots of nice things? Honestly, if it were me, and this is just my opinion, if they are people who sort of look down on thrift, etc, (even if they would never say so to your face), I would make it my mission in life over these next few weeks to have some fabulous, fabulous clothes that you can wear, and here's why. (And maybe they are very thrifty people, so just ignore all of this if they are!). I think it's sort of important to validate who you are, and to validate your overall lifestyle by looking absolutely fabulous at this once in a lifetime event. You will feel much, much more at ease and more confident if you look the part. Remember the weekend that you had the overnight guests that were your husband's friends, and how uncomfortable you felt around them, because of the way they looked down their nose at your thriftiness? And remember how hurt you were to find that the Christmas gifts you had saved so carefully for were carelessly discarded and not used? How your effort wasn't appreciated at all? I think that for 98% of your life, you can live a creative, smart, intelligent, and beautiful life that is frugal and thrifty, and it is a blessing to your husband and your children because of the wise use you make of your finances and resources. But then I think that there are also those other times in life where you are just simply better off spending the money and buying or doing things that maybe you normally wouldn't. When you're in a situation where people TOTALLY do not "get" thrift, and whisper behind the backs of those who are thrifty, I think it is easier on you to pay a little more so that you don't feel like a second class citizen around anyone. It disarms any potential critics and brings your stress level WAY down when you don't have to worry about how you look. And one more thought: Life is so fleeting, Meredith, and this time of being pregnant with your precious child will never come again. Celebrate it!! This is a special occasion on a lot of different levels (family visit, island, wedding, pregnancy), and deserves to be treated as such. Spend the money, enjoy the guilt and yet secret pleasure at doing so, and post some pictures of what you buy so we can enjoy it with you!!
Susan

Anonymous said...

Meredith-
I just want to clarify a point I made above. I wasn't insinuating with my comments that your in-laws whisper behind your back, but I was more thinking along the lines of how "catty" people can act at these fancy weddings in general. The amount of money spent on most weddings, etc., just simply astonishes me, and people can be very judgemental about others at these events. Hope that clears things up!
Susan

Jennifer F. said...

I cannot say enough good things about my Bella Band -- it honestly doubled my maternity wardrobe. I could wear my non-maternity clothes up to about eight months, and I actually still use it sometimes (my baby is almost nine months old now) because it provides some extra coverage for some of my shirts that are still a little small on me.

I doubt it would help with your wedding dilemma, but I just wanted to pass it on since it saved me a lot of money on maternity clothes! :)

Kelly said...

my vote is for something sleeveless, and in linen. A sleeveless linen tunic with linen slacks . A sleeveless linen dress in a neutral color. a simple woven bag , slingback shoes , and nice piece of jewelry. It is a classic understated look that you will not tire of.

Nancy lilbunny679@yahoo.com said...

Have you checke Old Navy Maternity (online only, mostly) or eBay? Pretty much all of my maternity clothing came from Old Navy - not all of it the "casual" look they're famous for. As others have said, it might be well worth it to splurge a little on this one item for a special weekend and make up for the splurge by spending less on the rest.

Rebekka said...

I think the key to not looking like a beached whale while pregnant is rather paradoxical: don't try to hide that you're pregnant. I don't mean to squeeze yourself into skin-tight clothing, but choose something tailored. Big blousy muumuus will just make anyone look bloated and whalish. (Not that I can imagine you doing anything so un-chic as dressing in a muumuu.)

gracemercyandpeace said...

oooo, an island destination wedding!

100% Linen or seersucker or gauze. Those fabrics breathe and cool because of their weave. I find linen annoying because of the wrinkling, my aunt calls them "Rich Wrinkles" but they make me feel rumpled.

Great earlier comment about tunic and loose pants if that makes your body type look long and elegant (trinnyandsusannah.com have useful pics their books).

You probably look wonderful in soft khaki, cinnamon, parchment, teal, lime ... You'll find something pleasing, and anyway,your in-laws can't help but be proud of the blessing you are to their son and their grandchildren!

deb meyers

Anonymous said...

Check around with some friends. I purchased a nice beaded maternity dress for a special event about four years ago - I think it was on clearance at Motherhood Maternity in a mall somewhere. At least once a summer a friend of mine who is in some stage of pregnancy asks if I have anything kind of fancy and I'm thrilled to let anyone borrow it. It is long (almost to ankle, black with pretty beads and flowy, yet not too loose). Of course, black may not be the best wedding choice, but maybe a friend has something you could borrow for this special day. Be proud of that big growing belly - there is a miracle in there! An though I've certainly had my beached whale moments with two August babies, I've loved it (in air-conditioned comfort, of course). Best of luck finding something you feel great in!

Anonymous said...

I am feeling your pain right now. I am in the first stages (10 weeks) of my third pregnancy. The clothes I wore with my other two are worn out after 2 uses, and I do not want to buy much, since we are buying a house right now and we are also going to pay for this baby OUT OF POCKET. And I HATE maternity clothes. I think other people look cute in them, but I cannot seem to find any I feel good in. And they cost do seem to cost a lot (I paid $40 for one pair of pants in my first pregnancy, b/c I have to buy size Long.) Anyway, I have no words of wisdom in this area, so I am just here to say I feel for you and just keep in mind that you can resell maternity clothes very easily when you are done with them.

Anonymous said...

I so agree with Susan. For once, just don't look (at least too closely!) at the price tag, and make up your mind to look fabulous. Don't forget that since you will no doubt be wear strappy sandals to an island wedding, it is imperative that you get a professional pedicure. You know everyone there will have perfect-looking feet so that is something you don't want to overlook. Start working on pampering them now. And either carry a matching bag or leave it in the hotel room. Your green purse is great for everyday but won't do for this. I think you probably have better taste in clothing than you think. You know everyone else will look chic and you deserve to fit right in. Repeat after me: "I can spend money quiltlessly for this. I can spend money quiltlessly for this." You go, Girl!

Anonymous said...

Linen dress, sandals, pedicure, shawl in case it is chilly in evening, one pretty piece of jewelry (maybe hair back with drop-dead earrings or hair down and statement bracelet). Remember there will be pictures and you want to stand out for the right reasons! Sometimes it is important to spend a little - or even lot - more than you would imagine you could to feel special for an important family event. Your husband should think you look absolutely beautiful. I would not even show him my outfit until I came out dressed and gorgeous!

Karen said...

I can't imagine you ever feeling guiltless for spending extravagantly on yourself. Not that you don't deserve a fantastic outfit--you certainly do!

I never splurge on one-day outfits; even my wedding dress was a huge markdown! But since you'll be pregnant most of the summer, I think it's wise to purchase a few items that you're sure to wear again. There's no getting around it: you NEED some summer clothing!

I look forward to hearing how the Lord will provide for this genuine need! And I know you'll look beautiful.

Adventures In Babywearing said...

Oh I am so thankful for generous Mom friends with nice maternity wardrobes. If you can find one or two that will share with you- that might help greatly! And freecycle! If you lived close I'd most certainly share!!

P.S. With this pregnancy I've found that thanks to the babydoll-look fashion trend, MANY regular dresses and tops are as roomy and giving as maternity. Clearance racks are my friends.

Steph

Stefan, Sarah and Lukka said...

There is an online discount maternity store at :http://cravingstyle.com/

BUT I find that GapMaternity has the most fashionable and comfortable clothes for maternity...and I bought ALL of mine on sale. Their regular-priced items are very expensive, but you can find items to wear in both seasons (ex: they usually have some spring stuff on sale still in spring...summer in summer...etc)! They have great skirts there that one can even wear after maternity without the massive wasteband!(shh! I'm still doing it!) :)
Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

I was on an extremely tight budget when I was pregnant, and most of my maternity clothes came from thrift stores, eBay and consignment shops. Don't forget to check children's consignment shops, most,in my area at least, carry maternity clothing. You might find a great outfit there, maybe a little higher priced than thrift stores but way less than retail. Other people have needed a great dress for an occassion, too! And consigned it after the event! If you start your search now, you'll find the right dress, and if necessary, go stright to the nearest mall and buy one you absolutely love! Get great accessories, know you are looking you best, and stand up tall with your tummy out, and be proud! Just don't let Andrew cut you hair for this event :)!!

Anonymous said...

I just looked on the Pea In A Pod website and there is a pretty black and white dress (jersey, I think) with short sleeves, v-neck, black band under bust that I think would be nice for a weddding with black patent strappy sandals. It is on sale from $195 to $79. (They have other sale clothes, too) That might be an option and you could probably get $50 back for it if you sold it on eBay later. Bottom line, an upscale dress for 30 bucks. Just my 2 cents.

Alicia said...

A lot of the children's consignment stores here have maternity sections. My sister got married a few weeks after I gave birth to my third, and Easter was when I was about 5 months. I found a floaty dress that ties in such a way as to be flattering at both times. For about $12. Just find something that makes you fell beautiful, even if you think you look huge. It's okay to be huge, but when you feel beautiful, I think it shows, and other people will think you look beautiful too.

Anonymous said...

On the Target website there are 3 pages of maternity dresses by Liz Lange. They all under $50 and you could consign it afterwards.

Anonymous said...

You do such a great job at being a responsible spender and do so many wonderful things for your family. I say splurge on a new dress -- one that you will feel comfortable in and most importantly, feel beautiful in. Good luck!

Kristina

Jane said...

Just my two cents: Buy something spectacular and resell it after! In that way you are just renting the dress!

Jane said...

Just my two cents: Buy something spectacular and resell it after! In that way you are just renting the dress!

Amy G. said...

Find something somewhere that makes you feel beautiful! Then hold on to it until next late-winter and sell it on consignment or EBay. Someone else will be feeling just exactly like you do next year and will be willing to pay what it's worth. :) No fun in going if you don't feel like one of the party. Try thrift stores, online shops, or the mall--and when you find It, just remember that it's going out the door for money next year. :)

Amy said...

As someone who has been a BRIDESMATRON in a wedding while about 6 months pregnant (and wearing a pumpkin colored taffeta, no less), I say just wear what you feel comfortable in. I do think that the tailored look is best. My bridesmatron dress was princess-seamed (A line? whatever), and I don't think everyone even knew I was pregnant, and I was NOT a little pregnant person. I'm anxiously waiting to see what you come up with! : )

Anonymous said...

Do you have a Motherhood Maternity near you? I was seven months pregnant in the summer for a relative's wedding. Let's just say that all the other women in the family were told which bridal store to buy their dresses at. The gals at Motherhood Maternity dressed me up to the nines for less than $40.
Julie

Gini (Hallquist) Young said...

Wow. I'm there. supposed to give birth actually before your wedding. And I too like to cover my arms. Maybe you could find something specifically for that like a long, light scarf that you put over your shoulders, tuck under your arms and tie in the back to make mock sleeves. If you get what I'm saying it shouldn't be too hot and (don't tie it too tight)would make you more comfortable about your arms. Plus, they did this fashion show at the bible study I attended and said this look was very in right now (not to mention inexpensive).

Funny about Money said...

How frustrating! It's hard to find decent maternity clothes even if you're willing to spend a ton of money...and for some reason, whenever you have a specific occasion to dress for, that's when you can't find a single appropriate thing for love nor money.

Do they still make jumpers? My all-time favorite maternity outfit -- which I continued to wear after the pregnancy until it just flat wore out -- was a gray jumper that went on over a blouse. It had an empire line and was extremely simple. You might be able to make one with a pattern or to get a seamstress to sew one for you. With a nice blouse and a little jewelry, you end up looking good.

To find a seamstress (as opposed to an expensive tailor), ask at dry-cleaning stores and at retail clothing stores that will do alterations.

If you decide to do that, remember that patterns may run small. Get a size larger than your real size. It's easy to cut it down, impossible to make it larger. Choose a plain fabric with no frou-frou and use the blouse to add pattern and color.

Also consider looking for ethnic clothes: Mexican, Indian, African. These are often loosely cut and cover you modestly.

Anna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anna said...

*points up* That was me. I should have read ahead!
Good luck with your search.

Abbreviated said...

Don't envy you shopping for a maternity wedding outfit.

My sister had me in her wedding 10 days AFTER giving birth. Her size 0 unmarried friends thought I was STILL pregnant.

Virginia Janet said...

Gap and Old Navy have simple cotton maternity dresses that are empire waisted so you can wear them for at least another month or two.