Wednesday, November 26, 2008

maternity denim--or how to drive yourself crazy

i've been feeling really frustrated with my bella band denim solution. even with my jeans completely unzipped, i'm incredibly uncomfortable. i thought i could make it through these 40 weeks without spending money on maternity denim, but i can't take it anymore.

here's a tutorial for DIY maternity jeans if you're handy with a sewing machine. a stretchy pair of regular jeans will probably work best since you need to shimmy and tug to get them on over your hips.

since i don't even own a sewing machine, i decided to try my low-budget options first. i went to gap maternity and tried on these roll panel straight-leg jeans and was shocked to find myself looking 10 years older. i blame it on the roomy seat and thighs. i also tried on jeans at motherhood maternity, which carries full-panel denim for only $40, but they made me look even worse.

so this morning i went downtown to a pea in the pod, which carries designer maternity denim ($180-230). i tried on 7 for all mankind's straight leg jeans and was in heaven (well, my standards have been lowered somewhat, since i really hate fading and whiskering). not only is the full panel really comfortable, but i looked *almost* like my regular self.

so, now what? i guess i'll keep an eye out for ebay listings in my size, and maybe there will be a few online post-thanksgiving sales. but spending $200 for a pair of jeans i'm only going to wear for three months? sigh.

a few thoughts on maternity wardrobe shopping:
* don't go overboard and buy too much during the first 20 weeks. who knows how much weight you're going to gain, and where it's going to be distributed.
* retailers recommend that you buy maternity denim in 1-3 sizes larger than you normally wear, but this all depends on weight gain. i still fit into my regular size, but i would have been really annoyed with myself if i had purchased either my usual size or 2 sizes up earlier on and then discovered that it no longer fits. the bella band works fine until the moment when it doesn't.
* don't compromise on style or give in too quickly, but know that comfort will ultimately drive your purchases. even though i'm really frustrated and uncomfortable right now, i refuse to pay full price. if this means wearing dresses and skirts for a few weeks until i figure it out, i'm sure i'll survive.
* as mark bittman, the minimalist, says, "When you need it you’ll know you’ll need it."


Lucy said...

I am totally in the same thought as you re maternity denim. I didn't buy any for my first pregnancy, so I'm certainly not about to buy any for this one with less than 3 months to go. Today I bought a Velvet (Graham and Spencer) long (best described as a) Henley top. Almost reaches my knees - in a size L! I've been a small all my life, but for some reason Velvet tops are very narrow in the shoulder so look quite normal except for a bit more room in the body. And not clothing, per se, but a pair of Bensimon tennis slip ons. I love Converse, but I love these even more right now. Plus these have the added bonus of being pesky-lace free. I am starting to find it difficult to tie laces now...

During my first pregnancy, I thought I was so clever buying things that I could also wear after (e.g. a stretch wrap dress (not DVF unfotunately)). But I found people were actually correct when they said the last thing I'd want to wear after I'd had the baby was the clothing I wore during pregnancy.

If you have a couple of pairs of decent (and comfortable) pants in neutrals, you can really change your outfit with tops and shoes. Besides it'll all be over before you know it.

Hope the bump's doing well!

erica said...

i've heard the same thing, and this is the main reason why i've avoided buying too many things that i think i'll wear afterward.

the maternity denim is really frustrating, though, because i don't own any pants besides jeans! i thought i could manage with just dresses and skirts, but as it becomes colder, i find that i really just want to wear jeans tucked into my boots and a big overcoat. sigh.

it'll all be over soon. it'll all be over soon....

MrsEm said...

A friend of mine wore maternity leggings and inexpensive tunics & dresses (H&M) for most of her pregnancy. She rotated between a few simple outfits and only invested in a good maternity coat.

erica said...

that was my initial plan, too, but as it becomes colder and colder, i find that i really need a comfortable pair of pants. if only i were still living in CA!

margaret just reminded me that h&m carries maternity denim. i'll have to go to the shop downtown and see how they fit.

Romy Natalia said...

Avoid the crotch whiskers at all costs! Sounds like looking for maternity jeans is just as complicated and time consuming as looking for regular jeans (or a bathing suit). Maybe I will just wear refashioned jersey sheets when I get pregnant.

erica said...

nat, lucky for you it doesn't get too cold in paraguay. refashioned jersey sheets sounds just about right to me.

carina said...


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