I really like clothes. Whilst I’ve never been one to keep up with the latest trends, I do like to have nice things. I work from home, so I normally spend Monday to Friday in the most revolting clothes you have ever seen (worn out leggings, paint-covered tracksuit bottoms, you get the idea). Come the weekend though, I like to make a little bit of an effort (you know, shower, wash my hair with actual liquid shampoo rather than the stuff that comes out of can…) but since I’ve been pregnant, this has felt impossible.
Let’s get straight to the point, maternity clothing is FUGLY.
Not only is it fugly, it’s also ridiculously expensive.
We have no choice but to spend an absolute fortune on frumpy clothes that we would not normally be seen dead in. The alternative is to walk around naked, which I feel would be frowned upon.
It was a shopping trip last weekend that provoked this rant. Up until then I had managed to get by with one pair of overpriced jeans, attractive over bump leggings and long vest tops. Now the weather has started to turn though, this was just not going to cut it.
The first issue is a complete lack of availability, especially on the high street. I live in a pretty major city, yet there are only a couple of shops here that stock maternity clothing in store. We have New Look, H&M and Mothercare. Each store has two rails maximum of maternity clothing. The majority of the clothing in Mothercare is not only disgusting but also horrendously overpriced. £48 for a long sleeve t-shirt that would cost no more than £8 in Primark for example. H&M and New Look do offer more fashionable clothing, but are only marginably better pricewise. I came across a basic knitted dress in my local New Look, £17.99 for the maternity, £10 in a regular fitting. Totally fair!
There is much more choice online. Asos, Asda, Next, Tesco and Matalan all do a maternity range. Even Boohoo has recently introduced maternity clothing to their website. Then comes the age-old problem of sizing though. There seems to be no standard way of sizing maternity clothing. With some stores, you buy your normal size and they’re designed to fit over and around your bump, whilst with other stores you need to buy much bigger sizes to account for your growing tummy. I recently purchased two pairs of jeans from Asda, one normal denim, the other black. One pair fit me perfectly, the other were a couple of sizes too small. These were the exactly the same in everything but colour, same price, same store. I’ve had the same problem with Asos too. This means having to order everything you want in a few sizes to be sure of getting something that fits, and then having to waddle off to the Post Office to return the unwanted items. Not really what you want to be doing when heavily pregnant.
We desperately need more options as pregnant women. We need more high street stores to start offering a maternity line in store. This would create some competition and hopefully bring prices down. We need clothes designers to see past boring stripes and start creating clothes that make us feel nice. Pregnancy can make even the cheeriest of ladies feel pretty crap, what with the backpain, the heartburn, the sleepless nights. Nice clothes that don’t break the bank would make a massive difference to how we feel.
We shouldn’t be penalised for been pregnant, we’re helping to populate the world for goodness sake!