Clothing Success? Could It Be?

Fine, I know I said I was going to stop talking about clothes, but maybe I’ll break the code of silence long enough to talk about some tiny butch maternity wear triumphs.  Yes!  Triumphs!  No – not about shirts.  The shirts still suck, but I will address two successful clothes purchases: 1) undershirts (which are different than shirts), and2) pants and shorts.

OK, I wear a shirt under most every shirt I wear.  Sometimes, in the cold-weather months, this includes an absurd amount of shirts tallied-up at the end of the day.  It reminds me a little of that Friends episode: “Could I be wearing anymore clothes?”  For instance, it starts with a bra (duh), then an undershirt (usually white and cotton), then a button-up shirt (white? striped? checkered?), then a sweater (or sweater vest) to top it all off.  In the warm-weather months, this will include an undershirt, then a polo shirt on top.  I’ve even been known to wear an undershirt under a t-shirt.  Sue me.  Now, given that pregnant ladies are apparently allergic to collared shirts, my normal undershirts are needing of replacement by something that will ultimately be visible (as opposed to undershirts, which hide under everything), due to the plague-of-the-large-necks I’m forced to wear.

Success has come in a bittersweet reward of finding some undershirts at Target which are fitting the bill perfectly.  It’s sweet, because they are completely awesome.  It’s bitter because it was the only pack in stock (two shirts per pack), and they are completely elusive in the online shopping world.  The awesomeness comes in the form of a muscle shirt – so it’s sleeveless, which is great for the form-fittingness of ladies’ shirts (especially in the upper arm area), yet it has a tight neck, which makes me feel less NAKED when I’m wearing a non-collared shirt.  It also is cut very long, so it stays tucked in with no problems.  They’re made by a company that makes men’s underwear called 2(x)ist, and the ones I’ve purchased are comparable to these, these, and these.  The “collection” available at Target is called “Evolve,” and if I find that they’re not back in stock soon, I may very well buy one of the other collection’s version and test it out.  Other “muscle shirts” may work, but I find they’re built thicker and bulkier, for times like going to the gym or gay pride parades.  It’s not that easy to find an undershirt that is a muscle shirt – most undershirts are v-neck, tank top, or just regular shirts.  So, score!

Like I said to the nice lady at the Motherhood Maternity – “Listen, I’m plus sized (size 22, when I’m not pregnant), have short legs and a low waist, and am pregnant.  Please, no capris.  Absolutely no dresses or skirts.  Also, nothing black – since I only have brown hiking shoes to wear with anything.  What else is left?”  Who knew that my little-store-that-could actually had reasonable options?  The maternity plus-sized area is located in the back of the store, tucked in a tiny alcove.  Nothing plus-sized is ever on sale, and I’m not really a buy-online-then-return sort of shopper, so I understood that my bank account was going to take a hit.  Also, as I was just looking online for the links to the things I bought, some are actually not even listed in the plus-sized area of their website.  So bonus points for sulking into the store.

Although I’m still wearing non-maternity pants here at 23 weeks (I told you, I have a low waist), it really is only a matter of time before one day I wake up and nothing fits.  I also know, being large and in-charge, that buying (often full price) at the beginning of the season is the best way to make sure the things I like, and in my size are in-stock.

So… pants!  I usually balk at capris, but I will concede if they are “convertible” capris – meaning, they don’t HAVE to be capris.    They can be actual pants, with a roll-up capri option – you know, for when your ankles get SO SO HOT.  Here’s where these make their case to come home with me, in brown and in “stone.”  They’re lightweight, so they will be nice once the sweltering weather of The South comes to visit.  The stone color is a little see-throughy for me, but will mean that I’ll have to buy a pair of plain white boxers underneath, instead of the dark green skull & crossbones.  Sigh.  Fine.  There was another khaki pair that was reasonable, but their version of khaki is what I like to call “flesh-colored.”  And really, if I’m going to wear skin-colored pants, I just won’t wear pants, deal?  It’s much cheaper that way.

And… shorts!  Now, I didn’t go in thinking about buying shorts.  Mostly, because who can wear shorts to work?  Other than gym teachers?  And really – work clothes are my real motivation here.  But I’ve soon realized that some friends and family are traveling from far and wide to witness the pregnant me.  While this is flattering, it’s also a little strange to know people are making a three-hour drive (to and from) just to see me in a maternity shirt.  Oh sure, they probably want to chit-chat as well, but mostly it is because I refuse to change my Facebook profile picture to something more pregnant-looking.  Since the warmer weather will be here soon (oh sure, there’s a chance of snow tonight, but that only means we’ll be in the lower 80’s in two weeks), I determined the need for some (one pair) of shorts to get me through until June.  Who was the lucky winner?  This guy here.  Who knew “Bermuda shorts” was a keyword for MAN SHORTS. OK OK – imagine her without HEELS ON.  Yes, they are not what I would normally buy, but they’re actually not hideous.  Throw in some “hardware detail” and those are pregnant man-shorts, my friends.

So four million dollars later and with the app blowing a fuse, I have some lower-half options in my life.  Granted, I haven’t worn any to work yet (remember that chance of snow?), but I feel pretty good about my choices.  And yeah, I know I could buy some clothes used from a variety of sources, and I’m not too far against that when it comes to shirts, but I really feel strongly about not sharing crotch-space with other people.  So there you go – it’s not all hopelessness yet, folks.

Posted on February 24, 2010, in clothing, everyday. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Congrats on getting some decent maternity clothes! I really think we need to see some pictures of you rocking them.

  2. Well heres a doozy for you, I am looking for a maternity formal suit. My partner and I are getting married, she will be about 6 months pregnant, and she has NO interest in wearing a dress. I am going to be wearing a big flouncy ball gown so she needs to be looking pretty formal. Where on earth do we find a suit tailored to a pregnant belly? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Oh and we are on a bit of a budget so hundreds of dollars on a nice tailor made outfit is not really an option.

    • At 6 months, she could be showing a whole little or a whole lot! (Me, personally, I looked like I had just eaten one Twinkie too many at 6 months.)

      I would suggest a few things… mostly, I would wait until maybe a month before to buy. If you aren’t too anxious, you’d then have a better idea of where she’s showing, how she’s carrying, etc. It could be that, at 6 months, she could wear a regular suit with a belly band.

      Another idea is to shop for suit pieces, and not a whole suit (this might also be cheaper?), since she might be able to wear a non maternity jacket, but maternity pants.

      I’d also shop online (and save receipts) – I don’t think Motherhood Maternity or Old Navy will save you this time, so you might have to check out (check out the work clothes area) or online catalogs of department stores. To narrow things down, search for “business suit” and “blazers.”

      If you’re on a super tight budget, and if you’re not squicked out by pre-worn clothes, there’s always local consignment shops, too (we have a baby consignment shop that has a lot of maternity clothes), where she might be able to piece together a nice suit. There’s even Craigslist or ebay, if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, but no return policy on those sorts of things.

      There’s a ton of lawyers and well-dressed pregnant people out there in the world – they have to get dressed in the morning somehow!

      Good luck!!!

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