Now that my OG wardrobe officially doesn’t fit, I’m on the hunt for maternity wear that doesn’t make me feel miserable.
I’ll admit there is a part of me that is mad at myself for caring about clothes. I shouldn’t be so vain. I should be more evolved. I should be perfectly content with wrapping myself in flour sacks, putting a bow on it, and call it a day.
Then I remember that I am human, and I stop being so hard on myself.
For me, clothing has been less about trends or vanity, and more about self expression. I started picking out my own clothing early– My first (and still favorite) outfit dates from kindergarten. Orange tie dye shirt, pink corduroy pants, and charcoal gray velcro shoes. I thought I was the shit… Until the librarian pointed out in front of the entire class that my clothing didn’t match and laughed at me. I distinctly remember thinking “That old lady is mean because I look amazing.” (Thank you, mom and dad, for raising one irrationally confident daughter.)
My sense of fashion hasn’t always lead to the most visually pleasing combinations, but I always found a way to make it work for me. As the last of three children with two very thrifty parents, I was on the receiving end of a lot of hand-me-downs. There was a massive black trash bag of corduroy pants that included cast offs from both my sister and brother. When I grew a little, my mom just dug into the bag and pulled out whatever fit. For this reason, I dressed like a child of the 80’s well into the 90’s. But goddamnit, I made it look fierce.
When high school came along (and the neverending cornucopia of corduroys was no more) I got an allowance and started shopping for myself. This allowance had to cover everything- gas, going out, coffee, cigarettes (unbeknownst to my parents) and my clothes. I learned many moons later that my folks set my allowance by under-budgeting what they thought I would need. This way I would learn to save, make sacrifices, and budget on my own.
Luckily for me, grunge and vintage were in so I became the Queen of the Thrift Shop. I still have a pair of brown suede cowboy boots that I bought in high school for $5. I also pillaged my mom’s closet on the regular, which is how I became the owner of an original Von Furstenberg wrap dress.
I’m not sure why, but maternity fashion doesn’t seem to allow for the same level of creativity. Like with so many things pregnancy-related, I get this feeling that we’re supposed to be entirely different people than we were before we got pregnant. Ladies, we are all now vessels for HUMAN LIFE so who we are no longer matters.
It doesn’t help that so many maternity models are clearly not pregnant. In some cases, I can even see the preggo suit that they are making these impossibly tiny women wear. The poses are the same as “regular” fashion models, including positions that no pregnant woman in her right mind would ever contort herself into.
It’s a strange feeling, to be honest. At a time when my body is feeling less and less like my own, it is becoming harder for me to express who I am. I spend waaaay more time getting dressed than I did before, in part because what fit me yesterday often doesn’t today.
In the meantime, I can still rock that DVF wrap dress– bump and all.