You are what you wear… or are you?

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 mean what pregnant woman wants to balance on one leg in high heels-- and be happy about it?!

I mean what pregnant woman wants to balance on one leg in high heels– and look so damn happy about it?!

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.



  1. thebarrenlibrarian · March 12, 2015

    Wrap dresses are awesome for the bump. Also, that library makes the rest of us look bad and I hate her on your behalf. Have you checked Thredup? I’ve gotten some really cute and cheap stuff from there.

  2. thebarrenlibrarian · March 12, 2015

    that librarian*

    • thecommonostrich · March 12, 2015

      Yeah, she definitely wasn’t my favorite. It was at a catholic school that seemed to specialize in emotionally scarring its pupils.

      I’ll definitely look at ThedUp! Thanks for the rec,

      • thebarrenlibrarian · March 12, 2015

        It’s addicting as long as you’re okay with secondhand!

  3. lovingthemarriedlife · March 13, 2015

    I am the youngest of 5 I learned to rock the vintage hand me downs as well 🙂 I still have shirts my mom wore as a teen in the 60’s lol I didn’t think about it when I was young…got teased alot in middle school… owned that shit by high school… just today my friend was telling me that I looked like a hippie country girl lol not sure how that combo works but I was comfy 🙂

    • thecommonostrich · March 16, 2015

      See… this is kind of my point. You owned that shit. You learned to have fun with it. You look like a hippie country girl, because you’ve had to explore variety. This, in it’s own way, helps inform who you are. (I could get into this whole thing about what we wear IS actually important as a form of self expression. But that is a longer, loftier post.)

      I’m just butting up against the fact that there is little (affordable) variety or creativity in maternity wear. In a strange way, this flattening of my wardrobe is making me redefine that aspect of myself.

      • lovingthemarriedlife · March 17, 2015

        I’ve got a box full of handme down maternity clothes so I have a feeling that will be the same as it has always been… I like to revamp a lot of the clothes I get I got a sewing machine from a thrift shop when I was like 13 and since then have made too many outfits to count and now have a badass sewing machine so I figure I will just make my own maternity clothes Just need elastic and the right material… have you tried buying guys tshirts and then lining the sides with elastic it would pull in the sides to be fitting with more styles to choose from

  4. lucy50 · March 14, 2015

    You can still thrift shop while pregnant. I actually found some nice stuff at a Goodwill. Most women only wear their maternity clothes a few months, so they have all these nice clothes they often just donate. I’ve also found that many kid consignment places have a maternity section. Again, have found some nice stuff (pea in the pod dresses) for $20 where I’d pay more than $100 retail. Motherhood Maternity overall was expensive and the clothes don’t last. The maternity section at the Target near me sort of sucked. Buy Buy Baby has a maternity section inside. I think it’s Destination Maternity? Their stuff is ok. Overall, I found the cute stuff is the more expensive stuff but that people try to resell it or donate it later.

    • thecommonostrich · March 16, 2015

      You know… I hadn’t actually thought to go to Goodwill. There aren’t a lot of great ones in my area, thanks to a high concentration of college students and hipsters in my city. But then again… they likely aren’t looking for maternity wear.

      What I’m also starting to realize is that my non-pregnant clothes were not very pregnant friendly. I wore things that were form fitting and tailored. Alas, this isn’t always a winning strategy. Even though I’m not big, my tight sweaters and pencil skirts are not having it.

      Honestly, I have spent years building a style I really loved. And now… Meh.

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