Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Maternity Madness

Can someone answer this for me?

Say I was a woman of extremely ample proportions (Not that size 16 isn’t ample, but I’m talking AMPLE) and that I needed to go out and buy a shirt with which to cover my amplitude. A size 30 shirt in a high street shop costs somewhere between 12 and 15 pounds, assuming the shirt is your basic, everyday cotton top.

So why is it that the manufacturers of maternity clothes get to use the excuse, “Well, it’s obviously more fabric!” when trying to justify the unbelievably ridiculous prices (20 to 30 pounds) of their wares when your basic size 30 top is flapping around me like a military pontoon?

Our goddaughter’s christening was this last weekend, and while I hoped to save some pennies by rootling through my wardrobe to scrounge something to wear, to my dismay, all of my skirts were undone by The Bump. So, begrudgingly, I stomped off to Mothercare to find something suitable to wear inside a church.

While there are a lot of beautiful and flattering maternity clothes out there, Mothercare seems to be distinctly targeting the “frumpy, dumpy, lumpy” market, so it was a bit of a struggle, but I eventually came out with a plain, stretchy black skirt, dressy black top and, although I was trying to avoid it, I could not resist the siren song of maternity jeans, which kind of feel like wearing jeans and pajamas at the same time. All the clothes were pretty much high street quality and since I knew I had no choice in buying them, I neglected to look at the price tags.

I almost choked when the register smugly informed me that I was in possession of 70 pounds worth of merchandise.

It took me back to an argument that I’d had with one of my male friends in college when I observed that products that women NEEDED (sanitary items, thrush cures, pregnancy tests, even condoms to a certain extent) were absurdly and unfairly over priced. Being a guy who didn’t like to lose an argument, he said that we didn’t really NEED any of those things and that we could just either sit on straw or use dishrags like our grandmothers during our periods, use holistic cures for thrush, (yoghurt) wait to find out the old fashioned way if we were pregnant and abstain from sex until we were a) sure we wanted to get pregnant and b) only after every sexual partner was tested for diseases various, so the companies that made these “convenient” products should be able to charge whatever they pleased. Needless to say, he was immediately jumped on and beaten nearly to death by every woman in the room.

One could argue, I suppose, that one doesn’t actually NEED maternity clothes- that one could go on wearing normal, larger sized clothes that are not as comfortable or flattering, but who wants to spend 9 months looking like a bloated whale when you could feel better about yourself by buying a few bits of properly fitted clothing, making YOU feel better and in turn, making your BABY feel better?

At any rate, 70 pounds down the drain. Hoping to be able to survive the remaining 4 2/3rds months in what I’ve already got!


Anonymous said...

I completely and totally agree! I live in the states but things are just as expensive over here. I'm shocked most of the time at the expense of these clothes. I am normally about a size 14, so finding great fitting maternity clothes is hard enough as it is. I don't want to just buy giant, baggy clothes that make me look even more ample everywhere else than I already am. Oh well. I'm glad you were able to find a few things but hate that they cost so much. I'm an e*bay gal, which helps but it's really stupid how much money is spent just to look good while pregnant.

katty said...

I bought 2 skirts, a pair of trousers, a cardigan, a jumper, a blouse, and a long sleeved t-shirt for £110.
However, I am normally a size 12 (on top) and 14 (on the bottom) and I am already more comfortable in their large sizes. I think H & M may be designing for very skinny women.
Anyway. If you come to London, it's the Marble Arch branch.

katty said...

It's = maternity wear.

rockmama-in-waiting said...

brandy- I really SHOULD look at eBay, it just never occurs to me. I don't mind second hand clothes as long as they fit me and aren't covered in dubious stains!

katty- H&M is a patient shopper's dream. I, on the other hand, am an extremely IMPATIENT shopper. Also, since I'm a little bigger (if not for giant preggo boobs, 16 on top, 18 on bottom)I don't think I've ever been able to find anything that fit me in there! Dorothy Perkins has been my salvation, actually- cheap as chips plain shirts that I've bought big so I can grow into them. :)

SaraS-P said...

As my dad would say, "That's how they get you!"

I have been told it is best to seek out empire-waisted and flowing apparel in the regular old misses section than go for the maternity wear. Then again, I imagine that by the third trimester you have to get some maternity items.

Sounds like another way the fashion industry screws us.