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Sunday, August 2, 2009

Shopping for Girth

Yup, I'm pregnant. And like most women, I'm big enough during TWO seasons that I have to SHOP for two seasons. And while I can't complain re the summer wardrobe - I got a couple pairs of capri maternity pants on sale, and I've been small enough to wear 99% non-maternity shirts (just longer ones, or unbuttoned ones), I CAN and WILL however complain about the upcoming winter season. Or at least shopping for it.

I fully understand that it's EARLY in the season, and winter stuff is JUST coming out, but it's not the SELECTION I'm finding frustrating - it's how they make the clothes. And in particular, I'm going to pick on how Gap Maternity makes their clothes.

For me, Gap Maternity was going to be the motherload. It was going to be the place that had affordable pants and sweaters I could wear to work, that WEREN'T 100% polyester blend. And fine, my expectations were probably high, which probably didn't help matters, but there's not a lot of maternity clothing out there that's not either SHITE material or really REALLY expensive. So Gap Maternity I was hoping, would fill that void for me.

And while I AM totally happy with a FEW of my Gap Maternity purchases (here and here), what's disappointing to me is the inconsistency with which the clothes fit. For example, with the beige pants I bought, the entire thing just FIT me - it seemed like they were MADE for me, and will STRETCH with me as I grow, in a way that will be FLATTERING to all my parts. But where the problem came in (or at least the first problem) was with their OTHER pants.

I tried on this staple that EVERY girl needs in her wardrobe, and they were AWFUL - and not just on me, but on my other pregnant friend as well. Not only was the crotch WAY too big (seriously, dudes, it's up HERE!), but the belly-band-part didn't even actually HUG either of our bellies - it hung loose like a flacid... well... you know where I'm going with this. And we tried MULTIPLE pairs thinking we'd just gotten a flakey pair or two, but still, SAME weird problem.

Next on the list was a couple basic sweaters - one cardigan and one v-neck, and anything else fun I could find. That's all I wanted, and I didn't think that was a lot to ask for. Yet while the cardigan was super easy (thank you!), the v-neck - and all the OTHER v-necks in the store - seem to have been made for women who are 10 feet tall... something I OBVIOUSLY am not. And while yes, as a 5'4 woman I'm quite used to shirts being long on me, this was ridiculous. It wasn't just LONG like it was leaving room for me to grow, it was long like it went almost to my knees.

And unfortunately, the experience went on and on like this - this piece fit great, this piece WEIRD. And as someone who really doesn't want to buy a lot of maternity clothes, but DOES want a few new pieces that feel like my OWN (rather than all the 2nd-hand I've been getting), it's hard when a store that is usually pretty consistent in their regular lines of clothing, can't maintain the same consistency in their maternity line.

It's hard that my favorite purchase of the day was a beautiful sweater (the "Gentle Current Cardigan") from a NON maternity store - that I had to go to the regular (but more expensive) clothing stores to get me stuff that actually FIT, to get me stuff that hangs over my belly in a way that's flattering, and to get me stuff that's classic enough to last me not only through my pregnancy but probably long after as well.

So for Gap Maternity, I've got one thumb up, and one down - disappointingly down.


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4 chiming in:

MrsSpock said...

I agree that there are so many maternity clothes made of crap spandex-y material.

I loved the T-shirts I bought at Motherhood, and a couple pairs of jeans, but found most of what I needed by stalking Ebay. I have two huge lawn and leaf bags full of maternity clothes from Ebay for a total of $150.

Sheri said...

I am 12 years past maternity clothes, but from what I have noticed, they have gotten a lot more stylish. My problem was finding pants that were long enough.

It's frustrating trying to find things that fit, and are comfortable and flattering.

Just a couple of months to go...

Martha said...

Sorry for the crap experience w/Gap, prefer Old Navy.

annacyclopedia said...

My experience with the Gap has always been that some things fit great and some fit really badly, like they were made for a telephone post or something with no shape at all. So I'm not that surprised that you had such trouble, but if you've had better luck with them in the past, it is a bit weird.

I splurged at a great maternity place in Victoria called La Mamm.a - if you ever get over there, I totally recommend it - on some really great shirts. I only have 3 bottoms at the moment, and only one of those will be wearable come fall. For me having really great shirts makes me feel that my denim skirt from Sears clearance and my pretty blah jeans from the sale rack at Thyme are much more bearable.

It is frustrating dealing with the vast seas of cheap polyester, especially when you're looking to build a bit of a wardrobe that can carry you through some of the post-partum time as well. Like that is going to keep me warm in a SK winter!

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