Sunday, March 18, 2007

Maternity Wear


One of my favorite nieces, as well as a number of friends of mine, is/are currently pregnant. One of these happy women is my office mate, Jessica. Today we got to talking about maternity wear. This is the second child for Jessica, and so last night she got out her box of maternity clothes -- and realized that her pregnancies are unsynchronized. When you live in Alaska, it is no help to have clothes from last time, if you were in different stages during different seasons. Jessica hasn't a single thing that will do this time -- this baby is due in August and Celia was born in October. So all of the seasonal clothes are just a little too small for this pregnancy.

Which got me to thinking about maternity wear. About my mother, who was broke during her first three pregnancies and so wore my father's pants with a piece of clothes line tying them shut under his shirts.

When I was pregnant with Richard I wore my regular clothes, because I have a wide pelvic girdle, and Richard was a small baby who was born a little early and I never needed maternity wear. With Julie, although she was smaller and born earlier, I did gain enough. Since I had long red braids at the time, I made myself outfits modeled on Raggedy Ann. This gave me clothes that I wouldn't grow out of and satisfied my sense of whimsy. And, years later, when an adult Julie and I went to a Halloween party from different cities, and I came as a little girl and she came as Raggedy Ann, there was a feeling of rightness about it.

In the days of Scarlett O'Hara, women "in the family way" didn't go out in public once they were big enough to show. In my mother's and my days, we did but we covered the belly with a tent so that, although you could see that we went out, you didn't see where we went back in. Today's maternity clothes are amazing to me, in a wondrous way. Not only are some of them tight around the middle, showing off that pregnancy nicely, but some have bare bellies. Pregnancy, they declare, is a thing to be proud of! And, indeed it is.

7 comments:

Never That Easy said...

It's pretty cool how you can see so much of society's changes in what people are wearing. I love that the 'baby bump' has become something women are proud to show off.

Joy Des Jardins said...

I don't mind the changes in maternity wear today...I rather like the open and unfettered feel to it....so different from the days when I was pregnant. However...on occasion...I have seen someone who has gone just a little too far.

Rain said...

I think today's maternity clothes are neat also. I made almost all of mine in those days and it was kind of fun putting together the colors. It was equally fun though to go into maternity shops when my daughter was pregnant and buy her a lot of fun outfits. My favorite was one that looked like farmer's overalls but in shorts. Talk about comfortable

mary lou said...

my first baby, I was broke, and we didnt have any money for anything extra. so I wore one of his shirts over my beyy and a pair of my cut-off jeans unzipped with a chain of safety pins holding them up.

I envy the women who show off what they are doing. It looks so freeing.

Tabor said...

I must admit that I was shocked over a year ago when I went to the elementary school to vote and this VERY VERY pregnant woman came out in a halter top and shorts. But she certainly has her right to flaunt it. My daughter also is due in August and her first was April She works in an office where appropriate dress is de rigeur if you want to be taken seriously. So wardrobe can be a bit expensive.

kenju said...

I wondered about it back in the 60's and 70's when I was pregnant. I hated the 2 piece dresses that hid your belly like you were pretending you weren't pregnant at all. I applaud the women who wear form-fitting dresses now. I don't mind the belly peeping out, but I really don't care for the ones who show the whole belly, especially if there are stretch marks or lots of blue veins....LOL

Shoppingsmart said...

I tried to buy clothes that I could use after the baby was born. For winter I can recommend a classic duffel coat. It lasted me through the 6th month, and I'm still wearing it! A poncho is also great.