I have definitely written on the blog before that I love maternity clothes.  Recently, as I have struggled to fill out a cool-weather maternity wardrobe, I have realized that I should clarify this statement.  I love MY maternity clothes… but most maternity wear is horrible and offensive.  And actually, it’s downright confusing.  Maternity clothing as a whole leaves me with the following questions:

What is with the wonky sizing?  When you buy maternity clothes, all the stores will tell you to get your pre-pregnancy size.  I guess this is a good starting point, but please explain to me how I ended up getting stuff in size S and XL at the same store??  My body has changed in so many weird, unexpected ways that every article of clothing I try on is like a shot in the dark.  I feel like all maternity clothes should just be labeled XL and get a stretchiness rating.

What is with these extreme cuts?  Where – where, I ask – are the women who are shopping for a “pixie pant,” a “toothpick jean,” or an “ultra skinny khaki” while pregnant??  And on the other hand, some of these “flowy” and “peasant” dresses I’ve tried on are more like burlap sacks with a head hole.  I don’t personally know many pregnant people who want to wear these perplexing cuts, and it frustrates me that I’m wading through seas of this stuff while trying to find basic black work pants or a modest top.  Sometimes it seems like it’s only acceptable for pregnant women to either show every curve of their bodies or hide under a tent.

Me at about 23 weeks in my summer uniform of all cotton workout gear! (photo credit: E Gonzalez)

Me at about 23 weeks in my summer uniform of all cotton workout gear! (photo credit: E Gonzalez)

What is with these stuffy fabrics?  Now that I’m back at work after a summer of strappy sundresses and workout gear (all hail maternity leggings), I am really struggling with the lack of natural fibers I’m finding in maternity stores.  The material actually makes me a little nostalgic – reminds me of those parachutes from gym class and those awesome flame-retardant Halloween costumes (minus the creepy mask).  Though maybe I should thank them for making me sweat enough on a daily basis to help me keep my weight down?  And another thing – why do “dry clean only” maternity clothes exist?  And why are there maternity clothes that you would have to iron??  (Really, why do any clothes exist that require ironing?  I will never understand.)

What is with these hideous colors/patterns?  Who is the moron who decided that horizontal stripes should be the main uniform of pregnancy?  And is he friends with the other dude who decided that all other maternity clothes should be the brightest and ugliest patterns ever designed?  Are the stripes supposed to represent the figurative prison that we pregnant women are trapped in?  Are the ridiculous patterns intended to be just a really easy way to spot us?  (Because I thought the big belly was a dead giveaway.)  My whole wardrobe is navy and black just because I would rather not look like a sailor/beach ball/1970’s couch cushion.

37 weeks pregnant with my first - and in *GASP* stripes!! (photo credit: E Gonzalez)

37 weeks pregnant with my first – and in *GASP* stripes! (photo credit: E Gonzalez)

What is with my pre-maternity underthings?  This one is a little switch-a-roo.  Pregnant women are hiding a big secret, which is that our undergarments are FANTASTIC.  Why would I ever go back to underwire after experiencing the pure bliss that is my Bravado nursing bra?  And as for underwear (yes you SHOULD try maternity underwear if you haven’t), I took the following quote right off a store website: “They are cut to fit both the front and backside appropriately, and feature stretchy fabric and soft elastic.”  Yup, sounds like the underwear I’ve been searching for my entire life.

In short, my three main hobbies during pregnancy are sweating, crying, and shopping for maternity clothes.  It is a never-ending struggle.  Yes, there is really cute, wearable stuff out there, but it can be like finding a needle in a haystack – and it’s not cheap!  Maybe it’s a big conspiracy to get us all to exercise more (imagine how many times you have to bend over to try on 234987 pairs of awful maternity pants).  Surely a major reason I’m not up 50 pounds yet.