I've decided to share my experiences with shopping for maternity clothes... If you don't want to read a rant, please skip this entry, haha.
Okay, so last Saturday I decide its time to buy a few maternity pants/jeans.. My favorite comfy pair of jeans got tight - depressing day. So! I went with David (love his heart) to the mall and we found a maternity store. This is actually the only good story I have - the cashier in that store was amazing. She greeted us, she brought me clothes to try on, she talked about her own pregnancy. She was great. Later I got her name so I could call her district manager and brag on how wonderful she was. I bought 2 pairs of pants and a sweater. Over priced, but I liked them and the experience. This isn't the way it always is and I really appreciate her all the more because of the following!
Today, Mom and I went to the same store (SAME PLACE!) and the woman there (not the girl I had the 1st time) was an absolute b*tch! She was pushy, snide, and generally mean. We walked in and looked at the clearance items at the front of the store - all in sizes XS, S, M. Mom asked where the plus sizes would be and the woman was like "in the back" and pointed. Then she started talking to her KID who was there toddling around the store. Mom got mad. I was okay at this point. Until the woman shoved a flyer in my face and told me to take it. Then, huffs: are you finding anything? Umm no, I just started looking. So she goes away. Like completely away and grabs the KID. We ended up walking out with nothing. I walked out pissed.
On to the next store. The lady mom talks to - I can't be bothered to talk to another salesperson right now, blood pressure too high - is actually nice and points us to the maternity section their store just started carrying. "There is a wonderful selection!" This wonderful selection ended up being about 4 racks of clothes and the highest size is an XL. Please. Who are they sizing these clothes for???? I looked through the meager selection available as my mom chats up this lady - telling her how far along I am, telling her about her granddaughter and soon-to-be grandson, etc. I'm listlessly running my fingers over clothes that were too small for me to think about wearing a year ago, much less now. sigh.
Next! Different mall, same maternity chain as the first story. That person was decent. The prices were as high as the first time I bought and for some reason I can't make myself pay those prices again. Mom buys me a pair of khaki pants. Thanks!!! But we start talking to a girl shopping there and her mom. The girl looks about 9 1/2 months pregnant and she's telling us how Target has the best maternity clothes available and at a better price. So, that helps me say no to mom asking if I want anything else from this store.. And can we go to Target please?
Target! They do have a maternity section - I can't understand why Wal-Mart doesn't! I mean, hello they are only the biggest store around (size and sales) and they can't put a section in for the people who are having the hardest time finding clothes for a decent price? sigh Anyway! Off to the maternity section.. that is mixed in with the plus size section... okay I get it - kinda - whatever. Look at pants, sweaters, shirts, and those strange sweater dresses that only look good on manikins and stick people (this is in the plus/maternity section remember). Oh and mixed into this was the seasonal clothing (do I really want to buy a maternity sweater with reindeer or snow-people on it?? probably not). So I pick a couple shirts to try on and a couple pants. I take the largest size they have into the dressing room and guess what... Too small. I can get shirts on, but they stick to me and I can't breath comfortably. The pants are glorified exercise pants so they would fit a hot air balloon (so stylish). Mom tries to go find a bigger size and comes up empty. I'm now depressed.
So to make a long story umm longer (haha) here are the things I'd love to point out to the people making these clothes and the people selling these clothes:
1) This is the most important so read closely: We are pregnant. We already (even if we just found out at 2 months) feel like we're fat/un-sexy/uncomfortable/hormonal/etc and frankly we don't need you to help or enhance those feelings by making clothes for 2 types of people: the 1% of pregnant women (think Cher) who stay small and cute for the entire 9 months or great-grandmother types who think huge gaudy bows are the height of cute (I don't think there is any pregnant women who fit this category). We are regular shoppers. We would really love to find the clothes we already own in that maternity section. Clothes that we wear because we love them, not because of a "condition" that lasts approx. 9 months and we'll never wear the clothes again. Please make the sizes appropriate for all women to find something that they can wear to work, out to dinner, to a movie, to a party, etc. Not just something to have to wear on the couch.
2) To you people selling these clothes: We are emotional wrecks at the best of times. I'm pregnant during the Christmas season - every other song I hear on the blaring mall sound system makes me want to cry. Driving to the mall - every other car I cussed to the heavens because of their stupidity and endangering my unborn son. These are just two examples of the wide range of emotions I'm feeling. Blame the hormones, I'm a timebomb. If you are mean to me (or if I think you're being mean) I could do so many things, including but not limited to: crying, screaming, slapping, biting, snarling, fainting, or homicidal rage. Tread carefully around a fully loaded pregnant belly. I will feel no remorse for making you cry if you make me cry. Get it? Now go bring me something that is bigger than I am and that looks like it belongs on a runway. Otherwise, I'm reaching for my gun.
3) This to the people who make the clothes: I am pregnant for 9 months. I (personally speaking only) didn't need "maternity" clothes until month 5 because I love the clothes I own and they awesomely fit me. So. I need maternity clothes for around 5-6 months (counting the after-baby need of comfort). MAKE THE CLOTHES AFFORDABLE!! It hurts me to spend more than 30 dollars for jeans I can wear year around. Spending $50 on a maternity jean that has that extra special belly band added to it (otherwise, same jean as the $30 ones) makes me want to hurl. And I'm pregnant so puking is a total possibility. Why do this except to capitalize on a time of my life that is supposed to be joyous and wonderful? I'm supposed to write in my "pregnancy journal" about feeling my baby move and picking out names... Not about how much money my unborn son has cost mommy in clothes. Get a clue. Its 2 dollars (if that) of material in that belly band. Charge me 5. I'm okay with that. Do not charge 20!
4) If you own/run a store that 90% of the county you live in shops at, please add a rack of maternity clothes. I have to drive an hour to find a maternity section... and the above is what I deal with, but anyway. I personally think that since Wal-Mart has decided to carry scrubs/nursing uniforms, then maybe they can add a plus size/maternity section. Yes, only a small portion of the public needs the clothes in these sections - but when you do need these clothes, finding them at the store you also buy cat food, soda, socks, detergent, deodorant, Christmas ornaments, candy, soup, shower curtains, and burritos is as priceless as whatever they try to sell you on the commercials. You walk out feeling as though you accomplished something. Please think this over - I'll probably buy your crappy selection of maternity clothes just for the fact that I don't have to drive an hour to buy from the same crappy selection in a different (usually over-priced) store.
Okay, I've gotten most of it out of my system. Somehow, I don't think this will be the end of the rants though. haha