Getting Ready for Baby - Maternity Clothes
One of the most fun things about being pregnant, besides being pregnant, and being treated with great regard, is going shopping for all the lovely maternity clothes. Things have changed a lot in North America from the days when even the word "pregnancy" was unmentionable. Nowadays, function, comfort, and fun are the keynotes of beautiful maternity wear. We no longer try to hide under miles of material. Name designers create lines of maternity clothing that celebrates this most joyous time.
In my mother's day, short, puffed sleeves and swathes of pleated fabric topped with Peter-Pan collars were the norm. Smocking and ruffles modestly covered our pregnancy-enhanced profiles - both upper and lower. It was almost as if we wanted to celebrate the coming "blessed event" but something from our Victorian pasts wasn't quite comfortable with it yet. Whatever the reasons, designers still weren't doing us any favors, either.
Thank goodness we no longer have to coyly pretend to "cover up". Some of the yummiest and trendiest designs around these days are for expectant mothers.
If that gorgeous top from kikisfashions.com is anything to go by, we've indeed "come a long way, baby!"
Maternity tops come in a wide variety of fabric choices as well as styles, from form-hugging and body-sculpting, to the more traditional, free-flowing styles.
Bright, colorful printed fabrics and pale pastels are both in evidence this summer, and fabrics range from cotton spandex blends to seersucker and silky, man-made fabrics.
Gone are the Peter-Pan collars and puffy sleeves of past generations, and how lucky we are. Time was when maternity tops looked like Granny's house dress with some extra pleats for added fullness.
I remember searching for something casual and comfortable, but still with a bit of style. As long as I declined to to melt in "polyester heaven", there wasn't much available in my price range - certainly nothing cute and stylish.
Call it bad timing, but being pregnant through the heat of the summer was bad enough without having to wear ugly maternity clothes on top of it all.
Don't even think of adding an over-abundance of hormones to the mix. I still remember how painful it could be to go shopping for clothes on days when I was "down". Thank goodness there were not many of those "mood-swing" days, or the marriage might not have survived the pregnancy.
Before you buy any bras, make sure you measure yourself very carefully. If you're not sure how, look at the instructions in a catalogue - Sears has very good instruction in a section called "How to order the right size".
As well, your bra size may well change as your pregnancy progresses, so do set aside some funds to refurbish your underwear supply...and don't forget to buy some maternity undies, as well. Ordinary briefs just aren't cut out for the job.
If you are planning on breast feeding, you will also need to purchase a few nursing bras. The stretchy fabrics can be most comfortable, but you also need to be sure the bra will provide adequate support.
I was pretty handy with a sewing machine, so whipping up a long dress or two, or even a short one, was certainly no problem.
Fortunately the dress designers were much kinder - or perhaps it was just the styles that year.
Whatever it was, I was able to find a couple of very nice patterns that I stitched up in several different fabrics. I ended up cutting two of them off to make tops, and that worked out even better.
The dresses at the right not only showcase beautiful colors and fabrics, they are extremely flattering. Any woman would feel delightfully feminine in either dress or the top.
Maternity Evening Wear
They didn't make maternity jeans when I was pregnant. The only pants for pregnant women had big stretchy panels let into the front.
These panels worked admirably, and if the trousers were well cut, it was possible to get a great fit. If the pants weren't well-cut, which was sometimes the case in the less expensive clothing lines, you had to be very lucky to find something that you could actually move around in.
I was quite lucky in the pants department, but it still would have been nice to be able to buy real maternity jeans. Maybe it was just yearning after a return to a trimmer figure that made me notice every pair that walked by on some slim, not-pregnant, young woman.
Maternity swimwear has certainly gone through a "Renaissance" of sorts as well. No more trying to camouflage the fact of impending motherhood under a few more gathers, and a flippy over-skirt.
It is quite common to see pregnant women in two-piece swimsuits, skirted and fitted, as well as bikinis, and the more conventional one-piece.
No longer only available in a few styles and colors - navy blue, and black, most notably, maternity swimsuits are available in a wide variety of fabrics, colors and styles, and come in sizes from petite to plus.
Most department stores and many cruise wear stores now cater to a modern clientele - women who are proud to show the world that a baby is on the way.
© 2010, All text by Elle Fredine, All rights reserved
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