Losing my identity; the woes of maternity ‘fashion’

I started this blog because I love fashion and continue to research and collect it. Which reminds me, I need to post about the recent McQueen collection which impressed me. When I found out I was pregnant I was really pleased/terrified/phased but didn’t give a thought about clothes etc….cross that bridge when you come to it and all that. Well, the bridge is in sight and at 18, nearly 19 weeks, I am starting to despair.

The trouble is, unless you are naturally drawn to the leggings and smock thing or are happy with the mumsy look, maternity fashion, quite frankly, sucks. Sure, you get the odd label who releases a few notable pieces which gets lots of ‘sleb sighting’ headlines, but that’s about it. Recent, repeated, and increasingly desperate trips to New Look, H&M, Next and Mothercare only highlight how dire the situation is.

The consequence is a shamefully tiny maternity wardrobe, partly because I’m broke, partly because I don’t want to spend a lot of clothes I shall only wear for 5 months (that feels the same as fast fashion gluttony). Mainly, because I can’t bear to buy clothes that don’t set my heartbeat racing, just a little bit. It’s this dire:

  • 1 Picchu black dress
  • 1 Red Herring green/white wrap dress
  • 1 pair of ok-ish Next black culottes
  • 1 yuck Next silky top that has been redeemed by being dyed purple
  • 1 Blooming Marvellous a-line skirt
  • 1 Blooming Marvellous jersey top
  • 1 Noppies pencil skirt

Were it not for the NCT sale, I wouldn’t have the last three items. The Noppies skirt needs chopping though and then it’ll be a really nice piece, all red wine, techno fabric cotton, very F/W 2011.

I blithely thought, a few months ago, ‘oh it’ll be fine, I’ll wear some nice plain wrap dresses and accessorise to my heart’s content’. The thing is, when you’re trawling eBay for a decent Picchu or Seraphine dress, the wait can go on forever for a decent listing to come by. These labels aren’t stocked in shops near me and they’re the only ones that don’t make me feel queasy….I whole-heartedly ignore Isabella Oliver as this label is over-rated with poorer quality fabrics. The thing is, even if you could try these items on and actually fell in love with a piece, the dresses are £80 a pop. That would be an outlay of at least £400 on enough dresses, plus coat, knitwear etc. Baby’s got to sleep somewhere, so somehow lovely new dresses aren’t my priority.

Crikey.

I could buy a Galliano shawl for that….admittedly on sale….but still.

What tops it all off though is the feeling that in a lack-lustre, utilitarian and depressingly elasticated market, these are all items that barely whisper who I am. My clothes are my passion, my chainmail and my two-fingers to a difficult day. Maternity clothes are the little squeak of who I once was so that, even without the difficult realities of starting not to fit my beloved knitwear, skirts and jackets, there’s the addition of being faced with nothing exciting to wear either.

Sure, I will be a mother one day, but I’m also so many other things and I don’t think I have enough good skull scarves and hats to see me through this one. Now if only Sarah Burton did maternity.

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