Monday, January 9, 2012

No Fucking Flowers - A Review of Maternity Clothing, Part 1

This post has been in the works for some time now. Many a time have I scoured the internet looking for cool maternity clothes. The good news is, every time I go online there seems to be more stuff available out there. Bad news, it's probably not sold in your local shop, and it's probably expensive as hell. But there are some things out there to awesome to pass up, so if you have the means, treat yourself. If not, never fear, I am including quite the list of DIY maternity fashion tips and tutorials in Part 2.


Ok, lets just start with the sites that sell stuff straight up.

Bashful Bump sells maternity bodysuits, which really just means a fancy maternity leotard that isn't made entirely out of spandex or velvet. The sell them in tank top, t-shirt, and 3/4 sleeve varieties, and they have the exciting color choices of black and white. They range from $44-$48, but theoretically you would only need one if you own a wash machine and know how to use a panty liner or just don't give a shit about crusties. They also have the non dancewear added bonus of snapping in the front, right where the top of your underwear normally sits, which will really help if you don't feel like getting naked every time you have to pee, but are aware that even when not pregnant it can be hard as fuck to re-do those crotch snaps on dancewear, plus having snaps on your puss ain't fun at all.

Next up is Etsy Maternity, which obviously is going to range in price, anywhere from $3.50 for a belly band to $1,800 for a custom designed coat. Etsy can be a bit overwhelming at times, what with over 6,000 items in Maternity Clothing currently, and my favorite way of sorting is with key words, such as goth, punk, emo, Japanese, retro, funky, and whatever else you can come up with to describe your style, and then going through the menus All Items -> Handmade -> Clothing -> Maternity. Another way to search through Etsy is to search for "long", "stretchy", "yoga", or "one size" and then go into shirts to find regular shirts, dresses, and pants that will cover your ginormous boobs and bump.

Hot Mama Ink has a nice collection of funkiness in their Maternity category. I'm especially partial to their tunics, but they also have slings their signature flash tattoo designs. Most of their designs run $20-$40.

Similar styles plus some lovely gothwear can be found over at MamaSan, which is quickly becoming the end all in alternative maternity. Need a little black dress that will fit your growing belly? Check out the Cross Bones Dress for $57. I also really love their (drool) Betty in Stitches Tank Top going at $28. They also have some standards many of us couldn't go without, like the black and white striped Chic Savage Anti-Tank Top ($29), and the Pirate Punx Black and White Striped Tee ($25).

And now that we've done some "alterna" sites, remember that not all "regular" sites suck balls - case in point, both Babies N Bellies and Pickles & Ice Cream have some cool stuff if you have the patience to page through their stock. Now a lot of the stuff from these sites could be done pretty easily at home or would need some snip snipping to make them wearable, but in the interest of rich grandparents and tustafarian friends, a couple examples are the Nirvana Slashed Sleeve Maternity Top ($58), Corset Hearts Maternity Shirt ($24.99), Tied Front Maternity Top ($29.99), Striped Sweater Pocket Maternity Tunic ($32.99), Lace up Maternity Yoga Pants ($34.99), Lilac Maternity Green Maddy Long Sleeve Tee ($46), and even score a maternity bathing suit that doesn't look like shit ($68).

Ok, and now to move on to the exciting land of copying shit via screen-print/iron on. For this, you just need to buy some basic plain color tees/tanks/whatever from a thrift store, online, or a place like Target which has maternity tanks for $9.99, and then get you some inkin' supplies. You can buy iron on for stretchy clothing paper at most any craft store, or get onto a site like Instructables to find an easy at home screen printing guide. Then set back on the internet and browse to your heart's content. This is most easily done for newbie screen printers with words instead of pictures, so novelty shirts are your best bet for inspiration. I personally love CafePress for this, simply due to their enormous selection of novelty shirts. And if you don't want baby bump humor, you can also search their regular collection. My favorites are of course the gamer shirts, being a huge D&D geek myself, and after all how often do you get to see a pregnant woman in a shirt like this? Another ok site for browsing is My Baby Rocks in the maternity wear section, though of course don't let it stop you from going to town and screen printing a bunch of little onesies.

Okay, again, moving on into cheaper and cheaper territory; just a few tips for using preexisting clothing without getting into sewing. Wear an ass load of accessories since that isn't going to change in size, and you might as well show off your silky soft hair. Also, high boots like Doc Martens give extra ankle support that can help achy momma feet. And you can try raiding the men's section for over-shirts designed to fit the skinny-arm-big-belly crowd, as well as some awesome old man suspenders that can ease the task of constantly re-hemming the bands on your preggo pants.

Well, that's all for now, but come back soon and check out Part 2: DIY Maternity Clothes That Will Rock Your World (But Not Your Wallet)!

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