I'm still not pleased about yesterday's out-ing on FB by my sister, but I'm trying to just 'let it go' and forget about it... My sister's always been overly sensitive to any sort of criticism (which is how she would take it if I raised the issue), and seeing as how we're getting along better lately than we have in years -- I'd rather swallow my pride, suck it up, and keep the peace rather than make an issue out of it... wish me luck.
--Now on to my maternity-shopping experience over Labor Day weekend!
My parents had generously offered to buy some maternity clothes for me, which I was stoked about -- I think the last time they bought me clothes, I was still in college (close to a decade ago)... so not an offer I could refuse!
DH and I decided to drive in to Nashville for the weekend, so we could combine the shopping experience with actually getting to see all my family -- my baby nephew, and my newly married brother & his wife -- which was so nice. And being from Atlanta, where the variety of stores and options are endless, I had naively thought that Nashville would have a similar variety, even if on a smaller scale. --Nope!
My dad, a pediatrician in our area, had asked some of the nurses at his clinic what they'd done for maternity wear, or what stores to check out. I though that was pretty sweet of him -- 'til he told me their recommendations.
I don't know if he heard from a good majority or just an opinionated few, but he came away with two thoughts: a) maternity clothes are a total rip-off, and way over-priced, and b)I don't really need maternity clothes -- they recommended I just buy normal clothes one size up, and that should get me through 'til the last month or two.
...Ummm, no. Thanks, but no thanks.
I, of course, had been doing a little on-line research at Gap(dot)com on my own, and had found Gap Maternity prices to be pretty comparable to Gap itself... so I pooh-poohed the thought that maternity clothes would be super-expensive.
That is, until we arrived at the ONLY store in the Nashville area (outside of Ko.hl's and Tar.get) - a P__ in the Pod. There, I was shocked to find tops priced at $65 or above ($50 on sale, whoop-tee-do), pants for a cool hundred, sweaters for $80 or $90... yowzas! Definitely much worse than I expected.
The fact that the pricing was going to justify my dad's preconceived notions made me nervous. Actually, the entire outing made me nervous.
Taking into consideration the fact that there were many moons when I wondered if I would ever have the need for such a thing -- I will readily admit that even the idea of going maternity shopping freaked me out. Then tack on the fact that I was just a little clueless about it all... should the clothes fit you, like normal clothes do -- 'cause that's what I'm used to buying -- clothes that fit! Should they be a little big -- and if so, how big? What's the 'normal' here people??
Granted, while I was actually out with said sis (who really should be an expert on this by now, 4 kids in), my cutie little 4 mo. old nephew Liam, and my mom --- they were actually not much help. At all.
My mom, whom I've mentioned before had a stroke at 41 and now has bouts of narcolepsy, was pretty much snoozing through the whole experience. My sister, while very alert and present, didn't give much in terms of direction or feedback... everytime I would ask her how something looked, or whether it fit right --if it looked like it was supposed to look -- she'd just give me a big fat smile and nod... Almost as if she were too busy thinking "it's so cute that she's finally pregnant and trying on maternity clothes! I'm so excited!" instead of actually focusing on the words coming out of my mouth... Not much help there.
So I would try on things, find a few that I liked or thought looked right on me, and then freak out over how much it cost. I tried waking my mom from her coma-like state a few times, asking if it wouldn't be easier/cheaper for me to just order a few things online-- but she just said that we were already there, "your father's okay with whatever, go ahead and get stuff now"... so, we did.
And spent waaaaay too much on too few items.
So. Morals of my story:
Yes, maternity clothing CAN be super-expensive.
It's helpful to go with people who will actually give you REAL and useful feedback.
Shop sales online -- you'll get more bang for your buck.
Oh, and never turn down a parent-funded shopportunity!