Thursday, 13 December 2012

Has the high street forgotten pregnant ladies?

Where oh where can you find good maternity wear? Good price, good choice and good style?

At the moment, it seems like nowhere caters to the expectant mum in the way I had expected some of my favourite retailers to.

Now, I don't feel the need to buy a completely new wardrobe just for the months ahead but as your bump grows, you need some well-designed, comfortable options that fit well but don't leave you looking like a bag of saggy washing.

I honestly can't understand why high street brands even bother offering a maternity range if a) it's only a half-hearted attempt featuring just a couple of shapeless, styleless pieces, and/or b) they're only going to offer it online. If there's ever a time in your life when you need to 'try before you buy', it's during pregnancy. Who knows what size you need now or may need in the future? Simply clicking 'add to bag' and crossing your fingers at the virtual checkout seems like a complete cop out for mums-to-be. Why should we be treated any differently? Just because we're having a baby doesn't mean we want to be bland - we haven't had a personality transplant!

My main issue is that now more than ever, I am budget-conscious and know that what I wear now may not be something I wear for a long time. To be honest, when it comes to certain styles of clothing, you can get away with wearing normal clothes, or you can just buy a size or two bigger. But when it comes to trousers, leggings, jeans and tights, you need a stretchy waist (nothing feels better) and for tops, you do need a little more length.

I have looked at the following maternity ranges:H&M (my favourite store, but their maternity range is very limited), New Look (much better and with some ok tops to choose from), Next (too frumpy overall) and Dorothy Perkins (just 17 items to choose from). I know there are specialist shops for people in my condition - namely Mamas and Papas and Mothercare on the high street - but for me, they tend to be for mums in their 30's, or those who are more 'mother nature' or 'classic' in their choice of clothes, plus the prices seem to be as inflated as their customer's tums.

All I want is to buy some nice, comfortable tops that are long enough to cover bump and warm enough for winter and don't come in an exciting choice of plain white or grey. I've been luckier on the trouser front, with two pairs of comfortable and not too mumsy work trousers from Next, over the bump blue jeans from New Look and over the bump black jeans from Dorothy Perkins (although the size 12's are far too loose and there's no belt loops - I seriously cannot have lost weight!).

I think this weekend I'll have to give in on my search and head to the shops to look for oversize jumpers and super stretchy tops to tide me over. I need to be warm, comfortable and smart looking for work and in general, I just want to look like me.

If anyone can recommend a good maternity range, without a hefty price tag attached, I would be most grateful.
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