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Maternity clothes - issues...!

(80 Posts)
sassylassie Mon 01-Aug-11 21:33:04

Sorry, this is going to be a bit of a rant! I'm really struggling to find decent quality maternity clothes that will see me through the winter (EDD 17 Jan). I've already accepted that I have to shop online and that there is no way I'll get trousers suitable for work to fit (at 5'3 everything is way too long) and that's fine. But I'm still struggling to find suitable clothes. I bought a load of stuff from Red Herring, which are mostly great, but trousers are proving to be a real issue. I sent back a pair of "maternity chinos" which turned out to be capris and looked ridiculous on me - was a bit annoyed they hadn't been marked as capris.

I'm only finding clothes which are:
- Poor quality, really thin see-through (not warm enough for winter) fabrics or polyester/artificial materials. I'm struggling to find decent quality cotton and linen maternity trousers.
- Too casual - where is all the workwear??! Do they think we all give up work the moment we get pregnant? Why are the only trousers I can find jeans, leggings, capri pants or nasty polyester fabrics?! I need smart tops and smart trousers - I can't get away with jeans and leggings at work, where I'll be spending most of my pregnancy.
- Crazily expensive. John Lewis seems to have some decent quality smart maternity trousers, but they're about £60. Why is it that I can get a decent quality pair of non-maternity trousers for half that price? I feel as if we're a captive market so we're going to be ripped off.

Sorry again for the rant. Put it down to pregnancy hormones! blush

Any suggestions?

I'm also struggling to find strapless bras so that I have something to wear under a summer dress or strappy/strapless top. Should I just get a normal underwired one?

MrsBloomingTroll Mon 01-Aug-11 21:43:07

OP, I'm about the same height as you and with trousers I found the only solution was to buy them and then get them taken up at a dry cleaner.

I haven't been working this pregnancy but last pregnancy I had work trousers from Dorothy Perkins and JoJo Maman Bebe. If you use bump bands you can also use them to hoick the trousers up a bit, which helps.

A tight-fitting bump band can also serve well as a boob tube if you're small-chested. I've found that to be the only solution with some tops/dresses and in the hot weather. Have you tried M&S online for a strapless/wireless bandeau bra? I got one from there earlier in the year.

Also try M&S online for maternity wear basics.

Lastly, I would say not just to stick to maternity wear. Look for tops with empire lines and tunic-style tops in the normal clothing ranges.

But yes, 'tis frustrating! Good luck!

Conchita Mon 01-Aug-11 21:58:51

Hear hear, sassylassie, I could have pretty much written that post myself. I could have cried when I saw the cr*p they had on display in mothercare, and I died a bit inside when I saw the New Look maternity jeans with slogans on the label such as 'Great for... going to the bingo with the girls!'
My office is fairly smart casual so smart work trousers aren't an issue for me, but for my job it's more important to look vaguely on trend so topshop has been good for me- I think their prices are as rip-off but the quality isn't too bad. Also got some cheap long vests in H&M for covering waistbands, they have been great. I spotted a French company called Seraphine the other day- not ordered anything but looked quite elegant and good for those who need to look smart

sassylassie Mon 01-Aug-11 22:02:37

Thanks MrsBloomingTroll.

Just checked Dorothy Perkins site, but the trousers are still all polyester unfortunately. There was one white linen pair, but they wouldn't be very winter friendly and then there was a linen blend which looked OK, but they were an odd style with puffy hips (not a good look on a short, curvy girl like me). I'll have a look at JoJo Maman Bebe - I think that was one a colleague recommended too but I couldn't remember the name.

Unfortunately I'm quite big "up top" (34 F/G) so boob tubes or bandeau bras probably wouldn't do the job. I might just have to go for an underwired bra.

Crosshair Mon 01-Aug-11 22:05:03

I havent stopped wearing an underwired bra.shock

sassylassie Mon 01-Aug-11 22:07:37

Thanks Conchita. Nice to hear someone else feels the same way! I wish I could wear Top Shop clothes, but I'm just the wrong shape! Seraphine sounds familiar - I'll check it out. I think I'm going to have to accept this is only temporary and I'll just have to lump it for a bit. I do resent spending £30 on a pair of polyester/elastane trousers though, never mind £60 on a decent cotton blend pair!

BitzyVonMuffling Mon 01-Aug-11 22:08:44

I think as long as a bra fits as it should, there is no need to give up the underwire. I wore underwire throughout my second pregnancy havign endured the granny hammocks first time round, and i felt much better about myself. The saggy monoboob isn't a good look at the best of times. I used Anita underwired maternity bras too and they are the best imo. For a strapless bra, the only one I have found that stays up is a Wonderbra one, I don't know what size they go up to though.
As for maternity clothes, at 15 weeks you mit be best to just go for a bigger size for the time being. And it's only just August! I don't think shops will get their winter stock in for a few weeks yet. Don't underestimate just how hot you may get though- I am normally one to wrap up in several duvets, but pregnancy turn me into a little furnace.

Conchita Mon 01-Aug-11 22:11:06

possibly they might start offering some heavier good-quality trousers in the next month when the autumn/winter ranges are launched? Here's hoping! I hear that Gap have just launched a maternity line to may be worth looking into.
It really is galling that retailers see a chance to milk us for more money for poor quality clothes when there is so much else to shell out for.

Scaredycat3000 Mon 01-Aug-11 22:12:54

It is old advise that you can't wear underwired bras during pregnancy/breast feeding. Now women are better informed about correct fitting bras, that is the only thing they must fit, the wires do not cause a problem as they should fit round the breast not dig in.
I've just bought some 97% cotton trousers from the Jojo shop for £5 They have loads in the shop, also the top was £5. They are so comfy. Strangely fit me on the bump!

Conchita Mon 01-Aug-11 22:13:21

ps before you get too excited, the only trousers in the gap maternity range are jeans and leggings. Fail!

ShowOfHands Mon 01-Aug-11 22:17:13

The only trousers I had that were one, cotton and two, suitable for work were from H&M. I'm 5ft 3" too and really struggled. I found dresses quite good but then you have the problem of tights.

sassylassie Mon 01-Aug-11 22:18:26

BitzyVonMuffling Hehe, "granny hammocks" LOL! grin. Seriously though, thanks for the sound advice. I've heard about getting hot later in pregnancy (no prizes for guessing I'm a first-time mum to be!) so perhaps I shouldn't expect to be wearing the usual layers, thick trousers and tights in December?

Conchita Yeah, I should probably wait a bit for the autumn/winter stuff to come out and stop being so impatient. Gap sounds promising if they have a maternity line in the UK.

sassylassie Mon 01-Aug-11 22:25:48

ShowOfHands Just spent the last 5 minutes trying to find the maternity section on the H&M website. I can't find a link anywhere and there's no search function on the site. Is it just my pregnancy brain - am I missing something obvious?

ShowOfHands Mon 01-Aug-11 22:27:49

I don't think H&M put their collection online iirc.

nannyl Mon 01-Aug-11 22:28:06

i too am 5ft 3, and have to wear petite trousers

i have short trousers (well jeans) from next, mamas and papas and mothercare.

the short sizes ARE out there if you look hard enough!

BitzyVonMuffling Mon 01-Aug-11 22:31:23

I am 5 foot 7 and H and M trousers are built for GIANTS. I got some jeans in a fit of desperation from there last time and I looked like I was a toddler dressing in my mums clothes. All of their trousers are far too long.

diddygirl Mon 01-Aug-11 22:32:02

Have you tried Next for maternity trousers?

Conchita Mon 01-Aug-11 22:32:11

H&M do have their collection online but hard to find- go onto website, look for item of clothing you're after, then look down left-hand side for MAMA range (which is what they call their maternity range).
However the tops that I got weren't maternity, they were from the divided range and great for covering waistbands- about £4 each

HeatherSmall Mon 01-Aug-11 22:33:50

I had stuff sent over from Australia really nice organic cotton pieces and the postage wasn't bad either.

sassylassie Mon 01-Aug-11 22:34:17

Thanks nannyl. Actually after literally hours of searching online, I've given up on the short sizes. I'm happy to adjust as necessary. My priorities are really a) smart (i.e. not jeans, leggings or 3/4 lengths), b) good quality (i.e. not viscose, polyester or elastane) and c) not too pricey - ideally not more than £35-£40. Surely that's not too much to ask! If you have any suggestions on where I can find those that would be great. I can't wear jeans for work sadly.

sassylassie Mon 01-Aug-11 22:35:14

HeatherSmall Will consider Australia - why not?! Any particular sites you can recommend...? smile

Snowgirl1 Mon 01-Aug-11 22:40:25

Boden do a maternity range now but it's not cheap - but Boden stuff seems to sell like hotcakes on eBay so you might be able to sell afterwards to recoup some of the cost. They usually do different lengths of trousers and dresses too.

PrincessScrumpy Mon 01-Aug-11 22:44:28

I had the same issue as Blooming Marvellous is no more as Mothercare bought it - they did lovely clothes.

Just because it's winter you may find you don't want things that are too warm - I found short sleave tops and cardigans worked best (dd was born in Feb 2008).

Trousers-wise, have you tried Next or Jojomamanbebe?

Good luck. I'm 32weeks pg with twins and stuggled to find a light summer dress - ended up getting one last week in Asda for £12.50. It's slightly higher at the front due to my bump but it still keeps me decent. Dh has joked that it won't be washed until after the twins are born as it's the only thing that's comfy - he may be correct! grin

sassylassie Mon 01-Aug-11 22:54:11

This site looks great for workwear, but the prices are something else! A nice quality pair of 97% cotton smart grey maternity trousers will set you back £79.99:
Most of the high street shops don't seem to have cotton-based maternity trousers, except jeans.

Merinda Mon 01-Aug-11 23:19:47

I have given up looking for cheap, but work-appropriate matenity wear.
Ended up buying a couple of nice tops at Seraphine and Pretty Pregnant (all expensive, but on sale) as well as skirts and trousers from Gap.
Bought a maternity suit jacket on sale from Jo Jo Maman Bebe (grabbed a bargain at £9) and another one for £15 at Next. By the way, you may want to check Next online, they seem to have a selection of trousers. Gap I think have OK trousers as well, but yes, polyester mixes. I am due in December, but hope to be out of work by end Oct, so will try to survive in denim in those last months...

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