You tore your dress

I keep drafting blog posts which my head entitles "things they never tell you about being pregnant" and then deleting them because they sound whiny and ungrateful, two things which I most definitely am not with regards to this pregnancy.

My current rant however, is one which has irritated me more than most. The Quest For Office-Appropriate Maternity Clothes that can be found in one's lunch hour in Leeds City Centre.

Let me fill you in on my situation. Prior to getting pregnant I had a size 14 waist, a size 16 bottom and a size 16 top due to The Breasts. I'm curvy and dress for my shape which for work meant wide-legged trousers and tailored tops with jackets (until I started cycling to work and quit wearing trousers, which you'll understand if you were ever careering down a dual carriageway with your trouser leg stuck in your bike chain.) or skirts and jackets or dresses over glossy black tights.

Since getting pregnant I have switched my fitted jackets for smart cardigans, and all of my skirts for dresses because my skirts simply do not fit. The trouble is, I now have about 5 dresses which I can actually fit into because I have a foetus emerging from my pelvis and forming a bump.

Because that's what happens when you are pregnant. You don't get fat and need a bigger size of your regular clothing, you have a hard sphere in your stomach which means you need different waistlines (above or below the bump, not intersecting it), maternity tights (because HELLO GAROTTED STOMACH!) and maternity bras. Now maternity bras are the most comfortable things in the world. Fact. BUT, they do change the shape of your breasts into 1950s pointy things, which the clingy, stretchy clothes of pregnancy do not flatter.

Further notes on my situation. I do not drive, I cycle, I work full time (officially 9 - 5:30) in Leeds City Centre, and live 2 miles from the city centre. My husband currently works in Derby from Monday to Thursday and I only see him Friday to Sunday. This means that weekends are precious to me. Would I rather trail my husband around Outlet Stores searching for ones with maternity ranges or spend quality time with him? You've got it.

This is why I was looking for clothes in Leeds City Centre during my lunch hour. Cheap clothes for the office which means the kind of high street stores which I usually avoid like the plague. But I discovered that in the city centre Next, Marks & Spencers, Gap, New Look and H&M for example do not have maternity ranges. Actually I lie - H&M has a maternity section, but it has 3 tops in it and some leggings. Leggings are not office appropriate. Leggings are not trousers.

I have since been advised that the Merrion Centre has high street shops with maternity sections in them, but having look up all of the maternity ranges in these shops online, I discovered that they each have at the absolute most one dress which is appropriate to wear in an office in their maternity sections.

For now, I'm sort of sorted because I ended up ordering this £12.99 dress from ebay in black, grey, red and blue because it looks comfortable and stretchy and will probably be suitable for nursing afterwards.

I have a wedding to go to this weekend, so checked out Seraphine, which everyone recommended as having a good range of good quality clothes. It was expensive, but worth the money as I can wear it when I'm done being pregnant. I can wear it to the office too, really - even though it's more of an evening dress.

I'm really disappointed with the high street shops though. Walking around Leeds City Centre you see pregnant women everywhere - shopping in casual clothes and dressed in office attire so there's clearly a market for maternity clothes in LS1. Here's hoping the shops wake up to it.

Ziggy played guitarrrrrraaaaarrrrraaaarrrrrr.

Title: Rebel Rebel by David Bowie


Kirsty said...

It's not just maternity clothes - it's any form of clothing that does not fit to the standard mainstream consumer.

Take me for example. I'm plus size. In Leeds city centre I have the choice of no shops (it used to be one, but Evans decided that fat girls didn't deserve city-centre shopping). New Look did a plus-size range but they've also decided to move it out of city centre. Now I have two choices - a single rack in H&M or an Evans concession in BHS. Nowhere to buy underwear at all. No cheapy only-wear-it-once-but-it's-bang-on-trend shops.

For a city centre, and a city centre that is supposed to be 'Knightsbridge of the North', such a narrow consumer appeal is absolutely astounding. Hopefully the one good thing to come from Trinity will be a wider range of shops for people who don't fit the primark cookie cutter.

Lianne Marie Mease said...

I completely agree! Due to The Boobs and bum I sometimes have to get size 18 clothes because otherwise they're too tight under the arms or hiked up at the hem etc, and size 14s and 16s are quite often a lot smaller than they are supposed to be in High Street shops - especially places like Zara and H&M. I tried a size 18 dress on in H&M yesterday that I could not force down my body... yet I have size 12 dresses from ASDA that are loose on me. F*CKING STORES!!!!!!!
I'm looking forward to seeing what they have in trinity. I really am.