For some reason, it has never been easy to find a maternity wardrobe suitable for professional women on the job.
Expenses lie ahead
You may be thrilled to have a lovely bun in the oven, but anticipating the expenses that are part and parcel of the new arrival is part of the job. One hardly wants to waste money on yucky maternity clothing, yet it may be critical to remain on the job as long as possible. The issues are accessibility, price, and style. In other words, where can you find the pieces, what are the price tags (considering the relatively short period you require them), and do they look appropriate for the office?
Big city maternity shopping
Living in London during two on-the-job pregnancies, I did find a couple of maternity boutiques. However, dresses suitable for work were priced way over what I’d consider spending for them. That left oversized flowery dresses a few sizes too large from Laura Ashley. During business trips to Paris and Milan, I found nothing to fit an American woman. New York City had two fantastic shops, but there was no online shopping available in those days.
Online maternity shopping
Today, women without access to big city shopping will find that internet shopping helps enormously. A Pea in the Pod, now incorporating Mimi Maternity, and Destination Maternity are two popular sites. Someone with a sense of humor labeled the look as ‘Ann Taylor swallowed a basketball.’ Career moms and moms-to-be should focus on maternity lines by BCBG, Catherine Malandrino, Jessica SImpson, Nicole Miller, Rosie Pope, Splendid, Susana Monaco, and Suzi Chin for 9-to-5 needs. Sales do crop up occasionally online.
Some women benefit from other new mothers. Buying maternity clothing from a consignment shop is a great idea, as the items will generally be only lightly worn. It’s always good to consult with staff, siblings, mothers or friends about how your needs will grow as your pregnancy progresses. You will expand more than you may initially imagine, and will do so even faster the second or third time around. Combining two concepts into one, Bump to Bump is an online maternity consignment shop which is so clever, they even convert wedding gowns into christening gowns. There are currently limited career items, however.
A bigger but smaller wardrobe
Build a much smaller wardrobe of as few pieces as possible for your months on the job, as you’ll need to budget for a comfortable and casual at-home maternity wardrobe as well. If your third term extends into winter, you’ll likely find that you’ll need a winter coat or poncho, too. With two winter births, I found that a roomy coat was useful for snuggling the new arrival in a front sling for a couple of months afterwards.
Flats are your friend
While the online fashion sites show models wearing maternity dresses with spiky heels, you will find that flats and small heels limited to one to two inches are much better for your balance and for your back. Ignore the photos, just as you would in a regular glossy magazine, as comfort is your number one priority. Shoe size can change a half size or more during pregnancy, so shoes in your closet may be too tight. Put your feet up when you’re seated, go for a bit wider and choose shoes and boots without laces.
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