Wednesday, November 01, 2006

On a lighter note..maternity clothes shopping

We have several wedding coming up in the next couple of months, and I realized that there's not much in the way of winterish dressy clothes in the communal maternity closet. There are a couple of nice dresses that will fit, but I wanted a bit more variety, and the two main options were ones that also I wore several times when pregnant with Charlotte.

So Friday night we made a family trip to the St. Louis Mills mall (Gasp! We weren't home watching the Cardinals win the World Series! Bad! Bad! Bad St. Louisans). While my husband supervised Charlotte playing in the kiddie area, I trekked down to the Motherhood Maternity store to see what I could find. I gathered one of nearly every dressy outfit that appealed to me and headed into the changing rooms.

The first dress I tried on was a strappy red number that looked beautiful on the hanger and on the photo of the model on the wall. Unfortunately, the cute chiffon ruffle-things decorating the dress made me look like a large red feather duster. I cringe to think what I would look like in this dress in another 10 weeks....

My next attempt involved a pretty velvet skirt (marked down to $10 from the original $50), and a flocked tank top. The top was cute, but the top and armholes were lined with snug-fitting elastic (to help hold up the built-in bra I believe)--elastic works fine as long as your upper chest and arms are solid as rocks. I, for one, have had a hard time getting my 20 hours of weekly weight training in at the gym recently, and didn't think hanging over the top of my blouse was an attractive look.

After several more attempts, I settled on something fairly conservative, and massively stretchy that promises to still fit in a couple of months. I also bought the pretty velvet skirt, betting that I might find a nice top for it later (if not, I'm only out $10). I have a beaded silk camisole from Old Navy that is unfortunately also black, though perhaps with a colored shawl or sweater I might pair it with the skirt.

That brings me to my one whine about the Motherhood/Mimi/Pea in the Pod stores. If I never wear the pretty black skirt, then there's no way for me to take it back. Their return policy sucks. Rather, it's nonexistant. If an item is not on sale, then you have 10 days to exchange it. If it's been marked down at all, then your sale is final. What's up with that? Old Navy (who has provided most of the wardrobe that I've personally paid for) treats their pregnant customers with the same respect as their non-pregnant ones--if the item has its tags, it can be returned or exchanged (they might have a time limit, but it's a lot more than 10 days!). Even stuff you buy off their website can also be returned to the stores, so you don't have to ship stuff back and forth. I just wish they had more variety!

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