Friday, April 02, 2004

Weekly Gripe

Everyone should gripe about something at least once a week. Putting on my best Yiddish accent, I opine: "A day without complaining is like a day without sunshine!"

This week's Weekly Gripe is about maternity clothes. Who designs these things???

First, maternity clothes have no pockets. I guess whoever makes these things figures that if you're already carrying a baby around, you probably won't want to also carry around keys, Kleenex, or change for the vending machine. No, if you need to carry any of those things, you'll want to put them in your voluminous purse along with everything else, and tote that monstrosity everywhere you go. Or you could wear a fanny pack. If you wear it in back, you'll cut an odd silhouette; and if you wear it in front, you won't be able to see inside it.

Second, the tops and bottoms look like they've been designed by two different teams that never communicate with each other. This year the tops are all cut shorter, so that they fall about to mid-belly on a third trimester multip like myself. The bottoms are all cut "under the belly" which means they lack full coverage of the belly. So if I bought a new maternity outfit today and put it on, you'd all be treated to the sight of my stretch marks from all my previous pregnancies. Funny, the models who wear these things in the catalogs don't seem to have reached the third trimester, nor do they have any stretch marks.

You'll also notice that the models are never shown bending over. This is because, in line with the terrible trend to lower the waistline of pants past the point of practicality, these frontless wonder pants also barely cover the crack in the back. One wonders how these pants can stay up at all, considering that they are clinging to the very bottom of a balloon-shaped person. When I tried on a pair, it felt like it was about to fall off every time I bent over. Clue for designers: pants that fall off when you bend over are NOT an asset for women with small children.

Third, even if you can find maternity clothes in colors and styles that match, you still can't wear them together. If I wear "under the belly" pants with full-coverage shirts from previous years, the spring breeze will catch the shirt and whip it up, exposing my belly to the world. And if I wear older pants with the newer shorter shirts, the belly panels (almost always done in contrasting colors and materials) will peek out from underneath. So I can't have any new, stylish outfits. All I can do is wear the older, longer shirts with the older, full-coverage pants. To complicate things further, you can't wear white shirts with pants or skirts that have contrasting belly panels, because the panels show through the white shirt.

I don't know who thought up those "under the belly" pants, but it was obviously someone who'd never been pregnant past about 20 weeks.