Buying Maternity Clothes: My Three Gripes
Nine months of stretch-waisted pants-now that’s something to cheer about! Other than that…I got nothing. Trust me ladies, buying maternity clothes is no picnic, at least for me it wasn’t. At first, I borrowed several maternity items from close friends, but as I approached my last trimester, my belly (and chest) had their own agenda. Thus, my hunt for maternity clothes began, and my gripes about buying maternity clothes were born.
GRIPE 1: Why is the maternity section of department stores hidden in the deep, dark, farthest store corner, 26.2 miles away from nearest entrance and restroom?
I remember being 8 months pregnant and searching for the “perfect” outfit to wear to my baby shower. I entered the mall department store optimistically cheerful, but after it took me close to an hour (even at my turtle speed this was long) to even get to the maternity section, my sails were deflated. I kid you not, I had to go down three levels to the basement floor, then pass the athletic wear, followed by the entire children’s section, then the Woman section, and finally, there, in the farthest corner, were the maternity clothes. I don’t understand. Everyone knows walking with a bowling ball in the womb is exhausting. Why can’t the maternity section be next to the regular women’s clothing? NOT the pajamas, kids clothes, bedding, or housewares as they are in several stores I’ve visited. The maternity section might as well be at GSP Exit 100,000. Seriously people, the maternity section should be right next to the store entrance, along with a bathroom for preggos only, and a snack bar!!
GRIPE 2: Why can’t you use maternity gift cards at department stores that house maternity stores?
One of my first “Congrats your Pregnant” gifts was a Destination Maternity gift card from my cousin. Yay, shopping for clothes to cover my bowling ball belly will be so fun. NOT. After scouring the racks at my local department store, I finally found something that made me feel like a cute pregnant woman-a miracle in itself. I stood in the long line, having a pregnancy hot flash, and wondering why it was so ludicrous for them to put on the air conditioning in February. When I got to the register, legs aching, brow sweat beading, I was told that I could not use my Destination Maternity gift card on the Destination Maternity shirt I wanted to purchase. The sales woman explained that although it was a DM shirt, and I had a DM gift card, I could not use it because the department store only “housed” the DM items. Well then, kind sales lady, surely I could use a department store coupon since the clothes are not really considered DM clothes. Nope. No coupon. No gift card. Full price only. WHAT??!! On principal, I left without my chosen shirt, and almost literally shirt-less because not only was I now steaming from the hot flash, but also from the whole shopping experience. Lesson learned. Gripe 2 born.
GRIPE 3: Why is there like one store in the entire state separate from a mall department store that solely sells maternity clothes and the rest we have to buy at the mall or (god-no) online?
According to BabyCenter, just over 4 million babies are born each year, which means that at one time over 4 million pregnant people are roaming around looking for maternity clothes! Where are they shopping?? I was really disappointed to learn that there were so few stores in NJ that sold reasonably-priced maternity clothes separate from the department stores with their tiny, hidden sections of clothing or boutiques with ridiculous prices. I learned this as I searched for a place I could use my gift card (see Gripe 2). I’m not a gargantuan or anything, but like many women, I just don’t have a “Barbie” shape that allows me to easily fit into clothes. Bottom line, I have to try things on. Online shopping is a wonderful thing, but for maternity clothes (and I won’t even mention maternity undergarments!) it just doesn’t work for me.
I was really disappointed with the selection of maternity clothes available in NJ. Whether they were crammed into a tiny section of a store, insanely priced, or banned from any type of coupon or gift card, maternity clothes really put a cramp in my style. Literally and figuratively.
If you live in NJ and have had a pleasant maternity clothes shopping experience, I’m interested in your suggestions and point of view. If you share mine or have your own gripes, comment away!
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