16 January 2011

Maternity clothes: keep or castaway?

For those of you that have been following BBP for awhile, you already know that much of my passion for pregnancy aside from all of my ranting about 'fat' and bodies is maternity fashion. I can't get enough of it and I love to follow the trends. Nevertheless, while it may appear that women are overwhelmed with choice now when it comes to choosing what to wear, when I was writing my PhD thesis back in 2006, there was almost no academic work being done on the topic. So I'd like to think that I'm a bit of a pioneer ;-) ANYWAY, one of the more fascintating things that I realised was that as I talked to pregnant women I became more interested in was what women did with their pregnancy clothing once they were no longer pregnant. Were the clothes given to a pregnant friend? To a second hand shop? Thrown in the bin? For many of the women in my study, even though they hated a lot of the clothing that they had to wear (maternity jeans are never perfect no matter how expensive or designer they are...), several women said they were hesitant to just get rid of them even if they were not planning on having another baby any time soon or ever. This article by Kate Haas for Salon is excellent because it reminded me so much of some of the themes that came up in my research about maternity clothing when it comes to the circulation of pregnancy clothes between women (mothers and daughters but also girlfriends) and the emotional significance of clothing during pregnancy but also more generally (for example, wedding dresses). Haas recounts having her mother offer up her old maternity clothes and not being interested in them given their preponderance of horrible patterns, ugly buttons and generally unflattering shapes. She doesn't want to wear them but at the same time realises why her mother kept them for so long.

Did you inherit maternity clothes from your mother? Your girlfriends? Did you keep your clothes or did you pass them on? If you kept some of your pregnancy clothes which items did you keep?


AudraG said...

I saved all my mat. clothes borrwed them to my sister during her pregnancy - 3 months behind me.
I'll probably save them for my daughter too. But I am overly sentimental..

Katie said...

I guess I'm not too sentimental. I gave most of my maternity clothes to my sister-in-law two months after having my baby. The cloths I kept were tank tops that I can still run in. I didn't hate or love my clothes. They weren't too awful, but I do enjoy the non-maternity variety much more!

Corina Owner of Twiggypop Ranch said...

I am visiting your blog for the first time and am excited that I chanced upon your posting regarding maternity clothing. I design/own a small apparel company that specializes in maternity clothing (Twiggypop Ranch) and am excited to hear more about your thoughts on the use/abuse of maternity clothes. Our line focusses on creating clothing that is wearable and fashionable throughout the entire duration of the maternity process (before, during and after) due to its adaptability and flexibility. We hope to provide women of all shapes and sizes the ability to feel sexy and healthy and we love that clothing can help with this goal. In reading your post, i was excited to hear about your research on how women are passing on their used clothes and I would love to learn more about your research to better pass on your knowledge and learnings to my future customers.
thanks for sharing-

Anonymous said...

I got most of mine from the thrift store, and then gave most of the useable stuff to the thrift store.

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