Thursday, January 22, 2009

What Not To Wear

Most women-fertile and infertile alike-are scared of maternity clothes. Scared of what they mean, what they represent, what they're made to cover up. But not me.

Ever since we started trying to start our family, I just haven't been able to bring myself to waste money on something that won't stretch over my belly when I get pregnant. I'm guilty of trying things on in the dressing room and stuffing my giant purse up under them, imagining what I'll look like with a huge pregnant stomach. Then I'll throw open the curtain, and stand back and view myself, oblivious of the sympathetic looks I'm accumulating from strangers looking at my lumpy, distorted stomach. The problem is, after two years of failed attempts, I'm still not pregnant.

But that hasn't stopped me from wearing a belly-friendly wardrobe.

I didn't really view this as disturbing until I was choosing my outfit this morning. I put on my plum eyeshadow in anticipation of wearing my favorite eggplant shirt with my distressed jeans, brown heels and vintage beaded gold and plum necklace. As I headed to the closet to grab the shirt, I noticed the tag sticking out, with Love Me Kiss Me Maternity written all over it.

As I pulled the shirt off the hanger and onto my not pregnant body, I had a flash back of my sisters baby shower a few months ago. Since it was a surprise shower, I figured she'd panic when she arrived because she wouldn't like the outfit she had on. So being the ever so anally prepared sister, I left two of my shirt-shoe-necklace-combos on my bed for her to pick from and change into.

Of course she chose the the same bold eggplant hue combo that I put on this morning. And in all of her eighth-month pregnancy glory, she filled out the shirt perfectly. Totally rocked the outfit. And that wasn't the first time my sister had borrowed a shirt-shoe-necklace combo of mine during her two pregnancies either. In fact, she was always raiding my closet before any sort of event, knowing she'd be guaranteed to find the perfect outfit to compliment her growing belly inside my overstuffed closet.

No, none of the shirts really look like maternity tops when I'm wearing them, and I'm proud to state I don't own any sort of elastic waisted maternity jeans. My addiction is limited solely to tops and dresses. Oh, and a pink tank top that in bold black letters says Pregnant, Not Fat, but don't worry, I haven't worn that yet. And in my defense, I shop mostly at Ross where the maternity tops are often sloppily mixed in with the the regular clothes, and yes, I do own regular clothes. A lot of them. But still.

After this confession I fear that Stacy and Clinton from TLC's What Not To Wear will be coming for me, the crazy girl who can't give up her 2 1/2 year old maternity wardrobe even though she's never been pregnant. I can see it now; they'd have all of my clothes displayed out on that medal rack, somewhat impressed by my regular clothes but unable to understand why in the world at least a quarter of the tops are maternity wear, criticizing my inability to let them go. Because I can't, because that would feel like I'm giving up on being pregnant. I'd sit there and cry like all the other women as they throw the tops and dresses into the big silver trash can, lecturing me on dressing to fit my "now" body, not the body I hope to have, attempting to purge me from my past addictions and instill new fashion rules into my emotionally clouded mind.

And then they'd hand me the $5,000 credit card and I'd go shopping-most likely making the rookie mistake of still picking up tops that can be worn when pregnant-and Stacy and Clinton would sit there, shaking there heads in disbelief as they watch the video footage. Eventually, they would come and get me, help me shop for appropriate attire, give me a pep-talk. Then I'd sit with Nick, argue with him about cutting off my long hair, and over to Carmindy who'd give me a makeover and the perfect "smokey eye". When they'd finished, I'd stand in front of the mirror-no doubt impressed-and check out the new me, maternity top free. And I'd be happy, I know I would.

But I'd still wish I were pregnant.

So I'm going to keep my maternity collection. I'll promise to not wear them as much, but I'm still keeping them. Because I just can't let go of the fact that I will need them someday. And when I do, they'll be there, pink Pregnant, Not Fat tank top and all.

“We live not according to reason, but according to fashion.”
-Seneca (Roman Philosopher)


Anna said...

Tab I can totally picture that episode of What Not to Wear! I have to say that while I think it's a little weird that you have so many maternity tops, I can honestly say that style is style and you always look hot so keep doing whatever you are doing! :)

Hoping for our own Peanut said...

tabitha-i surely hope you will be wearing those maternity shirt soon..with a belly, of course.

i have never ventured into a maternity section, but am totally guilty of buying something that i call, "cute, but would be cuter with a bump."

Crysbena said...

Wow! I do the same freaking thing. It's so sad. I refuse to buy anything I can't wear when pg because I don't want to freak and search forever for cute pg clothes. I'm slowly stopping that. Hope you get pg soon!

Happily Ever After said...

I love to browse through the maternity section. I've bought regular dresses and shirts that I know I'll be able to wear when I'm pregnant one day. I can't wait. Gosh, why can't we just get pregnant? Why does it have to be so difficult for us? Oh, the frustrations of TTC.

The Pifer's said...

I just wanted to tell you I found your blog through friends...I love it!!!! You are amazing, keep up the positive thinking!!!

Stacy said...

Tabitha - I wanted to let you know I nominated you for an award on my blog - check it out!

Charnè said...

i must say i love reading this open, honest post...