Sunday, 30 October 2011

bump in the night

Change can be scary. There's no two ways about that. For male teenagers, change can be so frightening that they forbear even to change their mucky knock-off Calvin Klein pants for days (or weeks) on end. For me, an alleged grown-up, change is less scary than that, but still, y'know, pretty unnerving. I don't like moving house. Come to that, I don't like moving desks. So it's kind of odd that I find myself undergoing the biggest change a person can go through...
...I'm growing another head in me.
Now, the boy and I have been hoping this would happen for a while, and so it's not a total surprise that I am, in fact, pregnant. Even so, it is part amazing, part, wildly exciting and part rather scary.
I'm not scared by raising a child. Rather, I'm scared by what's happening to my wardrobe. I'm now fifteen weeks pregnant and already have a sizeable baby bump. I went into maternity clothes very early, and this is my primary irritation. Maternity clothes, unless you're able to pay Isabella Oliver prices (ie, sewn from cloth-of-gold by nuns), are almost universally ugly. Leggings feature prominently, as do horizontally striped tops - surely the last combination of garments to put on anyone who is expanding rapidly. The clothes veer between "plain and utilitarian" or "hysterically fashion-conscious". The selection for alt or goth mums consists of ugly slogan t-shirts with coy, bump-related slogans. I'm 29. My days of suiting slogan t-shirts went out years ago. In blue jeans (the only alternative to leggings) and whatever black tops I can get my hands on, my much-loved alt identity is subsumed.
Why, though? Why aren't clothes made to flatter and hug the beauty of the pregnant shape? To play up the enhanced boob and play down the bloated cankle? Instead, we are offered clothes that tent, not skim; played down versions of the latest fashions which frequently uglify the body enceinte; and slogan t-shirts and pyjamas which feel kind of undignified when you're nearly thirty, and in any case, forget that the primary aim of clothes is for the wearer to look deathlessly chic, rather than to advertise that she will be giving birth within the sixmonth.
If I had the chance to design my own maternity range, it would be full of v-neck tops, long fishtail skirts and not a single pair of fuck-ugly leggings in sight. Anyone who wants to employ me to do this, I'm available now. Go on, you'd be doing a favour for pregnant women everywhere.

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