Think you need to spend a fortune on maternity clothes? Not in Seattle!
Marianne Hales Harding

Save some cash!
Yet another reason to celebrate our mild weather!

I promised my husband that I would be good. It was a girl's day out, the first maternity clothes shopping trip of my first pregnancy. I was determined not to spend a lot. It wasn't long before I realized how foolish that determination was, but as time goes on I realize that the mild Seattle weather saved me a buck or two.

We began our shopping odyssey at the same store that we had turned to for the first maternity clothes shopping trip of my dear friend Jan's first pregnancy (just one year ago). Upon discovering that it had closed in the meantime, we headed over to Bell Square. I don't know why, but Bellevue has always seemed like Pregnant Lady Land to me (perhaps because it's halfway between my friend and I, and we always end up there looking at baby things). Perhaps it's because there seem to be a lot more women with babies wandering around the Eastside than there are wandering around downtown Seattle.

The first hurdle we had to overcome was purely mental. When Jan was trying on maternity clothes, she completely freaked out and I sat outside the dressing room laughing, never imaging how the tables would turn with a vengeance. When I found myself in a dressing room with a pile of giant clothes and a little fake belly strapped around me I could not keep myself from freaking out just as much as she had. She, of course, had a good laugh just outside the dressing room door.

Certainly, I thought, none of those clothes will ever actually fit me. At the same time, though, I knew that those clothes would indeed fit me -- not someday off in the distant future, but soon!

The other hurdle was monetary. Even on sale (as everything I purchased was), clothing purchases of this magnitude really add up. I really made an effort to be good and I still walked away with a bill that was more than $100. I got a lot for that $100, but that's still a lot of money. My strategy was to only purchase things on sale and only purchase things with the utmost versatility: basic black, neutral T-shirts etc. I didn't even look at any of the "latest design" full price fashions. I ended up with several outfits I could wear to work, all interchangeable.

Layer up!
This all occurred in early fall and as the rains started to really come down and my belly started to really come out, I started to wonder if I had many more expensive shopping trips ahead of me. If I lived in Minneapolis, I think I would have headed back to the store, but, hey, this is Seattle. We don't often get much colder than we are right now. A shirt, a sweater, and an open coat will keep you warm enough. I discovered this one day while wearing my peacoat over a bulky sweater. The bulk of the sweater added to the bulk that is now me proved to be too much for my coat and the button popped off, flying across the sidewalk like you might see in a cartoon.

Since the wait time on mending things in my house is long, I have been wearing my coat sans middle button and it has been working quite well. I have found that if I button the top of the coat only it not only fits better (swinging wide where I swing wide), but I'm just as warm as I would be with the entire coat done up.

I was so excited when I realized my great fortune. No need to buy another big (and I do mean big) winter coat. No need to buy boots a size larger (for your poor swollen feet). No need for too much as far as distinctly winter clothing. This is the land of layering! Most Seattle-ites seem to dress on the cold side of spring weather anyhow and this is only a plus for those of us who are gestating. The basics are pretty much all you'll need.

This doesn't mean that my shopping days are over (much to my husband's chagrin). Since I've just saved myself the price of a big coat and new boots I have all sorts of money I can spend!

Tags: seattle

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