I’m a total cheapo when it comes to clothes. Money was tight for me in college and grad school and somewhere along the line I just decided that clothes were not something I wanted to make a priority in my spending. I’m a little more comfortable financially these days than I was back then, but now I’d rather spend my moolah on my house or on time with friends and family. So while clothes may be a perfectly acceptable indulgence for some other folks, it’s just not for me. I have very few clothes and I wear them for years and years.
Taking a minimalist approach to my wardrobe was coming along swimmingly until I got pregnant. One by one I grew out of nearly everything I owned. I had to buy all new stuff! And my usual go-to shopping spots–the thrift store and the clearance rack–weren’t exactly overflowing with modern, flattering maternity wear. Let’s just say there were a lot of “mom jeans” involved. Add to that the fact that I’m super short and finding flattering maternity wear on the cheap was nearly impossible.
I posted back in February about how I tracked down a pair of skinny jeans for $40 online and hemmed them to fit my oompa loompa legs. Would you judge me if I admitted to the internet that those are the only jeans I’ve worn this entire pregnancy? And I wear jeans to work pretty much every day. I’ve got a few dresses with empire waists that still fit for a while and I did buy one maternity dress on clearance at Kohl’s, but as the Louisiana summer started heating up (and my rational perception of body temperature went out the window anyway), I needed something with a little more ventilation than denim can offer.
I wasn’t hopeful about finding something suitable and affordable from any of the big maternity retailers, so I turned to etsy. The vintage section was definitely a wash, but I found some promising options from handmade sellers. When I found Charity’s shop A Dainty Button I fell in love with the simple and versatile lines of her skirts but wanted something in a solid color for maximum mix-and-match-ability. And as long as I was making special requests, why not skip the part where I have to hem it and go ahead and just order it in a shorter length? Charity happily agreed. And how much do you think I paid for a made-to-order piece of clothing in the length, color, and fabric of my choosing? $30! Can you believe it? I feel like I definitely would have paid that much or more for something not nearly as perfect that was mass-produced.
The soft jersey cotton is so lightweight and breathable and the cut and color are perfect for pairing with the couple of shirts that still fit me. Plus, since I usually fold down the waistband to slip under my belly anyway, I’m feeling hopeful that I may even be able to wear it post-baby.
Can I just say that I am completely in love with Etsy? Sometimes I’m just amazed by technology. It’s so awesome to be able to connect with talented folks I never would have met otherwise, and while you’d think that buying handmade (and custom!) clothes would cost a fortune, it’s actually a very reasonable option when you’re looking for something specific like this. That said, I hope I don’t have to buy any more maternity clothes! With only six weeks left and my working days coming to an end very soon, hopefully I can just keep making do with the few things that still fit.