I'm about to reveal some of the darkest mysteries of the universe...
Well, mysteries of maternity clothes anyway.
When I was pg with Stinkerbell, the styles of clothes were a little different for those of us whose bellies were swelling by the inch daily. Shirts were big and long and blousy. Pants were made with a big elastic pouch-thing that allowed the belly to fill it up.
And the pants didn't need constant hitching up.
Shirts are much more "fitted" now. Maternity and non-maternity tops alike. It wasn't so bad when I was barely showing and my bra size had grown. Now that I'm 6 1/2 months along... Well, let's just say I'm testing the stretch capacity of lycra more every day!
I have bought a couple of different style bellies in the pg pants I've bought and thought it might be interesting to share what I've learned here.
Well, "interesting" might not be the right word. If you aren't interested, then move on. Cuz I'm gonna talk about pg pants belly panels now.
The first pants I bought were jeans from JC Penney. Nothing special. These have a pretty wide elastic band that goes all around your waist and are pretty good about stretching out to fit your gut as it grows.
Here's what I learned about this particular style of belly..
1. The elastic band twists within its little pouch in the washer and dryer and is a pain in the neck! to straighten out again. If you sew, you could stitch it into place. I don't sew very well, so I tried safety pins. They helped a little.
(edit: don't you just love the way I smushed the picture, elongating the pg model's only SLIGHTLY!! bulging belly.)
2. When you get to the point that the elastic band is under a lot of, uhm, stress, you may be less satisfied with this belly style. It may not reach high enough on your belly to stay up on its own, requiring constant attempts to prevent plumber pants.
3. If you wear this style when sitting for an extended period of time, you may become aware of the extra pressure that a 1.5" band of elastic will exert upon a constantly full bladder. You will then agree that this belly style is not ideal for use for the ENTIRE 9 months.
Then there's the belly style of my "bling bling" jeans. I indulged in these at the Motherhood store. These jeans were not my favorites initially. The lycra in them made them stretch just a little more than necessary, which led to much hitching and yanking to keep them where they should be and not sagging around my thighs.
This belly style has a stretchy panel that goes all the way around but only has a narrow strip of elastic at the very top of that band. There is also a drawstring that goes through the band at the same spot as the elastic. This allows for cinching up so that the bling-jeans will stay up where they should be.
I have bought another pair of jeans with the same belly style. I have hopes that I can be content with this style till delivery.
Now you have a share in my extensive wealth of maternity clothes knowledge and experience.
No. No. No. I don't expect anything in return for my selfless gift of this knowledge. I understand the depth of your gratitude. I just want to help others with information that I would appreciate also knowing.
Now, go out and buy some lycra-enhanced maternity jeans and let me know your own preferences.
(edit: I have opinions on underwear too. Panties, to be specific. I purchased my first supply of matenity panties at Sears - no maternity items listed on their website. They've sufficed until I realized that some of the elastic binding at the legs and hip were coming unstitched. While at the Motherhood store, I bought a pack of their panties. I'm much happier with these. The fabric is softer. The elastic binding is a higher quality and is stitched more securely and is kinda pretty.)