Photo from DresstheBump.comI've been pretty lucky with my maternity clothes this time around – thanks, Japanese Weekend sample sale! – but last time, I skipped most of the maternitywear and headed straight for the empire-waist tops on the sale rack at Marshall's. Loved those five-dollar tops. But I might have done even better if I'd known about Dress the Bump, the brainchild of Sarah Reimmuth.
A former wedding photographer with her own marketing company just outside Indianapolis, Indiana, Reimmuth took her dissatisfaction with the limited options, high price, and sometimes crappy quality of maternity fashion and turned it into a site that collects and posts not-necessarily-pregnancy wear that can do double duty.
I thought it was a great idea, so I tracked the intrepid hunter down as she was scouring the racks at TJ Maxx and asked her a few questions.
When did you start the site?
About two months ago, which was awkward! I hadn't yet announced my own pregnancy, so I had to keep mum about the site, too. Once we'd made the announcement to our family here and in New Orleans, I started promoting, little by little, through social media like my Twitter feed.
Have you been down this maternity-clothes road before?
Yes, this is my second pregnancy. My last one was about eleven years ago! There have been huge improvement in maternity wear over the years.
But not enough for you. Why do you have such a hate-on for maternity clothes?
My biggest complaints would have to be about the accessibility, price, and fabric quality. I leave on the outskirts of a decent-sized city, yet I have to drive 25 minutes to find a maternity story. And even when I can find great-fitting, quality options, the pricing just doesn't work for me. I love a good bargain, but items rarely hit the clearance rack until they're way out of season.
As for the options at the stores closer to me – JCPenney, Target and Kohls – I find the options limited. They act as if, now that we're pregnant, we're suddenly all small, medium, or large. Plus, they also often supply maternity clothes in the itchiest, cheapest fabrics known to man. And darn it, I want more options! Sure, they offer their shirts in black, white, and pink, but if there were a convention of pregnant women who dressed only in department-store maternity clothes, we'd all be wearing the same basic uniform – one of about 20 available outfits off the rack.
I could order online, but the sizing of maternity wear varies so drastically, I'm terrified to order from them sight unseen. At least with the retailers I'm already familiar with, I know what I'm getting--I just don't always know how it will fit over my bump. That's where DresstheBump.com comes in to help pregnant women make some of these choices.
Photo from DressTheBump.comSo do you really wear no maternity clothes, or have you found a few must-have items?
I do, but it's much harder for me to find a proper fit in maternity wear, as opposed to non-maternity wear that accommodates this bump. That's where DresstheBump.com comes in -- to help pregnant women make some of these choices.
Are most of the pictures on the site of you? Are you hoping for more user-generated content and images as the site grows?
All the photos are of me so far, but my goal is to make it more of a community for pregnant women to share all kinds of tips.
What do you look for in an item of clothing, to make it "pregger-friendly?"
It changes daily! Some days, earlier in a pregnancy, I just want to hide it. But more and more, I just want something that flatters my body overall, with room for my bump. And that's comfortable.
What's the biggest disappointment you've come across?
A Victoria's Secret top that I thought would be great, but that just looked like a tent. Also, anything that blends the chest-belly area together into one large lump is a huge "no."
What about your favorite item?
I have to choose two. For everyday wearability, it'd be the Old Navy Rib Knit Waist Shorts. They're the perfect length, great fabric for the price, and comfortable. For a more dressed-up option, I like Victoria's Secret Breezy cotton banded bottom dress. It's roomy without sacrificing my figure or style. Plus, it's affordable, and so comfortable!