Cover up

On Thursday Amelia and I stopped by Kmart so that I could pick her up a cheap alarm clock (in the hopes she will stay in bed until she sees that it’s 7am), more beans for our sad old, limp bean bag and some pajamas ready to wash and pack in my hospital bag. There was great success to be had with a cheap pink shiny alarm clock and the bag of beans but no luck in the pj department. I did, however, find two long sleeved t-shirts that looked like they would cover my ever-growing belly. I took them into the fitting rooms with Amelia and tried them on. I hummed and haahed, and Amelia told me that I looked beautiful in both of them. I was easily convinced, mostly because I was happy that both covered right over my belly and didn’t leave a great gaping bare midriff which all my other maternity clothes are now doing. Plus, both were on sale for about $15 each so how much more perfect can I hope for at 8 months pregnant? At this point in my life my 100% in love theory (which has been working quite excellently these past two years) has gone out the window.
I got home and tried the first one on for Big-P and he raised one eyebrow and said “Trassssheee“. And, oh my gawd, he was so right, I looked down at my top and saw that it was pure trash. I am 8 months pregnant wearing a ripped neckline t-shirt adorned with a huge, sparkling silver trash-goth design screen print stretching with great exaggeration across my stomach. What was I thinking? Big-P is just reiterating it for me now saying “it’s more like trash meets tragic – trashic! No, not ‘tres chic’, TRASHIC.” Yes, I think I got it the first time.

And then I tried on the other and looked at myself in the mirror again and realised that it looked even worse. This t-shirt, according to the label, is actually 6 sizes too big for me. I did see this when I was trying it on, but decided that I could get away with it because it covered my belly… and while tent-like no one is going to care because they will be too busy looking in fear and horror at my belly which is getting incredibly huge and watermellon shaped but is at least now covered. But as I stood in our room – away from the seductive glitz and glamour and fluorescent lighting of the Kmart fitting rooms – I looked at the rest of my body in it and could hardly believe how ridiculous it looked. It was a great, grey flapping mess. Maybe, just perhaps, the taste of a three year and a half year old and a highly hormonal mother in a badly lit change room is not always to be trusted. Thank goodness for Kmart’s return policy!

Yesterday I went to the hair dressers and asked for a pretty tame hairstyle with a non-adventurous but flattering colour of dark chocolate all-over tint with a couple of subtle reddy splices to break-up the front a bit. Three hours later I looked like this:

Which I really wasn’t expecting. Clearly the hair stylists were not expecting it either. So while even I had to admit that it was better than what I had three hours earlier, it was quite purple, and I am really just not a purple person. Not even close. Not even in my most goth moments 15 years ago did I entertain purple. It kind of makes me look quite green. Although my brain was slightly addled from lack of food and 3 hours of reading New Idea and Who Magazines, I knew I was not 100% in love with this at all. For the first time ever in my life of visiting hair salons I asked them to change it. Half an hour later again I waddled out of the salon with toned down reddy-pink streaks and a bag of stuff to take back to Kmart.

So while 100% love is hard to find with an unfamiliar body shape and also hard to justify (with clothing anyway) when there is only 6 weeks (or so) of big-belly-living to go I think it might be a start to try and not collapse completely into a vortex of fashion crimes. I think those ratty old track-pants and some of Big-P’s old t-shirts and my cardigans and hoodies that don’t quite do up will continue to suffice for the time being.

39 Responses to “Cover up”


    Funny! It is a shame you aren’t in the UK, all the shops here seem to have gone “maternity wear” crazy – it’s like the latest must-have accessory is a big belly!Regarding the hair incident, I walked away from the hairdressers once with the Worst Haircut Ever (he actually shaved the back of my head with clippers) because I was too close to tears to speak! Well done for making them fix their mistake.


    i never find shirts to cover my belly anyways ( i am very looong and and not exactly small around) so when i was pregnant by 5 months my belly stuck out of everything. i was a massive pregnant lady, so close to the end of my pregnancy, i could only wear silly girlly pj tops (w/ kittens or baskets of flowers on them – yuck!) on these ridiculous nein yellow fleece wide leg capris, i looked like a bus in nannies pyjamas. what was i thinking????if you are as half as cute as you look in your illustrations then hold your head high for being such a yummy mummmy!!!


    Heehee! That’s so funny. I’m 33 weeks myself and have gone through the same fashion issues. I find that the stretchy tops from Suzanne Grae and Rockman’s are reasonable in price and provide good enough coverage. A long Bonds singlet worn underneath all my tops is now my fashion staple 🙂


    When I was about 5 months pregnant, I tried to get highlights in my hair for a formal dinner party. The hairdresser absolutely REFUSED because I was pregnant, and the chemicals might hurt the baby. I found a salon that WOULD do it, and guess what? the baby didn’t come out with his hair highlighted, so I’m guessing its ok. 😉


    If the tops were exactly as illustrated, *phew* those KMart fitting room lights must really be something else! Thank and Amelia really knows the art of complimenting! But really, how can you resist when your kid says you’re beautiful??? *swoon*


    I just love your illustrations. They are just perfect. Although, when I imagine you down there living your nice little life, I usually think of you as a very adorable cartoon!
    (6 weeks? Not long at all!)


    I have shopping days like yours very often, I love a generous return policy. I am going to try the 100% love theory, it sounds like a winner. Enjoy your last few weeks of pregnancy!


    Hi Clare
    I bought a couple of vintage ’70s kaftans when I was getting big with child, and they were a great success. They really flatter the pregnant shape. Hope this helps.



    Target Maternity has some good things. I did buy a scary top there though – tie died, bedazzled and a ripped neckline – but it was reduced to 4.00 and fits. But it doesn’t go outside the house!Sussans is good – nice hippie type tops with baggy fronts. And actually Myers larger ladies section often has a rack of stuff reduced by 75%, where you can find some nice big, subdued tops, with beaded type necklines.
    good luck!


    OMG…George Clooney in SHOCK SPLIT with Paris Hilton?? Paris must be even further out of out of her mind than previously suspected.


    too funny! i love that amelia now has an alarm clock! awesome illustrations! sorry about your trashee tops….and purple hair. good thing you were able to take the tops back…and get the purple out!


    I feel the same way. I’m not pregnant but I’m sort of chubby in the middle. The idea of wearing a dress is laughter-inducing. Yes, lets wear something that’ll minimize your breast-size and accentuate your belly even furter-so. Maternity shirts are great to wear as baggy and tent-like as it may or may not be, for you’re pregnant and people love seeing a pregnant woman, especially if she seems as though she’s enjoying it, and not trying to cover herself by wearing normal-looking clothing.


    I too tend to think of you as an adorable cartoon!;). I used to think in the only six weeks left live with the hubby’s T’s mindset, however, if you need a mood booster sometimes just one new, nice fitting maternity shirt can make all the difference to carry you through!


    you are sooo sweet!! i just love that your equally sweet girl thought you looked beautiful in tra~chic!
    best in the following weeks!


    Oh, I can sympathise, the last few weeks are horrendous. I was HUGE with Daniel, he ended up being 10lb 5oz of baby so of course nothing fitted the last 6 weeks. I ended up getting a couple of maternity T-shirts (Size 18 from memory) from Big W, there were no offensive patterns on these!Good Luck with the next few weeks.


    Trashic – well coined.
    Good luck with that “only 6 weeks (or so) of big-belly-living to go”. I was constantly surprised how big I remained after each of my babies. I wore my pre-baby clothes with a sense of denial (“I WILL NOT wear maternity ANY MORE”). Post-baby body squashed into pre-baby clothes? That’s trashic.


    And remember – you won’t really be wearing PJs in hospital!! I took 3 pairs, as prescribed, and with all the visitors and out of room trips I just did not want to wear PJs!!!

    Big W has some cheap lightweight drawstring, stretchy cotton pants. Maybe get a couple of them and team with Big-P’s t-shirts.

    There is nothing worse than wearing daggy PJs when you’re already feeling HUGE!!

    Good luck Clairey!


    So pleased to hear that someone else “trashic” shopping experiences as I do, and I can’t even blame being pregnant. There is a maternity wear shop on Canterbury Rd in Vermont and I picked up some great stretchy tops and an awesome black fitted tunic top that I wore long after Alice arrived. I know it has changed names recently, but I’m presuming they have the same kinds of stuff. I think that at 8 or so months, you need to feel as gorgeous as you possibly can, so having some “nicer” items of clothing always made me feel slightly more special and less lumpy. Hey, I was my sister’s bridesmaid 3 weeks before Alice was born, along side her stunning, willowy blonde friend! Now there’s a story ….


    So good to remember it’s just a temporary condition. I remember wearing my mum’s size 16 nighties to bed and on sale Sussan’s track pants… oh, and it’s a great season for hats!


    Our best bet with the staying-in-bed-’til-7am thing turned out to be drawing a picture of what 7am looks like (big-hand here, little-hand here) in the same size and colour as the kids’ clock, and sticking it to the wall beside it. Seems to appeal to their sense of matching things, or something…


    I threw nearly all my maternity clothes away after I had my little one,I’d been wearing them so long I couldn’t stand them anymore.Don’t worry not long to go and you’ll hopefully get to go on a shopping spree for something new, that’s if you have time with two little ones to handle! Phil and Ted make great prams, light weight and seats for two!!!


    oh claire… my sympathies 🙂 but you told it all so well and i am cracking up here. and the picture with the WHO magazine is genius!


    Thanks so much for the laugh Claire. Sounds like many a day I could have had but never could have written about as eloquently. Its such a hard call on picking out clothes during those last months of pregnancy, isn’t it? And that was when I really wanted something new to wear!


    Oh Lordy! Maternity wear in Australia is so bad and/or expensive. Old Navy in the US has great stuff but of course they don’t deliver here. Just think in a couple of months you’ll once again be able to shop where non-preggo ladies shop 🙂


    I totally can’t believe that you wouldn’t look absolutely cute in anything you put on. Even if it was a “Baby —>” t-shirt and completely blue hair. Claire not cute? I’m not buying it. You’re cute. Period.


    “Trashic” what a great word!!!
    I loved your post..really funny and I can so relate.
    I paraded for hubby some cheap undies I bought the other day (size 12) after I had removed the sticker that said “I go up to size 24″….. not with me in them!!!


    Funny to hear “seductive glitz and glamour” associated with a K-Mart fitting room… your K-Marts in Australia must be something else! K-Marts here are akin to crack houses, but you can find some cute things every now and then :). Now TARGET! That’s a store I can get behind!


    i’m loving all your illustrations for these recent posts. wonderful!
    when i was pregnant, i was pretty much down to 5 outfits by the end. i just held out and told myself that if i saved the money by not buying more ugly clothes, i could buy some cute things for the post pregger period.


    Something cute is always on sale at Gap Maternity ( Looks like they’ve even added a line of nursing bras since I was last pregnant….


    Aw, hang in there. Six weeks seems like an eternity when you’re carrying a watermelon.
    The only time I’ve ever cried over my hair in a salon was a few years ago when the gal did EXACTLY what I told her I didn’t want. sheesh. I even had a picture (of myself) of what I wanted. I asked her to fix it and she said she didn’t have time, but could do it tomorrow. I ended up going to another salon (same franchise) and having them fix it for me. That gal was right on…and gave me candy to cheer me up. She felt really bad. I’ve been terrified of getting my hair colored ever since.


    Heehee! The illustrations are perfect … I love this story. I think now’s the time to wear the craziest muu-muu you can muster, loud and proud.
    I’ve recently made bad clothing choices (on reflection, I spent much of the UK winter looking vaguely like a gangsta rapper), but I don’t have the excuse of a baby hormone-addled brain!

    My aunty Linda once told me that when she was pregnant with my cousin Kelly, she found herself sobbing while watching an episode of The Flintstones …

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