She Says… Weddings, weddings and more weddings!

First of all, thank you to everyone who submitted questions on our Ask Us Anything post. Our next two weeks are C-R-A-Z-Y with travel (I’m going to Munich for a week for work, Benjamin’s going to Vegas for nearly a week, then we drive to Pennsylvania/Delaware/Maryland for a wedding and some family time — the fun never ends!), but I promise we’ll answer each and every one of your questions at some point soon. You brought up some great topics! Feel free to add more questions if you think of them, too.

Speaking of weddings and travel, we have FIVE coming up in the next 6 months! I love weddings. I love the dresses and the flowers and seeing what kind of style the couple put into their big day. I love the dressing up and the dancing and the food. But I am a little anxious about all of these upcoming weddings because I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR. Stylish, formal maternity dresses are few and far between. For some reason I find that they tend to be (1) made out of really horrible, synthetic, unbreathable material, (2) super plain and/or very casual, or (3) outrageously expensive, if you do happen to find the one, beautiful, stylish option. What’s a fashion-conscious pregnant girl to do?

Love this one -- and it's only $75 to rent! But with 5 weddings, buying makes more sense...

Recently I joined a really awesome service called Rent the Runway. They rent expensive formal dresses for a fraction of the cost ($75 to wear a $300 dress? Sign me up!). They send you the dresses for nearly a week, give you 2 sizes just in case one doesn’t fit right, and send you a prepaid envelope to mail the dress back in (and they take care of the dry cleaning). Incredible! Unfortunately I found this beautiful resource right as my belly is beginning to pop beyond the confines of normal dress measurements, so I can’t take advantage. But that got me thinking: does such a thing exist for maternity dresses? I’ll save you the Googling… the answer is: sort of. Rentmaternitywear.com is a similar concept, but, like the maternity dress racks in stores, the selection is very small, and not that exciting.

I work right near a Filene’s Basement, so although they don’t have a maternity section, I thought maybe I could find a cute non-pregnant person dress that was flowy enough around the middle that I could wear it to at least the first two weddings of the summer. I’m not exactly sure when this happened, but apparently my ribs have expanded along with my belly — I could barely fit into ANY of the dresses!!! Not sure how that works, exactly, since I still wear extra small tops, but I think it’s just that normal dresses were not designed to accommodate my new, uhhh, curves. Oh my. I do think if I could find a long, strapless dress that is only fitted around the chest, that would work beautifully. Unfortunately it’s prom season, though, so all the long dresses are adorned with fake diamonds and jewels… not really my style!

ABS Collection Sleeveless Rosette Details Maternity Dress

Gorgeous! But at nearly $400, it's a bit out of my price range...

I’ve even looked at maternity specialty stores like A Pea in the Pod and Motherhood Maternity, but have found either casual summer sundresses or super expensive formalwear. I’ve scoured websites like Old Navy, Gap, and Ann Taylor LOFT, but I keep finding either plain black dresses or looks that are too casual for my weddings. So far the best site has been Nordstrom, but even their selection is almost all plain designs, solid colors and strange fabrics. Sigh.

Any suggestions of places I haven’t thought to look yet? The weddings are creeping closer and closer, so I may just have to bite the bullet and buy something I don’t love. But I hate spending money on things I don’t love.

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17 responses to “She Says… Weddings, weddings and more weddings!

  1. I wish I could help out more here… I went through the same problem… we went to a wedding when I was 23 or 24 weeks and looked EVERYWHERE for dress. Maternity dresses were all so unflattering! I ended up wearing a regular dress that was a medium instead of a small. It was very flowy with an empire waist and a kind of stretchy material. I tried on about 100 dresses before I found that one! Good luck!

  2. In Canada we have consignment stores that have maternity clothes you could try that. Try the yellow pages you just never know what you might find. Good Luck.

  3. Have you checked out Target? Their Liz Lange/maternity section always ‘looks’ fabulous to a non-preggers person and Target has had some really awesome dresses lately in the regular section…

    I popped on their website and it’s promising at least…don’t know how formal/casual the weddings are but most of their dresses are under $30!

    Just a thought!

  4. Kate, I had the same thing happen to me a few months ago when my brother got married in January. I was just starting to get “fat” and my dress barely fit me around the ribs. I couldn’t breathe all day. But for now, I was also going to suggest Target – Liz Lange. I just bought a pretty black dress from there, and I love it! Good luck 🙂

  5. Have you tried perhaps just moving up to plus sizes or something? (1X)

    Also; Shabby Apple. Maybe.

  6. I have this dress from pre-pregnancy and realized last night that it still fits well due to the material. This brand may have other options.
    http://www.tobi.com/product/24539-velvet-ellen-dress-dresses?color_id=29549

    I would also check out the Ann Taylor online Maternity section — they have some that could work.

    http://www.anntaylorloft.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId=24539&N=1200058&pCategoryId=3363&categoryId=1160&Ns=CATEGORY_SEQ_1160&loc=TN&defaultColor=Crisp%20Mauve&defaultSizeType=Regular

    Good Luck!

  7. (and I just see that you’ve already checked out Ann Taylor, so I guess that’s a no.)

  8. A note about the Target maternity stuff… I LOVE their Liz Lange maternity line, BUT the dresses are all a really awkward length… the ‘calf-length’ dresses come to my lower shin… and I am 5’6.” So, if you go with one from there, just keep in mind that you will need time to get it hemmed!

  9. I’m so sorry, why did I say try plus sizes? I’m an idiot. Why don’t you just go up a few sizes? REGULAR sizes, not plus. Sorry sorry sorry.

  10. Also. They give the designers name for that teal dress, and the retail value is only 226$ – major savings from renting it for 70×5 = 375$. Why not just go to the designers website & buy it? ITS SO CUTE.

  11. There are some cute options here: http://moreofmematernity.com

    Thought one: What about a great pair of summer pants and a fancy top? That might provide more options.

    Thought two: Spring for the dress!!! So cute!

  12. I say take the plunge and buy that adorable dress! You may even be able to find it cheaper with a little Googling (i.e., $175 at http://www.moodymamas.com/chic-chiffon-dress.html but it looks like they only have fuchsia and black). Good luck!

  13. What about etsy.com? Searching for “maternity, dress” gives you lots of options for handmade, vintage, and some custom dresses. Most are under $100!

  14. I was going to say Mama Apple at Shabby Apple has a few good choices. I ended up getting a black Old Navy dress that I am going to dress up with heels and jewelry? It was so hard to find anything and I didn’t have lots to spend!

  15. I’d say to see if any of your friends who have kids might have something you could borrow 🙂

  16. I ended up getting a maternity version of a “little black dress” and made it look different with scarves/shawls/shoes/accessories. I had to settle for less-than-fantastic material, but I was comfortable and the dress held up for the 3 nights I needed it to look nice. Good luck!

  17. You guys are the best!!! Thank you all SO MUCH for your awesome suggestions, comments and links. I feel so much better about my options now.

    Domesticated Bliss, I looked at Target awhile ago, but since then they have added a lot of cute dresses! Thanks for the suggestion. They are mostly more casual than I was hoping for, but for $30, it can’t hurt to have a backup or another option to take with me as I change shape over the next few months.

    Kelli, I am glad to know I’m not the only one with expanding-ribs-syndrome 🙂 I assume it’s normal, but I feel like I’m pretty much the same size everywhere except for my tummy (and my butt), but apparently not!

    Sarah, Shabby Apple is SO CUTE! I’ve never heard of that brand before. I love their stuff!

    Allison, Thank you for reminding me of that cute pink LOFT dress. I looked at it a few weeks ago and then figured I could find something “better” (since I’m so pale, I was worried that the light pink might make me look washed out), but looking at it again, it really is quite pretty! It’s definitely in the running.

    thebakerbee, Hmmm, good to know! I haven’t seen most of the dresses in my local store, so I’ll probably have to buy something sight unseen. But since I’m barely 5’2″, that awkward length would really not be good for me!

    Sarah, It’s a good point about saving $$$ just buying the teal dress rather than renting. My cheap little mind still feels that over $200 is a pretty penny for one dress, but you’re right that if I’ll wear it 5 times, it may pay for itself. Something to think about 🙂

    Laurie, Oooh, I’ve never seen that More of Me Maternity link come up before in all my searching. Thank you! I’ll check it out.

    Kate, You are a girl after my own heart! THANK YOU for finding that beautiful dress for cheaper, I think you may have found the winner!!!

    kate, Another great suggestion! I have used Etsy in the past for art and nursery stuff, but hadn’t really considered it for clothes. I’ll definitely take a look.

    Thank you ALL again 🙂

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