Monday, November 03, 2008

Bump shopping - the results

In this week’s baby bargainista column, Jenny shares her experience finding chic maternity wear...

A while ago I posted about dressing the belly – finding chic, inexpensive maternity clothes once my belly got too big for even my “fat pants”. I hit that point recently and set off downtown in search of seasonal, work-appropriate clothes.

Alas, my hope for something that would allow me to adapt my existing summer-focused maternity wardrobe was dashed; not a maternity cardigan in sight. In fact I didn’t have much luck overall at my first stop, Motherhood Maternity. It seemed like they were still in the process of turning over their inventory from summer to fall, as most of the displays featured heavily discounted summer-weight short-sleeved tops.

I did try on a number of items there but found most of them ill-fitting at my current stage, and perhaps better suited to later pregnancy; I walked out with just a couple of maternity undershirts, hoping that by layering I can continue to stretch out (literally!) my pre-pregnancy wardrobe of long- and quarter-sleeved shirts through the chilly fall.

My next stop, Thyme Maternity, was much more successful. They too had summer stock on sale, and I picked up a couple of t-shirts for layering at 2 for $29; but they also had a wide range of fall items, from casuals like maternity cords (very comfortable) and cotton turtlenecks, to work wear like suits and blouses. I jumped at the chance to pick up a few blouses at 25% off – a bit lightweight, but in lovely jewel tones appropriate for fall and winter and easily layered under a jacket for extra warmth (a sample is pictured here).

Thyme also featured some great in-store deals. With every pant purchase you got $10 off a sweater, so I picked up some lovely dress pants (pictured here) and a very flattering sweater. Both fit like a dream and I was tempted to wear them straight out of the store! The sales clerk told me that Thyme features different deals weekly, to encourage repeat visits; so I may return to see what new deals I can find on more winter-weight maternity wear.

My only complaint is that the Eaton Centre store I was at had only one sweater left in my size, in just one color. I asked the clerk if they would ship another sweater for me in the other color from another location, and they would – but they wouldn’t hold it for me for more than 24 hours. That surprised me as it’s not always convenient for customers to rush to the nearest store to pick up special orders, especially with only 5 locations scattered around the GTA, and only one (the Eaton Centre) downtown. I asked if I could order it from their website, but was informed that the site was not commerce-enabled – another disappointment for such a large and well-known chain!

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