Friday, May 22, 2009

The Hunt for Cute Maternity Clothes

One phase of fashion that I have always feared, aside from mom jeans and spandex pants, is maternity garb. When I think of preggo-wear, images of floral frocks and elastic waistband pants dance in my head. Motherhood Maternity at the Cape Cod Mall does not do much to quell my fears. The first thing one sees as upon entering the store is jeans with massive elastic waistbands made to accommodate the pregnant lady’s growing midsection. I realize that you don’t see the waistband when you wear the pants (because your shirt should cover it), but for someone who enjoys zippers and buttons, the sight can be somewhat unnerving.

Even Old Navy, which is a tad more fashion conscious than the formerly mentioned store, does not offer an interesting array of maternity clothes. I had to laugh because all their tops were exactly the same as those in the women’s department, aside from the word ‘maternity’ on the label and the price tag. I’m pretty sure the amount of extra fabric used to make a ‘maternity’ shirt does not merit a FIVE DOLLAR increase in price over a normal shirt.

So where does a fashionable, budget conscious woman turn to when her local maternity stores have failed her? Why the thrift stores, of course! There is one shop that I know of that specializes in maternity clothes (as well as baby and children’s clothes): Repeat After Me in Orleans. I haven’t visited yet, but I am excited to meet the owner, Amber Dauphinais. Back in January she sent me a wonderful email, an excerpt of which read, "We had a meeting last night for a bunch of the consignment stores on the cape and your name came up while we were in Tots to Teens. I have to tell you we could not have said enough good things about you!!! We all appreciate your (VERY WELL WRITTEN) blogs and we would ALL like to say THANK-YOU. ” I had no idea I would be shopping at her store back then, but now I am excited to have the opportunity to stop by.

I wasn’t sure where to begin my maternity thrift shopping adventure, but I figured that the Goodwill Store in Hyannis would be a reasonable choice as they sell everything. One of my schemes for adapting to my new body is to forgo wearing pants and just wear skirts and dresses. Many trendy skirts have flattering elastic waistbands and empire-waist dresses are perfect for accommodating a growing belly. Accordingly, I began with the dress and skirt sections at the Goodwill. Skirt sizes are somewhat more difficult to gauge because you have to guesstimate where you will be carrying the baby. I try to buy skirts that sit low on the hips; we’ll see how that pans out. I bought one great beachy skirt for $4.49. It doesn’t have elastic in it, but it sits low enough to be comfortable.  

I tried on a slew of dresses and found one regular-sized, empire waist dress from Max Studio for $6.99 and one Motherhood Maternity dress, also $6.99.  

I found it very paradoxical that the good volunteers at Goodwill decided to create a section called, “Plus Size and Maternity Clothes.” I dare say that most pregnant women do not equate being pregnant with being plus-sized. As if they don’t have enough to endure with fatigue, flatulence, morning sickness and so on. But I digress…

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Yard Sales: Thrift Shopping for the Weekend Warrior

Saturday was the perfect day for yard sales, especially because I was up early (thank you, friendly neighborhood woodpecker). Husband and I picked up a newspaper from the cute little red haired boy hawking papers at the dump and I scanned the ads for interesting sales. Unfortunately, it was not to be an all day shopping extravaganza because Husband hates shopping. Case in point, after we left the first house, I turned to him with misty eyes and said, "In seven years, that is the first yard sale we have ever been to together." His reply: "You know how on TV the characters sometimes look directly at the camera when someone says something ridiculous? Well I am doing that right now." Oh well, you can't please them all.

My geographical hunting location was limited to Dennis and Yarmouth, so we stopped at two that we had seen earlier. We did a drive by with the first one, which is one of the great perks about shopping at yard sales. If nothing catches your eye, then there is no need to get out of your car! The second one claimed to be an estate sale, but it was really just a yard sale. I equate estate sales with selling the entire contents of ones home. The estate sales I have been to are akin to open houses, except that you can buy the wallpaper off the wall if you so desire. Anyway, I bought two shirts for my sister for $0.50 a pop. And they looked brand new, so I was very pleased.

We continued our adventure in Dennis, visiting 3 more sales. The first one we stopped at had committed one of the cardinal sins of yard sale etiquette, i.e. selling things at ridiculously high prices. For example, they had an attractive metal headboard and footboard for a queen bed with a price tag of $75. I don’t know anyone who goes to a yard sale with that kind of money in hand. If people want to charge such outrageous prices, they should try Craigslist or the Classifieds. Even ebayers are too cheap to pay that much for used bed frames. However, the item that really took the cake was the triangle sex pillow they were trying to sell. We nearly died laughing when we saw it. And the cost for such a pillow? Priceless!

I bought a wooden shoe at the next yard sale for $5. It was a rather steep price to pay, but I have always wanted to plant flowers in a wooden shoe. My mother in law gave me the idea, as she has a shoe on her porch with geraniums in it; it looks so nice! Below are the before and after pictures. All we had to do was drill holes in the bottom so that water can drain out properly.

The last yard sale was a nice surprise because it was akin to a flea market. There were at least half a dozen families selling various wares. One woman’s table was devoted entirely to shoes, albeit all black ones. I almost bought 2 camping chairs at $3/piece that were in great condition. You can never have too many camping chairs…

In summary, if you are looking for some cheap shopping thrills on the weekends then peruse the paper and find some yard sales in your neighborhood. You’re bound to find someone else’s trash to treasure!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Savvy Thrifter: Celebrity Status!

I interviewed with Eric Williams yesterday from the Cape Cod Times about thrift shopping on Cape Cod. The interview was splendid and it is available tomorrow for your viewing pleasure on the following websites:

The video will post at noon.  I will also post a link to the actual video once it is up and running.  Let me know what you think!