I am not the entrepreneurial sort. I admire and respect those who are, but I require the safety and security of a corporate job. I scraped by in a different industry when I was younger and I have no desire to return to that standard of living.
That said, I completely understand women who start companies (like Timi & Leslie) out of sheer necessity. As many products as there out there that cater to expecting and new moms, a LOT of them leave much to be desired.
Women have commented to me about how maternity fashion has come such a long way since the days when my mother was pregnant with me. And it has. You can find classic work-appropriate basics, fashion-forward fun pieces, or evening gowns without too much effort now.
But nursing clothing? Totally different story. Basically you can choose from three categories*:
- So-called “crossover” maternity clothes, whose designers apparently assume you are still the same size and shape as when you were 40 weeks pregnant–they are therefore tent-like.
- Appropriate for nursing but completely frumpy, shapeless, boring, and only available in two or three colors.
- Cute and functional for nursing but awfully low-cut. You’d need a camisole to get away with it at work, and doesn’t that defeat the purpose of wearing something you can easily pump in?
* These are the affordable choices. Obviously you can find a lot more options that are expensive, but I wasn’t spending $80 on a shirt before I became the head of a household; I’m sure as hell not doing it now. (I declined someone offering to buy me $30 leggings when I was pregnant because I knew Old Navy had them for $10. Why spend more money for the same product if you don’t have to?)
If I knew anything at all about fashion design, I could easily see myself churning out a few cute tops and dresses with the features I so rarely find. They’d have to be affordable, though, because women in this country apparently don’t nurse as long as in other places and no one wants to spend money on something she’ll only wear twice. (Le sigh–I have such cute maternity clothes that befell this fate because of the circumstances.)
But I don’t, so I’ll just keep complaining on the internet.