an indictment against RTW maternity sections

While I have tried to make as much of my own maternity wardrobe as I can this pregnancy, I have had still had to shop in the maternity sections.

And I have been greatly disappointed.

Every place I’ve been this pregnancy, the maternity section is a gross afterthought. Clothes are crammed together as tightly as possible, sometimes not even organized by size or style, making it a feat in and of itself to find anything of remote possibility. The selection is typically slim. At one store the maternity and plus-size sections are so close together that I’ll find myself riffling through a rack only to figure out after a minute or two that the clothes aren’t even maternity at all. In another store, the maternity clothes were shoved onto one end cap plus two overcrowded racks right next to the lingerie, which I will have no hope of fitting into anytime soon. Thanks for that reminder.

The process of finding something that I even might want to purchase is so maddening that I usually storm off without buying anything. And all of that crammed, ill-kempt merchandise is only a symptom of a much bigger problem: I do not feel valued as a customerAt all.

Yes, pregnant women are a very specific subset of customer who require specific styles of clothing. But we are still people with feelings (perhaps an abundance of feelings compared with the average female shopper), and we want to feel pretty. Having to slog through haphazard clothing displays does absolutely nothing for our morale and makes us feel frustrated, frumpy, and irritated.

I was so upset by a particular shopping experience over Labor Day weekend that I left an establishment crying. Why do companies and stores treat their pregnant customers this way? Why is this even a thing? Because those of us growing people are willing to spend our money and time shopping for clothes that make us feel good; so why has the process of shopping for RTW maternity clothes make us feel so damn crummy?

I’m not asking much when I expect a store to value me as a client. I choose where to spend my money, and I deserve to have a positive shopping experience, especially from established, very well-known and respected companies. And I deserve that regardless of what type of clothes I need to buy, maternity or otherwise.

What do you think? Should I call up customer service at some of these places to voice my opinion? Have you had bad experiences shopping for a particular type of clothing? What do you think a store’s responsibility is to its customer?

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One Comment

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