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The Circle of Life (and by life, I mean, um, clothes)

posted by BatSheva Vaknin @ 9:55 AM
Monday, December 17, 2012

You remember that blog I wrote last week lamenting the dismal state of affairs as it pertains to maternity wear? (No, no one ever accused me of lacking hyperbole.)

Well, turns out, there is a silver lining: hand-me-downs!

During my 1st pregnancy, I was oblivious to this gift that keeps giving, and so that was the pregnancy where I laid out the most cash – easily a couple thousand dollars for 9 months worth of – with a few notable exceptions thanks to a fire sale at NOM, cool maternity store that I think no longer exists – badly made, butt-ugly maternity clothes.

But that was then (9+ years ago, to be exact), and the next pregnancy, dear readers, was 2 years later! Meaning, I was 2 years wiser, 2 years less vain, and 2 years more broke.

Which is how I re-discovered the power of coveting another woman’s clothes that she’s outgrown/grown tired of.

I say “re” discovered, because this was an old move of mine wayyyy back in the day, growing up under the shadow of my 4-yrs older sister, whose clothes in general didn’t excite me much but whose BETSY JOHNSON RIBBON SKIRT was – in my 12 year old eyes – the Be All End All of all things hip, cool and cute. I had to have it. I wanted it! I asked to borrow it at every turn. And my loving, caring, sharing’s sister’s answer, no matter what?

Hell-to the NO.

I pined over that skirt. I dreamt about that skirt. I swear I probably cried once or twice over not being able to borrow that skirt.

And then.

The happiest Christmas ever.

(Um, other than the one when I was 10 and got the drum set AND the real wedding dress to play dress up in. And – um – other than the one where I got a new car. Okay, this is beginning to look bad.)

My point is, there was a Christmas that I was maybe hoping to get X from Mom, or maybe to get Y from Dad, when – lo and behold, I opened a smushily-wrapped gift from my sister, and found…

The Betsy Johnson skirt. THE RIBBON SKIRT!!

Sniff! Still brings a tear to my eyes.

I loved that skirt like a mother loves her child.

Which reminds me… this blog was supposed to be about hand-me-down maternity clothes!

So, yes, by my second and third preganacy, I not only wised up and started asking all my way-better-dressed-than-me ex-pregnant friends if I could give their maternity clothes a happy home (which worked out fabulously), but I even got ballsy enough last year when I was NOT pregnant, to ask my pregnant friend if I could borrow her beautiful Max Studio dress while her belly was too big to wear it, and I scored that for a good 9 months too.


This time around the pregnancy block, I bought a few new things, and re-adopted some of the hand-me-down maternity clothes I had borrowed for previous pregnancies, which I had returned and had been held onto. The icing on that cyclical cake was the other week, when a friend I hadn’t bothered to ask for hand-me-downs (she is half my height and still very pregnant) stopped me in the street during school drop-off.

“BatSheva! I have a bag of clothes for you!”

Turns out, she had gotten hand-me-downs from someone else, and many of the clothes were way too big for her, so she thought I could use them.

What I found inside?


They came back home! Back to their mommy! Just in time – sniff!

The circle of life – and by life, I mean clothes, duh – is beautiful, isn’t it?



Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

My intention was to draw my fantasy maternity outfit - a cool, punk-ish outfit (ie, fishnets) topped off with a maternity version of the Ribbon Skirt. Unfortunately, I forgot that I don't know how to draw. Sigh....

One Response to “The Circle of Life (and by life, I mean, um, clothes)”

  1. Plant N says:

    Great story. What goes around, comes around!

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