Etsy to the rescue

I have chain-store fatigue.  Can’t even be bothered to wander the bright, homogenous and hygienic hallways of my local monster mall.  Can’t bear to be accosted by teenage shop assistants with cake-on makeup asking me how they can help.

Problem is, I really do need some wardrobe additions. Each day my baby bump grows a bit more obvious and my wardrobe options dwindle.   It’s a special sartorial challenge and not one that’s likely to be understood by a well-meaning but over-enthusiastic 20 year old.

All I want is clothing that is comfortable, sophisticated, edgy, flexible, accommodating of a rapidly expanding girth, reasonably priced, able to withstand wear and tear, and that doesn’t look like maternity wear – and I want to wear it for years not months.  Too much to ask? Maybe, but I say NO to smug T-shirts with ‘bun in the oven’, overpriced specialist maternity shops and polyester floral top-cum-tents.

So I’ve been working on building a list of great designers on Etsy.  Funnily enough, despite it being handmade, and often made to order and therefore altered to your specifications if required, it is all cheaper than I’d find at a nearby store.   You do have to be ready to sort through some hideously wrong stuff to get to the pearls, but the pearls are there.  Thank God for globalisation and the world-wide marketplace, and pooh pooh to anti-globalisation protestors and their smelly sandals…

Here’s the pearls so far:

Helen dress by cocoricooo

This dress is handmade in Thailand in a silk mix and is around AUD50 plus postage.  Come to Momma. Lots of other great stuff here too -you just have to have the vision to look past the diminutive 15 year old model.

Hand printed t-shirt by halfration

Halfration in the US makes great distressed, hand printed t-shirts, and once again, this baby is around AUD50.  Yeee Haaa.

Butterfly jacket by emily ryan

OK, so you can tell this is a Northern Hemisphere winter item, but Emily Ryan is a really talented designer with unique but wearable styles that no one else you know will be wearing.  Love her stuff.

Be Sweet dress by LadyTA

Another Thailand find, LadyTA tends to use natural fabrics and sells lovely frocks from around AUD50.  Can’t go wrong.

Kimono jacket by lizarietz

Once again, it’s a winter number, but how good?  Liza Rietz charges a bit more for these tailored creations but at around AUD300 they’re still super-reasonable for the quality – and what a funky collar – it’s something the Evil Queen would wear and put Snow White in the shade.

Grey wool cape by artLAB

The talented folk at artLAB construct beautiful original clothing – part industrial with raw edges and unexpected details, and part high romance with extravagant ruffles.  Beautiful.  

Baby Mohawk Hat by Infantile

The last word in cool for the winter enfant, n’est pas?  Want one now.  (The hat, not the infant). 

I’d really love to know if you’ve found anything on Etsy that you’d recommend – any great designers? great gifts? great anything to keep me away from mall-rat infested Westfield?  (Serious question here, trying to bypass the stuff you’ll find on Regretsy – where DIY meets WTF).

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