So it’s getting to be about the time that I at least start going through my maternity clothes, seeing what I can acquiesce to wear again and what I wore so much with Ali that I can’t bear the sight of, and getting them washed and ready completely engulf my wardrobe.

I’m not showing yet, but I’m at that horrible stage of wow-she’s-really-packing-on-the-tummy-flab, my second least favorite phase of pregnancy appearance, only behind oh-my-gosh-I-just-gave-birth-and-I-had-no-idea-I’d-look-this-Jabba-The-Hut-horrific-how-am-I-going-to-get-rid-of-these-huge-slabs-of-gelatinous-skin?!? stage.

The thing that I’m least looking forward to about maternity clothes is the requirement of a cami. Since 99% of maternity shirts are of the crossover variety,

Maternity Shirt 2

and people that have my, err, body type need a bit more extra coverage, I’ll be required to wear a cami for the next six months.

And, since in my delicate state there is nothing more uncomfortable than binding on my stomach area except for binding AND rolling up because maternity camis are all of a millimeter longer than a regular cami giving absolutely no coverage to the belly area, I just am not happy about this inevitability.

And so, I often find myself day dreaming about creating some sort of fake cami – a nice triangle of stretchy fabric that somehow affixes to each side of my crossover shirts, thereby pretending to be a cami without all the binding and rolling.

And that thought turns into reminiscing about Dickies.

I remember as a kid going to the flea market and seeing rows and rows of multi-colored dickies, all lined up and ready to be chosen by delighted 80 year old women. I especially remember the shiny gold and silver ones – wow were they AWESOME.

…but not nearly as awesome as Cousin Eddie in his show-thru-his-white sweater black Dickie, the absolute epitomic moment of Dickie history:

Cousin Eddie
(Sadly for my husband, that’s one of the only moments I appreciate about that movie, with much thanks to my friend Nikki, who pointed it out the subtle moment to me when I would normally be going to my happy place all because THAT movie was on.)

Of course, even if I could revisit the flea markets of my childhood and procure one of these amazing contraptions, a dickie would never work for my crossover maternity shirts, because the bottom of the dickie wouldn’t QUITE make it down to the nethermost point of that way-too-deep V, so there’d be this awesomely awkward skin triangle, making me perfectly fit to be Cousin Eddie’s bizarre sister.

So, that being said, I’m just going to HAVE to create the world premier of the Maternidickcami. If I were to toast myself in a frosted moose glass regarding this undertaking, my self-toast would be…May I have the success of creating a garment accessory as classy as Cousin Eddie himself.

Oh and by the way – until you’ve said Maternidickcami out loud, you haven’t lived.

32 thoughts on “Whatever Happened to the Dickie?

  1. I use sports bras for that purpose (the tank-top kind you can get 3 for $10 at WalMart). They work great!

  2. Ooo, ooo, I know this one! Grab a couple of old undershirts, cut out a square in the size you need and hand sew it in a couple places to the inside of your shirt. If you cut your square from the bottom, you can use the hem as the top and you don't have to do any hemming. :)
    My very modest mother did this to a lot of shirts as me and my sisters were growing up.

  3. I found a maternity tank top at Ross which is looong and fitted. I like having stuff over my belly though…for support… a belly bra!

    If you don't like stuff touching the belly then just buy a tank top with the built in shelf bra and cut the outside part as short as the bottom of the bra part. (I still wore a regular bra underneath.) Sounds crazy but I used to do this in high school and it worked just fine. We were required to wear an undershirt and have shirttails tucked in. Tucking in 2 shirts was uncomfortable so all the girls used to cut our undershirts off short.

  4. See, I guess I'm more high maintenance than I let on.

    1. I don't sew. I'm a horrible seamstress. So Sara, that would never work.

    2. Shelf Bra Tanks and Sports bras are way to constricting feeling – worse than the belly constriction, so I just can't do those either.

    Wow…I never realized that I had such high maintenance undershirt needs.

  5. Hi, I've been a reader here for awhile, but this is my first time posting. I'm coming out of lurkdom because I just saw something like this on TV the other day. It's called Cami Secret and if you call now they'll double, that's right, DOUBLE your order! :)

  6. That's pretty much exactly what I wanted! That really might work… I may have to order me some cami secrets!! Finally, someone made a maternidickcami! Thanks! :)

  7. Ha! Dickies! I had a white turtleneck one when I was in high school. I wore it under my royal blue sweater sheath dress. Oh yes, I did. :)

    But the triangle of fabric! My sister had that, too! My mother made one with snaps on the edge, that snapped into one of my sister's dresses. Mom called it a "modesty panel". We still joke about which outfits need modesty panels, and we're not, like, STRANGELY modest around here or anything. Just standard Midwestern Lutheran modest.

  8. You are very welcome! They totally should have used maternidickcami, though. It's much better than Cami Secret!

  9. Maternidickcami…makes me laugh!

    If the Cami Secrets don't work, Nikki can sew, but I probably shouldn't volunteer her for such an undertaking ;)

  10. Rachel! I saw the Cami Secret things at Wal-Mart today! How weird is that??? I think they hook to the front of your bra so you don't even have to put them over your head! How cool is that!

  11. I've had good luck with spaghetti strap tanks, WITHout the shelf bra from Target. They run extra long and can last a good ways through a pregnancy.

    Might be worth a shot.

  12. i remember some cloth triangle invention that attaches to bra somehow. Someone told me about it many years ago…maybe it was a dream because I've never seen one. Hmmm…
    All the camis i wear (as a non-prego) fit over my belly when i was pregnant. You can see them in all my pregnant belly shots in past posts. I know Downeast Outfitters sold them for ten bucks each a few years ago. Now i buy them for five bucks a piece at a locally owned store in my town.

    When i was in HS i remember buying men's wife-beater tanks (hate the name…you know, the white ribbed ones). They we're super long….so long i had to hem them up or cut them. My sister wears them. She's scared of an accidental midriff show.

  13. Dude, I'm NOT pregnant, but camis drive me nutty, too! The ones with the built in shelf bra really bother me, because they always end up tugging the front of the cami down so low that it totally defeats the purpose. Multiple times I have debated just buying some and cutting them off, but then I realize that I don't feel like bothering with the raw edge (and I DO sew!). So, should you decide to market the Maternidickcami, I'm totally in on it.

  14. I'm so with you on this one! Why are all maternity tops so low??

    I have heard of the triangle fabric that buttons to your bra strap… tho the ones I saw were made of lace…

    My solution is to buy cheapo tanks at Walmart, take my scissors and chop off the bottom.
    Presto… now I have a cooler solution that's off the belly and I'm not flashing my goods… much to my hubby's dismay, lol. :)

  15. omg I saw one online somewhere!! literally, piece of fabric that attached to the bra straps for exactly that purpose!! and I have absolutely no idea where!! lol, will look….

  16. I love your writing! I'm a lurker but just had to give you encouragement today, thanks for appreciating the finer (or, well, not so finer) parts of life and pregnancy!

  17. Haha, love your idea, but according to the comments you should have got a patent. :)

    I can't help you on the cami stuff, b/c I am NEVER without one. In the great Northwest layering is a must. You can start the day in the 30's and end up in the 70's quite easily. You have to be able to take off the layers as the day warms up. :) Gap has great, long maternity camis.

  18. Christen pushed me under the bus! Hee hee! No doubt though. If the Maternidickcami Secret doesn't work, I'll happily sew some little cleavage shields in for you. Cousin Eddie would be proud. You're gonna look GOOOOOooooOOOOoooood!

  19. I used to buy sports bras that were not too tight. They had little straps but they came up high enough to act like a cami for low cut shirts. I still had to wear a real bra underneath it and I could never have worked out in it (I need the super tight, thick strapped sports bra). Good luck!

  20. Oh my goodness. I am so buying some of those Cami Secret things. I'd buy maternidickcamis if they were for sale ;-)

    I get frustrated with low-cut tops, but it is just too hot to wear two layers in the summer!

  21. I associate dickies with high school English teachers that wear long denim jumpers with folded down socks and Keds…

  22. Okay, was feeling your pain and yet had no answers. Until now! We recently purchased an acreage and are getting their mail yet- this is a disclaimer as to how I found this yes. Anyway, one of the catalogs that she got was "as we change" and inside… I found the answer!!
    A winkie!!

    You clip it onto your bra! Crazy! They also had a few other options, so browse away, but this is most definately the coolest choice! Literally cool that is!

  23. Thank you all so much for the ideas!! The Winkee-T cracked me up – totally thong-like – especially the LEOPARD PRINT one!

    I'm going to the mall tonight to see if our As Seen on TV store has the Cami Secrets…that way I don't have to pay the $99.99 shipping and handling and profit margin.

    linzred – thanks so much for the encouragement and saying hi! It's always nice to hear from readers and know I'm entertaining!!! Thanks!

  24. Rachel- another option I discovered when I worked at Dillard's was that they make (for the more formalish attire) exactly what you were describing, except it's a lacy piece of material that you can attach to your bra straps. I never actually bought one, but certainly thought about it a few times. I suppose it's just a modified dickie.. wow, I remember when my mom would make me wear one of those under sweatshirts to football games… sheesh… *shudder* Anyway, maybe you'll find some good things. Since I'm at the same stage of pregnancy, I have been looking myself, and the other day, Wal-Mart of all places had their simple ribbed tanks of all colors for $5. I bought 3, since I too cannot stand the whole shelf bra constriction, and am actually RIGHT NOW, pulling at my cami that has rolled above my belly…

  25. OH, and forgot to mention that they were plenty long, hence, the main reason I loved them so much!

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