Buying maternity gear for Jan


Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
near London
It is one of the weirdest things of life when one buys maternity clothing for a wife to whom one has been married 38 years, and who has Stage 7 dementia.

Since Jans progression into advanced dementia has grown, and she has lost the ability to walk and recently even to crawl, and to add to that, her upper body has stiffened greatly.... well, it is very difficult to find clothes for her!

Jan was always elegant and wore lovely clothes. I remember as a lad of 19, two years before we were married, running around all the quality department stores of London... Harrods, Harvey Nick's, Fenwicks etc, all to try and find a Jean Varon evening dress to surprise her with. Never did get it - or in those days, even to pronounce "Fenwicks" correctly, much to my embarrassment!

So now, when I need to replace her wardrobe from time to time, I want the clothes to be as elegant and feminine as possible. One problem is the washing machine at her care home that seems to be of industrial strengh and only running at the hottest temperatures!

Also, her pads and hip protectors rather define what sort of trousers she needs!

But for those we have found some really nice tracksuit bottoms at British Home Stores. The problem with such things these days is that abysmal fashion of showing navels - not nice in younger women who tend to have bad posture, and dreadful in older ones. The tracksuit bottoms we found at BHS are longer than today's norm, and perfect.

But what to have her wear on top? The care staff all say how difficult it is to dress her in tops because her body goes rigid, and the tops get torn very quickly.

Marks & Sparks have some excellent cotton tops in their latest collection, though the tops too could do with more length [midriffs again!]. The care staff say they are perfect for Jan.

Which brings me to the title of this posting. Nina had the brilliant idea of suggesting we look in the M&S maternity section, and we found some excellent tops there - designed to expand, and ideal for a younger dementia person.


Registered User
Aug 9, 2005
Dear Bruce,
One of the ladies in my parents' home who has really advanced AD wears the most elegant cothes - altho' the staff often seem to put them on her in odd combinations! It seems she was a very fashion aware person prior to AD and her daughter (who now buys her clothes) keeps her in the style to which she was accustomed. I feel sad for her tho' because it is obvious that she (the AD patient) no longer has any idea what she is wearing. Yesterday she had on a truly beautiful silk shirt in autumn colours - and houndstooth slacks!! (courtesy of whoever dressed her!!) I couldn't help thinking how mortified she would have been if she had been aware of it! Perhaps the absence of awareness can only be a blessing in these situations. Nell


Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
How about Evens clothes, they are for the bigger woman but you can get some lovely long tops ,tea-shirts in smaller sizes also .


Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
near London
Hi Margarita

I'll keep Evans in mind, though Jan was always at most a size 14 - most usually she wore size 10 or size 12, according to manufacturer, as they can be quite inaccurate.

M&S and BHS seem to be doing okay at present for her, though.


Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
Mind if I have a slight rant here? The problem with "larger size" clothes is that the assumption is made that if you put on weight, you put it on everywhere, and clothes are sized up accordingly. How many people have you seen with fat shoulders?!? Just because you've gained weight, doesn't mean that the distance between the neck and the shoulder point has increased. So, I'm going to take Bruces advice (Thank You Bruce!) and have a look at maternity wear for my mother - she hates anything tight at the waist, and large size clothing simply swamps her.


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