Thursday, August 15, 2013

Budget Babe: New Mummy Edition. The HATCH-to-Hospital Box

I have a confession to make. I'm not enjoying pregnancy this time around. It's only been 20 weeks and already I'm counting the days until the end of December. I know I won't enjoy the immediate aftermath of giving birth any more than I'm enjoying being pregnant (which is nearly not at all), but at least I'll have a cute new baby to watch Ethan play with.

So, in my please-get-this-baby-out-of-me anticipation of the end of the year, I got inordinately excited when I saw this: the HATCH-to-Hospital Box. A gorgeous pair of knickers, a cosy nightshirt and robe, and some ultra luxe cashmere socks. The only niggle? It's an exorbitant $248! (Or, for those of us who need to do the conversion, £160; which is still too much.)

My eyes nearly popped out of my head when I saw that price tag. Of course, it didn't stop me coveting that set. I may even have my pregnancy hormones to thank for making me cry about not getting nice things when I'm so fed up with gestating a tiny human. Thankfully, the Husband suggested a project: find an alternative to each piece in the HATCH-to-Hospital set and blog about it! All the other blogs I checked were simply touting the virtues of HATCH's latest indulgence (check here, here, here, here, and here), and while I can get behind the mentality of, 'you're pushing a person out of your body: treat yourself!', I'm not exactly in a position to demand that my treat be £160's worth of post-birth night attire. So, with that in mind, let's take a look at some budget-friendly options to the super swank HATCH-to-Hospital Box.

The nightshirt:

1) ASOS's Alas celestial nightie @ £55.00. Quite a bit more colourful than the HATCH option, though it could, concievably, still cost just as much. But with 100% cotton jersey fabric, it ought to be just as comfy as the HATCH option in that gorgeous grey modal.

2) The DKNY Seven Easy Pieces sleepshirt is another great option, and much closer to the aesthetic of the HATCH shirt than the ASOS option. At £50.00 it's only slightly cheaper, but it is 93% modal, so the feel will probably approximate the HATCH original better.

3) The grey striped sleep tee from Debenhams's Lounge & Sleep line is the most economical option at only £14.00. It's not as wide and flowy as the other options, though, so it might be best to buy it in a bigger size than normal to accommodate that immediate post-birth wobble more comfortably. It's a 60/40 cotton-poly blend, so it doesn't necessarily sound quite as soft as the lived-in-tee-shirt feel you're meant to have with the HATCH shirt (and presumably get with the ASOS and DKNY options, as well), but those buttons look marginally breastfeeding-friendly if that's the route you take.

4) Seraphine's Gemma button down nightie is definitely the most breastfeeding friendly of our 'Match' options. No surprise there, as it comes from a company which does lovely maternity wear. And at £35.00, it hits the middle of our price range. The navy colour is lovely, though I'm not sure how that 97% viscose is going to feel in comparison to some of the other fabrics. And like the Debenhams sleep tee, I'd get this one a size or two bigger than you'd normally wear.

The robe:

1) The F&F striped jersey dressing gown from Tesco is a possible contender to do the job of the HATCH robe, but for less cash-ola. It's only £14.00, but with a thread content of 65% polyester, it may not be the most breathable of fabrics. So, if - like me - you run hotter when pregnant and nursing, this may not be the best replacement.

2) Mothercare's Blooming Marvellous charcoal maternity robe is 100% cotton and, in looks, is a brilliant substitute for the more expensive version by HATCH. Plus, at only £18.00, this more breathable, jersey-knit alternative won't set you back much more than the Tesco option. Looks like a winner to me.

3) If you'd like something a bit more glam, this Kiku enchanted crane kimono from ASOS is a brilliant choice. It's still 100% cotton, so you can still enjoy the comfort of those breathable, natural fibers while managing to look quite smart in those first bleary-eyed days of new-motherhood. (Yes, you count as a 'new' mother even if this is your sixth kid. New baby = new mummy.) At £68.00, this option is definitely more pricey than the first two, but when compiling your HATCH-to-hospital replacement pack, if you save elsewhere, you can certainly splurge here.

4) Mamas and Papas's grey hooded dressing gown hits the middle of the price range again at £35.00. But, at 95% viscose, I personally think you get better bang for your buck in terms of quality by going with the Mothercare robe. Plus, who wants to faff about with a superfluous hood anyway?

The knickers:

1) My first choice is a somewhat unorthodox one. Mothercare's over-the-bump briefs still have nice lacy details while providing full coverage; just like our HATCH original. However, for anyone else who's not terribly keen on under-the-bump bottoms, or who wants to avoid waistband chaffage near a c-section scar, these pants might be a nice option. Plus, they might help hold in the wobble a bit while you're still mostly bedridden and thus, make you feel a bit more together. Plus, they're 100% cotton and only £10.00 for a two-pack. Can't say fairer than that!

2) Debenhams's micromodal full cover briefs are a brilliant look-alike, and come in at only £6.50 per pair. These knickers will come close to the feel of HATCH's modal nightshirt against your skin, but they still have that ever-necessary cotton gusset to keep your lady-bits feeling fresh. Or, well, as fresh as they can be in those first days after squeezing out a person. (#letsbereal)

3) Intimissimi's cotton and embroidery French panties (wow, I can't stand that word) are a brilliant option if swish knickers are where you want to splurge in our HATCH Match kit. They're 88% cotton and only clock in at £12.99 per pair. Plus, with a boy-short cut, they seem a bit less likely to ride up, and at 88% cotton, don't need to rely on a natural fiber gusset to keep the swamp crotch at bay. (#letsbepainfullyreal)

4) The Hanro Moments briefs at John Lewis tip the scales on our cash-splashing for knickers at £23.50. But, they are 100% cotton and a full brief cut, so that money will get you good breathability and coverage. And again, with lace along the top seam and leg openings, it's a great look-alike for the HATCH original.

The socks:

1) The White Comapny's cashmere socks are a bit steep at £32 per pair...but then; they are 100% cashmere. Plus, in addition to the charcoal colour I've picked out, they also come in white, pink, and a grey that approximates our HATCH originals. Not a bad choice.

2) These L.L. Bean 12" socks are Merino wool rather than cashmere, but coming from this well-established New England outdoors brand, you know they'll keep your toes all toasty. And for $19.95 a pair (£12.80 for the rest of us), they're a bit cheaper than going for the all-out luxury of cashmere.

3) If you'd like a bit more colour in your snazzy cashmere socks, then try Pantherella's options from Woods of Shropshire. All made in England from English fibres, these babies are still 85% cashmere with a bit of stretch added in for durability. Plus, they only come in at a quite reasonable £19.50 per pair. Not bad for the luxury of cashmere!

4) These cute oatmeal socks from Toast ring up at only £19.50 per pair. Alas, they're also only 23% cashmere. Still, if you're not fussed about having a 100% cashmere sock, but just want something cute, cheap, and comfy, then these babies ought to do the trick nicely.

The Best:

So now it's time to weigh up all of our options. The HATCH-to-hospital box set, as you recall, clocks in at the tills at a whopping $248, or £160. From all the options in our Match sets, you could spend anywhere from £48.80 (Debenhams sleep shirt, F&F robe, Debenhams knickers, and L.L. Bean socks) all the way to £178.50 (Alas nightie, Kiku kimono, Hanro knickers, and White Company socks) recreating this pampering pack for your first post-birth days. Here are my picks for the best of each set.

The best sleep shirt: This, really, is where I would splurge and go for the DKNY sleep shirt. Since it's modal, it seems most likely to feel like the HATCH original, so I think it's worth the cash-splash. (£50.00)

The best robe: Much as I love the Kiku kimono, I think my no-contest winner in this case has to be the Blooming Marvellous robe from Mothercare. (£18.00)

The best knickers: As a fan of the boy-short cut, I think my heart goes out to the Intimissimi French pants. Plus, they're still 88% lovely, breathable cotton. (£12.99)

The best socks: Pantherella's socks are still more than 80% cashmere, like the White Company pair, but at only £19.50, they're definitely the more cost-effective option.

The best total: £100.49

So, for my favourite picks I still come in at the tills a good £60 under what I would pay to get the HATCH-to-hospital box. And, since all of my picks are from UK-based companies, I probably do even better once you factor in shipping costs versus the ability to buy at least 3/4 items directly in-store. Not bad for an afternoon's Googling!

What would your favourite picks be from this collection? Is there a good Match option you think I missed? Should I do another Budget Babe post like this one? Tell me in the comments!

No comments:

Post a Comment