You’re pregnant, and it’s starting to show. You think to yourself you’d instead try to keep squeezing into your existing clothes or “borrow” your partner’s tops than buy maternity clothes. Understandable, but beware, a pregnant body is just bigger in all sorts of places.
This was really brought home to me recently. We were traveling during school holidays and were enjoying the hotel’s pool, as you do with small children with too much energy, when a young family entered the pool. The mum was clearly pregnant and looked pretty hot in her bikini apart from the top. It was her pre-pregnancy bikini, and it just didn’t fit her expanded bustline. She certainly got some attention, but I have to say it wasn’t all for the right reasons!
Maternity wear has been specifically designed to allow for the changes your body will experience. Choosing wisely and making your maternity wardrobe work hard with many accessories is the more stylish way to go. Buy a few well-coordinated pieces, and you won’t break the bank. The alternative is to have friends on the edge of their seats waiting to see if they are about to experience a Janet Jackson moment.
What Size Am I?
A lot of women ask what size they should buy in maternity wear. The short answer is to buy your pre-pregnancy size. Maternity designers allow for most women’s body changes, mainly in the belly and bust, during pregnancy and cut their styles accordingly. Of course, if you are expecting twins or have been pregnant before, you may find you need to go up a size.
Look for jerseys and fabrics with a bit of stretch. These will allow for movement, and most of all, will give you the most comfortable fit. Tight clothes can be annoying at the best of times and particularly when you’re expecting.
Buy only one or two bras as you need them because your bust size may alter dramatically during pregnancy. You will need some well-fitting nursing bras for after the baby’s arrival but try not to buy those until quite close to your due date to ensure you buy the correct size.
Splurge on a few pieces that make you feel great. If your lifestyle is casual, buy a great pair of stretchy maternity jeans and some pretty tops that you can alternate. A wrap dress is also a very hard working wardrobe essential that looks casual with ballet flats or long boots then can be dressed up with heels for dinner or a party. Four-way stretch maternity leggings and cheaper basics have their place in your wardrobe, too, but your partner’s old tracksuit pants may be fine for a night on the sofa, but you aren’t going to feel like a goddess in them! If you work in an office, you will need a fabulous pair of high-stretch maternity pants to really look and feel professional.
Finally, we may all wish we snap back into our pre-pregnancy clothes, but the reality is you’ll need the room of your maternity wear for weeks (or months!) after your baby is born. Flowy maternity dresses and tops that allow for breastfeeding are an excellent investment as they will see you through pregnancy and into nursing. Cross-over tops like the empire and maternity hoodies and sleeveless tees are a great buy for women expecting to breastfeed.
Thankfully, most manufacturers offer a size guide to help you quickly determine which size will fit you best. Many, like Wobbly Walk, also offer no-hassle, free returns, and exchanges if your new clothes don’t fit you well. They understand that shopping without trying something on can be tricky, so they attempt to keep the process straightforward.
How to Buy the Right Size When Pregnant?
At one point, we’re all tempted to get a little lazy when shopping for maternity clothes. And, how sinfully easy would it be just always to buy the next size up? Yet, if you have found your jeans a little loose in the thighs or your top’s shoulder seams brushing your biceps, you’ll know that it’s not that easy. Buying the next size up is not the same as buying your size, and when vying to look stylish, pregnant or not, it always pays to buy your correct size. So, I’ve compiled a few tips and hints to buy clothes that fit perfectly, look stylish, and will be comfortable for you and your baby.
#Read the Product Description
Read the label. Look at the size chart. Take a look at the material composition. Is it cotton, a non-stretch material, or is it a lycra blend that will stretch to hold your shape? Instead of simply choosing the next size up, you might want to understand better how the garment will fit. You might even find that the manufacturers offer suggestions for finding your perfect size. Or, when buying online, read a few reviews from other buyers about the sizing and fit.
#Buy in Your Pre-Pregnancy Size
As a rule of thumb, buy lightweight and comfortable maternity wear in the size you were before you were pregnant. If you were a size 10, buy a size 10. If you were a size 12, buy a size 12. Maternity designers construct clothes to accommodate a mom-to-be’s ever-changing body. So, that means that buying the next size up might result in you hitching up your loose jeans but buying in your size results in jeans fitting perfectly.
Wrap a measuring tape around your bust, waist (across the belly button), and hips to get your measurements. Do this a few times throughout your pregnancy. Knowing your measurements will come in handy when buying items sized as S, M, L, or when buying undergarments. Usually, a size guide will have a range of measurements that each size falls into. So, you won’t have to guess or make the mistake of simply buying the next size up, which might be too big for you.
It only takes a few centimeters of too much fabric to add unnecessary bulk to your silhouette. And with a growing baby on board, who needs unnecessary bulk?! Take the time to figure out your ideal size, and your maternity clothes will fit that much better, meaning you’ll look and feel that much better.