We get so many queries from first-time mums on how to choose the right sizes in maternity clothes that we thought we’d publish a few tips on choosing the best maternity clothes for your changing shape. Obviously, you want to get the most wear out of your clothes during your pregnancy. Its also difficult to know exactly how much your belly will grow. Contrary to what many other maternity size guides say, many of us do put on more weight on areas other than our belly while we’re pregnant. (Some of us even lose some weight initially due to severe morning sickness.)
When buying maternity clothes online, you just need to have your measurements ready to find the best size. Firstly, we recommend you buy or borrow a tape measure if you haven’t already got one. (They have free ones in IKEA so keep one of these on you if you can.) Take a look at our maternity clothes size chart for details on how to take your measurements.
Once you’ve taken your measurements, work out which size would be best for you. Remember, the hips and the bust are the most important measurements as your waist will expand rapidly. If these measurements are more in line with the large size (or even halfway between your normal size and the next size up) compared to your pre-pregnancy size, don’t despair! This is common and you’ll end up feeling better about it all if you accept this and remember many other mums are in the same boat.
If you really can’t get hold of a tape measure, then we suggest the following test. Put on a pair of pre-pregnancy jeans without doing them up. See how they feel around your hips – are they way too tight or still a good fit? If they’re way too tight such that you can’t get them onto your hips, then definitely go up a size. For tops, if you are much larger in the bust and are much larger than a cup size of approximately DD, then in general, you should consider going up a size.
If you are on the tall side (5’8) or more, take care to check the length of the dresses. All our pants are generally 81cm on the inside leg seam. If you think some of the dresses you like may be too short, add a pair of leggings and you’ll be able to get away with a shorter dress. Anyway, we believe that showing a bit of leg while you’re pregnant is not such a bad thing. Just check out this photo of Jenna Elfman who so stylishly shows off a bit of leg AND a bit of shoulder!
A great piece of advice I once heard was to buy a few basic items at the start of your pregnancy and top up as you go along. When you live in Australia, you generally go through a summer and winter anyway so you’ll want clothes to match the seasons as your pregnancy progresses. This also allows you to gauge whether you’ve put on a bit more weight in other areas, especially your bottom (hips) and bust.
We try to give mums as much information as possible in our sizing information for each product. Make sure you read this information and compare it to clothing you already own. If you’re still in doubt, email of call us and we’ll be happy to give you further advice on the items you wish to purchase.