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What size should I buy during pregnancy?

Posted on 13 October 2017

A guide to navigating sizes in maternity wear

There’s a few different theories on maternity sizing. Some women buy clothing that isn’t designed for maternity and just go up a size or two. In theory this is a good strategy, but it does mean the clothing is roomier everywhere, not just in the stomach region. Plus, it isn’t designed to work and move and flex with your body, so it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to continue wearing your new clothes after the baby arrives. Also, it’s unlikely that non-maternity clothing is designed with discreet, easy breastfeeding access in mind.

Then there’s the questions on maternity design sizing - is it designed with the idea that you should buy your regular size? Or are you meant to buy one size up than you normally would? Will you go up in sizes during pregnancy, even in maternity wear?

At MADE, all clothing is designed for you to purchase in your standard size. All of our pieces will move with your growing bump and after you’ve had your bub, you can still wear the clothing and it will flex back with you.

But in saying that, everyone’s body is different and you might want to consider these factors when purchasing you maternity wear.

1. Always check the measurements on the piece

If you’re buying online, check the measurements of the piece and the dimensions of the model wearing the pieces.

2. The Brand

As with all clothing, some maternity designed brands run larger than others. On our site, Ingrid and Isabel & LoveComma (Au Lait) run larger than MADElabel. Kowtow is not a maternity label but is designed to be oversized for the most part. For all labels on madematernity.co you should purchase your standard size that you would wear when you’re not pregnant.

3. Textiles

Is the piece made from a stretch material? If you’re buying a non-maternity piece, then stretch is the best way to go and size up to be sure it will last. All stretch clothing on madematernity.co is designed to be worn in your standard size.

The designs made with a non-stretch (like silk or cotton) are designed with more room to move, they’re not meant to be figure hugging, so they should fit you in your standard size too.

4. Are there parts of your body that are growing which you didn’t expect to?

It has to be said, not all women will expand in the same places when pregnant. And most of us towards the third trimester will develop those extra bits here and there that we just weren’t expecting. It can be hard to cater to the unknown when buying maternity clothing in the early days of pregnancy. But our advice when it comes to buying for an expanding body is this: when in doubt, size up. If you can get away with a piece being slightly oversized initially, you’ll be glad you’ve got the extra room to move later down the track.

5. Do you want to have discreet access for breastfeeding?

This is something lots of women don’t factor in when buying clothes for pregnancy: if you choose to breastfeed, most people will want clothes that they can breastfeed/nurse in discreetly. We have some awesome pieces that have secret pockets providing easy access to your boobs for feeding, and which are also suitable for maternity.

Our advice is, if you want the dual functionality - to fit while pregnant and allow for breastfeeding access - then go for either a design that is meant to look oversized (like our Tux Top) or go for something stretch that is bodycon and can allow for breastfeeding (like the Ingrid and Isabel Shirred long sleeve dress).

This will ensure you’re not madly trying to find clothes suitable to breastfeeding when adjusting to a newborn, and you’ll save some cash with dual purpose pieces. 

6. Do you want to wear your maternity clothing after you’ve had your baby, in the ‘fourthmester’?

Personally, at MADE, we’re not into the pressure that’s placed on women to “bounce back” after pregnancy. You’ve been growing a human, and now you’re learning how to raise it, we think you deserve a bit of a break.

If you want to avoid feeling pressure either from yourself or others, then do yourself a favour and buy some well designed maternity clothes in your standard size. They will be more forgiving and flatter you more non-maternity clothes you’ve bought in a size up on the high street.

If you purchase some well-made clothing that’s designed for all stages in your standard size, which you would wear when not pregnant, then it will by design give you a level of comfort that non-maternity in a size up just can’t.

Alright so to recap...

  1. If you’re buying non-maternity, buy stretch in a size up.
  2. If you’re buying maternity designed clothes, buy your standard size.
  3. Always check the measurements listed, and when in doubt go a size up
  4. Try to buy pieces that will flex with you through pregnancy and breastfeeding and the ‘fourthmester’.

Happy Shopping!

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