Through my pregnancy I found that shopping for maternity wear online and at physical shops can be quite challenging.
You are faced with limited design choices; often also plagued with a hefty price tag!
The difficulty in shopping for the growing pregnant body is that you really don’t know how much bigger you can get. Also, questions such as will I regain my original body shape and what do people wear for nursing after birth also comes to mind. The materinity-fashion terrain is really not easy to navigate because we all want to maximise our shopping gains 😉
Once such questions flood my mind, I tend to put shopping for clothes on hold. Now that I am in my 3rd trimester, I feel more confident in shopping online as I found that there are steps we can take to shop more effectively.
These are the steps I take to help me narrow my fashion choices.
Pre-pregnancy, it always helps to know where you put on weight the fastest. This will guide you in deciding what type of clothes are most suitable.
For me, my hips are usually the problem area. Since I tried to stay off shorts be it short shorts or bermudas and only wearing them when necessary, I will continue to do so because I feel I don’t look so proportional.
TIP 1: If you have stayed off certain fashion choices pre-pregnancy, it is highly likely that you should not touch/buy/stock up on too many of those clothes. Because remember – it will only get wider and bigger.
It took me a good 20 weeks to come to terms and really understand my new body growth. Everyone’s pregnancy is different and it’s best that you start to identify what sort of changes as soon as possible.
In my first trimester, I did not put on any weight. So, there wasn’t much shopping to do as I could still fit into most of my regular clothes.
What I did was…
– Weigh myself daily just to be aware of growth spurts and tell-tale signs that I may need to do some shopping soon
(Usually if you can maintain the current weight for 1 – 1.5 weeks, and only gradually putting on less than 1kg in 2 weeks you are probably not experiencing much water retention. Please remember that during pregnancy you still need a healthy growth!)
– Observe how your stomach grows (sideways? sharp? or overall body growth? how about water retention?)
TIP 2: Be observant on how your body reacts to the pregnancy physically and make an assessment – you know yourself best.
Now, the part on actual shopping starts.
Initially I thought I could probably purchase something off the regular blogshops here in Singapore, but no I couldn’t because their cutting just won’t fit and it definitely won’t accommodate my growing body. I could just browse wistfully.
For dresses, I stick mainly to these styles – the A-Line, Straight Cut or Maxi Dress as illustrated below.
– For A-line dresses (1st white dress), assuming the online shop labelled the top red line as 90cm, it only means that the bottom part of it is at least 95cm or bigger. Take your measuring tape and measure your top, is it a comfortable 90cm or a tight 90cm? Continue to do so for the bottom – is it a comfortable 95cm or a tight 95cm?
– If it’s a comfortable 90cm/95cm then you are at the right size. If not go one size bigger. By choosing A-line dresses, you are more or less assured that it can definitely fit the bump. Remember that the goal is to look smart. NOT sloppy – therefore it should fit at the right places nicely and loose at the right places.
Straight Cut Dresses:
– For Straight Cut dress (middle dress), it measures about the same from shoulder to bump to hips. It is likely that for such dresses we need to go one size up from pre-pregnancy. You can see a very obvious square when I draw two red lines. I think if you were previously an hour glass, apple or slight pear shape, this will fit well because the waist is no longer existent so everything fills nicely. I’ll take the broadest measurement – in my case the bump/hip to gauge.
– Length of such dresses should be at least 82cm. If it’s too short you tend to look like a humpty-dumpty, a frumpy pregnant lady and very out of proportion.
– Maxi dresses are the go to for most ladies (3rd dress). But do note that there are the structured maxi dress and stretchy maxi-dress. Of course we should go for the latter with a rubber waistline to accommodate the bump. Easy peasy.
– The other arrow which I have pointed to at the shoulder is because you won’t really want to wear a spaghetti maxi dress. Two simple reasons, you have or will probably be meaty on top and you are prepare wearing not so chic lingerie 😉
Other options to consider are Layering or Rubber Waist Bands as illustrated below.
– Get a loose crop top and a tight-fitting spaghetti! Easy and fuss free!
Rubber Waist Band
– Rubber waist bands are the only way to go during pregnancy. Sure I’ve bought two button shorts and now as I hit the 3rd trimester, it doesn’t fit as well. I wear these rubber waist band pants just below the bump and a material I love for such pants is Viscose because it is soft and smooth. Cotton is good for our weather but can get a little rough, in my opinion 🙂
If all fails, my best tip is to stick to the stretchable maxi dresses 😉