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Please help me understand when I'll need maternity clothes

(21 Posts)
LondonJen Thu 20-Mar-14 12:52:05


I know everyone is different but I'm the first of my friends to be pg so have no clue and even a vague idea would be helpful.

I am 5'3" normally a size 10 with hour glass figure. So I mostly own fitted clothes and not really got much a small bump might fit in. But assume you only need proper maternity clothes when you have a v big bump? When might that be roughly?

Am 11 weeks pregnant and I am already in a pair of underbump maternity jeans as I couldn't zip up my usual ones. My boobs have gone up 2 cup sizes from a 28E to 28FF already and having trouble zipping my coat up over them! It also means some tops (that I can still get them into!) are sitting higher and revealing the bump band of the jeans.

What I really want to know is will I need to size up tops for a bit to a 12? Or is that a waste of money for a short time? Roughly when will I need proper mat clothes? Also, after baby comes, maybe the size 12 clothes would be helpful then too if bump is less but not gone?

Baby is due early October so fingers crossed it will be warm when I am biggest so expect a few dresses will work well over those months.

Thanks for your help, I am trying to put together a budget but it's hard not knowing what to expect. I think Primark and Asos maternity will be my friend!

Walnut8 Thu 20-Mar-14 13:06:41

I was a size 10 pre-preg with my first. I found jeans and skirts with tight waistbands uncomfortable from about 10-12 weeks like you and did a shop for maternity clothes. Mat jeans and trousers were way too big but I found stretchy tube-style skirts in a 12 or 14 and wore until 20 weeks when I bought maternity jeans and trousers. Also bought numerous long stretchy tops from h & m which I wore up to birth and some months after.
After having bub though I wanted looser tops I could drape over tum and also feed in. Long stretch tank tops from h& m went under everything for the first three months.

Walnut8 Thu 20-Mar-14 13:09:40

Does that help? I could have written this post 4 years ago when preg with dd1! Except I was due in March so opposite seasons to you.

LondonJen Thu 20-Mar-14 13:19:49

Thank you walnut, yes! So 20 weeks could be the time needs really change. Ahhh duh I hadn't even thought about bf access! So glad I asked.

PastaandCheese Thu 20-Mar-14 14:31:55

Definitely dresses. You may find you can't wear jeans in the final weeks but dresses will see you through.

ASOS do a number with tie belts which help them to grow with you.

I was also able to fit into normal stretchy dresses until about 28 weeks and just the size up thereafter so it would be worth you looking into that option for summer with an option to layer them over long sleeve tops when the baby is born and the weather turns.

LastOneDancing Thu 20-Mar-14 14:53:51

OP you sound size/shape exactly like me pre-pregnancy!

Unfortunately I popped at 16 weeks. I have mainly lived in cheap stretchy vests from H&M with long-line cardis.

My problem with sizing up tops is regular tops tend to be too short in the body - also they look massive on the shoulders so make you look bigger rather than just bumpy.

For our next one I think I will invest in a few good quality maternity pieces that I really like at the start to carry me all the way through, rather than sizing up. I have lived in the few maternity bits I was forced to buy later on, so wish I'd got them at the start.

Congratulations & enjoy your pregnancy!

eurochick Thu 20-Mar-14 14:59:28

I was size 10 with a waist pre-preg and generally favoured quite fitted clothes.

I bloated really early on (from about 5 weeks) and the normal clothes I could fit into dwindled each week. I got new bras at about 7-8 weeks (bigger size, no underwire). I was worried about my size changing a lot, but they still fit well at 17 weeks.

I tried ordering some maternity stuff at around 14-15 weeks but none of it worked, although I did buy a couple of jersey dresses from ASOS maternity that are not obviously maternity wear and have been a godsend for work (not as smart as I would usually wear but better slightly casual than undone zips in the office, I figured).

I've got a few bits in a size up from what I would usually buy, with soft waistbands, and those are good. I'm finding the inbetween stage really tricky though!

Stokey Thu 20-Mar-14 15:05:21

You're a similar size to me OP, and dd1 was born in November.

Think about 20 weeks was when I started going properly maternity.
Had about 3 pairs of maternity leggings which I wore with dresses all summer. Bought a couple of size 12 dresses from New Look & H&M and also some maternity dresses & tops from H&M.

Second child got bigger much earlier & bought quite a lot of "designer" maternity stuff - Isabella Oliver, Seraphine - on ebay.

Laquila Thu 20-Mar-14 15:10:50

I'm a bit bigger than you but had quite a small bump, so didn't really start needing much maternity wear til around 4-5 months, but given that I had to buy quite a bit by the end of my pregnancy I should probably just have bought it early on and got more wear out of it!

Everyone's bump (and boobs) develop differently but as long as you don't bury your head in the sand, squeezing into uncomfortable pre-preg clothing because you feel you're not far gone enough yet for maternity wear, then you'll be fine smile

I found H&M to be the best place for cheap maternity wear, but also liked some of the Mamas and Papas range. Long jersey maxi skirts (not maternity) were also very useful (can go under or over bump) for casual wear.

starfishmummy Thu 20-Mar-14 16:03:46

I bought one maternity dress!!
It helped that it was summer and I already had a lot of these floaty crinkly ethnic skirts that grew with me. I just added tops in a bigger size than normal and bought some loose fit cotton trousers in Evans. The only other iterms were some maternity bras

ScarlettOHaraHamilton Thu 20-Mar-14 16:14:02

I went through a period where I just wore bigger size dresses - I'm normally at 8/10 but I bought a few 12/14, where the shoulders still looked ok, and sometimes had a belt around them. With the right cut of dress that looked fine, and they were only cheap dresses.

For work I'd highly recommend buy a really decent pair of smart maternity trousers, the best you can afford. I had black under-the-bump cigarette pants from one of the better maternity brands (their name escapes me at the moment! Isis? Is there one something like that?) that cost about £50 but I wore them most of the time for work. Because they fit well and looked good I could still wear cheaper tops - New Look, Peacocks etc - and look smart. If you can still get your boobs into your normal clothes, a bump band or a maternity vest underneath helps as it provides a bit of tummy coverages where your tops start to ride up.

I had one good pair of maternity skinny jeans too. I really do think the bottoms are worth spending more money on than tops.

I seem to remember that it was about the 4 month point where I started to get an actual bump, not just the joys of gas and water retention, and started wearing actual maternity wear.

Smerlin Thu 20-Mar-14 16:39:19

My DD was born last October so similar seasons to you. I wore normal skirts in first three months but anything with a definite waistband like smart work trousers and skinnies felt tight by 10 weeks. Most of my normal dresses fit until about June and some with a bit of stretch/wrap dresses pretty much till the end. I bought some great Jojo maternity cropped trousers that fit well in the small-medium bump stages although I wasn't as keen on their jeans. I bought some regular Primark maxi dresses in a size up that lasted right up until the end. In October when I started mat leave I just wore anything left that fit!

I went to a wedding and bought a lovely smart maternity dress from Asos for very little £ and a stunning deep jade skirt that I wish was non maternity!

I would get a couple of really good basics - trousers/jeans/skirt and then get lots of cheaper tops to mix with. Wear as many dresses as poss as if you pick the right style they can last more or less the duration.

chattychattyboomba Thu 20-Mar-14 16:55:05

I got away with leggings and loose tops (bum skimming) up until last month. And I am 30 weeks now. I hate buying maternity specific clothes though as they charge a fortune for things you will wear roughly 6 months. I have invested in 2 pairs of jeans (white and blue). Also long vests are your friend for tops that ride up.
I'm usually a size 10 too but 5'11 so much taller. I'm buying size 10 maternity wear but in normal clothes I go large.

LondonJen Thu 20-Mar-14 18:48:45

Thanks so much for your replies, I was feeling quite lost but this gives me a much better handle on things. I want to try to avoid getting over excited and buying shed loads of stuff! Also don't want to be big shapeless ball with legs!

Ah is that what a bump band is for?! Clueless!

Great point about the length of things, I often won't buy a top because it's too long so that will probably work in my favour now.

I will go cautiously for April and May. So much depends on the weather but layers sound good.

ScarlettOHaraHamilton Thu 20-Mar-14 19:13:04

At this point yes, I'd just get a few maternity vests (they're so good I still wear them two years later, they're long) like these and then you can keep wearing most of your tops over the top. Good maternity trousers, especially under the bump ones, you can wear from very early on so they're worth investing in as soon as you want.

krankykitty Thu 20-Mar-14 20:27:45

I had quite a small bump (nurse didn't know I was pregnant at 28 weeks when I was in hospital for non maternity issue) and I could wear my normal trousers for quite some time with the hair elastic trick. However doing this meant I needed long tops so maternity ones were good but were a bit baggy round the ruching. I got away with many of my existing tops by using those stretchy long line vests underneath. Wore non maternity stretchy material dresses and leggings. It really depends, every one is different. I bought Maternity skinny jeans but only wore them after about 30 weeks.

I'd recommend stocking up on anything you would wear anyway like stretchy dresses, loose tops etc but dont go mad on maternity stuff until you know how things are going

behindthetimes Thu 20-Mar-14 20:52:30

I think I generally got away with sizing up until about 6 months, and as you say, those clothes come in useful as your size will vary a bit over the few months after the baby. 2nd time round I had more maternity clothes than the first time round, and I have to say they are more comfy, trousers, long sleeves tops etc. But there are also lots of tops aound these days that aren't maternity but accomodate a bump well, depending what your style is.
Also you can get maternity/feeding tops, which accomodate a bump and are also good for nursing, so at least they last a bit longer.
I would also recommend that when your back size changes for bras (as opposed to just cup size) buying a bra extender or 2 from ebay. Incredibly cheap and saved me a fortune where I would have had to buy a bigger size otherwise.
I also wore a woolly poncho instead of buying a maternity coat!

fuckwittery Thu 20-Mar-14 21:08:29

It's v hard to know where you'll put the weight on, if you'll get bigger hips and bum or be just baby. I must say though I think short curvy girls (I had exactly your figure pre pregnancy) tend to get curvier and have less torso for baby so you need to up size on more than just the bump iyswim. Start with upsizing and getting loose fitting clothes, remember all the weight doesn't just fall off either so they will be useful for post birth too. You can think of it as 9m on and 9m off, it's a different curve on the way down but you won't be binning all your mTernity clothes as soon as the baby is here unless you are v disciplined and lucky.

H+M maternity guide is
1-3 months buy your normal size (in maternity)
3-6 months go one size up
6-9 months 2 sizes up

Just buy minimum essential for each stage don't try and but for whole pregnancy now. Maternity leggings/tights and floaty tops and dresses or stretchy tube skirts are the best for longevity through your pregnancy I have found.

Germanwife Fri 21-Mar-14 02:34:04

Hi op. I was a size 10 too, pre preg, and I started needing maternity jeans and trousers at about week 16. I wore maternity tops much later but my boobs only went up a cup size and my bump could fit under 'normal' loose tops until my third trimester.

Pre preg, I had loads of tunic type loose tops and cardigans so I wore those over maternity vests - had to upgrade to those pretty quickly. I saved a bit of money by not buying nightwear - just used DH's t shirts.

I found comfy jeans in new look and H&M. My favourite buy were the new look yoga pants which I wore as much as I possibly could! So comfy. In fact, I wear them now, 3 months after giving birth grin

During pregnancy, I wore size 10 maternity clothes. After pg, I wore maternity jeans for a while then had to upgrade to size 12 clothes as I wasn't losing my pg weight.

lucy101 Fri 21-Mar-14 03:07:31

Hi there, if you plan to breastfeed then think about buying separates (drapey tops etc. With Primark or h&m stretchy vests underneath for instance) rather than dresses as you will be be able to wear them afterwards. This is my third pregnancy and I regret buying a bunch of maternity wear actually! Dresses even this time around have barely been worn and won't be post birth. The only thing I have really needed were maternity leggings and jogging pants. I am a SAHM though but if I was working I would get some tube skirts or a pair or two of beautiful trousers as someone said above. My best things even at 38 weeks have been non-maternity and just very stretchy actually and Anita underwired nursing bras (the maternity ones are exactly the same cup so no need to buy both). EBay is great for barely worn maternity too.

burnishedsilver Fri 21-Mar-14 08:47:03

On my first pregnancy I waited as long as possible pefore buying proper maternity clothes. It was a mistake. I didnt get much wear out of them buy the time I bought a few pieces and I looked at mess for most of the pregnancy because I was always trying to 'make do'. Id suggest picking things up as soon as your regular clothes are a bit tight (around 16 weeks probably) and don't worry about them being a bit loose at first.
Congratulations :-)

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