How to save money on maternity clothes

by Karen on May 19, 2010

This is a guest post from Kacie at Sense To Save. Her son is 16 months old and she’s due with baby #2 in December, right around the time that my first baby is due.

When you discover you’re pregnant with your first child, your mind probably fills with all the cute things you’ll buy your baby. Set aside some of that baby budget to create a comfortable, stylish maternity wardrobe that will leave you feeling confident as your body changes over the coming months.

While it can be hard for frugal-minded mamas to justify spending much money on a wardrobe they will only need for a short time, remember that you don’t have to sacrifice your baby’s college fund to round out your wardrobe.

  • Start with the “rubber band trick” to get a few more wears out of pants. Take a small rubber band and loop it through your pants’ buttonhole to give you an extra inch or so in the waistline. Be sure to wear a longer shirt to cover it.
  • Consider a Bella Band. Some moms swear by these tube-top-esque articles of clothing; others don’t care for them much. I liked mine to wear during my third trimester to hold up my full-panel maternity jeans. They’re also handy post-partum. Borrow or buy one and then add more if you like them.
  • Go through your current wardrobe to see what can double-up as maternity wear. Things like flowy shirts, drawstring or elastic skirts, loose dresses and cardigans can last through your second trimester and sometimes to your due date. Wear cardigans unbuttoned so you won’t stretch them out.
  • Borrow from friends! Surely you know someone who has had a child in the last few years. See if you can borrow some of their maternity clothes. Take a detailed inventory (with photos or words) so you can be sure the owner gets her clothes back.
  • Before shopping, create a list of the types of items you’re seeking. If you’re working in a professional workplace until your due date, then naturally you’ll need a more professional wardrobe.
  • Set a budget and stick to it. If you read Karen’s blog, then you probably are money-conscious, so I don’t think I need to elaborate on this.
  • Try good thrift and consignment stores. I’ve been able to find some pretty cute maternity shirts for $1 or so at my favorite thrift store. You have to visit second-hand shops often since the merchandise changes fast, but if it means you’re getting an item for a fraction of retail price, isn’t that worth it?
  • Ebay and Craigslist can be a goldmine for specific items, as well as buying in bulk.
  • Clearance racks are an obvious destination. I’ve found plenty of good items on the Old Navy clearance rack, and Target is also a good choice for budget-minded mamas. Remember to think several months ahead – don’t buy a lot of summery items if you’re due in December.
  • Since you’ll be pregnant for three full seasons (and sometimes a little bit more!) it makes sense to try to keep some of your wardrobe season-neutral. Think about pieces that will layer well. In addition, try to stick with a color palate that suits your coloring and that can easily mix-and-match.
  • Last time, I spent way too much time trying to find a great pair of maternity jeans. I found some that were OK, but I think I would have been happier if I wore skirts and dresses more often since they are a little more forgiving.
  • Don’t buy your wardrobe all at once. Plan to buy more items in your third trimester.
  • Remember, you’ll be able to wear most of these clothes for future pregnancies and you can loan these clothes out, as well as resell them when you’re all finished.

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Sense to Save » Blog Archive » Saving money on a maternity wardrobe
May 19, 2010 at 10:02 am
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May 19, 2010 at 6:35 pm

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