Because maternity clothes are just one of dozens of expenses associated with pregnancy and life with a baby, it’s unrealistic for many women to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a wardrobe that will only be worn for a few months. If you look for them on the internet, you’ll probably be inundated with online stores full of cute but way overpriced pieces. And of course, most of the maternity clothes (like most other things) at specialty baby stores and boutiques are anything but inexpensive.
It is extremely important to have at least a few nice things to wear during pregnancy. Looking nice will make you feel as beautiful and stylish as possible when your body is busy doing crazy things that don’t exactly boost your self-image. However, it only makes sense to buy inexpensive maternity clothes so you can save your money for the other baby items you’ll need, many of which will be used for more than just a few months.
Finding New, Inexpensive Maternity Clothes
There are a few stores that offer new, stylish, and inexpensive maternity clothes. Target, Old Navy, and perhaps The Gap should be your first stops if you need a nice work casual wardrobe or want to find a few trendy basics. They both offer decently large selections of maternity clothes in their stores at most locations, but check their websites for the widest variety. Old Navy’s maternity tank tops are inexpensive and great for layering during hot summer months. Burlington Coat Factory also has a surprisingly large selection of inexpensive maternity clothes, as well as baby items and clothes. Some other stores that typically offer great clothing deals either seem to charge double for maternity clothes or only have only a tiny selection of them. Also, be sure to check out the clearance sections of more expensive websites like www.babystyle.com and www.motherhood.com where you may be able to find great deals on stylish maternity clothes. It can be worthwhile to buy a few more expensive staple pieces that are extra comfortable and flattering to your body, if you will wear them often.
Buying Used Maternity Clothes
Another thing that makes sense is to buy used maternity clothes from other women, as it’s likely they’ve only been worn a few times. Good websites for finding inexpensive maternity clothes that are used include www.craigslist.com, www.ebay.com, groups.yahoo.com (search for specific maternity, pregnancy, or garage sale groups), and other baby- and pregnancy-specific auction websites like www.babybargainsusa.com. Also, check out your local thrift stores. They usually have a section dedicated to maternity clothes, and you’ll probably be able to find at least a few new or gently-worn name brand pieces at a fraction of their regular price. Remember to look in children’s’ consignment shops also, as they usually have a section of inexpensive maternity clothes. Especially during warmer months, garage sales, church rummage sales, etc., are another great resource for very inexpensive clothes, but you’ll probably have to spend more time looking if you go this route.
Raiding the Man’s Closet
Presuming your partner is a few sizes larger than you, borrowing his clothes can get you through a lot of your pregnancy, especially for things to lounge around the house in. This source of maternity clothes is not only inexpensive; it’s free! Basic mens’ t-shirts are the obvious thing to borrow when yours get too small, and he may even have a couple of buttoned shirts that you don’t mind wearing. When you’re in your third trimester, comfort is of utmost importance–check out his collection of worn-in sweats and drawstring athletic shorts. You may want to buy nicer maternity clothes for work, but your partner’s closet can still be a great free source of larger clothes to wear to bed or a late-night trip to the grocery store.
Borrowing Maternity Clothes
Another free option! Many women trade maternity clothes back and forth with their friends or sisters who are growing families at the same time. If you are close to someone who was recently pregnant and is the same size as you, it’s worth asking. Also, some women are able to borrow the regular clothes of a family member who is a couple sizes larger, to wear during those few weeks when your jeans are too tight but maternity clothes are still a bit big. These can also be worn for a few weeks after the pregnancy, before you’re back to regular size. Be very careful about asking for this from someone who is sensitive about their weight, though!–it may be best to wait for them to offer.