Save Money on Maternity Wear

Jessie and I must be money soul mates.  The first sentence of the following guest post is one of my life statements!  If you’re pregnant, heed her advice.

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I don’t really enjoy spending money on anything. I’d think most of you would agree with me there. Our hard-earned cash flies so frequently out of our bank accounts toward bills, groceries, housing, and necessities. Although I love nice clothes, most of my wardrobe comes from the thrift store, where I can hunt some quality pieces for decent prices.

One thing I REALLY hate to spend money on, though, is maternity clothes. A) They get worn for about four or five months, total. B) They are almost all unflattering. C) By the time you are done being pregnant, you’re so tired of these clothes you want to light them on fire.

33 weeks pregnant with my daughter in a clearanced dress from Motherhood Maternity

Thankfully, there are ways to get maternity clothes for cheap. Here are some of the tactics I’ve used for my pregnancies!

  • Let a relative buy them for you. Thanks, Mom, for much of my maternity wardrobe from my daughter! I worked full-time, so I really did need some nicer things. Mom was an excited first-time grandma, and my burgeoning belly had some lovely fashions.
  • Thrift stores. Often hit-or-miss, but several bigger thrift stores have a maternity section. Always worth a peek inside. I lucked out and found two pairs of maternity capris at a local, small thrift shop before it was really capri weather (or I needed maternity clothes). Off-season, the Gap and Motherhood pants were priced at $3.50 each!
  • eBay. I will be the first to tell you I think eBay has gotten overpriced in the tough economic times, but occasionally you can find a few good items for next to nothing. Do a search for “maternity lot” in your size and see what comes up.
  • Consignment sales have been my best bet when it comes to finding great maternity clothes for pennies on the dollar. I desperately needed some casual, summer clothes and hit the jackpot at a very large sale here in Chattanooga. I even found some items with tags still on for $2-$3. Shop half-price day if you’re really in a financial bind (or just really cheap, like me!). There is always some good stuff left.
  • Borrow from friends. And then lend on, after your bundle of joy is born. Maternity clothes are so much more forgiving, if you can find a friend who is even sort of your size, it should work.
  • Adapt your regular clothes. A maternity tank top matched with a regular cardigan or jean jacket helped me through much of my first pregnancy! Pants and skirts with elastic waistbands can transition with you, as well as empire-waist dresses. Being a plus-size gal, I can often find clothes at Lane Bryant that are cut like maternity on their clearance racks for much less than I would pay at a maternity specialty store. And if you’re at at-home mom, a pair of yoga pants and a big tee will get you through those days you really don’t want to get out of bed … not that I have those, of course.

Do you have any other tips for saving on maternity wear?

Jessie is a stay-at-home mom in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where she runs after her toddler daughter while trying to maintain a freelance writing/editing career and her blog, Vanderbilt Wife. She is expecting her second child, a son, in December.

Linked to Frugal Friday.

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Comments

  1. I love your first suggestion of letting a relative buy them for you. My mother bought much of my maternity wardrobe, partly because my birthday has always fallen squarely in the middle of a pregnancy, so she has enjoyed giving me giftcards to Motherhood.

    To stretch those giftcard dollars, I shop clearance and practice the waiting game. Last pregnancy, I received a gift card in September. In October, I needed sweaters, but when I shopped for them, they were all $40. Instead, I wore non-maternity casual sweater jackets over t-shirts. In November, the sweaters were already marked down to $20. Not a steal, but I got more bang for my buck.

    The best way I have saved money on good quality, new maternity clothes was by shopping out of season. I was around 12 weeks pregnant in July when I purchased several tops from Gap Maternity for around $3 each. They were all long sleeved shirts, and I was due in January.

  2. I ended up pregnant with my second when my first was only 6 months old. I had barely packed away the clothes, so I know what you mean when you say you feel like burning them! For me, the best places to find maternity clothes are JCPenney, Kohls, and Target. I never pay full price. Kohl’s always seems to have an awesome clearance section. I found my favorite prego pants there for about $12. Target has a good clearance section too. JCPenney is where most of my maternity wardrobe came from. My mother-in-law also treated me to a bit of a spree. She told me how much she wanted to spend, and we were able to pretty much outfit me for my entire pregnancy (while working at the time) thanks to the great clearance sale they had going on. A lot of it is timing. I’ve needed maternity clothes mostly at the end of summer, so a lot of stuff goes on sale. I definitely shop ahead when I can but I prefer a hoodie over a short sleeve shirt if I am cold in the winter, so I never bothered with season-specific clothes. Except capris. I would have died without those.
    One of the essentials I had (and still wear, but don’t tell anyone!) are two maternity camis. They go great under non-maternity button-up shirts or sweaters or really anything that you might need a little more coverage with. I hated that so many of the maternity tops are cut so low. Seriously, your chest is already much larger than it used to be. Do we need to draw attention to it? I always felt like the girls were trying to escape, but those camis saved me.

  3. All great suggestions! I found a great small consignment shop here in town that sells children’s items as well as maternity clothes. They mark down prices after a certain period of time, so you can get them for as low as 50% off the original (consignment) price, which is a considerable savings off the retail price. They are very selective, and the clothes are always stylish, in great condition, and usually very nice brand names that I would never ever purchase new. I’ve found a LOT of my favorite maternity clothes there.

  4. Cynthia Bell says:

    I’d make some etchings on jars to store things.

  5. Stephanie Jarvis says:

    I’m throwing a halloweeen party this year and would love to make a bat banner or spiderwebs to put on the table!

  6. My friends and I swap clothes! I have one pair of maternity jeans that have been through SIX pregnancies between us all! And I just buy up one size or very stretchy clothes…Actually I own no maternity shirts and just a few pairs of jeans. The Bella band and Belly Bandit have helped me to be able to wear my pre-pregnancy jeans through out this one. Oh, and if you have any minimal sewing skills you can easily turn a man’s button down into a super cute maternity top!

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