How to save money on maternity clothes

When you find out you’re pregnant with your first child, you’ll probably feel excitement like you’ve never experienced before — and if you’re like me, you’ll also realize that you’re about to shop, shop, baby stuff shopping! But as you build your baby registry and prepare your nursery, don’t forget what you you need to feel confident during your pregnancy – including your maternity wardrobe.

Long before I got pregnant with my first child this year, I heard friends and family complain that maternity clothes on the market were too shoddy or too expensive, or both. However, I am happy to report that this is not my experience. As a lifelong saver, I challenged myself to buy my entire maternity wardrobe secondhand, and now that I’m almost done with my pregnancy, I wouldn’t have done it any other way. Plus, I saved a ton of money along the way!

It took a little longer to find maternity clothes I loved because I relied on local thrift stores and my neighborhood Buy Nothing group — but getting quality clothes for pennies on the dollar (or free) was worth it. Whether you want to find all your maternity clothes second hand or just want to save money where you can, keep reading to find out what I learned while dressing less during my pregnancy.

You don’t have to wear it just because it’s pregnancy

This first tip I have is more of a “don’t” than a “do”. Do not feel resigned to wearing clothes you don’t like just because it’s pregnancy! If you hate richly fitted tunics, slim dresses, or t-shirts with cute sayings like “Baby on Board,” don’t wear them! There are countless other maternity styles out there will talk to you, so don’t feel like you have to buy maternity clothes that make you go “meh” just because they’re cheap or available.

Likewise, people will start giving you hand-me-downs as soon as you announce you’re pregnant. Don’t feel like you have to wear them just because they’re free! If you like hand-offs, that’s great, but wear things because you enjoy them, not because you feel obligated to. Donate hand-me-downs you don’t want and make room for the clothes you do want.

For example, my neighborhood Buy Nothing group (I highly recommend joining a group near you) did a round robin maternity clothes swap. We passed several totes of maternity clothes from woman to woman, with each recipient allowed to take or leave as many clothes as she wanted. I am not a skinny jeans girl, but I ended up grabbing a pair of skinny maternity jeans because “Why not?” At first I tried to incorporate them into my outfits, thinking my maternity style didn’t have to match my non-maternity style exactly, but I soon realized I was ready to give those jeans away because I never wear them. liked to wear.

In the summer, it was easy to stick to shorts, dresses, and lightweight linen pants, but as fall approached, I was nervous that I wouldn’t have any maternity jeans to wear. Then I saved up a pair of light-wash flare Motherhood Maternity jeans that were just what I would have loved pre-pregnancy. I loved wearing them with a flowy white blouse and basket weave flats in warm weather and a cozy sweater and chunky booties in cold weather!

Start building your wardrobe early

Many women don’t seem to be pregnant until well into their second trimester – but don’t feel like you have to wait until then to buy maternity clothes! In the future, you’ll be thanking past you for filling your closet.

You may feel weird putting on maternity clothes while still wearing your “normal” clothes, but your baby bump can show up overnight and you don’t want to feel like you have nothing to wear to a moment when you are already pregnant. feeling all feelings due to changing hormones. There really is nothing worse!

That said, comfortable clothes like leggings and t-shirts will be your go-to items during pregnancy, but I highly recommend buying “dressy” maternity clothes even if you’re not sure when you’re going to wear them — life does that doesn’t stop when you’re pregnant, and professional events, parties, and even weddings may appear. Even though I work remotely, I was glad I bought several pairs of maternity pants when there were work related events – and the pants were surprisingly comfortable!

And of course, don’t forget to visualize how you want to look in pregnancy photos, whether you hire a professional photographer or have your husband take pictures of you in the backyard. Give yourself the right to buy a few “impractical” pieces that will appear in photos. In real life, I usually steer clear of strapless tops and dresses, but I loved the off-the-shoulder maternity dress I wore in my maternity photos (and I got it for free through the Buy Nothing Project, too!).

Side note: This tip about buying early also applies to nursing clothes! I saw cute nursing clothes at Goodwill early in my pregnancy and decided to hold off on buying — and now I wish I hadn’t, because nine months goes fast!

Find the best thrift stores for maternity clothes and check in often

One of the best tips for being a successful thrift store is to visit your favorite thrift stores regularly to see what’s new – and this is especially true if you have a nine month timeline!

I had a pretty rough experience with morning sickness during my first trimester, and making a nice day by saving for maternity clothes made me feel more excited about being pregnant early on. So whether you like to shop alone or want to invite your mom, sister or friends along, make your first maternity wear a special occasion. Treat yourself to a drink while you shop and do a fashion show for your husband when you get home!

Pro tip: Find out which thrift stores near you have a maternity section. Some stores throw maternity clothes in with regular clothes, but others take the time to tell them apart so you have an easier shopping experience. I was actually convinced my local Goodwill didn’t have a maternity section, but then a store associate showed me where it was – tucked away among the scrubs and the swimwear! Always discuss the location of the maternity ward with the staff.

If you prefer thrifting online, there are plenty of deals to be had too! For example, ThredUp has a huge selection for pregnancies. Poshmark is also a great place to find second-hand maternity clothes – after all, many people only wear these items for a few months!

Think outside the tag

This tip is twofold. First, be prepared to ignore the size on the label – maternity clothes from different brands come in completely different sizes, and you’ll find that your maternity size doesn’t always match your pre-pregnancy size. For example, I found myself wearing pieces from Small to XL.

Second, you may be wearing non-maternity clothes throughout your pregnancy. Non-maternity items can be completely punch-friendly, despite what the tag says. I have a lot of oversized or stretchy clothes that I’ve continued to wear throughout my pregnancy — and I’ll probably wear them when my baby comes along! I’m not saying you should copy Rihanna and avoid the maternity ward altogether, but there’s a lot of value in this mindset. So don’t think you’re impractical if you buy non-maternity clothes that don’t fit your belly… you’ll probably appreciate the addition to your wardrobe long after baby arrives.

Be prepared to adapt your style – but don’t lose what you make YOU!

New mothers are often warned not to “lose themselves” when they are pregnant with their first child. While this well-meaning advice may be a little wrong, after all, you become one new ones you when you bring a new life into the world – it’s true that continuing to feel your classy self during pregnancy can do wonders for your overall mindset.

Most likely, you’ll find yourself drawn to the colors, textures, and fits you’ve always loved, while mixing up some new styles. Pregnancy meant to me that I had to completely rethink what silhouettes I like to wear. As an hourglass figure, I prefer styles that emphasize my waist without clinging to my hips, such as fit-and-flare dresses. Well, guess what looks really strange on a pregnant woman? Fit-and-flare dresses that fall on the natural waistline! It took some adjusting, but I enjoyed experimenting with looser fits and flowy fabrics to create maternity looks that feel flattering and effortless.

What Not Buy second hand: underwear

Maternity clothes are arguably best to buy second-hand, as they are often only worn for a few months, but I don’t recommend buying your maternity underwear second-hand! I invested in some brand new undergarments early in the pregnancy and was glad I did. These longline shorts from Motherhood Maternity look great under dresses and skirts and are available in black or nude. I also recommend Kindred Bravely’s Grow with Me Maternity and Postpartum Brief – 10/10 for comfort!

I feel like no one is talking about this, but you will also find that you prefer different bras when you are pregnant, and that will affect how you dress. Your ribs literally expand during pregnancy, so no wonder your pre-pregnancy underwire bra no longer feels like the perfect fit. Pregnancy is the perfect time to find your new favorite bralette and buy it in all colors!

Closing thoughts

During your first pregnancy, you will experience so much change – in your relationship with your husband, your loved ones and your body. But taking the time to feel confident and cute will pay off in how much you enjoy your pregnancy — and your maternity wardrobe doesn’t have to break the bank!

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How to save money on maternity clothes

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