4 More Ways to Save on Maternity Clothes

By Linsey Knerl on 4 July 2010 (Updated 5 July 2011) 10 comments

Recently, WC Porter shared 3 super ways to get by on a smaller budget when purchasing pregnancy duds. As someone who just gave birth to her 5th child, I’ve gotten pretty efficient with spending less for maternity wear. Here are four clever tips you may not have known about!

Pregnancy Bands

It had only been 3 years since my last child was born, but my pregnancy jeans from that era were sadly outdated (and fit strangely…have you seen how large the caboose can be on some styles?). Instead of pulling out my credit card to buy yet another 3-4 pairs of maternity jeans, I improvised with a few different brands of maternity “bands.” These clever accessories fit over the waist of any of your regular jeans, and helps hold them up and together when you grow too large to button them. They work great for women who are too small to fit into most maternity jeans, and I was able to sport one over my baggy pairs until my 8th month of pregnancy — saving $100 or more on jeans I didn’t have to buy. (I reviewed two of the major brands and compared the features of each.)

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW

Dress Rental

Remember the movie 27 Dresses? The recurring joke was that the brides seemed convinced that the bridesmaid dresses could be worn again after the wedding (as if). The only thing worse than being saddled with an expensive bridesmaid dress after the event is being saddled with an expensive maternity bridesmaid dress after the wedding. As someone who was an attendant in a wedding with a significant baby bump, I’m aware of the added cost that a formal wear shop will attempt to bestow on the mom-to-be, and how I will NEVER wear my chocolate tulle elephant dress again. That’s why companies like Rent Maternity Wear are so appealing. You can rent a dress for a fraction of buying new, and you can even pay extra to be guaranteed that your dress will be brand new when you get it! (Likewise, each dress only gets rented out a few times, which means you get a pristine outfit for your next event!) Moms who aren’t sure what size they will wear can get the next size larger or smaller for no extra charge, provided they send it back if it doesn’t fit. How cool is that?

Non-Maternity Gear

Just because you feel like a house, it doesn’t mean you have to shop in the house department. Some of my most comfy maternity clothes aren’t maternity clothes at all! Long flowy dresses with drawstring waists, stretchy tees, and yoga pants with low waists kept me comfy and stylish for casual outings well into my 7th month. If you find yourself popping out beyond the limits of even your most forgiving clothes, go ahead and buy new. But don’t confine yourself to maternity alone. A plus-sized outfit or something in a few sizes larger may look better on you than a maternity piece in your own size. Play around with it, and look for bargains in every department.

Shop Online

Some of my favorite maternity retailers also have online outlets (Motherhood Maternity, for example). The exact same pieces were sold in store as on their website, but the site was consistently sale priced at 20% less than the brick and mortar option. I would frequently visit the site, pick out a few clearance items that I could wear year-round, and then visit the actual store to get a good idea of how it fit. Then I would go home and order online for a greater discount. Paying $12 for a nice dress instead of $20 feels really good!

What about you? In addition to consignment and garage sales, asking a friend, and those tips I mention above, do you have some secrets to getting fabulous maternity clothes at a deep discount (or even free?).

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Guest's picture
Guest

since I'm an XXS I took full advantage of the baby doll dresses I found on clearance, womens shirts that are designed to be flowy, belly bands to hold up not-all-the-way zipped skirts, and elastic!

I totally love the skirts that are in style right now with the wide strechy waist-bands, which are designed to be worn as a dress or a skirt - it looks cute on me right now, and will still work super well while pregnant!

Teen resale shops have a lot of odd clothing as well, so I could find oddly shaped items that worked well on a pregnant body.

Linsey Knerl's picture

It's definitely easier to shop when you're small. I miss how easy it was to dress with my first two babies. Most moms tend to be larger sooner with their later children (the case with me) -- but your tips did work well for me when I was younger :)

Guest's picture
Yehudit

Hey Linsey,

Congrads on your 5th! How wonderful! Hope you and your little one are bonding well. I just wanted to add a couple of tips I found in a magazine when I was preg with my daughter (she's now 20 months). They made it so helpful and cost effective for me -esp. since I didn't have to transition over to maternity clothes until like the 7th or 8th month. Anyway, here they are:

1. Loop a rubber band through the button hole and secure it around the button (pants or skirt) to give you some extra wear.
2. Use paper clips inserted in the loops of your bra to give you an extra inch or so.

Linsey Knerl's picture

Thanks for your well-wishes! (I couldn't imagine life without our new baby already!) I did use the rubber band tip for the first couple months. I found that a super-thick hair elastic did the best job. I could wear my jeans under a long top for longer than I could without the hair-tie, and that means holding off on buying the belly band, too! Thanks for the reminder :)

Guest's picture
Missy

I just discovered a treasure trove in my closet! My husband's polo shirts are just perfect for me to wear for work. It's business casual, so a polo works great. Men's polos are cut much longer than women's, so the bump is completely covered.

Obviously, this wouldn't work for everyone. I'm lucky that our body types allow a match (my bigger chest means I can fill out the rest of the shirt). The sleeves are a little baggy, but it beats the 4 shirts I was rotating through every Monday-Thursday.

Linsey Knerl's picture

Great tip! I hadn't thought of that :)

Guest's picture
Olusola

Hi I'm definitely big on #3, buying non-maternity clothes. They are less-expensive and also provide more variety. I hope I'll be able to do that right into the third trimester in fall. Very timely tips. Thanks Linsey

Guest's picture
Guest

Resale shops!!! All my maternity clothes i bought for under $50. The only things i bought were my underclothes

Guest's picture
Jay

You can also find great deals on preowned maternity clothes at www.maternityresale.com.

Guest's picture
Guest

This is a great article! When I was pregnant I think I owned one pair of maternity jeans. All my other clothes were either ultra stretchy or a couple sizes bigger than my normal size. I felt trendy but still very comfortable and didn't have to spend $100 on a blouse for work. Great tips!