Expectant Prayers ®

Jennifer Jo Weiss

Save Money on Maternity Clothes

When you consider how short your span of gestation lasts, it seems ridiculous to me that women go and break the bank on their wardrobes.  Save your money for a babymoon or something you absolutely need by using some helpful hints:

Borrow.  If you've had a friend that is around your size, borrowing is a great way to save on fashion.  Plus, if you were expecting withing a year of each other, most of the items will still be in style.  Better yet, if you're both around the same size and expecting around the same time, you may be willing to swap out clothes in both of your wardrobes to create more pieces without paying for them.  You'd have to have a pretty good friend to pull the swap off!   Some women even borrow clothes from their husband- especially tops.  This NEVER suited me, but that may be an option for you if you enjoy that sort of thing. 

Mix and Match.  You don't have to have twenty outfits to make a maternity wardrobe work.  Find some great pieces and mix and match your way to several outfits.  A great pair of maternity jeans is a must, as well as shorts.  Those will go with anything.  As for the rest, if you plan for colors coordinating pants/capris with tops and a skirt (if you even wear them)- you'll end up with a lot of wardrobe for little $$.

Buy Used.  I am a thrift store junkie and I love to  find a great deal.  For my current pregnancy, I found a great pair of name brand blue jean capris and several name brand (I'm talking expensive label) tops (5-6) will a total bill of under $20!  You can't beat the price and if you have a good eye, you can find more than you think.   I have also bought items on online auctions (EBAY), but you really have to watch the prices.  Lot-buys are great, but without seeing them in person, you risk clothing not fitting or other pitfalls.  I have also noticed recently that most people are listing their items with reserves.  That means they are really wanting their money back for items and you aren't really saving much money in the long run.  Bids go higher and higher and then you have to pay for shipping as well, so be smart with dealing with such auctions.

Wear normal clothes for as long as possible.  A lot of first time moms make this mistake of jumping into maternity wear as soon as the stick turns blue.  You'll have a lot less to worry about  clothing wise if you plan ahead and wear maternity AS NEEDED.  It's always a good idea when you're expecting to have some normal clothes in a larger size available to you.  Larger tops accommodate your growing belly as well as larger bottoms.  Buying used (as stated above) is also a great way to extend your sizes before maternity wear is needed and for the months following birth.  Even though I have worn some of my maternity tops, I am still almost exclusively wearing a size 12 pair of jeans that I bought at a thrift store.   Of course, I had to buy up a few sizes, but they are still comfortable and look nice.    This approach will also be a benefit when you actually need to buy maternity items.  If you buy too soon, you may buy things that won't end up fitting in the end when you are larger.

Convert your current clothing.  This is a great way to make maternity bottoms for a fairly inexpensive price.  Of course, you would have to have some sewing skills and a machine, but it's a great way to save some bucks!  I have a few pairs of trousers that I wanted to wear for maternity.  Someone gave me both pairs and they would be great to use during this time and postpartum.   You can buy tummy panels (maternity panels) at your local fabric store (Jo Ann's is where I found mine) for around $5.00.  The downside to using those is that all I could find were black panels.  That's not the best when you have light colored trousers or light colored tops that could reveal a black panel underneath.   Grandma's solution is to take swim wear lining or any fabrics with 2 way stretch (which happen to come in a variety of colors) and elastic and make your own panel to suit your needs.   Your only cost involved would be for the panel materials... a fraction of what you could be spending!

Hit the Sales!  Seasonal sales are a great option if you plan on getting pregnant within the year or can wear what is on sale during some point of your pregnancy.  Of course, there is a bit of chance when taking this approach, but you will save a considerable amount of money off of the normal ticket price. 

Plan for the future.    When your pregnancy is over, save whatever has ended up in your maternity wardrobe for future use if you are planning a larger family.  Can you believe that on my 8th pregnancy, I am still wearing some pieces from my original maternity wardrobe?  It's true!  I've given or thrown out plenty, but I still have items that have managed to make it through the styles, fashions, and of course the frequent wear over the years.  The best tip when planning for the future is to maintain a touch of the current style without going too trendy.    If everything in your wardrobe is the "current", chances are you won't be reusing those pieces in the future.  You'll end up giving away or selling them and ultimately losing money!  Also, in our big family, we planned all of our pregnancies around the same time of year.  In fact, all the kids were born within eight weeks of each other in the same season.   You have to consider seasons when planning your maternity fashions! 

Bottom line... save money where you can because having a baby is expensive enough without adding cost where it's not necessary!    Happy wardrobe planning!

Go Back