Thirty years ago, maternity clothes meant large dresses and shirts that no one but a pregnant woman or a small child would even think about wearing. Happily, today’s maternity clothes are often stylish and cute enough to pass for real clothes. Unfortunately, they also tend to be more expensive than real clothes.
Before You Shop
1. Realize that you are going to be many different sizes before you give birth. Sure, they tell you to just buy your regular size at the maternity store. That works for some people. But some of us get very big while pregnant. Plan to get at least two sizes of pants. And don’t turn down any shirts that look more like tents–you might need one for the last few weeks.
2. Write a list of what you will need to survive the pregnancy. If your baby is due in July, you’re not going to need a coat, but you may want a bathing suit. If your baby is due in January, you might want a coat, but you probably don’t need too many sweaters because by that point you will be hot.
3. Email and/or call your friends who have had children. Ask them if they have any maternity clothes you can have or borrow. As you collect the free items, cross them off of your list.
4. Look in the closets of people who are taller and/or rounder than you are and see if they have anything you can borrow. I’ve spent a lot of my current pregnancy in t-shirts from my husband and father.
5. Hunt for sales online. Target and Destination Maternity have much better online deals than they do in stores. You can also compare prices at Shopzilla.
6. Go to Goodwill or another thrift store. They may not have specific maternity clothes, but they may have some large-sized clothes that will work.
7. Look on Craigslist.com. Some women sell their old maternity clothes in the “baby and kids” section, some in the clothing section.
8. Extend the life of your regular pants and skirts by buying a Bella Band.
9. Shop early in your pregnancy because the season of clothes you’ll need at the end should be on the clearance racks during your first trimester.