When you need to buy maternity clothes will be different for each pregnant Momma. I was 12 weeks when I started needing pants, but I swear some women are lucky enough to not even look pregnant at 9 months. I was totally in the dark on maternity clothing...not to mention horrified that I needed them so soon! Luckily Ash W had a TON of clothes and I was able to borrow from her, plus contribute to OUR maternity wardrobe. It is so nice to be able to share clothes and a huge money saver (cha ching!).
Ash and I have learned a lot about how to stretch your budget on maternity clothes both from a working Mom and stay at home Mom perspective. So here's the low down on how to save money while still (trying) to look cute pregnant!
- Borrow anything you can. If someone is offering you free clothes...TAKE THEM. Even if some items look too big or they aren't quite your style...TAKE THEM! You have no idea what you are going to look like at 9 months pregnant. Sure, you could still look great in a pair of skinny jeans (I hate you) but you could also start retaining water and gain 90 pounds...sure wish you would have taken those muu muus now don't you? And if it is the style of clothing you are worried about, never fear. Most of the time those ugly clothes are the most comfortable. Unspoken rule of pregnancy number 547- when you are waddling, it doesn't matter what you wear...people will still think you look miserable and ask if you are having triplets. ;o)
- Shop at garage sales and respectable resale stores. If you are lucky, you live in a community with a decent Mom to Mom resale shop. These places can have everything from maternity clothing to baby outfits, toys...etc. Sometimes you can get GREAT deals on super cute stuff. Just be really picky about the quality. Something priced at a $1, doesn't justify the milk stains on the front.
- Shop the sales rack and ONLY the sales rack. It is really easy to get caught up in cute maternity clothes and the pricing on them is out of control. Think about it...you will only have to wear these things for about 6 months MAX plus any additional pregnancies. The clearance and sales racks are the way to go!
- There are the obvious stores that specialize in maternity clothing like Motherhood, A Pea in the Pod and Destination Maternity...but there are also a lot of retailers that you might already love that carry maternity lines. The Gap, Old Navy, Kohls...even Overstock.com is a great place to get clothing! You also can find great prices and more sales/coupon opportunities at these stores.
- Don't be afraid to shop online. A lot of maternity clothing (pants and shirts BOTH) only come in the standard XS, S, M, L, XL...and so on sizes. As long as you have a general idea of where you stand, you shouldn't have to return much. Also, if you do accidentally get a few things too large and you are early in your pregnancy, keep them. You'll be glad you did in those last few
pounds months. Don't be discouraged if you don't look like the models online. They'll give you a picture like this:
But really I think that belly was sized down in Photoshop. Here's what that model really looks like (and by really looks like, I'm just speculating):
- Buy only what you need. In all honesty, you DO NOT need a whole closet and full dresser full of maternity clothing. Again, you are only wearing these clothes while you are cookin' up your baby and then maybe for a short time after delivery. Also, don't buy all at once...just pick up a few things as you need them. You don't want your closet looking like this on TOP of your "normal" wardrobe...and forget your husband's clothes.
See? Buying maternity clothes isn't that horrific. Although, things will vary depending on which season's you're pregnant in and whether or not you work. Here is a great starter list of must haves to survive:
- 1 "transition band"- these allow you to wear your non maternity pants a little longer
- 4 - 5 camis or laying tank tops
- 1 - 2 nice dresses for date night, weddings...etc
- 2 - 3 pairs of jeans/shorts/capris
- 10-15 casual/comfy t-shirts (great for wearing alone or layering)
- 76 pairs of yoga/pajama pants. Okay really...maybe only 5 or 6...
- Shoes- if you don't have any comfy slip on's, you might want to invest in a decent pair that are a larger size for your swelling feet!
Now that you have all these tips, don't forget to pay it forward! When you are done with your maternity clothes, try to offer to a friend that might need them...or take them in to a local resale shop to earn a few bucks. Or if you are REALLY in the giving spirit, take them to pregnancy resource center or Goodwill. Nothing like the satisfaction of helping a pregnant women, especially if she really needs it.