How to Save Money on Maternity Clothes

Really? A $200 pair of jeans that will fit for about 3 months of your life? $100, on sale, for a basic dress designed to fit your growing “bump” — that will be unusable as soon as you give birth?

Forgive me, but even this shop-a-holic is cringing at how much maternity clothes cost these days. Yes, you can buy maternity clothes at Old Navy and Target, and they certainly aren’t $200 a pop. But given you need a reasonable wardrobe to wear to work, ideally without doing laundry every night while you get more tired further into your pregnancy, even $30 here and there adds up.

In order to save money on maternity clothes, and without the option of hand-me-downs (my friend tried but her smalls and mediums won’t fit my size 12/14 frame) I’ve turned to both traditional stores and the inter webs…

Traditional stores are actually – well, they’re gone. I was stunned to find out that all the A Pea in the Pod closed around here, and the maternity stores in the mall also disappeared. I’ve yet to find a Macy’s that caries maternity in store, so either the section is so small I can’t find it, or it doesn’t exist.

I did find a Pea in the Pod about 2 hours from my house, near where my aunt lives. I managed to buy a shirt on sale there for $15. Score. But everything else in the store was rather expensive. I decided to wait until I settled into some sort of maternity size to buy anything more, at least at full price. Of course at that point I didn’t realize that every single maternity store within an hour from my apartment had shut down.

So, the interwebs it is. I hate shopping for clothes online to begin with, let alone trying to find clothes for my body (size) that I don’t even know or understand anymore. Amazon (prime) has some options with free returns, but most of what I’ve found on there is too casual for work — or, a lot of it for some reason isn’t prime / free return eligible.

There’s maternity options online to the wazzoo, but given I know I’ll have to return a lot, I only want to buy from places with free and easy returns. That wipes out many of the options. I know I won’t look anything like those perfectly “only got a bump but grew no fat in any other part of my body” models.

Instead of buying from or Amazon or the various online maternity boutiques, I opted to bid on a few used and/or “new with tags” items on It’s a bit risky because I can’t return the items — and they still aren’t that cheap once you add in shipping and such. I’ve purchased 2 designer jeans (paige – $25 and joes – $50) and one pea-in-the-pod dress ($25) thus far. The paige jeans arrived and despite being a size 32 maternity were still tight (yikes, I’m gaining too much weight) but wearable. I’m not quite sure how they’ll fit when my bump starts to actually grow (they are supposedly under the belly jeans, but now I realize that’s a bad idea.)

It doesn’t help that petite maternity clothes are pretty much non existent. I don’t want to spend another $12 per pant, esp if the pants are $12 pants, to make them fit.

This is why I’m thinking it’s best to wear dresses only during my maternity phase. It’s one item, so cheaper than the pants and shirt options, and I can have 5 dresses, maybe weekend jeans and a few casual tops, and be done with it. My goal is to not spend more than $500 on maternity clothes… but I’m not sure I’ll succeed at that.

How have you saved $ on maternity clothes (other than hand-me-downs?) How many pants/shirts/dresses should one buy for their second and third trimesters? Did you ever wear those clothes again?


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4 thoughts on “How to Save Money on Maternity Clothes”

  1. A. Low prices are subsidized by poor working conditions
    B. If you want to save money because you’ll “only wear them for 3 months” maybe look at second hand stores for your maternity outfits.

    1. Even expensive clothes are made in low working conditions — they just make the business more money. Don’t kid yourself. Unless the store/designer makes garments in America (rare) then the working conditions are probably bad. And unless you’re going to sew your own clothes, you prob have to buy clothes that are morally unethical in order not be naked all the time. So, I prefer spending less than more.

  2. I wore maternity clothes for several months after giving birth, and shared them with my sisters-in-law. I mostly bought second hand. And actually, I still wear a couple of maternity pieces and my son is now 3! They aren’t the kind that look like maternity – just had enough room to stretch.

    1. Yea, I’ve been buying things that work in my first trimester so I can use them again after baby. Luckily not all maternity clothes scream maternity.

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