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Ask the Readers: Where do you find good deals on maternity clothes?

I’m 14 1/2 weeks pregnant with our first & now that things are starting to not fit anymore, I have been trying to do some maternity clothes shopping. But wow! I didn’t realize clothing yourself while pregnant was so expensive! Just curious to know if you had any ideas or thoughts on places to go for good deals on maternity clothes. -Eden

Maternity clothes can definitely be very pricey, but there’s no need to spend exorbitant amounts on a whole new wardrobe to clothe you while pregnant. Instead, take it as an opportunity to get creative and think outside the box. Here are some things which have allowed me to spend very little on maternity clothes over the course of my last three pregnancies:

Re-purpose Items You Already Have

I’m pretty petite, so the 30 pounds I always gain with each pregnancy mean I go up at least two to three sizes in clothing by the end of my pregnancy! Needless to say, I’m not one of those women who can wear her regular jeans the entire pregnancy (I wish!).

However, I’ve found that some things in my wardrobe can still be worn until at least six months. Sweaters, high-waisted blouses and items which can be layered work especially well for this. So start with what you already have in your closet and see if there are some items which can be re-purposed to work as maternity clothes — at least for a little while.

Borrow From Friends

So many friends have been kind to let me borrow their maternity clothes from them over my last few pregnancies. They’ve always offered to share and I’ve been more-than-happy to take them up on their offer. And I’ve been happy to return the favor to others now that I’ve built up my own “collection” of maternity clothes.

Buy Used

Before going out and buying anything new, definitely check out the possibilities available for used clothing. Craigslist, Freecycle, garage sales, eBay, consignment stores and many other sites online carry used maternity clothes — often at a fraction of the price of buying new.

Shop the Clearance Racks

Motherhood Maternity, Target and Old Navy usually have some pretty good clearance racks in the maternity section. If you keep your eye on them when you’re out shopping, you’ll likely be able to find some good deals. And if you can pair the clearance deal with a coupon (which are often released for Target and Old Navy) you might find a killer deal! In addition, you can occasionally find some great deals online at Kohl’s when they have $0.99 shipping and a coupon code.

Choose Quality Over Quantity

Since I’m a minimalist, I always find it easiest to just have a few classic pieces which mix and match. A few pair of jeans or capris (depending upon the season, a pair of really comfy yoga pants, a couple of skirts, a few casual shirts and a few dressy shirts. I go for quality over quantity and just wear the items over and over and over again during those four months or so when I’m in maternity clothes full-time.

I’ve found it’s best to buy shirts which have ties in the back as these can be adjusted with your growing belly. I like elastic-banded pants, jeans and skirts which go under the belly (like these) as I can wear them my entire last half of the pregnancy and then for a few weeks postpartum, too. Making sure you buy items which can be worn more than a few weeks saves a lot of time and effort.

What are your ideas and suggestions for saving money on maternity clothes? Tell us in the comments.

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  • Tracy says:

    I didn’t have a chance to read all the reader comments. But in case no one mentioned it, is a great Yahoo Group to belong to. You can post a wanted ad for maternity clothing in your size. I got most of my pregnancy wardrobe there.

    I also LOVE thrift stores and have 2 favorites local to me. Salvation Army, Goodwill stores or any other consignment store might be your best bet.

    I bought stuff from Ebay as well and if you can find some stuff on clearance in the stores, that would work too. I don’t think I bought anything for full price for either of my pregnancies.

    As a matter of fact, my daughter is almost 4 and I have one or two shirts that I loved when I was pg for her that I still wear today. Good luck!!

  • Becky Thomas says:

    I’m preggo with #2 now and only this time found Ebay. If you shop carefully, avoid bidding wars, and buy used you can get some real good deals. I bought one lot, but would avoid that again, because there were a few things that I couldn’t use. What I loved was finding a shirt or pair of shorts in my size that was a good price, then checking with the seller’s other lists. Most sellers will offer a shipping discount and if they’re about the same size you can find several items you need.

  • Melissa says:

    I just had my third baby two months ago. My first two children are five and seven, so I hadn’t saved any of my maternity things. Anyway, this time, I bought most of my maternity things at my local Just Between Friends sale. I was pleasantly shocked at how reasonable the prices were. There were also lots of great items left on half-price day. There are 22 states that have Just Between Friends sales, so I think it’s definitely worth checking to see if your state is one of them. I also bought a lot of my baby clothes there, and am still fairly pleased with the selection of items I find for my older two children. It’s a lot harder to find used items in good condition for older kids, but I always feel like the JBF sale is worth my time. And, no, I’m not affiliated with this sale in any way. I’m just a loyal shopper!

  • Elizabeth says:

    When I got pregnant with our second child it was quite a suprise and we weren’t financially able to handle it not to mention I had JUST 2 yrs earlier gotten rid of all my maternity and babystuff as I was not expecting for awhile to have more children. Birthright was a god-sent as ours locally here had racks and racks of maternity clothing and baby clothing that you could borrow and bring back when you were done with it. For low income families finding an organization like that really is a good way to go because it’s amazing how many sizes of clothes you may go through when it is all said and done and all those months means you’re going to go through a few seasons so just a few outfits may not be suited during your long wait for an addition.
    Congrats to all expectant mothers and hope you can find good deals, friends & family or organizations to help you out.

  • Tracy says:

    When I was pregnant with both of my boys, I was still working, which required me to have office clothes, church clothes and “play” clothes. I had a couple of jumpers (that weren’t maternity but happened to have gathers in the front) and paired them with different shirts for different occasions. For work, I would wear loose fitting t-shirts underneath (some were maternity, some were just large and stretchy) and for church, I would wear dressier blouses. The t-shirts and blouses could also be worn with pants, jeans and skirts. As I got larger, I just left the bottom buttons unbuttoned on my blouses underneath the jumpers and no one could tell. I also bought a couple of very nice Land’s End tanks in a larger size that I usually wore and paired those underneath some of my blouses. I could leave the blouses open and the Land’s End tanks were a nice, thick material and looked cute under my blouses. (I still wear the tanks now layered underneath blouses and cardigans) But it is always fun to have actual “maternity” clothes so that folks can tell you are pregnant and not just getting fat and trying to still squeeze into your old clothes (ha ha!) I got a lot of my maternity clothes at Sears and found that their pants fit me better. Like someone else posted, I carried low and a lot of pants were uncomfortable to me. One other piece of advice would be to invest in some comfortable, well-made clog-type or slip-on shoes. As I got near the end of my pregnancies, I couldn’t bend over to tie tennis shoes (and my feet swelled too) so the clogs were perfect and went with dress pants, jeans, jumpers, dresses, etc. Congratulations and God Bless!

  • Lisette says:

    I know GAP doesn’t strike you as a place where you can find good deals, but I’ve found a lot of great deals on maternity clothes there — especially when paired with a coupon. You really can’t beat the professional styles. So much better than anywhere else. Also, the inventory turn over really fast, so the sale rack is usually pretty full. The best part is that they hold up and wash really well. I’m cookin’ baby #3 and still wearing the same clothes I wore the first time around. Plus, everything will still be looking good for Baby #4 or resale.

    A few examples —

  • Lev says:

    Have you ever tried the freecycle yahoo groups? There are many locations that have a freecycle, the only rule to asking for anything on our local one is that you have to offer at least one item you want to get rid of before you can receive anything. Also sometimes there is a “sister” site where you can buy and sell used items at yard sale prices.

  • Amber says:

    Ross! And Burlington Coat Factory! They both have clearance racks too that are really fantastic! I found the best pants at Burlington for my ultra-large-pregnant-with-twins belly!

  • I found some basics for low prices at Ross, Old Navy (call first to make sure they carry maternity items) and clearance. I also picked up some great things at a second-hand clothing store called Kid-to-Kid. They mostly carry items for babies and children, but I still love some of the tops I found there.

  • robbie says:

    Don’t forget – you don’t HAVE to wear maternity. I work in a conservative organization, so when I was in the 3-4 month stage in the summer I picked up some inexpensive summer short-sleeve sweaters in the next size up. Worked great!

  • Amanda says:

    Ross is a great place to find maternity clothes that are cute and cheap. Burlington Coat Factory/Baby Depot is also great!

  • tracey says:

    My favorite store for good deals was JcPenney. When they put their maternity clothes on sale they really mark them down. I actually bought shirts for $1 and jeans for $3 and resold them on ebay once. Target and Kohl’s also have reasonable prices. Also, I got away with only buying maternity pants until later in my pregnancy. The babydoll & tunic shirts are in style now. If there’s a good sale just buy a larger size.

  • Jessica says:

    I bought my maternity clothes at thrift stores and childrens consignment shops.

    My advice, especially if you plan on having more than one child, is to buy pieces that aren’t trendy but are more classic (jeans, basic shirts, etc.). That way you won’t have to redo you maternity wardrobe every couple of years! You can always acessorize with jewlery, scarves, etc.

  • Kathryn says:

    Maybe it is just the store here, but JCPenney actually has a bunch of quality maternity clothes that fit me well AND were in the clearance section. They often mix maternity clothes in with the regular clothes on clearance – look for the Duo brand.
    And I agree, the V-necks are great afterward for nursing, keep that in mind!

  • Margaret says:

    I got the best deals on maternity clothes at Kohl’s on clearance paired with a coupon. I got pregnant in March, and started shopping right away because I knew I’d find end of season fall/winter clearance on the racks. I got a variety of long sleeved shirts for 3.60 that fit perfectly now that it’s cooler and I’m quite a bit bigger than I was in the spring! Good luck!

  • Emily O. says:

    Check out to search for consignment sales in your area. I bought several great maternity pieces at consignment sales, not to mention all the heavily discounted baby stuff (like a $15 exersaucer). I had a Christmas baby, so I needed sweaters and cold-weather clothes that were nice enough for work. I found some items from brands like Motherhood Maternity (that would be too expensive for me to buy regularly) for $4-10 at the consignment sale. They usually don’t have dressing rooms at the sales, but I just tried on the sweaters over my shirt or guessed on the t-shirts and jeans, and did just fine on the sizes.

    Also bought some basic tops & khakis at Old Navy and Target. A few of my babydoll non-pg shirts worked fine for maternity wear.

    Ditto on not buying a lot at once – it’s hard to predict how your body shape will change! I bought a few adorable summer shirts but wasn’t big enough to need them by the time the cooler weather ended. But my co-worker is now borrowing them, so I’m glad they’re getting used.

  • Cristina says:

    I didn’t read all other comments but the Bella Band is a life saver since you can wear your regular pants and other bottoms for so much longer. Not cheap but saves money in the end. Also try buying tops in a size bigger that would have a good fit when pregnant (like empire waist).

  • Keiva Harrington says:

    I live in VT but while on my 5th child I found a place advertised on Craigslist, it was a place that gave away maternity clothes and had kids clothes for consignment. The guy said he was trying to give back to those in need. I was very impressed and got much of what I needed there. I also found that once you know your size often people sell maternity clothes on criagslist fairly cheap or even give them away. Boy I could have used this info when I had my other 4 I really struggled to be able to afford them then.

  • Emily says:

    I had some luck shopping thrift stores like Goodwill for maternity clothes. I found mostly shirts there that I could wear. Some of it was not necessarily work attire. At the time I was pregnant with #1 I was working. I did find some nice pants for work at the Gap outlet near us in Northern Kentucky. It is not an outlet associated with an outlet mall but a seconds/overstock/slightly damaged clothing store. They had maternity pants for $5, which is a real deal for “new” pants. And I never had trouble with them. If you live close, it’s worth a look.

  • Kathy Jacob says:

    I had someone make some jumpers for me (I am plus-sized.) They were comfortable throughout my pregnancy, and because I was always covered up, I could wear non-maternity shirts underneath.

  • Becky says:

    Check the Just Between Friends website and see if there is a sale in your area… .most have maternity clothes as well as EVERYthing you’ll need for your new baby.

  • Hannah says:

    I pretty much wore the same four shirts and two pairs of pants every week, with two dresses to alternate between Sundays. All of those were purchased during my first pregnancy by my expert thrift-shopper mom! Since then I’ve added a few items to my wardrobe by shopping at thrift stores and (my favorite) Target’s 75% off clearance rack! I’m sure I’ll be pregnant again, or my soon-to-be married sister or someone else will, so I always look for and pick up good deals that are in good condition.

  • I like newCreation Apparel for excellent maternity skirts—

  • Megan says:

    DEFINITELY buy off-season. If you’re going to deliver in the spring or summer, buy the maternity shorts and capris NOW! They are down to $4.48 on clearance at my local Target – my fave for cheap but stylish maternity finds! I had my second daughter in May this year and I bought off season starting at the end of summer in ’09, it was well worth it!

  • Nicole says:

    If you have an Old Navy/Gap credit card you can get amazing deals. There are great ones out there even if you do not have the card. they are always running 25-30% off sales. If you combine the % off with their sale selection you can get shirts for 5-7$ and jeans for as little as 12$. I buy only on line.

  • Melinda says:

    I am now pregnant with my third child and have already been thinking about where I will be getting my maternity clothes from. We recently moved to Minnesota from Indiana and I do not have my old trustee consignment store that I would always go in to find great maternity clothes for very cheap prices.

    One great resource I discovered after I was pregnant with my second child was to look in children’s consignment stores. This is the place where I found many great baby items and maternity clothes.

    You should also be on the look out for large children’s sales that are usually in churches, fairgrounds or other large buildings. They had them in different places when I lived in Indiana and they have them where I live now too. They usually have 50% off most of the clothes on the last day too.

    I know not everyone likes to go here, but I also have found some very nice maternity clothes at GoodWill. They usually have a small maternity section. If you can’t find it, just ask someone who works there.

    I have also bought some clothes on Ebay and also look on Craiglist in the clothes and baby section.

    I never have bought maternity clothes from Old Navy, however I might this time because their clothes are so cute 🙂 Any how I know that I have seen some great prices on their clearances maternity clothes and sometimes there are coupons you can use too.

    I am actually now am in the progress of starting my own online store, that contains maternity, nursing, infant and toddler clothes for very good prices. I know how hard it is to find good quality maternity clothes for a fair price so decided to start my own store. I will have mainly used high quality maternity clothes.

  • Patrice says:

    If you have several friends who are in the same stage of life as you are, consider starting a “maternity trunk” with them. One of my girlfriends had this idea several years ago and I am so glad that she did! She saved all of her maternity clothing in a trunk for the next of us girls who would be pregnant. The six of us just kept passing it around for over 15 years total! The one rule was that when it was your turn for the trunk, you had to take out 1 article of clothing that had gotten very worn or out of date and replace it with something new and fresh. That way we kept it up-to-date and the clothes still looked relatively nice for the last one to marry and have babies (ME!).

  • Betsy says:

    I had a lot of luck at consignment sales, too. I am plus sized, and for my first pregnancy, needed to look professional. I found a lot of good stuff at Sears. Just watch for their sales. They have a very small maternity section, all stuff made by Motherhood under the Sears label. It’s held up well through 3 pregnancies now.

    I also agree with buying some basics even if they aren’t on sale. A good pair of jeans, a pair of shorts, and a pair of capris, as well as a skirt, will go a long way towards making you feel good as you enjoy your pregnancy!

  • maya says:

    I found that Sears and Kmart clearance had great deals on maternity clothes. I also bought some clearance at WalMart. I also shopped at Goodwill. Plan on being bigger than you think at the end! I bought 2 maternity summer shirts in size small bc they fit at the beginning of my pregnancy (with lots of belly room) I was due in July. I couldn’t even pull them on at the end!

  • Karen says:

    Belly bands, thrift stores, Kid to Kid, Ross, and Burlington Coat Factory have been good to me to get me through a pregnancy. Oh, and swapping/borrowing from friends–never discount that!

  • Whitney says:

    In terms of quality I don’t think you can beat Gap Maternity. I’ve bought all of mine on eBay (new with tags or very gently used) and everything looks great after two pregnancies. As for the worst quality? I don’t think I would ever buy anything from Motherhood Maternity again.

  • erin says:

    i wore maternity pants(found at goodwill)
    with my own regular shirts past 6 months.
    i bought a few maternity tank tops at target to wear under my clothing. it didn’t work with really short shirts, but it kept everything covered.

    i’ve heard great things about belly bands to do the same thing : )

  • Janelle says:

    I found about 90% of my maternity clothes at Rummage Sales. Most times the clothes are in great shape because they are worn for such a short time. I also try to go to consignment shops and purchase shirts that are larger than my normal size and I can usually get away with not having to buy maternity. Cami’s work great if the shirt is a little short because of your belly.

  • Margaret says:

    I’m very petite so I found that since tunics are so fashionable now that they make great “maternity” clothes. Target has great ones for pretty cheap, just buy a size larger than normal. Remember that anything ca be a maternity shirt if it’s long enough!

  • Erika Airhart says:

    One of the first things I purchased was a “Belly Band” from Motherhood Maternity… it was one of the best things because I was able to wear my “regular” pants & jeans longer.
    All you have to do is wear a longer shirt so it covers the Belly Band – but you can just pull it around your waist and it helps to hold your pants up without actually buttoning them.

  • Heather says:

    Yard sales are great. I just got a whole bunch of shirts for $.50 each. Salvation Army can also be good. The ones in our area when I had my first didn’t have much but, the area we live in now has 3 stores with fairly large maternity sections. If you go on a Wednesday all clothes are half off.

  • Yvonne Fortin says:

    Hi there,
    Im also a small woman, and went through the same thing when I had my Son. I couldnt beg or borrow, because I was the first of fam and friends to get pregnant, so I bought lots used on craigslist, and dropped about $100 on the clearance racks for new maternity stuff.
    I also discovered that yoga pants are MARVELOUS. They are cheap at places like Marshalls and Ross, and fit great for my entire pregnancy because they wear so low, the belly didnt interfere with the fit. The best part, I can still wear them! good luck!

  • shannon says:

    Like a lot of people, I went crazy buying maternity clothes during my first pregnancy, but by #3 there was no way I was gonna spend that kind of money for a few months of wear. I have found that Mom to Mom sales have great stuff for a fraction of the cost. These tend to be a little higher end than a normal garage sale. Most clothes are in excellent used condition. You can find beautiful brand name clothing without paying the price.

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