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Shannon Guyton
Contributing Writer

How to Get the Maternity Wardrobe You Want Without Spending a Fortune

You’ve seen ’em — those super-cute, well-dressed pregnant women. How did they get so lucky, you wonder, as you stare down at your swollen feet in your husband’s flip-flops. We’re here to tell you how you can also look like “that” mom — without spending your future baby’s college fund.

You know that cute maternity clothes exist, but shelling out top dollar for something that won't last feels foolish. We feel you, and we have six workarounds for making maternity clothes–and your existing wardrobe—work for your style and budget.

Give renting a go: Now that Rent the Runway has introduced maternity clothes into its subscriptions, you'll have over 450 brands at your disposal without spending more than $159 a month (for the Unlimited service—the most expensive one). Three quarters of Rent the Runway members say they've spent less on shopping since joining—pregnant members included.

“Unlimited has been my savior during pregnancy," says mom-to-be Anushka Salinas. "I’m 28 weeks along and the only things I have purchased so far are two pairs of maternity jeans and a few tees. It’s been great to have access to not only maternity wear, but also real, designer clothes which I can rent in larger sizes. It has saved me so much money, and I still feel like I can dress well for work and any events I have!”

Buy gift cards...for yourself: You know those special offers where you get a $20 store credit if you purchase a $50 gift card? Do it and use those savings for yourself — it’s not selfish! It’s a gift to your baby in utero. (She would want you to look cute, we promise.)

One word: BellaBand: At a $28 investment, this clever, mom-invented piece of material goes over your regular pants when you can’t button them up, making your non-maternity clothes last longer! (Find them at IngridandIsabel.com.)

Spend wisely on nursing bras: They’ll start to feel like boulders as your breasts prepare for milk production. Because your bra size will probably change within the first few weeks of breastfeeding, you might not want to commit to a whole new set of bras that won't last you past pregnancy. Start with one to three for now. The best deal around? A 3-pack form iLoveSIA for $21. They're underwire-free and leave enough room for you to add a cup or nursing pad when strapped up.

Sharing: Not just for toddlers anymore: Chances are, you have friends who’ve been pregnant who are the same or close to the same size as you. Or maybe you have a friend who’s pregnant at the same time as you, but in a different stage. Consider the savings if you go in on a wardrobe together!

And finally — rock whatever you buy or borrow: Keep in mind that it’s sometimes not how much you spend on your clothes but how you wear them. Be confident, stay comfortable and accessorize.