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profile picture of Shannon Guyton
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.

Don’t just shop maternity stores: Buying inexpensive non-maternity clothes in one size up can save money AND be handy for the “cheeseburger phase” (you know, that phase in the first trimester when instead of looking pregnant, you just look like you’ve eaten too many cheeseburgers) and when you’re losing weight after baby arrives. Amy Tara Koch, style expert and author of Bump It Up, suggests looking for elastic/drawstring-waist pants, maxiskirts and loose-fitting dresses (wrap dresses are super-flattering!). Cardigans and blazers are also great for leaving open during pregnancy, and then you can wear them normally after baby arrives.

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!

Take a midweek shopping spree: According to The Complete Book of Baby Bargains, many retailers (like Old Navy and Gap) typically do their markdowns midweek. Shopping midweek can score you the greatest selection at the lowest prices. (Plus, you’ll beat the crowds! Trust us, 40 pregnant women going after the same clearance rack isn’t pretty.)

Scour the sale racks: Shop those sale racks and make sure to click on the Sale sections in online stores such as Motherhood.com. You can usually find coupons online to save 10 to 20 percent at places like Gap or JCPenney and get free shipping. The Complete Book of Baby Bargains recommends RetailMeNot.com or FatWallet.com for coupons. (PS: When shopping online, look for retailers that allow you to return items to a brick-and-mortar store to save you return shipping costs/hassle!)

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 $30 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. Carley Roney, author of The Baby Bump (and mama of TheBump.com!), recommends buying just a couple of cheap bras for the months four to six, but for months seven to nine, invest in a couple of really high-quality maternity bras that fit you perfectly. You’ll need the support!

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.

More From The Bump:

All About Maternity Fashion

Learn How to Steal the Style of your Favorite Mom Celebs

Sneaky Ways to Stretch Your Maternity Wardrobe