Seeing as the entirety of pregnancy lasts about 9 months, the need for maternity clothes lasts at most the same length of time.  Why should you buy a whole new wardrobe to wear for a maximum of nine months, none of which will fit you after?  The answer: You don’t have to!  Maternity clothes are for the most part, expensive and not very flattering—when let’s face it; you need to feel that you look as good as possible when you’re pregnant!  No matter your dedication level to the idea of having inexpensive maternity clothes, you do have options.

Make your own clothes.  There is a variety of levels you can make your clothes from but no matter the skill level, altering your clothes to fit your growing body parts is a skill that will save you tons of money.  Many women have problems with their shirts not fitting in length once their belly starts expanding even though the shirt seems to fit in all the other ways.  For this problem, you can take your shirt that you want to wear, cut it below your ribcage and piece in the midsection from another t-shirt and reattach the bottom from the first shirt.  If you pick fabrics and colors that will go well together, then you will have just made a unique shirt for yourself.  Instead of layering tanks underneath to hide your belly, you will be getting compliments on your cute and different shirt.  Plus, a band of contrasting color on a shirt is a cute way to accent your growing belly!  Another common problem for pregnant women is the waistband in jeans.  While the jeans may still be wearable for another few months everywhere else, the waistband doesn’t allow for any of the growth that is happening.  So, just make all your pants a belly band to fit in wherever there is a fly, button or zipper.  A belly band is simply an attachable piece of elastic you fasten onto bottoms wherever they do up.  You can wear your pants unbuttoned or unzipped and since you now have longer shirts, no one will know!  For more advanced seamstresses, you could make your own wrap skirts, and loose fitting tops out of your choice of fabric and prints.  The most important thing to keep in mind though, when making or altering your own maternity clothes,  is that you will be growing so make or alter things that will be adjustable for you so that you can continue to wear these pieces and be comfortable in them.

Shop New Stores.  While you may be used to shopping for clothes in a mall, that’s not where you’ll find the best priced maternity clothes.  Instead, shop your favorite vintage stores, thrift stores and consignment stores.  These places are where other women have taken the new maternity clothes they bought and didn’t want hanging around.  Most maternity clothes you find will be only gently used and some may even be basically brand new!  Shop at the vintage stores that you are close to or the ones you know to be a bit more stringent on their donations, you may pay a bit more here but you will find clothes that are cuter and in need of less repair.  Another good place to find maternity clothes is garage sales.  Search neighborhoods that are child friendly and prestigious to find the best steals on maternity clothes—you never know what else you may find for baby!

If you must shop, shop for both.  If you can’t fathom wearing someone else’s clothes even for only nine months, then there are a few things you can look for in the regular stores that can be worn during pregnancy and after.  Maxi dresses, or anything with an empire waist works perfectly.  There is no restriction of the belly and these are so in style right now!  These can even be dressed up for formal wear if you have to go to something fancy while you’re pregnant.  Tunic tops and leggings are always cute on anyone and are the perfect casual pregnancy outfit.

No matter what you choose, make sure you are comfortable in the clothes you’re wearing.

– Allie Samborn