I didn't want to spend money on maternity clothes. Here's how I spent under $100 on items that have fit me through my pregnancy.
- A few months into my pregnancy, I realized I needed to buy clothes that would fit comfortably.
- I asked for recommendations, but it would've cost me over $1,000 to get all new stuff.
- I ended up buying used clothes and taking hand-me-downs.
A few months into being pregnant, I started to realize I needed a new wardrobe. It was becoming harder to fit into the outfits I wore every day prepregnancy, and I knew it would become impossible as the time passed.
I started asking my mom friends for their clothing recommendations and favorite maternity items. I ended up with a list of their must-have items, from leggings to dresses, which would've cost me over $1,000 to buy. After I ordered some of these items online and shopped for others inside maternity stores, I realized buying all these new clothes for my pregnancy journey was a waste of money.
I didn't know whether I'd ever be pregnant again, and after I gave birth, a lot of these clothes would end up in the back of my closet or in a donation bin. Instead of splurging on a whole line of maternity clothes, I decided to be strategic about how much money I spent and gave myself a $100 budget. Here's how I filled my closet with clothes that fit me.
I borrowed clothes from friends
I made a list of friends who had given birth in the past two years and reached out to them, asking whether they had any maternity clothes stuffed in their closets that I could borrow.
I also tapped into local community groups of new moms — using platforms like Nextdoor and Facebook — and asked people there, too.
Within a week, I had five people drop off bags of clothes they wanted to part ways with. Two people asked me to return certain items so they could save them for future pregnancies, but everyone else told me that once I was done wearing the clothes, I could pass them on to other people who wanted them.
Through my friends and neighbors, I got many essential items, like maternity jeans, leggings, tank tops, and dresses. I've received 10 pieces of clothing I've wore during my pregnancy — just from borrowing.
I bought used clothing
During my pregnancy journey, I've found myself in need of a few specific items for work events and a wedding. Since I wasn't planning on wearing these pieces very often and couldn't find them from friends, I decided to search for them on used-clothing platforms like Poshmark or at local thrift stores.
I ended up buying three items — two dresses and a pair of black pants — for a total of $30. Since I've worn these items only a few times while pregnant, I plan to try to resell them to make some of my money back.
I purchased a few staples
I decided to invest in three pieces of clothing I knew I'd wear the most on a weekly basis. I bought a pair of maternity workout shorts for $13, a pair of comfortable leggings for $20, and a pair of maternity jeans that fit me well for $30.
Instead of grabbing these items from brands that sell just maternity clothing, I went to discount retailers like Old Navy and Target, waited for the big holiday sales, and purchased these three things with coupons.
I decided to buy these items so that I could have three staples that fit me well, matched my style, and would be worn three or four times a week.
As I approach my final month of pregnancy, I find myself spending more money than I ever imagined on preparing for a newborn. What helped me afford a closet of diapers, onesies, and gadgets for the baby was how strategic I was when it came to spending my money on maternity clothes.
Jen Glantz is the founder of Bridesmaid for Hire, a nonfiction author, and the creator of Scared to Be a Mom and The Pick Me Up, a newsletter. Follow her adventures on Instagram: @jenglantz.