A couple of my friends are soon-to-be-mommies and one major expense for them is their changing wardrobe. I set out to find the most inexpensive way to getting maternity clothes. Below I compare the pros and cons of renting maternity clothes, buying them at discount stores, and getting hand me downs.
Renting maternity clothes
Not sure if this is a new trend, but women can rent maternity clothes for a fee. There are several sites out there, but I’ll focus on Mine for Nine, which allows you to borrow items by the month (gowns for two weeks). You’ll find everyday wear, business clothes, and fancy gowns from different maternity designers. There are no limits to borrowing as long as your account is in good standing. I found a dress regularly priced at $139 for $35 for a two week rental. That’s a good deal if you need a dress for a fancy occasion, but don’t want to commit to buying something that may not fit until you’re pregnancy again. To get free shipping, your tab has to hit $75. You also opt to buy a $5 insurance policy in case you spill food on the clothes.
Pros: You can find clothes that fit your growing belly throughout your pregnancy, especially for special occasions.
Cons: You’ll be slapped with a late fee if you don’t return the clothes on time.
Thrift, discount, and consignment stores
A friend of mine just bought three used maternity tops from Gap, Old Navy, and Liz Lange, plus a pregnancy band that she wears around her lower tummy to cover up her belly that sticks out underneath non-maternity T-shirts. She paid $26 for the four items at a consignment store, but she estimates they would have cost her $100 or more at full retail. The band alone costs $25 to $30 and she got it for $9. Depending on your clothes budget, there are many discount store options you can shop at to save money. Head to secondhand stores if you have a small budget or go to Ross, Marshalls, or TJ Maxx, if you have a bigger budget and want new clothes.
Pros: You can keep the clothes you’re paying for and pass them on to your preggo friends and family.
Cons: Leave room for that growing belly or they may not fit in your last trimester.
Hand me downs
If you have friends that have already given birth, they may be able to lend or give you their pregnancy clothes for free. But keep in mind that no two persons have the same body shape or growing belly so the clothes may not fit so well. If you’re handy with a thread and needle you can make your own alterations. Make sure to ask about making alterations if the clothes are on loan.
Pros: You won’t have to spend a dime on clothes.
Cons: You may end up looking frumpy if the clothes don’t fit you well.
With a growing belly, budgeting for the baby is a must and we’ve got tips from Jean Chatzky of the Today Show and BabyCenter.com. Make sure to search online for discounted baby products and free baby stuff.