Unraveling the news that you’ve conceived a baby is some of the best news we receive in our lifetimes.
Next to the excitement, the newly found bonding time with our baby’s other parent, and the newfound roller coaster of pregnancy hormones surging through our bodies you might find that a lot has been changing for you recently.
Most of these changes are happening in a positive way, and other changes can be confusing or odd for you to experience.
Your body is going through massive changes internally and externally – keeping up with the new demands of growing another human can sometimes be awkward or disheartening.
On the outside though, thing’s can get a little rough around the edges, from the hormonal acne to the extra love handles forming – you can get a little discouraged when looking at your wardrobe.
So, if this has been you, and you’re now feeling stressed, confused, or awkward in your clothing – it’s time for a maternity clothing shopping spree.
Even a few simple maternity items – can revitalize your confidence during pregnancy, lifting you up, and bringing new light to your beautifully changing body.
In this article
- What Are the Best Places to Buy Maternity Clothing at An Affordable Price?
- Kohls specializes in more fancy, work, or casual wear maternity clothes
- Old Navy is a summer maternity clothing department store that has it all
- H&M offers cute and flashy fashion for pregnant ladies who want to shine
- Target has all of the maternity clothing that is in style and affordable
- Goodwill, Thrift Stores, and parenting resale stores have a great selection of good maternity clothing
- Ross is a wonderful place to get a new maternity wardrobe but you never know what they’ll have in stock
- Top tips, answered questions, and comments from real mothers about properly buying new maternity clothes
- Types of Maternity Pants
- The first style of maternity pants have an under the belly waistband
- The second style of maternity pants cover the entire belly and are called above the belly maternity pants
- The third style of maternity pants have a small elastic band on the side of the pants at the hips
- How to choose my size for maternity clothes?
- Are maternity and nursing bras actually worth the investment?
- Allergic reactions to unwashed clothing during pregnancy happen more often than pre-pregnancy
- Materials commonly used in maternity clothes to make them stretch with your body
- How to budget for a shopping spree during each trimester of pregnancy
- My feet grew a lot with pregnancy. Do I need new shoes?
- In Conclusion
What Are the Best Places to Buy Maternity Clothing at An Affordable Price?
A quick google search when looking for maternity clothing can cause the jaw to drop and make you gasp for air… maternity clothes can be pretty spendy if you don’t know where to buy them at a decent price.
You don’t want to break your budget for clothes that you might, at best, wear for a few months after having your baby. If you’re lucky, you’ll have 5 kids like me and get to reuse all of your maternity clothes for every pregnancy. Talk about getting the most for your money.
All jokes aside, shopping for maternity clothes should make you feel comfortable at best. Not like you’re giving an arm and a leg just to feel like a decent human being again!
Growing out of your wardrobe during pregnancy is disheartening as it is, so let’s shed light on gaining an entirely different wardrobe(hint-hint clothing companies!!).
Below are the best places to buy maternity clothes for every budget big or small. Sometimes it’s best to shop for maternity clothes in smaller increments or ‘maternity shopping sprees’ which I’ll touch on later in this article.
To all the madness of maternity clothes shopping there has to be a method. Like all good thing’s you will need to figure out what’s best for you and your changing body during pregnancy when properly shopping for your maternity clothes.
Kohls specializes in more fancy, work, or casual wear maternity clothes
A family-owned store that has been around since the ’70s, now turned into a successful chain department store best describes Kohls. In 1972 the company was managed directly by the Kohl family – then was later sold as a corporation to BATUS Inc.
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Today, Kohl’s offers a variety of products within their department stores located across the United States – you can find a Kohl’s in just about any city around.
Back in the day Kohl’s was known as a group of food stores – which is much different from what it is known for today – clothing, kid’s toys, and household supplies.
My how things change! You can even shop for well-made maternity clothes at Kohl’s this year. The budget for maternity clothes is perfect for anyone looking to buy high-quality yet inexpensive clothing.
You can find every type of clothing too, from work-life maternity attire to everyday outdoor clothing.
Shopping for yourself at Kohl’s during your pregnancy is going to be absolutely fun, with the various styles they offer for many kinds of females – don’t forget to hit the clearance racks while you browse in-store.
If you’re on a budget and want some cute clothes you won’t feel bad going to Kohl’s for a few new items to add to your wardrobe. Kohl’s is continuously swapping out the out-styled clothing and refiling its clothing racks with adorable maternity clothing.
There will definitely be plenty of options for clothing between $5.00 – $350.00. While you’re in there, shop for a fragrance of your liking to uplift you during your pregnancy.
If you’re looking for truly comfortable everyday wear, look no further than Old Navy. Intended to be a less expensive version of a Gap store, founded by the Dayton-Hudson Corporation – which Dayton-Hudson accomplished well if you ask anyone of the avid Old Navy buyers.
They even offer a ‘dollar fli-flop’ sale every single year at the beginning of summer – to be even more affordable for sandal lovers everywhere.
Old Navy is truly unique in its ability to offer really cute clothing sometimes at below $10 price points for every piece of clothing. In other words, you might be able to find an entire outfit for just $25.00.
I don’t know of many other clothing stores that you can do that at. And these aren’t just for their sale items, these are the full-priced pieces of clothing, so you might be able to find a few sale-priced maternity items at an even lower price point.
I’ve always shopped at Old Navy in the summer, specifically due to their naturally bright-colored summer outfits that stand out. But, they are also prized for their sweaters – hit up Old Navy any time of the year to leave with an affordable maternity outfit.
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They have clothing in a variety of sizes, and even some cute baby clothes which will leave your hands full and your heart even fuller. They have maternity-specific shoes(offered in a wider size) to match the new clothes you’re buying too.
Old Navy doesn’t run out of unique styles and patterns and they have a great return policy for anything that ends up not working out after the fact.
If you choose to shop Old Navy’s maternity section online – you’ll be able to choose what style of clothing you’re looking for right away. They lay out the online website nicely for ladies who just want to get in and out.
H&M offers cute and flashy fashion for pregnant ladies who want to shine
If you want fast fashion then H&M will be for you during pregnancy, think the hippest and jaw-dropping styles around. H&M has over 5,000 stores worldwide and you can find a retailer in any of the 74 countries their clothing stores exist in.
It is second to the world’s biggest retailer clothing company which is called Zara – H&M’s parent company – success at its finest. Spain-based H&M comes in second place, they offer many different brands of clothing under one fabulous name.
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The neat part about this large-scale clothing company is that it is still run by the son of the founder; Stefan Persson (son of Erling Persson).
Target has all of the maternity clothing that is in style and affordable
If you’re looking for everyday casual wear or a few cute workpieces during pregnancy – look no further than Target. They have a target as their logo for a reason – they seem to always hit their clothing right on the mark.
The only thing I have ever had to worry about when it comes to clothes shopping at Target is whether the clothing will be sold out – it’s pretty high in demand! Lots of people love to shop at Target, especially pregnant women.
I feel it’s because of that perfect for any budget feel to their store, they have less expensive clothing items for those not looking to spend a high amount of money.
Keep in mind that the quality of Target’s clothing is fabulous in itself, the materials made aren’t cheap, or itchy, or uncomfortable – the clothes from this store seem to last a long time.
They have a great baby section in itself, so be sure to check that section out for your baby to be while there. Maternity clothes at Target range in sizes; extra small all the way up to extra large. They’re made to fit any and all body types, and truly have every color you might be looking for.
They have a self-established Isabel maternity line that offers women in every budget quality pieces. Look ahead of time online if you aren’t sure if this is the place for you.
Goodwill, Thrift Stores, and parenting resale stores have a great selection of good maternity clothing
Thrift stores might be the last thing on your mind when it comes to maternity clothes, as it was mine until I thought about it more. Maternity clothes are usually grown out of pretty quickly by women – which only means that the clothes being donated would likely be newer.
It turned out to be true, the maternity clothes at Goodwill and thrift stores were in great shape, some still even had the tags on them. These clothes were not only adorable but incredibly inexpensive to purchase.
This is a win-win for everything, buying pre-worn clothing not only helps the environment but it saves your hard-earned money in a time of true need.
Goodwill works by taking in clothing that ladies no longer need, but must be in decent enough condition that they will still have life in them for the next wearer.
Shopping at stores such as Goodwill might seem awkward at first(if hand-me-downs are new to you), but think about it, there won’t be a better time than now to purchase used Maternity clothes.
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I found that since the maternity clothes had been pre-worn, they were more comfortable than brand new because they had already been ‘broken in’.
Usually, you can find pretty nice maternity clothing at thrift stores and Goodwill, it’s always best to call and ask ahead of time if they have a selection. After you use the maternity clothing, you can donate it right back to the next pregnant lady who needs clothes that fit her bump.
Look for children and maternity clothing-specific thrift stores. There are many motherhood resale stores around and these offer a more diverse maternity clothing section overall.
Ross is a wonderful place to get a new maternity wardrobe but you never know what they’ll have in stock
You never know exactly what you’ll come out with at Ross, mind you, they have really cute maternity clothes. It’s just that they don’t even know what they’ll be getting in each of their clothing shipments.
Ross works by taking clothes that the main brand name stores couldn’t otherwise sell. Think, if a Gucci couldn’t sell a single pair of sandals – then Ross would agree to take it and sell it at a cheaper price.
The clothes at Ross sometimes have a small stitching defect or a bit more glue on the right shoe than the left – small mishaps that could be the reason that clothing item wasn’t sold by the main outlet store for that certain brand.
Nonetheless, Ross is a great store, I love that they sell nice clothes at an inexpensive rate. You will have to be on the lookout for clothes that have a small tear in them or a weird wear-quark – it is completely possible to walk out with an entire new wardrobe at Ross.
This store has an optimal price point for everyone, and various clothing styles; socks, bras, underwear, shoes…everything.
Top tips, answered questions, and comments from real mothers about properly buying new maternity clothes
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With all of these great places to go shopping for maternity clothes, now is a good time to go over the top tips from other mothers about maternity clothing shopping.
They have been there, and done that, and don’t want you to make similar mishaps when you go. Take a word of advice if you do so please, by going over these tips regarding maternity shopping.
Don’t buy clothes at the start of pregnancy counting on them to fit at the end
Think in monthly increments when shopping for new maternity clothes. During pregnancy the body will constantly be changing shape and size – you will likely grow out of tight-fitting maternity clothes within the next month or two.
Most women are not lucky enough to keep fitting their clothing all throughout their pregnancy. So you’ll want to buy your clothing as you grow through various phases and stages of your pregnancy.
You may find that a few stretchy shirts that you have at the start of your pregnancy will grow with your body until you have your baby – these are usually simple shirts or tank tops – more for casual wear.
When investing in these types of tanks or shirts, you can usually count on them stretching with you through your entire pregnancy.
What week should I start wearing maternity clothes?
You can begin wearing maternity clothes at any point in your pregnancy. If you naturally have very tight clothing – you may want to begin wearing more comfortable pants or tops right from the start.
Your belly will usually start showing around 3-months pregnant, but feeling bloated and ‘bigger’ can happen earlier. Most women who hold out on switching to maternity clothes the longest, tend to switch around 6-months pregnant.
You don’t have to wait this long though, or you can wait longer if possible. I tend to wear a lot of athletic wear, which is made from stretchy material, so I waited until about 7-months to change my weekly clothes.
It’s really up to you, some maternity clothes are very cute and can give that extra coverage in a vulnerable time. In the summer you may want to wear maternity shorts early on, while in the winter you could get away with wearing your baggy pants longer.
Types of Maternity Pants
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There are 3 common styles of maternity pants, all of them are ultimately more comfortable than regular jeans to wear, but many women prefer a certain type of waistband over another. The stretchy piece of the waistband on each style is embedded differently in each style.
The first style of maternity pants have an under the belly waistband
This style of pants has a waistband that is comfortable and stretchy at the front part of the waist on the pants(or shorts). They stay comfortable through your entire pregnancy, offering enough restraint to not fall off of your waist when walking.
The rear of the pants is generally like regular jeans, though, some under-the-belly maternity pants will have an elastic band all the way around the waist. Be sure you check your pants before purchasing them.
Under the belly, pants are wonderful for mid-pregnancy to the end of the last trimester. They aren’t noticeably maternity pants, which is why many women love this style.
The second style of maternity pants cover the entire belly and are called above the belly maternity pants
Next up are maternity pants that cover the entirety of the belly, these are called above the belly maternity pants. They are super comfortable and can be quite warm in the winter months, but not ideal for summer if you don’t like to have anything that will make your belly sweat.
Many women wear this style of maternity pants year-round and are perfectly comfortable. This might be your go-to style of maternity pants, but if you’re picky, or your skin is extra sensitive due to pregnancy – I would skip this style in the warmer months.
This style of pants is great for protecting your belly from being exposed if your shirt accidentally rides up. They also feel really good in the way they hold your belly, it feels like a gentle constant hug on your womb.
While most of the materials that the elastic band is made from will not hold sweat in, some women do not like this style of maternity pants because it’s simply too much happening in the middle region of their body.
The third style of maternity pants have a small elastic band on the side of the pants at the hips
Maternity pants are a lifesaver at best, and awkward and funky at worst. If you want the comfort of maternity pants, but just feel strange wearing maternity clothing – you can opt for sidebands on your pants.
Side banded maternity jeans make it feel similar to the times you could still fit into your favorite pair of jeans. This style can be a little easier to wear if you miss your old clothes – they look incredibly similar to regular jeans.
The bands in this kind of maternity pants are about 2-inches long and sit on each hip, that way your pants can flex forward at the front and backward at the rear.
Since maternity pants with sidebands can often have belt loops, you can wear this style of pants early on comfortably with your favorite belt.
This style of pants is certainly the least obvious type of maternity jeans around, you can hardly tell these are meant for pregnancy.
How to choose my size for maternity clothes?
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When choosing your maternity pants, you can stay within your normal range of clothes sizing. This makes for the best fit when bumping up a few sizes could be uncomfortable and need continuous hiking up when wearing them.
At the end of pregnancy, you can probably go up a size if you feel very uncomfortable in your pre-pregnancy size. Going up one size right before delivery can help keep you comfortable after having your baby too when you might be swollen.
Maternity shirts are easy to choose based on how they look and feel. Many clothing stores will allow you to try on your clothes prior to purchasing. It’s always a good idea to try something on if you’re unsure of the fit.
Are maternity and nursing bras actually worth the investment?
Absolutely, maternity bras are well worth the investment. Your breast will sometimes grow multiple cup sizes when your milk comes in after pregnancy or along with your hormones during pregnancy.
If you’re used to wearing a bra, this is something you’ll probably want to invest in. Growing out of your old bra can cause discomfort or even rashes from rubbing against odd spots as your breasts change size and shape.
A supportive maternity bra or even a sports bra can support your tissue and relieve back pain as your breasts enlarge. Keep in mind that your breasts will become heavier as you near delivery, and then will gain excess weight with your milk supply.
Maternity bras often don’t have underwire, which is a lot more comfortable during pregnancy. The first week after delivery you may not find that you need a bra at all, but once you’re up and walking around you might want it back on.
A nursing bra offers a sense of security when you have sensitive breast tissue, you can close it up smoothly after your baby is done breastfeeding, unlike regular bras that sometimes pop up over the bulk of your boob after a feeding.
If you’ve never been into bras, and don’t plan to be after childbirth that’s wonderful – I have always believed our bodies are more than capable of supporting our own weights. Carry on comfortably and freely.
Allergic reactions to unwashed clothing during pregnancy happen more often than pre-pregnancy
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Many new clothes have been dyed or sprayed with chemicals to keep them neat and bright-looking until they’ve been sold. If you purchase new clothing during pregnancy, be sure you always wash all clothing items prior to wear.
Many people outside of pregnancy suffer from textile dermatitis, which is an allergic reaction to dyes, chemicals, and even resins in clothing. If you find you have a rash after trying on clothing, try to take a shower as soon as possible to wash off any residue left on your skin from the clothing.
During pregnancy your skin is even more sensitive, making it an easy target for allergic reactions to new clothing.
Materials commonly used in maternity clothes to make them stretch with your body
There are many materials that can be infused in maternity clothing, but the most important ones are high-quality materials. The better quality of the material used in a piece of clothing, the longer it will hold its shape and the more you will want to wear it.
Fabrics like; cotton, bamboo, or modal are all great choices – these materials are highly breathable and naturally organic. That means they are the least processed of the clothing materials in comparison to say, polyester.
Some fabrics can be made to be ‘wrinkle-free’ or ‘permanent pressed’ and this should be a red flag to you during pregnancy.
Pregnancy is a time to become an all-natural mamma, and wrinkle-free fabrics have a harsh chemical called formaldehyde in them (hence no wrinkles), this chemical can be extremely harmful to your unborn baby and your body.
Avoid synthetic materials like nylon, acrylic, polyester, or neoprene, these materials are not breathable and won’t be comfortable after a few wears when they lose their shape during the first wash and dry cycle.
How to budget for a shopping spree during each trimester of pregnancy
It’s extremely important to shop quality over quantity during pregnancy. The reason you want to budget for high-quality clothing even if you get fewer items is that your body and your baby are important.
More so than any other time in your life, pregnancy creates a vulnerable time frame when chemicals and body heat combined, can make you very uncomfortable.
If you want to be able to wear your maternity clothes more often and for longer periods of time, choose clothing that will allow your skin to breathe and your belly to grow without restriction.
If you’re finding that high-quality maternity clothes are too expensive, check out motherhood thrift stores, and budget to spend %70 on a few high-quality pieces of clothing and the rest of your funds on various items that you can wear for looks.
My feet grew a lot with pregnancy. Do I need new shoes?
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I know – I know, everything else is growing, and now it’s your feet! What kind of cruel world do us new mammas live in?
The kind where ligaments, tendons, and pregnancy hormones are causing our feet to grow in size. That’s what kind of world, and when we face that – we move forward – together.
Relaxin can cause the tendons in your footbed to relax significantly, which couples with the extra weight of your baby-making your feet grow. Sometimes feet can grow up to a size and a half during pregnancy, and stay that way for good.
One way to lessen this from happening is to get adequate exercise and keep your blood flow at an optimal rate. If you can feel that your shoes are getting uncomfortable, it’s definitely time to swap shoes or buy bigger ones.
The last thing that you want is your feet becoming finicky in cramped shoes. It’s better to be barefoot in safe areas than it is to wear shoes that are too tight. Take your shoes off when possible, and wear shoes that are a comfortable fit at other times.
Buying maternity clothes is an interesting ordeal, I mean, pregnancy only lasts for 9-months, and then everything changes again. Try to think in relaxing terms when it comes to purchasing your maternity clothes, nothing lasts forever, and neither will those funky waistbands.
The entire point of maternity clothing is comfort, protection, and coverage as necessary. It’s more uncomfortable to wear clothes that are too small(trust me I’ve been there) than it is to dive into the changes happening to your body.
You’ll be thanking yourself when you finally splurge on a few good-quality maternity clothes. The best places for maternity clothes are the ones that offer quality clothes at a decent price, there’s no sense in sending a lot of money on an outfit you’ll only wear a few times.
Aim to get many wears, and ultimate comfort out of your maternity clothes, then after you have your baby you can splurge again on new mammas clothing.