Reader Question: Share Tips On Maternity Clothing

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Check out this email from reader Tamara…

I am a first time mom at 15 weeks pregnant. I always see great deals on diapers, wipes, etc but I have a question about maternity clothes…

I am a regular Goodwill shopper, but there isn’t a large selection and I’ve looked on eBay too. I have purchased a few long shirts and dresses with elastic waists but I am very concerned about shirts, swimsuits, and bras.

I don’t know if I buy a bra at this stage (I’m a 38 DDD & can only can fit one of my current size), or if I should just buy once I am larger. My plan is to breastfeed post delivery. Same for swimsuits, as I will be pregnant all summer and I think the pool will be my best friend. LOL.

I wish I knew someone locally, but I am 40 & late to the pregnancy experience. I would appreciate any and all suggestions. Thanks to your wonderful readers for their help!

Please share any tips you have below! Thank you.
Join The Discussion

Comments 135

  1. Lakshi

    I mostly dressed up in tank tops and cardigans. Bought couple of maternity tanks from Kmart, kohls and target and paired them with existing cardigans. I also bought two maternity jeans and foldover long skirts. I was feeling very hot ( pregnancy hormones!) even during winter so the tank tops and cardigans helped me switch to warm and cold settings.

  2. StephB

    I only had two pairs of jeans or capris depending on season with the full spandex tops. I also used targets xl tank tops because of the great stretch and length to pair with cardigans. I did splurge on a few comfy long sleeve tops and just kept wearing those.
    For sleepwear I loved night gowns – I like mine larger anyway so my non-maternity fit fine. My husbands sweatpants and terry t’s worked awesome for lounging around the house.. .
    Spend the money on a few good nursing bras for day time wear and sports bras/ nursing bras for sleeping you won’t regret it. Quality over quantity in the bra department!

  3. Shannon

    Thred up has maternity clothes and 40% your first order. Also you may ask around. My hubby got a new job and one of the ladies there was looking for clothes for her pregnant daughter and just asked so I gave her lots of mine for free!

  4. Ashley C.

    I have had four pregnancies so far and I’ve never gotten big enough to need maternity clothes. I typically wear longer shirts and I leave my jeans unbuttoned, then tuck the buttons in and wear a belly band to make sure they stay up. The belly band was by far the best purchase I’ve ever made.

    • kathryn

      This! I refused to buy any maternity pants. The belly band was my best friend ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. B

    I suggest watching Kohl’s, target and Old Navy and investing in a few versatile pieces. You don’t need a full wardrobe. You’ll end up wearing the most comfortable things over and over.
    As far as swimsuits go, you could try on at target to get your size then look on poshmark or eBay.
    Bras…I suggest a stretchy one now that has room to grow with you and don’t worry about nursing bras right away after baby is here. You could buy a couple nursing tanks and then buy bras a few weeks after baby. My favorite brand is bravado

  6. Grey

    I asked mom friends on Facebook and got a huge bag of donations. It was super helpful, as when I was pregnant, maternity clothes were hard to find and NOT attractive. I feel like they are a lot better now. One place to look is Old Navy – some of there stores sell great maternity clothes cheap. Also, you can find summer dresses there (and almost anywere) that are jersey knit or such and will fit all thru your pregnancy – and will stretch out and never go back ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. Hannah

    Walmart makes a $5 bra that is just like expensive Coobie bras and they are the BEST during pregnancy and for breast feeding. Forever 21 makes $8 jeans that are nice and stretchy without being “jeggings” . I bought a couple sizes up from my normal size and they were perfect as maternity pants.

  8. Kate

    Target has the BEST nursing tanks. I wore them both pregnant and for nursing bc they stretch nicely. Mine have lasted through nursing two babies for a year plus each AND a pregnancy in between.

    I got a great maternity swim suit at Old Navy and a second one at Target.

    You can find excellent deals on second hand clothing on Poshmark

    Also, Gap has an excellent sale going with extra 40% plus 10% on top of the deals. I got most of my tops at Gap on similar sales for $2-10.

  9. Colleen

    Check your area for local consignment sales. My area in central PA has several twice a year and it’s a great source for discounted maternity clothing. I just sold all of mine at a sale two weeks ago. Congratulations!

  10. twizzdmob

    I bought my jeans from Walmart.com. The quality isn’t great but you only need them for 4 or 5 months anyway. They were Much cheaper than other places.

  11. Lisa

    I have 7 kiddos and have found that many of my regular clothes ( longer tops and looser pants) will last a lot longer than I had thought through pregnancy. Take a good look in your closet… and keep checking Goodwill. They get stuff in, but it’s hit and miss.

  12. Kate

    I’m currently 23 weeks with my second, and still don’t need to wear maternity yet (although I do because they are comfier), so I would stick to buying clothes that you can use when your 39 weeks instead of clothes that will only last in your first 2 trimesters.

    Also, stick to the basics like black leggings, a good pair of jeans, and tank tops that you can mix and match with outfits. I bought a few tank tops for my winter pregnancy and worn regular (unbuttoned) cardigans over them and now I’m just going to wear the tank tops for my summer pregnancy. Great $5 buy at Old Navy!

    Old Navy is probably the best for cheap good clothes, although Target sometimes has good deals with Cartwheel, you just need to watch it. You really don’t need all that much, just a few basics and mix and match.

    Good luck!

  13. Rivka

    Jcpenny had maternity clothes for
    Not a bad price for my second child
    Online. Congrats on your baby

  14. Shannon

    Thrift stores especially those specializing in mother and children. Also eBay and friends! Lastly, a line like LuLaRoe is great since stretchy to accommodate growing bump and post partum. Best wishes and Congrats!

  15. Britney

    I have found some good deals on local garage sale Facebook groups. You can likely find an entire lot of clothing for significantly less than new from the store ๐Ÿ˜Š

  16. Brittney

    I never liked nursing bras – I live in the tanks though.
    Swim suit- just bought larger pair of bottoms than my regular size and then purchased a few maternity swimsuit tops on the clearance racks at Kohl’s and Target (deep discounts if missing bottoms for some reason…)
    Save what you love (if you plan on having more children), but get rid of what you can’t stand to wear ever again by the end of your 9 months.
    Don’t always believe the “purchase same as your pre-pregnancy size” on the tag. I’m a Small when I’m not pregnant, but at the end of my pregnancies I end up in XL.
    Good luck, and congrats Mama!

  17. Fran

    XL tankini from Target with rusching–not maternity but lasted all summer!

  18. Natasha

    Im not pregnant so i didnt read any of the other comments so this may have been mentioned already. … our local Salvation Army has a large variety of maternity clothes and the best part is every Wednesday they have 50% off 4/5 colors of tags so your sure to score some sweet deals

  19. Sharon

    I have found several cute maternity tops in store clearance at kohls (5-12$). This is my 4th pregnancy, and I find more and more that I LOVE wearing the shorter dresses as shirts with leggings almost every day. They are plenty long for the whole pregnancy, super comfortable, can also use later, and so many cute styles! The most comfortable pair of maternity jeans I’ve ever had is a J Brand pair I got off eBay with elastic notches just at the sides. To save, I shop out of season and at yard sales! But, pregnancy is such a special time too that I think it’s ok to splurge a bit on something sometimes that makes you feel great & beautiful! Congratulations!

  20. Sam

    Garave sales! I got much of my maternity clothes at garage sales. Plus, at garages sales they’re usually even cheaper than thrift stores!

  21. Jennifer

    I am obsessed with Motherhood Maternity. I have gotten some cute tops for work for $10 each (normally $30+) when they have good sales. Get on their mailing list to pair the BOGO sales with a coupon. Their jeans and pants are awesome too. You can get them for $10-17 with a good sale and coupon.

  22. Ashley

    Motherhood Maternity can have some good clearance. I did buy my nursing bras at Motherhood Maternity clearance. Also bought stuff off of Wal-mart.com and Old Navy. I did garage sales for the rest of the stuff. You don’t need a lot, but also want to feel good too.

  23. Becky White

    I got almost all of my maternity clothes in a Craigslist lot. It worked out really well. Bras were tough though-I did end up biting the bullet and buying a few nursing bras at Motherhood Maternity. I will say that I ended up wearing stretchy sports bras sometime when I was nursing. Some things that aren’t specifically made for nursing still work out really well.

    • Raedev

      That’s a great idea to try craigslist. I’m done having kids but I would definitely look into it if I have a friend who is preggo or something. ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. visitor3

    Look for designs that work for both maternity and nursing. Criss cross bodice or flexible necklines in stretchy fabric. Forget ironing and dry cleaning for a few years. Even tho i was pregnant over the winter, i was way too hot to wear winter clothing, and did better layering. Also i found I couldn’t do under belly pants; i needed over-the-belly panels and dresses. Wait and see what works for you before investing too much. I got bloated all over and could not use regular jeans and belly bands. Crocs were only shoes that fit at the end. A pumping bra was a great investment.

  25. K3llyb

    I went on eBay for “lots” of clothes people were unloading. Old navy has very regular discounts like 35%off so grab a pair of maternity jeans. The rest can usually be cobbled together by layering things like tunics and longer length tank tops that aren’t maternity specific. Once I was done I literally just gave my clothes away to the next person who told me she was pregnant. I figure I’d save someone the bother of all that leg work. Also most towns have a Facebook forum or group for your area that would probably be a good resource for getting free things or swapping items.

  26. Margaret

    I picked up a few things at ThredUp, Target, and Old Navy. The Ross store close to me also has a small section with maternity items, mostly inexpensive but very comfy leggings and tanks. The most challenging thing I encountered was not being able to try on a lot of things. Many stores do not carry their maternity clothes at all locations. In terms of pants, I found that the under the belly pants were terrible for me; either falling off or cutting into the belly. I preferred pants with the full belly stretchy panel. Toward the end, though, everything felt uncomfortable against the belly. Congratulations and good luck!

  27. Heidi Mindel

    For nursing, I bought a couple super cheap camisoles/tanks w/ spaghetti straps at KMart. They are super stretchy. I wear them under my normal shirts. I pull my normal shirt up to nurse and the CAMI down. That way I expose only what is nessecary to nurse and have no expensive nursing tops to buy.

  28. Elle

    I second Motherhood Maternity clearance racks and sales. Also Target has cute maternity shirts that fit me well and their nursing tanks are pretty good. I also have big boobs (36 DD) and I developed a HATE for most nursing bras. I bought expensive ones during my first pregnancy, and actually threw them in the garbage because they were torture devices. I ended up getting by with cheap unlined, no underwire ones from Walmart, plus buying three sleep bras from Motherhood Maternity. I’ve also heard Genie bras are the shiz. Layered tees with light cardigans that I already owned covered the girls up (because hello unlined bras), and warded off nip jokes. I found a pair of maternity capris on sale at Old Navy and about wore those suckers out they were so comfy. My baby was born in October and we live in Idaho, but I was hot at the end and I wore t-shirts and capris until I had him. Also I was in love with Nike memory foam cushioned flip flops because bending over was a ton of work at the end, so I’d frequently kick a flip flop off and pick things up with my feet, lol:)
    Also DO NOT listen to women who brag about never having to buy maternity clothes…blah…blah…blah. Twigs don’t know what they’re missing. Yes, belly bands are great when you’re not super far along, but a nice fitting pair of maternity jeans with the panel built in? YEEEES…RELIEF! There are women who are adamantly anti-maternity clothes who will tell you to just buy regular stuff and go up a couple sizes. Ummm…ew! Who wants to look like a sloppy tent?*sound of crickets* Buy those maternity clothes! WORK that belly! OWN that pregnancy!

    • Bethany

      Yes! Pregnancy clothes are so comfortable! Can’t all jeans have elastic waistbands?

      • Sue

        No they are not. 5 pregnancies and one misscarriage. I think I’d know. But if we need them, we need them. Such relief when you are able to wear real clothes again.

    • barnsfam

      Elle… your post makes me smile! LOL Yes to everything she said… and adding my input, H&M has the best/cutest maternity jeans, in my opinion. Their Mama line can have some trendy finds! Check online if your local store doesn’t carry this line (not all do)… small sizes get snatched up quickly in store, ask a salesperson when they typically get shipments (if this sizing applies to you)! I’m a slender gal (size 2) and I always needed maternity pants during pregnancies. With the higher waisted, skinny styles nowadays in regular jeans… that must be some kind of miracle to make those work 30+ weeks pregnant? Heck, it can be a struggle to fit comfortably after too much Chipotle on a typical, non-pregnant day! LOL Have a blessed journey!

      • Raedev

        Maternity clothes were the bomb. But to each his own โ˜บ mom of 2 boys and 1 girl over here ages 7, 4, and 2

      • Elle

        Barnsfam, those burrito babies are no joke!

  29. Bethany

    Buy basics and “jazz” up your outfits with accessories, scarves, etc. I found Old Navy online to be the very best for maternity clothes. Wait until there’s a good sale, which is about every other day.

    I had two gray dresses (one long, one short), two black dresses (one long, one short), a pair of black pants, a pair of navy pants, a pair of jeans, a pair of shorts, and a bunch of solid tees and tanks. I had a lot to mix and match so I never felt like I was wearing the same thing over and over again, even though I was wearing the pieces A LOT. Also, don’t buy maternity cardigans. The longer flowy kind work great pregnant, and you can wear them after the baby. Same goes for the fun accessories you’ll have an excuse to buy. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I actually miss my maternity wardrobe because it was so straightforward. I’m currently revamping my regular one to mimic it.

  30. laureen

    I wore a lot of maxi skirts and dresses (i live in florida). I bought alot of stuff i could wear after pregnancy. I love loose shirts so i could and still do wear them. My second one is 4 months so i wear the loose shirts to brestfeed. Invest in a good pait of maternity pants with a waistband. It helped with the fatigue.
    Also i wear semi cup bras so when i pump i just hook them on instead of spendind money on a pumping bra

  31. Denise

    Buy larger sizes clothes at thrift stores then take inseams in after weight is lost again. I found maternity clothes to be too expensive and couldn’t justify only wearing them a few short months

  32. B Haven

    Congratulations!!! I’m 36 and pregnant for the first time too! ๐Ÿ™‚ luckily my older sister kept a stash of clothes for me, granted they are very dated but free is free! I’ve bought a few things on Target clearance, I wear regular leggings and will look for Capri ones now that it’s getting warmer. I got a couple nighttime nursing bras on Kohls, wearing a 42DD right now at 6 months and got 1X they are soft and were like $15… if you can wear regular clothes that are stretchy or a bigger size don’t feel like you HAVE to wear maternity, just be comfy! Hope all goes well!!

  33. Michelle

    LulaRoe legging and tunics have gotten me almost through my current pregnancy! I also bought some cheap legging and easy waist dresses at Costco in one size larger than usual. As for bras I love the glamourmom nursing tanks. They are an investment but hold up fantastic. They help postpartum keep you tummy covered and give a little support. Nice that you can sleep in them too.

  34. Heather

    I was so small during my first pregnancy I just wore junior bermuda sweat shorts, and a tunic that was gathered under the bust (from the girls dept). My second pregnancy I bought jeans that I am still using, some are getting holes in the knees but I only have 3 months left. third, fourth and fifth pregnancies I bought new shirts for each one. I get the cheap 2 pack at the motherhood store. 2 shirts for $15. You do NOT NEED MANY maternity clothes. Buy the minimum I have 6 shirts I currently wear, and 5 pairs of jeans. You will more then likely wear these things for maybe 28 weeks. And if you wear each item once a week that is only 28 wears per item. Buy yourself something nice when you are no longer pregnant. You will only be pregnant for a short time. I also wear night gowns, to bed. You can use them after your no longer pregnant, I also borrow some of my husbands larger shirts to sleep in. Good luck.

  35. sourwoman

    I found a lot of great maternity clothes in Facebook yard sales and on Facebook marketplace. It’s garage sale prices but you can search from the comfort of your couch, highly recommend it for maternity and baby gear! I got a baby food maker, a Beco baby carrier, even free Moby wrap and free breastfeeding accessories.

  36. Karen

    Congratulations on the baby! I had my third last year at the end of July. I lived in sun dresses, light cotton Capri leggings, and tank tops. If you’re planning on more children, I would allow yourself to splurge a little. You can always reuse them later if you have pregnancies in similar seasons. I’ve also found that maternity clothes are easily resold.

  37. Raedev

    Swap.com has good maternity clothes or so I’ve heard. I would check them out myself but I’m fixed lol. Congratulations! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Raedev

      Oh ya and free shipping on 10 dollar purchases just clear your history after u visit their website and they’ll give you free shipping on 10 dollars again. (it’s supposed to be for first time customers only) lol. also there’s coupon codes on retailmenot for 25% off

  38. SJ

    You may not be able to breastfeed, so don’t buy them unless you have to. Also, in my area, there are SEVERAL buy/sell sites for kids stuff and maternity clothes. I didn’t pay retail for anything when I was pregnant. I don’t pay retail for any of my kids clothes and probably 95% of his toys. There’s always a bargain to be had.

  39. Trisha

    I got most of my maternity clothing from Kohls, Gordmans, Burlington Coat Factory, Motherhood/Destination Maternity, Old Navy and Goodwill. I wore the Genie Bras before baby and after for nursing. I mostly lived in tank tops and yoga pants.

  40. Christi

    Hi! First of all congratulations! How exciting your having a baby! I would love to help and answer your questions. I am a mom of 2 and I also work at Motherhood Maternity. We offer everything you need from start to post pregnancy. Speaking of bras, if you plan on nursing, I would get into something seemless and wireless. We have a perfect seemless bra that we call our “holy grail” because it grows 2-3 sizes with you and is not constructing for getting your milk established after baby is born and have a better nursing experience. This helps on so many levels.
    1. You’re not going to need to buy more bras.
    2. These will lift and support while not being to constricting and also very comfortable!
    3. Because they are not constricting and are nursing bras, they will take care of you and your needs by allowing you to wear them as long as you nurse, grow and fluctuate in sizing with you, and give you a chance at a successful nursing experience because you are comfortable, secure, prepared and relaxed.
    With your tops and a swim suit, we offer all that and have great sales on things all the time. For instance, currently we have buy2 tops, get 1 free. We have free perks rewards that sends you coupons and saving throughout your pregnancy and we even spoil you a little with a goody bag with lots of coupons for baby related items.
    We have the same prices as kohls, target, and anywhere else you can find that has Maternity but a larger selection and people who are there to help you and get you in something that you feel comfortable and beautiful in. Most of the time, the stuff at Kohls is ours that has possible defects or last seasons. We know pregnancy and how to size you properly for maximum comfort and extended use of the items.
    And after 2 children and over 2.5 years of nursing them both, and working at Motherhood Maternity For over 3 years, I can sincerely say I have a little experience. I also tried ALLLLLL the places that carry Maternity and I would still shop at motherhood Maternity again and again. And sometimes still do.
    So no, you don’t need to buy more than a few bras, their are bras that will grow with you.
    Swim suits are a must in the summer while being pregnant.
    And we have everything you need and more for you to be well taken care of and comfortable during your pregnancy. Best of luck!

  41. Mrs BK

    I bought a lot of my tops from Target. Cartwheel and sales as well as picking thru the clearance racks was a must to find the deals. I also bought pants/leggings from Kohls when the 30% off with charge card deal was offered. Can find good clearance there also. I agree with others about the sports bras. Not necessarily the most flattering Lol but definitely comfy! I tried not to overbuy or spend too much especially on something like a tshirt. I found that I had my favorites that were most comfortable and wore the same things very often. I loved maternity clothes, have fun and enjoy it โค

  42. Tori

    Just wear long flowy shirts there so popular right now anyway!

  43. HC

    Surprisingly, I have found beautiful tops from forever 21 with very high waistbands to use as maternity clothes – or long tunics (maybe they’re supposed to be dresses but I wear them as maternity tops). With BOGO clearance sales, I got gorgeous lined floral tops for $2.50-$3.50.

    I have also seen a more unique selection of maternity clothing as Ross Dress for Less.

  44. A.B.

    I have 4 kiddos, and with my first, I spent all kinds of money buying cute, boutique-y maternity clothes… but by the time number four rolled around, I really wasn’t interested in spending quite as much, and just wanted a few, functional pieces. I got some great nursing bras from Amazon, for around $10-15. I wore my pre-pregnancy Victoria’s Secret yoga pants with the “roll down” waist, flipped up over my baby bump. I got a few maternity tanks from Old Navy, Gap, and Target, and just layered my pre-pregnancy cardigans with, as needed. A cute maxi, and maybe a nice pair of jeans, if you need to dress up, would be great too! Best of luck!

  45. Kara

    I went to TJ Maxx and bought a few sports bras! So much better than buying up a size and a lot cheaper! I am still using them while nursing. I didn’t buy a lot of maternity clothes this time around. Mostly wore leggings and long shirts. I would check Mecari or Poshmark for a bathing suit and maternity clothes. I bought almost everything I have off those 2 sites and got awesome new clothes for super cheap!!

  46. Joanna

    Craigslist!! People sell whole wardrobes for very good prices.
    Yard sales are good too.
    Wish you lived by me…. you can have all of mine. Just had my 6th child and I’m done! ๐Ÿ’†๐Ÿผ

  47. momof7

    Cake lingerie is awesome for nursing bras!! I got fitted. Took 6 babies to realize this.

  48. chaeysa

    No maternity wear. Yoga pants and maxi dresses. You only need about 10 outfits to get by. Maternity clothes are not worth it.

  49. Laura

    I found a lot of cheap maternity items at Burlington Coat Factory. That’s were I found my maternity swimsuit too for around $16. I just looked in the racks of the biggest size I could find and there were quite a few options that ended up working for me.

  50. Jay

    This is my third. I always go to ross or marshalls and get 2 to 3 pairs of jeans. Usually motherhood online has bogo on tees, and same with old navy. I always make sure I have 3 bottoms and 5 tops. It seems to work for me. Maxi dresses are awsome and can also be found cheap at ross and don’t have to be maternity. As far as bras I found some nursing bras on Amazon in a 3 pack for 18 dollars. They are sized S M L and they have growing room for after so your not buying a ton of bras. I shoot for cheap since you will only be wearing it all for a couple months.

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