This post may contain affiliate links and we may earn commissions when you make a purchase through these links (at no extra cost to you). See our disclosure policy for more details.
10 Tips for Building a Maternity Wardrobe on a Budget
Wondering about the maternity wardrobe complete outfit cost? Looking for ways to start building a cheap maternity wardrobe? You’re in the right place!
Personally, I like to start wearing maternity clothing as early in my pregnancies as possible. Even in early pregnancy, looser clothing feels a lot more comfortable.
But you don’t really NEED to start wearing maternity clothing until later on, when your belly starts visibly growing. At this point, you only have a few months to go… And who wants to splurge on an entire new wardrobe that will be used for such a short time?!
Thankfully, there are a lot of different ways you can get maternity clothes for cheap.
Maternity Wardrobe: Complete Outfit Cost
The complete cost of a maternity outfit can vary widely, depending on the cost of each piece.
On the cheap end, you could get a single piece of clothing for $5 – $20. On the higher end, it could cost over $40 for a top, and jeans will likely run higher.
If you’re really good at finding deals, you might be able to put an outfit together for practically nothing, and if you’re a little more picky, then you will end up spending more on a single outfit.
Building a maternity wardrobe can be expensive! Which is why I have put together this list of ways to save money on your maternity wardrobe.
Let’s get started!
1. Check your closet.
At some point in pregnancy, I go through my closet and box up anything that no longer fits.
You might be surprised, though, how many items you already own that are looser or stretchy enough to accommodate a growing baby belly. (Thanks, yoga pants!)
If you’re on a budget, be sure to stretch out your existing wardrobe for as long as possible.
And by that, I don’t mean to literally stretch out your more snug clothes (unless you’re sure you’ll be okay when they don’t shrink back down!).
Pro mom tip: Use a hair tie to expand the waist of your jeans so you can wear them for a little longer. Here’s a video showing you how to do a DIY maternity pants extender.
2. Build your maternity wardrobe piece-by-piece.
Once you have taken an inventory of your current wardrobe, it’s time to start building up your maternity wardrobe. The earlier you start this step, the less you’ll have to spend at any given time.
Unless you want to splurge in one place (and that could get really expensive!), it’s all about building it little-by-little.
In fact, I’m already in the third trimester of my second pregnancy, and I’m still working on building mine.
3. Borrow what you can.
Build your maternity wardrobe with the power of borrowing.
During my first pregnancy, almost my entire maternity wardrobe was made up of borrowed clothing. I had only purchased a few items of my own, and the rest were from people who were not currently using them.
Do you know anyone with a new baby who may not currently be using her pregnancy clothes? Maybe she would be willing to let you borrow them for a few months.
4. Shop second-hand.
It’s not as gross as you might think. Lots of thrift stores carry clothes that have hardly been worn and are still in good shape. In fact, this is how I do a lot of my shopping.
If you have a nicer second-hand store nearby, check it out. You might be pleasantly surprised! I have found lots of nice pieces for great prices at my favorite thrift stores.
They may not have a large selection of maternity clothing, but you might find a few great pieces to help build your maternity wardrobe on a budget.
5. Shop online to build your maternity wardrobe.
If you need a specific piece and can’t find it in a local shop, consider looking online.
With Amazon Prime, I get free shipping on Prime-eligible items… Plus, we signed up for an Amazon credit card, which means 5% cash back on Amazon purchases (and 1-2% back on non-Amazon purchases).
The internet is a great tool for comparing prices. And no need to leave your house, because it’s delivered straight to your doorstep!
6. Shop the clearance racks.
I recently did a quick internet search on the stores in my town, and it seems that there are very few stores that carry maternity clothes. It turns out that Kohl’s has a small maternity selection, though.
So I made a trip there and immediately checked out the clearance racks. I found three or four tops that were 90% off (bringing them down to $3-4 each).
Clearance items may not be my first choice, but I’m not all that picky when getting a great deal on pregnancy clothes. Plus, you can always tailor them to suit your style or dress them up with cute accessories!
7. Wear men’s or larger clothing.
I have to admit, I don’t like to wear men’s clothes. However, some ladies can really pull it off! I will occasionally wear my husband’s pajama pants when mine are in the wash, though.
Don’t like the idea of wearing your man’s clothing? When you’re out shopping for your new pregnancy clothes, you don’t necessarily have to stick to the maternity aisle.
Watch for sales on larger women’s sizes and looser tops that you can grow into. I’ve bought quite a few loose or stretchy shirts in a larger size, and they work great during pregnancy.
8. Layer in colder weather.
If you are pregnant over multiple seasons, you don’t have to buy two separate wardrobes of maternity clothing. Instead, start layering once you get into the cooler season.
9. Build your maternity wardrobe with nursing styles.
Many breastfeeding tanks that were designed for nursing moms were also designed to accommodate a growing bump. That way, if you plan on breastfeeding your baby, you can extend the life of the top a little longer.
You may also find that your breasts are starting to grow in pregnancy. Consider purchasing a couple nursing bras in your new size…
If you plan on breastfeeding, you will want to have some anyway. I spent less than $20 on a couple nursing bras with removeable padding after my first daughter was born. I am still using them to this day, and plan on buying a couple more before my second is born.
10. Accessorize your maternity clothing as needed.
While there are lots of cute maternity clothes available in today’s world, we sometimes have to take what we can get when on a strict budget. This means you might need to settle for a few pieces that are less-than-stylish.
Do you have any accessories, like belts or scarves, that can be used to give a plain top some flair? Do you have a sewing machine and a little creativity?
Think of the ways you can turn your ugly maternity clothes into a trendier outfit using a few accessories you already own.
There is no reason to go out and spend hundreds of dollars on brand new pregnancy clothing right away. I’m still personally using most of these tips to build a cheap maternity wardrobe (well into my second pregnancy!).