All of a sudden one day, none of my pants fit. I could still pull on a few pairs, fully unzipped and unbuttoned, and wrap a belly band around them, but I was constantly afraid that the belly band would slip around while I was at work and expose the unzipped zipper. Clearly, it was time for maternity clothes.
Like any naive first-time mom, I headed to the maternity clothing stores. The Old Navy outlet thirty miles away has a tiny maternity sectionâ€” tiny meaning approximately three racks of options. However, I managed to find three pairs of pants, a couple of T-shirts and a sweater. My next stop was Motherhood Maternity; I almost didn’t go in because I’d heard it was expensive, but I found a pair of denim capris and another shirt I liked at reasonable prices.
Then, I started hearing about kids’ consignment sales: giant two or three-day sales where people resell their gently used kids’ clothes, toys, books and other supplies. And the jackpot of maternity clothes.
At the first sale I went to, I found a long rack stuffed full of maternity clothes. Everything from T-shirts and tank tops to dresses and pants. Unfortunately, there wasn’t any type of fitting room area available, so I had to guess what would fit me without trying it on. At these prices, though, I was willing to take a chance.
What did I find? A dress for $8; camisoles for $2 each; pants for $3-$5. And everything fit just fine.
If you’re looking for maternity clothes, research kids’ consignment sales first (there were four in my area within just a couple months!). There’s no reason to pay retail prices for clothes you’ll wear for just two or three months when there’s plenty of good quality, lightly used secondhand clothing available for less than half the retail price. My favorite find? A pair of jeans for $8 at a local consignment storeâ€” and they fit better than the ones I just paid $35 for at Target.
Tip: if you head to a consignment sale, wear clothes that you can slip clothes over, like leggings and T-shirts, in case there isn’t a fitting room. I know, you’re pregnant. Get over the fear of form-fitting clothes and think about the money you’ll save instead. Besides, you’ll be amazed at what you can get away with while you’re pregnant.