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Maternity Clothes – Thinking Outside the Traditional Closet

In my second go-round with pregnancy, I have found a lot of things to be different. Whereas I hardly felt the baby move at all during my first pregnancy, this baby reminds me of a jumping bean who may or may not jump himself right out of his womb. Second, in true second-child fashion, my husband and I have little to nothing ready for this baby. I haven’t taken a single “belly photo”, and I haven’t journaled even a moment of this pregnancy (I think I’ll most regret this later). To be honest, chasing around a toddler just hasn’t left us any time or energy for those things. I’m really hoping that he doesn’t try to make an early appearance!

maternity fashion

One thing I’m glad I’ve changed this time, though – my approach to maternity clothes shopping! During my first pregnancy, I stuck to the basics for my maternity clothes needs. Target, Old Navy, Gap, and Motherhood Maternity were basically the only places I shopped. I purchased a few staples (nothing I loved), and it got me through. I don’t remember EVER feeling pleased with how I looked, but I conceded that ugly maternity clothes were just part of pregnancy.

For baby #2, I decided I didn’t want to be stuck with the same few, boring pieces as I had last time, so I started searching for other options. After some research and a little trial and error, I’ve put together a list of the non-traditional places I’ve been able to find good maternity style. Because mamas-to-be shouldn’t be limited to muumuus and oversized t-shirts, and looking good shouldn’t have to break the bank, either!

LeTote

I’m starting my list with my very favorite find: LeTote. This is a genius website where you pay a monthly subscription fee ($69 per month), and you RENT name brand, great quality maternity clothing (and accessories) throughout the month. You start with 3 pieces of clothing and 2 accessories, and you can swap them out as many times as you want during the month. LeTote pays for shipping both ways, and even supplies you with the bag to ship your things back in.

With LeTote, you get to choose from a huge inventory of dresses, pants, skirts, shirts, necklaces, earrings, purses…AND MORE! If you absolutely love something, you can purchase it, but I haven’t felt the need to do that yet, as you can always rent the same piece of clothing again. The clothing they send is fashionable, and I love always having something new to wear. LeTote has definitely given me access to maternity clothes that I would have never been able to afford before.

While the rental fee may seem a little steep, I have hardly spent any money purchasing maternity clothes, so I think it has been well worth the money. If I don’t like something they send, or something doesn’t fit, I send it back and get something else in return. Best of all, while my wardrobe is always changing, I’m not collecting a million pieces of maternity clothes I’ll later have to sell or store. It’s been a perfect solution for me.

Note: LeTote isn’t just for maternity clothes, either! You can use LeTote for non-maternity clothes for $59 a month, too!

packages

Goodwill and Stuff, Etc.

I stopped in at Goodwill after making a donation one day, and was SHOCKED by their great maternity section! They had so many options for next-to-nothing prices. After being successful at Goodwill, I checked at Stuff, Etc., and found the same great results. In telling friends about my discovery, several told me that they had taken their maternity clothes to one of those two places when they were done with them, so I shouldn’t be surprised to find such great pieces in these second hand stores. You do have to be diligent and consistent in your search, but if you stop in every few weeks, you’re sure to find some great quality, gently used maternity clothes at a fraction of the retail prices.

ThredUp

Think of ThredUp as a huge online consignment store. I have been using ThredUp to clean out my closets and sell my new and gently used clothing for over a year, and throughout my pregnancy I’ve found some great maternity pieces at low prices to add to my wardrobe.

On the website, you can order a “clean out kit” for free. ThredUp sends you a big pre-paid mailing bag, which you fill with any women’s or children’s clothing (in new or gently used condition) that you no longer want. In return, they give you an account credit for whatever your clothing is worth.  I have found their offers to be fair, and I’ve been able to get rid of some of my older clothing that I no longer wear. In exchange, I get new maternity clothes that I love! You can sort by size or brand, so it’s very easy and convenient. They are constantly updating their site with new clothes and brands, so I try to check my sizes out every couple days to see what’s new.

This is a great site to keep in mind for after pregnancy, too, when you’re ready to part with the maternity clothes you’ve collected. You can send them your clothes, then use your earnings to purchase clothes for the baby, OR cash out after 14 days and have them send your money straight to your Paypal account.

Swap with Friends

And as a completely free option – don’t discount the idea of swapping maternity clothes with your girlfriends who aren’t using them at the moment. I was lucky enough to have a friend, who had just had her last baby when I got pregnant, hand me a huge box filled with the clothes she no longer needed. No one wants to waste space in their houses, storing boxes of clothes that can only be used 9 months at a time. Instead, talk to your girlfriends who are similar to you in size, and see if they’d be willing to share! They can have your goods when you’re done, too.

There is plenty to stress out about during pregnancy, so what you’re going to wear to keep you looking and feeling fabulous shouldn’t be another. You deserve to look and feel good throughout the process, even as your ankles become cankles and you lose the ability to see your feet. So happy shopping, mamas!

What are your favorite places to find great maternity clothes at reasonable prices?


 

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