Kierstin is a mom to two little girls and host of the satirical podcast Really Good Advice for New Moms.
The Best Places to Buy Maternity Clothes Online
|Store||The Site||Best For...|
Nursing bras, tees, jersey dresses
Jeans, shorts, pants and bathing suits
Tees and comfy clothes
Clearance tops and baby shower dresses
Gently used maternity tops for a deep discount
Quick shipping on baby belly friendly outerwear
Nursing bras and maternity underwear
asos.com (select country at the top of the page)
Clearance casual clothes
Feminine tunics and dresses
Gently used clothes by top brands like J. Crew
hm.com (select your country)
Basic tees, sweats and bras - all of the maternity variety
Traditionally sized leggings, tunics, and dresses that easily convert to fair priced maternity wear
The summer of 2013 was sticky and the only place to stay sheltered from the heat was my basement bedroom closet where I was curled up on top of a mountain of wrinkled clothes that no longer buttoned and zipped. At five months pregnant, after twenty weeks of kneeling in front of the toilet, my daughter was winning the war with hyperemesis gravidarum and my once flat stomach was now a very obvious bump that no longer fit beneath my American Eagle skinny jeans and flannels. The decade old collection of pinafores, hand crocheted tank tops and peter-pan collared blouses carefully curated from ModCloth and Etsy were no longer going to cut it and I was faced with the reality that it was time to invest in my first-ever maternity wardrobe, on a really tight budget nonetheless.
It turns out that maternity clothes are super cute and fun until you're the one buying them. Then they're a totally over-priced, kinda frumpy pain in the butt. Take what I've learned in my combined 18 months of maternity experience and try these online shops if you're looking for the best deals, quality, and longevity in maternity wear.
Okay, I know it's weird to start off with WalMart but seriously. True enough, you'll need to cull through the digital racks of "oh hell no, not that" but this is a great place to grab solid colored T's and tanks in the warmer months, along with your cereal and cookies. Because I mean, I'm not the only one that obsessively peruses Walmart's online cookie aisle, right?
Not only did I find my baby-shower dress here for about $12, during my first pregnancy, but I wore that dress straight through my second pregnancy.
Also, last time I checked, they're having rollbacks on Keebler.
WalMart is a great place to stock up on well priced maternity leggings and nursing tanks at a super fair price.
2. Old Navy
A pretty obvious choice, Old Navy was my #1 go-to for those pricier pregnancy staples like bathing suits and paneled jeans and shorts which come in a lot of the classic Old Navy fits from sizes 00 to 20. I just bought my usual pants size from the maternity section here and the fit was still spot on. Another bonus to shopping Old Navy's maternity is that you can shop by trimester, including post-pregnancy and there's plenty of curated outfits and collections to help you along if baby brain has you totally uninspired on what to wear.
If the prices are too steep for your budget, look around for discounts and coupons on sites like RetailMeNot.com and earn cashback with SwagBucks or Ebates.
While a little bit pricier than its sister-store, Old Navy, I found my absolute favorite maternity t-shirt on sale here and after two pregnancies it still fit like a gem. And, for mommas in their third-trimester during cool, wintery months, Gap always has the cutest sweaters and tunics too (if your hormones can handle the layers).
This is also a good place to find pieces you can wear after your baby is born too that are cheap but don't feel cheap.
Grab a couple of regular sized flannels to wear unbuttoned over maternity tanks during your pregnancy then throw them over nursing tanks post-partum for an outfit that provides comfort and coverage during those first few busy weeks of toting your brand new baby back and forth from the pediatrician.
4. Motherhood Maternity
Motherhood Maternity is (obviously) specifically geared to maternity wear and offers a huge variety of styles. Shop their sale section and dig around for free-shipping or dollars-off coupons and you can find some great deals like tops for under $20.
If you're looking for a baby shower dress or something to wear to a spring wedding, Motherhood Maternity has a solid selection for every body type.
Motherhood Maternity is the place to find tricky and specific pieces, like maternity tights for that last-minute Christmas party.
My new favorite site to find awesome deals on gently used kids clothing is also a great place to find affordable maternity wear. Use the filters to sort by "like-new" and "new with tags" for the best options in floaty, flouncy, and fitted tops, dresses, and jeans to get you through the next nine months and beyond.
It's almost as fun as scanning the racks at your local consignment shop, only you can do it in front of a whirring fan while nibbling at your latest craving.
Sometimes Swap has awesome, affordable prices, but sometimes their price tags don't really jive if there's a great sale going on at one of the other stores on this list. Make sure you compare the price of that last season top on Swap with the in-season style at Gap to see if you're really getting a deal.
Over the years, Amazon has cultivated quite the collection of versatile and stylish maternity wear, including cheap maternity dresses for photoshoots and baby shower dresses that are totally Instagram worthy. Your new outfits will be waiting on your doorstep in just a couple of days - perfect if you've suddenly outgrown every single last thing that you own overnight.
Besides carrying flouncy dresses, Amazon is also a great place to stock up on nursing bras and tank tops which will carry you through until labor and onward.
For someone who really, really desperately loves Target, I'm just going to say I'm not actually a huge fan of their maternity wear. It seems to oftentimes be reviewed as ill-fitting or not quite hitting the mark and their selection is minimal.
However, they do have a nice selection of nursing bras and the necessary under-garments for pregnancy and post-baby that seem to straddle the border between functional and sexy, and for that we can all be grateful.
And with free shipping over $25 (free with your RedCard!) Target is a budget-friendly option when it comes to filling out your maternity wardrobe.
Can't find any maternity outfits that work for you here? Don't forget that if nothing else, Target has really cute accessories that'll help you to rock out any simple maternity look.
The thing I love most about Asos is the free shipping both ways. I've both ordered and returned from here and the process was always super simple.
The prices can be steep but meander over to their clearance section and sort by price low-high to find tons of great pieces to fill in your maternity wardrobe including graphic tees, skater dresses and roomy hoodies.
Asos offers a special section of items curated for work, so you don't have to go sifting for office-appropriate work pieces.
9. Pink Blush Maternity
While the regular priced maternity items may be a little out of budget for a wardrobe that is only wearable for a brief time, Pink Blush's maternity sale items are fair priced and just as adorable as the rest of the items on the site.
If your aesthetic is flowy florals and toe-grazing maxis then Pink Blush is a solid choice.
Pink Blush has an awesome selection of soft robes that will keep you cute from your last trimester to the delivery room and straight on through to those long days of rocking your newborn in front of Netflix.
Use ThredUp's refinement tools to search hundreds of brands of gently-used maternity clothing from basically all of the brands I've mentioned here, plus some of the pricier ones, like Loft, A Pea in The Pod and J. Crew, all at prices that rival even the clearance section.
Once your pregnancy is over, resell your outfits to ThredUp when you're ready to build your mom wardrobe.
If you're looking for on trend pieces that will flatter your growing baby belly, H&M is the place to find cute and cozy clothes that are also wearable post-pregnancy.
Stock up on H&M's collection of soft joggers, basic tees and lace nursing bras for those days when you want to look like you're trying but really you're just planning to wrap up in a giant, blanket-like sweater and hide until your due date.
Got a long torso? So do I, and H&M's tops and dresses don't always work for me because of that.
12. Forever 21
Once upon a time, Forever 21 carried a line of twee and trendy maternity clothes. Unfortunately, those days have long passed but that doesn't mean Forever 21 isn't still a top option when it comes to finding pregnancy perfect dresses, tops and leggings.
Indeed, I wore my traditional sized Forever 21 leggings for the first 6 months of both of my pregnancies.
Their loose fitting tunic tops, baby doll dresses and easy-to-layer cardigans can double as maternity/post-partum wear without the inflated price of most maternity specific pieces.
What About Shoes?
Are you eyeing a cute pair of cheap shoes?
I tried to wear my favorite Forever 21 sneaks during my first pregnancy and ended up hurting my foot and back. That's probably because it turns out that our feet grow - permanently - during pregnancy. Invest in a great pair of supportive walking shoes for your pregnancy (this pair of Saucony's carried me through pregnancy, post-partum, and chasing my kids around the playground) and hold off on buying more footwear until after you've given birth.
Getting the Most From Your Maternity Wardrobe
Find Out Your Maternity Size
It's simple--whatever your size normally is, that's what it should be during pregnancy. So if you were an 8 before you got those two pink lines, you're most likely an 8 in maternity too.
If you're unsure, or you don't want to have to guess at the varying sizing between stores and brands grab a seamstress tape and measure your bust, waist, and hips then compare your measurements to each store's sizing guide.
Don't Over Buy
What do you actually need for a maternity wardrobe? It depends on your lifestyle and what you do most days. If you work out of the house, you'll need work clothes seperate from your everyday clothes but not so many that you only get to wear and outfits a couple of times before you've had your baby.
Avoid Patterns, Go for Solids and Neutrals
Again, you won't be wearing your maternity wardrobe forever! Pick pieces that can be mixed and matched to each other and use accessories to add color instead of investing in a dozen summer tops with bright patterns you'll wear twice before your next trimester begins.
Where can I rent maternity clothes?
There are tons of monthly subscription boxes out there for renting maternity clothes. LaBelle Bump, Le Tote Maternity, and Borrow Your Bump are the most affordable at around $99 per month. However, if you're not down with the subscription box route you can check out Mine for Nine which lets you pick and choose individual maternity pieces to rent during your pregnancy. This is a savvy option if you don't want to have to sift through a bunch of maternity outfits postpartum.
How Many Maternity Outfits Do You Need?
|Item||How Much To Get|
If you plan to breastfeed, you'll keep using these for months to come (at least) so invest in 4 bras. If you don't plan to breastfeed, 2 should be sufficient to get you through.
14 (give or take a pair). You'll have enough to get you through if you do laundry once a week, plus you're probably going to wear these postpartum for a while too.
Does anyone wear jeans anymore? Start with two pairs you really love, and get one with a full panel. Half panels dig into your skin as you grow. If you wear jeans frequently you can add another pair or two later on.
These are best for being deeply (like second and third trimester) pregnant in cold months. If you're expecting your baby during colder months, grab at least 3 pairs. If you'll be expecting your baby in the summer just get 1 pair and if you need more you can add more later.
Same goes goes as it does for leggings/jeggings. My first baby came in November and I never needed maternity shorts. With my next baby, who came in late July, I wore maternity shorts for months before - and after - having her. 2-3 pairs is a good number.
7, and make sure they're solid colors or neutral patterns that can be mixed with different bottoms. You can layer with cardigans you already own.
I liked having 1 or 2 dresses, especially in the spring, that I could layer with a cardigan or denim jacket. Opt for more if you need them for work though.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2015 Kierstin Gunsberg
Kierstin Gunsberg (author) from Traverse City, Michigan on April 07, 2015:
Consignment shops are a great place to find maternity :) My mom took me to a local consignment boutique last pregnancy and I was able to pick up a few tops that got me through that last (loooong) trimester.
Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on April 03, 2015:
Great information, Kierstin. My maternity days are long gone, but when I was pregnant, I bought all my clothes at a local consignment shop for expectant mothers and children. I saved a ton of money and could basically recycle everything I bought.