Ask Design Mom: Afforable Maternity Clothes

February 22, 2007

Ask-Design-Mom question:

Dear Design Mom, I am halfway through my third pregnancy and am looking to revamp my maternity wardrobe. Can you recommend some good, but affordable websites with maternity clothes? I liked an H&M; shirt my sister sent me in pregnancy number one, but we do not have an H&M; in my area. I love being pregnant and would like to look good as well as feel good during it. I’m tired of the tent-like shirts and tie in the back numbers. There have to be cool maternity clothes out there, I just don’t know where to look and not spend a fortune. Thanks for your help, Amy

Design Mom answer:
Amy, congratulations on pregnancy number 3! So exciting, and definitely a good reason to get some new maternity clothes. There are so many styling pregnancy clothes these days — the tricky part is finding affordable ones.

Luckily, there are several really great things happening in fashion that are only a good thing for pregnant bodies. Flats are totally hot. Layered tees are totally hot. And wide-neck sweaters and tees — also great for layering — are totally hot. Here are a few guidelines that worked for me:

1) When I’m pregnant I feel best when I keep as close to my normal style as possible through the whole 9 months.

2) Since you like being pregnant, show it off! No more tents. Keeps things fitted instead. It’s all about the bump, baby. I’m a fitted fan — forr as long as possible, I wear things from my regular wardrobe, like a basic graphic tee, layered over a solid maternity tee.

3) Which reminds me, while pants generally need to come from maternity lines, don’t be afraid to shop for tops in regular clothes sections. Many non-maternity shirts could work through most of a pregnancy, like these:

4) I’m also a big believer in having less clothes, but liking the clothes you have. If you rotated only 5 outfits throughout your pregnancy, but felt really cute in each one, that’s better than looking kind of frumpy in 10 outfits. This cute brown dress is only $20 at Old Navy. You could wear it once a week with cute boots while it’s cold and pretty beaded or embroidered flats when it’s warm. You’d be sick of it, but you’d look great every time you wore it:

5) Start with the reliably inexpensive clothes chains. Check out Old Navy, Target, Motherhood. Not all of their offerings will be great, but you can expect to find several good pieces at each of these sites/stores. The quality won’t be great either, but who cares? They only need to last a few months. These are not investment pieces.

No doubt my recommendations are predictable and kind of blah, but hopefully there are some Design Mom readers out there with some secret sources and smart ideas they’ll share with us.

pinstripe bermuda short ($20) and grey cardigan ($35) from Motherhood Maternity

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Andrea February 22, 2007 at 8:59 am

My last pregnancy I really “invested” in some real maternity clothes (tired of wearing hubby’s pants)
I found that Old Navy has the best selection and price of maternity wear: the best fit and lasts the longest. Gap maternity shirts shrunk on me in a wash and some of the other chains like Motherhood and Mimi were too expensive for the quality. My 2 cents!!


2 Anne February 22, 2007 at 9:11 am

Gap has been putting lots of stuff on clearance online! Ebay is a great resource too!


3 Azúcar February 22, 2007 at 9:56 am

Target’s Liz Lange line has some really great items. Just like all Target clothes, they go on clearance for a song and a dance.

Don’t forget about the department stores. I’ve found the cutest maternity shirts at places like JC Penney and Dillards for next to nothing. My latest purchases were some very Anthropologie looking tops at Penney’s for seven bucks a piece!

I’ve also been known to pick up a couple things at Lane Bryant where they often have tops in super stretchy material that bridges the “fit gap.”

Like Anne, I have grabbed some really great deals on maternity wear on Ebay.

The key to inexpensive maternity wear is actually visiting the stores in person. The best markdowns can’t usually be found online.


4 dianam February 22, 2007 at 10:03 am

I’m a jeans lover and invested in a nice, stylish pair of maternity jeans. I wore them practicially every day but always felt and looked great in them! Totally worth it. Oh, and Gap Maternity rocks.


5 {Karla} February 22, 2007 at 10:54 am

Thanks for addressing this…

I just recently found out I am expecting #4, and believe you me, my maternity clothes are SCREAMING for an update!!!



6 citymama1 February 22, 2007 at 11:39 am

I’m a big believer in online shopping. When I found out I was pregnant with baby #2 I immediatly hopped online to and Gap.Com and bought up all their winter wear from last season, which was currently on sale or clearance. I did invest in some quality maternity jeans, though, and that has made all the difference. I really like for that. Also, I bought the belly band which let me wear my regular jeans as long as possibe. And as always, accessories are essential, and always fit. So make sure you pick up some cute earings for yourself! :) Happy Pregnancy!


7 Anonymous February 22, 2007 at 1:46 pm

I actually haven’t bought ANY maternity clothes, and I’m 7 months this week… Rather, I just bought one of those Bella Bands and have worn it over my unbuttoned/unzipped jeans and slacks. (I have resorted to stretchy yoga pants a few times, but not for work!)

I highly recommend the Bella Band… again, I haven’t had to buy any clothes from “maternity” stores or sections at all!


8 Lindsey February 22, 2007 at 4:24 pm

I liked heading to my closed Gap outlet. They usually carry maternity clothes and they always seems to be on sale.

I have found that Motherhood’s stuff shrinks in length quite a bit–bad for us tall girls.

I think Babystyle also has maternity clothes that go on sale regularly.

My best luck was with buying bigger sizes and lower slung pants, but that’s also because I already had ample extra padding and was going for comfort.

I agree with Design Mom on only buying a few things you really love. Pay more for a few better pieces that you can get more use out of and also that you can use those first few months (or 8) while things are moving back into place.


9 liz February 22, 2007 at 5:09 pm

i agree with making the places DM listed as first stops, then fill in the rest with the more pricey places.

Gap sales with maternity are great- but you have to check often.

If you have access to H&M they will always have the cutest options for the best price and quality- my whole maternity work wardrobe came from there with #1!

Now with #2 I so needed this post to figure out where to start for housewifery maternity clothes this time around.

great topic!


10 Lizzy February 22, 2007 at 6:47 pm

i loved the items I bought from Babystyle, especially the transition line. Check the outlet tab on the website for better bargains.

there so much you can wear that’s not technically maternity. i loved the roll down wasitband skirts target carried (and still does) for the very end of pregnancy when i just want something to fit without hurting…and of course look cute!


11 Design Mom February 23, 2007 at 9:33 am

Thanks for all the input you smart ladies. Isn’t it amazing how many good maternity options are out there.

I hope this is just the beginning. I hope the maternity clothes options double every few years until there is really something to satisfy the taste and body of every pregnant woman.

Count me as a fan of anything that celebrates and elevates motherhood. Looking great while pregnant definitely falls into this category.


12 Emily S. February 23, 2007 at 9:53 am

I found a few decent items at Ross but it does require some sifting.


13 Johanna February 24, 2007 at 12:42 pm

One of the hardest piece of pregnancy clothing to find was long pants. Seemed like people forgot that all those women who wear petite and tall sizes get pregnant, as well as the “regular”. But I found a pair of Rebel jeans that were gloriously long (I’m six foot) and that had one of those comfortable button-through-elastic waists. They were fifty bucks (a lot compared to what I’d typically pay for clothes) but I think I wore them everyday. I also became a big fan of searching out great consignment shops, as there’s no Gap or Old Navy near where I live.


14 sara February 27, 2007 at 1:19 am

I’ve got 2 months left to go in my 3rd pregnancy, and am having a hard time finding pants that are comfortable. I got some cropped jersey knit pants from Old Navy I’ve been wearing with boots, and plan on switching to flats and flip flops if spring ever arrives. My best shirts have come from Target, non-maternity. Mossimo is making some really long shirts that when purchased in L or XL really cover the belly while remaining fitted. I also just got a Bella Band… it has changed my life. I’d buy one as soon as you find out you’re pregnant, regardless of which pregnancy you are on! My Bella Band might even make it possible for me to consider going for a 4th pregnancy someday. We’ll see!


15 Shoppingsmart April 2, 2007 at 3:04 pm

If you like H&M, you can get it online, at I bought some maternity wear there last year, good value, but the pants was sagging…

Also, take a look at my web site, as I have recently written about maternity wear.

I agree with Design Mom’s advice, by the way!


16 zano November 6, 2007 at 2:59 pm



17 Jayne October 7, 2009 at 4:24 am

I Found Mother Wear Clothing good for swimwear and sell alround in all seasons wear. I brought this Tankini and was so impressed i wanted to share it with you


18 Susannah August 2, 2012 at 4:30 pm

If you want to maintain your style and have variety in your wardrobe, consider renting your maternity clothes! Fashion Forward Maternity ( carries the latest styles from top maternity designers and you pay a flat rate per item/month.


19 Kelsey April 22, 2015 at 11:18 am

I think another way to save money and feel comfortable is to invest in airy tank-tops that you can wear before, after, and at early stages of pregnacy.


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