Pregnancy is the perfect time to thrift clothes because you’ll only need them for a finite time and you don’t want to lay out a fortune for a new wardrobe—you got a baby coming, after all!
Except for a couple of gifts and one pair of jeans on clearance, all my maternity clothes were second hand—passed on or lent out from other mamas, thrifted, or consigned—and I did just fine.
In fact, my maternity wardrobe was pretty ideal: cute, coordinated, and stylish without being overwhelming (because, see above, I didn’t buy a ton!). Essentially it was a maternity capsule wardrobe, and as such, it was also a great chance to try out a different color scheme from my usual—instead of muted reds, navies, and neutrals, I got to play with springy greens, heathered purples and some fun plaids and corduroys.
Read on for ideas on how to thrift yourself some maternity clothes.
How to shop:
Thrift stores often have an entire section of maternity clothes, which is a good place to start, but don’t overlook the regular racks. Practically every time I thrift, I find maternity clothes mixed in with non-maternity clothes, probably because the person sorting it simply didn’t recognize the brand or the item as “maternity.”
I think this is a good thing: once upon a time, aka when my mother was pregnant, tentlike maternity clothes screamed “I’m pregnant!!!” by literally taking up all the space in the room; now their style, cut, and colors blend in a little more. For comparison:
Gratuitous pregnant British royals, 1980s vs. 2010s.
You should also scope out the “regular” clothes section because you can easily use open-fronted cardigans, tunics, peasant tops, looser or empire-waisted dresses, and pants with a stretchy waist band as maternity wear.
I would love to show you photos of my thrifted maternity finds, but no dice; it’s on loan right now! Which brings me to my next point:
Don’t forget to return the favor.
Unless you plan on having a kid a year, chances are your maternity clothes will sit, neglected, in your closet when they could be helping out another expectant mom. If you know someone who is pregnant, offer to let them come shop your maternity clothes. If they’re not into secondhand, they may politely decline; but if they are, you’ve just freed up storage space for yourself and made someone else’s pregnancy that much easier to navigate. Write your initials on the tags or make a list of items you want returned to facilitate restocking your wardrobe if/when you need them for another pregnancy of your own.
Your maternity clothes can go the extra mile by providing some extra give and flow as your body recovers from pregnancy and labor. If you nurse, you can throw in some button-front or v-neck overlap tops and call it good. (Pro tip: you can also try wearing a regular shirt and simply get good at stealth feedings: position your kiddo in front of your boob, then yank the shirt hem and the bottom of the bra up real quick and let the baby latch/cover your boob all at once! Disclaimer: this works a little better once your baby knows how to latch.)
(Also re: nursing: I for one was thrilled to get someone else’s nursing bras—those suckers are expensive!—and nursing pads; I washed them with vinegar and some borax and they were good to go.)
What are your thoughts/experience on thrifting maternity clothes? Scroll down to comment!