Maternity Clothes Shopping 101: When, Where, and How to Buy Maternity Clothes

Wearing maternity clothes is inevitable at some point in every woman’s pregnancy – here’s everything you need to know about when, where, and how to buy maternity clothes at an affordable price!

Maternity Clothes Shopping 101: When, How, and Where to Buy Affordable Maternity Clothes

When I found out that I would be pregnant in a completely different season than I was with Jack, one of the first things I thought about was my maternity clothes. Since I was pregnant during the winter last time, I was well-stocked up on long sleeve, warm outfits.

Well, that wasn’t going to fly this time around. I didn’t start wearing maternity clothes until the end of May, and the weather had already started to warm up a lot by that point. We’ve been living in the 90s for a good portion of the summer as well, so anything with long sleeves was out! I was sad because I really liked the maternity clothes I had with Jack.

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ANYWAYS. With both pregnancies, I’ve found myself stocking up on maternity clothes in different ways. I never pay full price for anything, because, well, I think the full price prices are way over priced. So, I thought I’d share a few tips for buying maternity clothes!

If you purchase any maternity clothing online, be sure to sign up for Ebates! Many online stores, such as Kohls, offer cash back for online purchases! You can read all about the benefits of cash back over here, but Ebates is my favorite place to get it. 

Second Hand

I know some people don’t love the idea of buying something used…but I have no issue with it! There are quite a few different ways to acquire second-hand maternity clothing, and quite often the clothes are high quality. Here are a few different ways:

  • Second-hand baby store – most cities I’ve been to have something like this. It’s a place that buys and sells gently used baby clothing and products, and they often sell maternity clothes as well. Just do a Google Search for a store near you. I’d recommend calling, because not all of these stores will carry maternity clothing.
  • Facebook Yard Sales – I’m in quite a few local Facebook yard sale groups, and I’m always seeing women selling maternity clothes. You have to be careful buying things from groups like this – make sure you only meet in well-lit, public areas – but you can snag some great deals! I usually see people selling these items in
  • ThreadUp is an AWESOME way to get second hand clothing that are high quality. If you sign up through that link, you can get $20 store credit (no minimum order required!)
  • – This is a great place to buy gently used maternity (and children) clothes. You can get some great deals!

Check the Clearance Rack

The majority of my maternity clothes have come from Target’s clearance rack. About once a month, I will head over to the women’s clothing clearance section at Target and browse the racks. They don’t usually have very many different maternity options on sale, but I’m almost always able to find something in my size in a new style and for a great price. Usually, if you see something you like on their non-clearance rack, it will probably be there in about a month!  I think they have a lot more options online than they do in store (both for clearance and non-clearance items) so be sure to check that out as well. If you have a Target RED Card (we just have the debit card), you can get 5% more off AND free shipping.

This is similar with pretty much all stores that carry maternity clothes – always check their maternity rack. When I was pregnant with Jack, I got about eight pieces of clothing, including a beautiful coat, for under $30 at Motherhood Maternity. I just went in, found several things that I liked on their clearance rack, and I combined it with a sale they were having at the time. At face value, their clothing is rather expensive, but when I shopped smartly, it worked out.

Shop Sales

As I mentioned, shopping sales can be great! Most stores have some sale at one time or another. Stores like Motherhood Maternity and Destination Maternity are always having some clearance or BOGO sales. It makes their clothes a lot more affordable when you buy during their sales, and I love the quality of clothes that these stores have to offer. Most of the time, the sales they have online are in store as well, and I do recommend buying clothing in store when you can. Sizing can be so different when you are buying maternity clothes

Belly Bands

This is an ingenious product that extends the life of your pre-pregnancy pants and skirts. It’s a little band that you attach to the buttons on your pants or skirts, and it allows you to keep them unbuttoned, without your pants falling off! You can buy these at Target, Walmart, and pretty much any maternity clothes store. HOWEVER, the best place, in my opinion, to get them is from the Mother’s Lounge. They sell the Belly Button Maternity Band, if you use my code c113d4, you can either get two free belly button bands, or one free belly button body (all you pay is shipping!) It’s a great way to avoid buying maternity pants until you absolutely have to!

Buy When You Need It

It might be tempting to stock up on a bunch of maternity clothes at the beginning of your pregnancy – especially if you find a sale – but I recommend waiting until you need it. While I’ve been able to stick with my pre-pregnancy sizes (just translated into maternity clothes size), I know this isn’t always the case. Some people lose a bunch of weight from morning sickness while others gain more than they expected. Your body just changes in different ways, and this may result in some of the clothes you bought early on not fitting correctly – hence being a waste of money!

Some maternity stores have a fake pregnancy belly that you can try on with clothes, so this can help make things a little easier. But I’d recommend waiting until you need it so you can get the best fit possible!

Borrow Others

Here’s the thing – most maternity clothes aren’t used for a very long period of time. I didn’t even start wearing maternity clothes until after 20 weeks with both my pregnancies and even then, I often just wear sweats and a t-shirt! If you know someone that is roughly the same size as you, you could consider asking them if you could borrow a few items from their closet for your pregnancy. Just make sure you take care of them!

Use a Coupon

One of my biggest frugal living philosophies in life is this – always use a coupon whenever possible. You may not always be able to find a coupon, but 9 times out of 10, I think you can. Whenever I know I am going to make a purchase, I search online for coupons – whether it be a printable coupon, one that you use online, or even one from an app, there’s so many ways to find one. For instance, a few weeks ago when I was at Target, I noticed that they had a 20% off women’s apparel coupon in the Cartwheel app. I had already picked up a cute maternity shirt that was on clearance for $10, and with the Cartwheel coupon, it was only about $8. It was a great find, and it only took me a few seconds to see if there was a coupon.

You can always ask cashiers if they have any available coupons. I’ve found a lot of cashiers will have coupons at the registers for people who didn’t bring one! I also recommend checking to see if a store accepts competitor coupons. Sometimes they will!

Flattering Styles and Material

Not all maternity clothes are of the same quality or style. There are certain styles of clothing that just look better and more flattering on a pregnant body. Here are a few styles and materials to look for (as well as avoid)

  • Empire waist
  • Extra length in the torso
  • Long – I have a few maternity shirts that were a good length (around the top of my waistband) when I first started wearing them, but as my belly expanded, the length wasn’t as desirable. I love finding maternity shirts that are a little bit longer and give me plenty of room to expand in!
  • Patterns
  • Solid colors
  • Avoid stripes
  • Gathering or ruching on the sides
  • Cotton and other breathable materials
  • Stretchy

What You need

You might be wondering what type of maternity clothing you need. This will really vary depending on your lifestyle, but here are a few basics I think everyone needs. I also think that it’s important to invest in a few of these items a little bit more money to ensure the quality, since you’ll be using them quite a bit!

Best Places to Buy Affordable Maternity Clothing

Here are a few of the places I like to buy maternity clothing – mainly because I know they have a good clearance section!


Amazon – I LOVE Amazon for all things – including maternity clothing!

Le Tote – this is a super cool service! For a monthly fee, you get a box of clothes and accessories – you can send the box back as much as you want during the month (so, if you have a fancy dinner you need an outfit for, you can wear it once, and send it back), and you can keep the clothing for as long as you want! If you decide to purchase anything during the month, you get 50% off. I think this is PERFECT for pregnant women who are constantly needing new sizes of clothing as their bellies expand. Right now you can get 50% off your first three months using the code 50for3. through 2/20/17.

Kohls – at face value, their clothing is WAY over-priced. But I believe their pricing structure is the way it is because they have so many ways to save. I found this post to be helpful on ways to save at Kohls.

Old Navy – I think their clothes are pretty affordable to begin with, but when they have something in clearance? Awesome deals.

Motherhood Maternity (as well as Destination maternity and A Pea in the Pod – these are all related companies but offer similar products.)



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