6 Tips for Maternity Clothes on a Budget

by Bailey Bouwman

Expecting a baby is expensive – you’re budgeting for diapers, gadgets, and the baby’s wardrobe. Adding a brand-new maternity wardrobe might be out of the budget, but it doesn’t mean you can’t feel beautiful and comfortable in your changing body.

Maternity clothes are an investment many people choose because it provides comfort and protects the clothes you already own. You can keep wearing your clothes – but they may stretch, and they may not be the same after. That’s why you might want to consider what you decide to stretch out, and what you decide to replace.

Building a closet of maternity clothes looks different for every family depending on your needs and your budget. I own a maternity clothing store and I know that the cost of shopping for maternity clothes can add up and be outside of many budgets.

You don’t need to buy NEW maternity clothes to feel comfortable.
You don’t need to buy maternity clothes to feel comfortable.

Will you need maternity clothes? 

Every body grows a baby a little differently - some bodies hide babies, and some bodies show them off. The long-short is you don’t know until you’re there. You might never need maternity clothes, or you might be popping on the maternity pants before 12 weeks.

Listen to your body and do what is most comfortable to make you feel like the incredibly beautiful person you are.

How to Build a Maternity Wardrobe on a Budget.

The goal is to find comfort and to feel like an incredibly powerful and amazing person. Remember to build your maternity wardrobe focused on your needs and your lifestyle. Embrace a few of these tips or embrace all of them. They can work together to help you find low-cost maternity clothes that work for your body and family.

Stick to the Essentials.

Focus on collecting a few essential clothes that fit and keep your numbers low – a pair of pants, a tank top, a dress. You don’t need dozens of items, but rather a few that can let you go to the office in comfort, hit up the community fair, or visit family for dinner.

Essential pieces will look different for everyone.

An essential piece of maternity clothing replaces an existing clothing item that no longer fits and prevents you from doing the things you love. If you can no longer go to work because your pants don’t fit – then pants that do fit are essential.

Don’t stress about what other people say is essential and focus on what is essential for you.

For my pregnancy, I mostly bought shirts because my pants I could wear under my belly with ease, but shirts were never long enough for my growing torso. 

Check for Second Hand

You are right, maternity clothes are only used for a short period of time that they are often full of life after and in great condition to be shared with a friend. There's many different ways to look for second hand, or gently used maternity clothes.

  • Ask friends who have had babies if they have clothing, they can lend or share with you. 
  • Thrift stores may have a selection of maternity clothes – or bigger clothes in regular sizes. 
  • Facebook Marketplace, or other online spaces, often have previous parents reselling their maternity clothes at a reduced cost. You might be able to buy a bundle, or a few special pieces. 
  • Check for consignment shops for gently used maternity at a discount. 
  • Need a special outfit for a special occasion or maybe a photoshoot? Consider renting a maternity dress. 


Shop the Sales

If you don’t need the latest fashion trends, shop the clearance rack for the best deals on last season or discontinued brands. The sales section can provide you with 10-50% off regular pricing and offer you a great deal on new maternity clothing.

Or subscribe to our newsletter, and we’ll be sure to let you know when we have sales and promotions to help you save on clothing, essentials, and those must-have pieces that help you live a beautiful, comfortable life as a new parent.  

Buy Regular Clothes, but Bigger

Or shop your partner’s closet. Every day clothes made for regular bodies is much more accessible and affordable than maternity clothes. Not only are more low-cost options available, but the styles and fit might work for your changing body.

Consider building your maternity wardrobe with select pieces in larger sizes. Look for lower rise leggings that fit under your belly, extra-long tank tops, men’s sweaters and cardigans for extra room, and dresses with empire waists and stretch.

You might be surprised what works and what doesn’t feel comfortable. Some bodies don't mind the fit of non-maternity clothes. 

Here’s a few great tips on how to find a piece that fits your changing body
10 Ways to Turn Maternity Clothes Into Regular Clothes, Baby Center
Non-Maternity Clothes Pregnancy Capsule Wardrobe, A Modern Mom Blog

Make Your Own - DIY Maternity Clothes

You can do this from scratch by sewing and designing custom maternity clothing to fit your body or you can adapt the pieces you already own by adding panels and elastics that can better fit the body.

Even better --- upcycle something you already have on hand to make it work for your body.

We love this upcycled shirt tutorial.

Making your own might not always be the most-budget friendly option, but if you are thrifty and skilled it can be a great way to start a wardrobe. Take advantage of low-cost fabrics and notions at thrift stores, and free patterns on the web like this list ofover 61 free maternity patterns

A few of our favourite DIY Maternity Tricks include:
• Add panels into your pants like this tutorial 
• Add a full belly panel to your favourite leggings for an easy diy maternity legging. 

Consider Extender Pieces

Extender pieces take your regular clothes and extend them to last longer as your body changes. They make pants taller and coats wider.

A few of our favourite maternity extenders include:

The Momzelle Belly Band covers the buttons that no longer do up and give you extra support and comfort with your growing belly. Available in different sizes and colours it’s a great way to wear your favourite pants for a few more months without replacing your wardrobe.

The BellyFit Universal Jacket Extender will let you take your favourite outwear and give you the extra space to accommodate your belly. It zips into your coat using a patent-pending universal adaptor and adjusts to fit your body. The best part is this adaptor can be flipped and used for babywearing.

Bra Extenders are available at most lingerie stores and offer a few extra inches to your bra. Many pregnant people experience changes in their chest including widening and breast growth and an adaptor can help you take the bras you currently love work for a few more months. 

Maternity clothes don’t have to be extravagant, fancy, or expensive. 

They just need to be comfortable and supportive of the best you that you can be.
There are so many amazing ways to build a stash and find clothes that fit. Don’t get caught up in the should haves and would haves.

Ask friends and family for secondhand clothes, source the essentials, and find some short cuts to make the clothes work for your changing body.

Have clothes to donate?

This Mother’s Day, Nest & Sprout is giving back through maternity clothes drive for Baby’s New Beginnings in Prince George. Baby’s New Beginnings provides supports to new moms and access to basic necessities that they need for pregnancy and parenting. Follow us on social media or subscribe to our newsletter to learn more about the 2021 clothing drive for new parents.  


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