Maternity Wear On a Budget


“No one wears maternity clothing,” so said the father of my child.

Sir. Please. o_O

I’ve known plenty of pregnant women in the past few years. Shucks, almost half the women at my school have been pregnant in my last five years there…the running joke is that there is something in the water because there are always several women (or wives of male teachers) pregnant at one time and we are a small staff. I am certain maternity clothing was necessary for their growing bumps. And for those who don’t need them, I’m not sure what your closet looked like antepartum, but mine was not prepared for a 25 pound weight gain – which by the way seemed to be allllll in my stomach.

Therefore, maternity clothing was very necessary. I could no longer fit into my cute, size medium dresses and instead traded them in for cute, size small maternity dresses. (Yes, oddly enough I wore a small in maternity wear throughout the end of my second trimester and all of third trimester.)


Here are a few tips that won’t break the budget:

  • I bought about six tank tops: a mix of maternity and extra long tanks from Forever 21. When bras got uncomfortable (which happened around week 20), these were my go-to. With the increase in my breast size, I did not wear a bra most days as this gave my heart-burned-chest GREAT comfort! Plus the tanks allowed me to wear my regular clothing a bit longer because they were covering my belly and waist line completely. However, I did look at some lightweight bralettes online to see if they might give me more comfort. I found sites like Natori which offers a range of maternity bras as well as these, which were really sexy as well as being comfortable and quality. That’s what every pregnant mom needs really, they have to feel beautiful in their body even though they might feel a bit frumpy sometimes, I know I do!

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  • I purchased a few lightweight, sports bra style bralettes since I had to completely forego bras with wires. I also bought a set of extenders for my non-wireless bras due to my weight gain. Your third trimester is also a great time to purchase several breastfeeding bras if that’s the route you plan to take. Target was my source for this purchase and I was able to catch a sale (4 bras for less than $50).


Can I just say I LOVE this increased cup size. I wish I could keep ’em! The photo above is 31 weeks vs 20 weeks pregnant and in both I’m wearing a non-padded bralette…major difference!

  • Back to clothing…I already wear tall length sweaters and long-sleeved shirts because I have very long arms. Therefore many of my spring shirts carried me through my pregnancy. Cardigans were also wonderful. And my cardigan game is proper. IMG_5254
  • I purchased fewer than 10 sweaters and tops from the maternity section of Old Navy and Target. And the majority of these will be worn postpartum because they lack the unflattering ruching on the sides and were just a little longer.


This is a tall length, size medium, Old Navy top. I learned that many maternity wear designers simply make the clothing bigger and boxy rather than keeping the attractive shape and only making the stomach portion of the material bigger. That being said, I returned more clothing than ever before during my pregnancy. Not gone have me looking bigger than necessary! I still wanted to be cute.

  • On to bottoms. For the most part, I wore leggings. Like real leggings. Not those see-through tights some women try to pass off as actual leggings. I purchased two pair of maternity, size small black leggings (with the seam in the front so they can be dressed up a bit more). And purchased three size large leggings from Forever 21. I lucked up and was able to get three pair of maternity jeans from Motherhood Maternity in the late winter season. They were from the previous summer or fall collection and were not long…two were above my ankle and one is more of a capri. In all, these three cost me less than $50!! To make up for the material loss, during the winter, I was able to wear them with tights or knee-length socks and calf or knee-length boots. No one was the wiser! And for work, besides my beloved leggings, I purchased two pair of maternity khakis. Also on sale. *bank head bounces*
  • In regards to dresses, you would be surprised how you can fancy up a cotton dress. I bought three short-sleeve, T-shirt maternity dresses from Old Navy in gray, navy, and black. I wore them OFTEN! Sometimes casually, other times with clunky necklaces or something to make it look less like a t-shirt dress. In addition, I purchased five long sleeve dresses – also from Old Navy – three maternity and two tall length, in order to have five different colors. With the exception of a few tank top dresses which I would often pair with a cardigan in order to wear to work, I bought two nicer dresses for Easter and baby shower purposes. I’ve heard there are tons more amazing dressed at places similar to The Volte. My friend says that anyway.

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Yes, my hair flourished during my pregnancy. It definitely seemed thicker, but not necessarily longer.

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Oh lest I forget, some non-maternity wear dresses fit mothers just fine. For one of my baby showers I wore a Target dress by Merona (their regular sized selection).


Don’t let designers force you into clothing that doesn’t make you feel good just because you’ve gained a few pounds. A pregnant woman has enough hormones going on that she doesn’t need that “feeling uncute” pressure!

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One response to “Maternity Wear On a Budget”

  1. Brandi Winston Avatar
    Brandi Winston

    Great article! Very informative! Loved it! ❤️❤️❤️