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Maternity clothes

Build a maternity capsule wardrobe on a budget

Buying clothes for your pregnancy can be daunting, especially if you’re concerned about the cost. But building a maternity wardrobe needn’t be expensive, and it can be fun.

‘There are plenty of ways you can spend less and still look great,’ says Holly Kimberley, mum and founder of maternity fashion inspiration site The Bump Edit. Here’s our step-by-step guide.

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Don’t panic

‘Chances are most of your clothes will continue to work through at least the first 10-12 weeks, especially bottoms, as your bump won’t be that big,’ says Kimberley. Do a wardrobe audit to work where the gaps in your maternity wardrobe are and what you really need.

Aim for a maternity capsule wardrobe that includes:

  • 1 maternity/super-stretchy dress.

  • 1 pair of maternity trousers.

  • 1 pair of maternity jeans.

  • 1 blazer or jacket to dress up any outfit.

  • 1 pair maternity leggings.

  • 2 camisoles/vests in neutral colours.

  • A few tops/shirts with room to grow.

  • A couple of long-line T-shirts (don’t have to be maternity).

  • A maternity bra.

  • A coat for summer or winter.

Borrow, reuse and recycle

Kimberley says, ‘Friends who’ve had babies will have maternity wear they’re not using anymore that you can borrow. As well as saving you money, they’ll know what works and what doesn’t.’ Plunder your partner’s wardrobe for shirts and sweatshirts in later pregnancy too.

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Find clothes for free

Many women are more than happy to give their old maternity clothes away, especially if their pregnancy days are over. Try Freecycle and Freegle to take them off their hands.

Set up eBay alerts

Blogger Amanda Fulton, aka Ginger Mum, says, ‘eBay is a goldmine for fashionable pre-loved maternity wear. You can find designer pieces for pennies if you set up alerts and keep your eyes on the prize!’

Check out the completed listings too, to see how much you could potentially resell clothes for afterwards.

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Tap into local groups

Local National Childbirth Trust (NCT) ‘Nearly New’ sales offer affordable pre-loved maternity clothes at bargain prices. Facebook groups of local mums are also worth keeping an eye out for.

If you do buy new

‘If you buy items because they’re maternity and you feel you ‘should’, chances are you won’t wear them,’ says Kimberley. ‘It’s a false economy.’ But buying maternity-friendly items you’ll wear after pregnancy – floaty tops, stretchy T-shirts – massively reduces cost per wear.

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The information on this page is peer reviewed by qualified clinicians.

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