Saving and Frugality: being frugal when it comes to pregnancy clothes

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Some of you know, some will probably find out: I’m 5 months pregnant, so maternity clothes have become an often talked about subject in our household. I’m usually pretty skinny (5.57 feet and around 114 lbs. – OK, 120 now), so it’s pretty difficult in general to get myself good clothing. I’m an S or XS or, if I buy jeans, 27 inches waist is my ‘number’.

As expected, pregnancy will affect my looks (it started already) and, since getting into my 20th week (am in 22 now), my pregnant belly is showing. I can still fit in my regular clothes (my jeans are low-waist, so they come under the bigger belly), even if my t-shirts are now pretty ‘bumpy’.

My  husband has been nagging me for weeks to start creating a special maternity/pregnancy wardrobe, something that many ‘normal’ women would be happy to. I didn’t yet jump to the occasion yet, since I don’t want to over-spend with this (we’re already paying a lot for the things our daughter will need, so my clothing is not a priority for me).

maternity-clothing

So far I got some sports pants to wear at home (got them 3 sizes bigger than what I usually wear) and today I purchased my first (and probably last) maternity pants, that are still looking pretty loose, even if they’re an S size. I plan on wearing them when I can’t fit my ‘rear’ in the regular jeans, so probably in 1-2 months time.

Working from home has its huge advantage, since I don’t need ‘work’ clothes. I wear my ‘trainers’ all day long and a t-shirt. I joked that, when I can’t fit in my tees, I’ll start using my husbands’ wardrobe and he was amused by the idea (and, weird enough, didn’t have anything against this).

My main reasons for being this ‘stingy’ are not that weird (I’d say):

  • I don’t need a big wardrobe – am working from home, so I can wear my normal stuff here and it won’t be an issue that I am wearing husband’s t-shirts
  • I don’t plan on becoming too big (am eating well and gaining as much weight as is healthy for me). Some of the clothes I have (the loose ones) will probably fit OK for most of my pregnancy
  • I don’t plan on remaining ‘big’ – as soon as it’s safe for my child, I’ll get back to working out and shedding the baby weight. Am planning on getting back into my regular clothes as soon as it’s OK for both me and the baby
  • I am still very ‘small’ – I’m in my 22th week and fit perfectly in my skinny jeans and most of my regular clothing, although many expected me to be bigger. Sure, I will grow some more (as it is normal and I don’t plan on starving myself just to fit in my clothes), but I’d rather wait to see how much I grow before spending money on clothes I might not wear too soon anyway.

This was my first purchase (and so far the only one) regarding maternity clothing. I don’t expect to not buy anything anymore until my due date (in February), but I’m not rushing to the store now to buy a lot of stuff, since I still want to see how much I’m gonna ‘expand’ and what I’ll need to purchase when the time comes.

Am I really ‘bad’ with this? Does it make sense to wait and see what my real needs are and then make the purchases? How much did you spend on maternity clothing?

26 COMMENTS

  1. You and I are about the same size. My jean size is normally 25.

    That’s incredible that you still fit into your jeans. Within weeks of finding out, I couldn’t fit into my jeans any more, but then again my jeans are almost all high to medium waisted.

    I had to cave and buy some J. Brand maternity jeans with side stretchy panels that came underneath the bump and not across my waist. I also bought ONE maternity top with ruching on the sides, 2 tank tops that can cover the bump easily and a pair of leggings with a maternity cover (much needed.. my leggings did NOT fit any more and were painful to sleep in).

    That’s all I’m buying that is “mat wear”. Other purchases include these great stretchy midi-length dresses that I plan on wearing even after pregnancy… not “mat-wear” specific. 🙂

    Whole list can be found here: Tracking the cost of my baby

    • Yeah, I think I’m a little weird. I saw yesterday a woman who was 16 weeks pregnant and she was ‘bigger’ than me. 6 weeks ago my abdomen was almost as flat as usual, we do all have different bodies and ways to carry through pregnancy, that’s clear 😉

      So I’m not the only one who doesn’t rush into the store to buy a brand new wardrobe before really knowing what I’ll actually need.

  2. We’ve recently gone through something similar and my wife had a similar approach. Since we don’t plan on going for a second baby soon, buying pregnancy clothes made little sense. The only thing that she bought were a pair of maternity jeans, some larger sports pants and a special t-shirt. We were lucky enough that her last months of pregnancy were during the summer and she could still wear some of her loose dresses and shirts even though they were, as you say, bumpy 🙂

    And now, three months after giving birth, she’s back at her pre-pregnancy weight even though she gained 33lbs during pregnancy and already wearing all the clothes that she had.

    • That’s great news for her to get back to her previous shape. We’re also not planning to have another baby either (I’m already 35 and I don’t want to risk anything), so I always think about not wasting money on something I’ll probably wear few times, especially as I am working from home.

    • Really great idea. We don’t use Craigslist here, unfortunately, but I do plan on selling what I won’t need anymore after the pregnancy/birth 🙂

  3. Congrats on the upcoming baby! We have a 3 month old. My wife did buy some maternity clothes…don’t really know how much she spent but she did shop the sales and stuff. She’s around the same size as you are and she wasn’t as big as some other pregnant ladies too (some say it depends on whether it’s a boy or girl but that’s probably an old wives tale). We had a boy. And similar to C the Romanian, since my wife gave birth in the summer, didn’t need winter clothes/jackets which would probably be more expensive.

    • I’m having a girl, probably it depends on many factors just as you said. Congratulations on the new born, can’t wait to have our daughter here with us.

    • Yeah, there’s SO MUCH stuff to buy, it’s insane. And we’re mainly talking bare necessities, we don’t splurge on anything that others would consider ‘vital’ for a kid.

  4. Congratulations on the upcoming babe! I understand your hesitation with buying maternity clothing; it’s so expensive! When I was pregnant, I bought pair leggings and a couple of new bras. I didn’t buy “maternity clothing” and spent nine months wearing leggings and dresses (which eventually became tunics as my belly grew).

    I say wait and only buy if needed.

    • Emily, that’s a smart move. I have noticed such clothing is expensive (and can’t understand why) and don’t see the reason to splurge on it as long as I can still find stuff in my closet that fits me. New bras are indeed mandatory, I’ll start looking for them. I still fit in mine, but in 1 month’s time I’ll probably need something new and appropriate for an upcoming mother

  5. Working from home is definitely a big advantage when it comes to sorting out your work clothes in this situation. When my wife was pregnant she bought hardly any new clothes and soon lost the extra weight anyway

    • Yeah, working from home has proved to be a real budget saver. We are saving way more money this way. And by not jumping to buy maternity clothing I’ll probably won’t need, I can make up for all the stuff we have to buy for the baby 😀

  6. Great post! I wasn’t planning on spending a lot on maternity clothes either. My mother in law got so excited that I was pregnant that she went to a thrift store and bought me a ton of stuff. That should be just perfect for me for now! 🙂

  7. Congrats on your pregnancy! I didn’t actually know 🙂 How exciting!

    I have never been pregnant (yet) but my cousins all have kids and they did a lot of mat clothes swapping. Fortunately they are the same size, so it worked for them, but I don’t think it would work for me. I would just try to buy a few staples and then live in dresses!

  8. Working from home is definitely a great advantage in this (as well as other things). I was “stingy” about maternity clothes too. I work outside of the home in an office so most of what I bought was for work. I kept it at a bare minimum (black pants, gray pants, brown pants). I bought a lot of my clothes on Craigslist and at consignment shops. Do you have any consignment shops in your area?

    Good luck! Pregnancy is such an amazing journey.

    • Thank you 😉

      I am lucky enough to also work from home, so I don’t need any office clothing. It’s gonna be easier I think to go through these months and not make such a huge dent in our budget.

  9. Congratulations on your pregnancy! Perhaps you can have an exchange with friends who might have previously been pregnant? I’m the late bloomer of my circle of friends, so if I’m fortunate enough to get pregnant, then I’ll have a whole network of maternity clothes and baby items (in turn, they get some of my clothes or baked goods). 🙂

    • Hello, Anna, thank you for dropping by 🙂

      Our friends were pregnant 5-7 years ago, so I don’t think they have too much stuff left (most already gave it away). But we did get the car seat and the crib, so that we don’t have to pay for them anymore

  10. When I was pregnant I only had a few maternity dress I didn’t buy that much because I know I only used that once. Since I don’t have a work when I was pregnant so I always stayed at home. Good luck to your new chapter of your life I know you are very much excited!

  11. Congrats on your pregnancy! I have a pair of pajamas that I’m saving for the day I someday may get pregnant – they are a super cute print but the elastic in the waist is totally gone so the pants don’t stay on me now but they’ll be perfect if I ever get a pregnant belly. 🙂

    • Thank you for your wishes and welcome to the blog 😉

      Believe me they will come in handy. I purchased a pair of short pants to sleep in back in the summer. Was horrified at how big they were (let’s say I’m an XS usually and these were an L, so big for me). Now they almost fit me perfectly and I still have 3 more months till delivery. Even if I didn’t gain much weight myself, the belly is growing constantly 😀

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