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Krista: This is Secret Mom Hacks episode number seven. My name is Krista and I am your host. In today's podcast, we are covering maternity and postpartum clothes and accessories on a budget. Now, you could easily spend as little or as much as you want on these things from pants, tops, and dresses to bras, in particular nursing bras, and pajamas.

But I'm going to give you the scoop on how I spent as little as possible on these clothes and where I got them. So this episode is definitely for the mom on a budget. If you're all about frugality like I am, then you are really gonna benefit from this episode. I am someone who enjoys fashion. I appreciate nice clothes.

I definitely believe in investing in my wardrobe and in my clothing when it comes to something like maternity wear for me now, every mama is different. Just like every woman is different. We are all different ladies, but when it came to maternity wear for me, I just wanted to be comfortable. I did wanna look fashionable for sure, but I wanted to look comfortable.

I knew that these clothes were not going to be something that I was going to wear forever. So for me, it was important to be comfortable, to feel good in my clothes, to not feel super restricted, which is what we know happens as our bellies get bigger. So as I was out and about looking at different clothing options for myself, I have to admit I was a little shell-shocked by price tags as I started looking at, at maternity wear.

So if that sounds like you or could be you, I definitely hope you will stay tuned and continue listening on into this episode, I think I'm gonna unpack some ideas and tips and resources that you are going to find helpful. Before we get into all of that, I just wanna say thank you for tuning in. Mama. As of this recording, I am chasing around a four-and-a-half-year-old that no amount of Googling, mom groups, what to expect when you're expecting books, videos, et cetera. Were able to prepare me for, there's a lot of stuff people don't talk about when it comes to pre-pregnancy, during pregnancy and postpartum, and as someone who was previously terrified of in particular childbirth, but also parenthood and all that follows.

I am here to help you pull back the curtain on all of it, and every now and then it may get a little messy. We may share a little TMI, but that's why you're here, right? My goal is that you will leave every episode feeling refreshed, inspired, and hopeful knowing you are not on this mom journey alone.

Now, we have a lot of subject matter to cover when it comes to mom life, and we are covering it all. So let's get into it. The best place to start really is our existing wardrobe. So pop open that closet, pull out those drawers, be evaluating the pieces that you have, and also be thinking ahead to. What the next season is that we are moving into.

So for example, you may need to go back and listen to my pregnancy story. My birth story for my little one, I didn't find out I was pregnant until I was about 20, 22 ish weeks along. So that first trimester, I just skated by. And I thought I was just gaining weight from the holidays, so that first trimester didn't really have to worry much about anything.

It was wintertime. I was already kind of wearing bigger boxier clothes, if you will, sweaters, for example. So I did notice that my pants were getting a little tighter, and like I said, I thought it was just the holiday season. And going into the new year that I had just eaten a little too much over Thanksgiving and Christmas in the New Year's.

Silly me. No, I was pregnant. So once I found out I was pregnant, I was actually moving into warmer months, so spring and summer. My daughter was born in the summer. She has a July birthday. So as our bellies are growing, we are looking for clothing that's just gonna help us be comfortable and just to accommodate that expanding belly, right?

So be thinking about what types of pieces you already own in your drawers, in your closet that is going to help with that. Do you have some flowy dresses? Do you have some nightgowns, maybe you know, pajamas that are like super stretchy, not skin tight, that you're gonna be able to be comfortable in?

when it comes to jeans, one of the tricks I learned, I think I saw this either on YouTube or maybe it was on another mommy blog, so for my jeans, I would wear like button up zip up and button jeans. So to help with that expanding belly. Now, this is not something you'd be able to wear a cropped shirt with, so you would wanna wear a top that's a little flowier and again, that's gonna cover your waistline and, and your behind and, and all of that so that this does not show.

But a little trick that I learned to just help continue wearing your existing jeans or button up pants was to take a hair tie. A little elastic hair tie and put it over the button and then the button at the top of your jeans or your pants, and then to thread the other side of that hair tie through the button hole.

Okay? So just Google hair tie hack for pregnancy jeans or something like that. Pregnant hair tie hack jeans, some, some version of that. And I'm sure you will find a YouTube video to actually explain what I am describing to show you how to do it. But it was super simple. I think that probably got me like another two months worth of wear out of my jeans and pants in particular.

But again, this was March, AP February, March, April-ish. It was still cool outside. You're carrying another human so you wanna be comfortable, you do not wanna get overheated, you don't wanna get hot.

So as I started to progress further in my pregnancy, I was looking for shorts and I was looking for dresses and tank tops that were a little more flowy. And I certainly wanted to find some pant options that I could continue wearing on through the duration of my pregnancy as well.

So that hair tie hack really helped in the beginning. But, as I was pulling out pieces from my closet, I had a very small fraction of items of clothing that I thought would help me as I continued on towards my due date. But beyond that, I knew I was gonna need some other things because I have a shorter stature.

I'm about five two. And I tend to not wear a ton of big boxy, oversized things because having a smaller frame, it does tend to make me look bigger than I am. So it was really important to me to find some maternity wear options that would be comfortable that I could wear throughout the entire rest of the pregnancy. And too, that were not going to break the bank.

So some of the places that I wanna tell you about, That were great resources for me for finding maternity wear are some that you may not think of. You know when you find out you're pregnant and you start looking out at the different maternity options. I'm not gonna name any particular company names or brands because I think they're all great companies.

It's just my own taste in particular. I just have a real issue spending the same amount of money on a pair of maternity pants as what I would spend on just a normal, everyday pair of jeans that I would wear when I'm not pregnant. Same for tops and everything like that. I just, I don't believe in paying that premium.

Because I've found these options, I know there's other options out there that are less costly for us, frugal mamas that don't feel like you're about to spend your entire paycheck just to buy a couple of tops and maybe a dresser or two. And a few pairs of shorts and pants that are gonna help you feel more comfortable moving about your day.

So I have four places I want to tell you about for finding quality, inexpensive pieces to build out your maternity and pregnancy. Wardrobe. So the first place that was super helpful for me for a handful of pieces was Goodwill. Okay. I'm sure there are perhaps some other thrift stores that would do the job as well, but for me, Goodwill is very accessible.

We have several here in my area that are easy to get to, and I was able to find a handful of core staples for my maternity wardrobe. I found, and I'm talking brand names that I was able to find at Goodwill that would have been 10 times the price of what I ended up paying for them at Goodwill. So I picked up a super cute little. Comfy, like tank top nightgown. That was actually from Gap. It was a A Gap brand. I picked that up for just a few bucks. I managed to find several tank tops that were just every day workout, casual, kick around the house tops from Goodwill. Again, great brands at a fraction of the price. I managed to find several like nice professional tops as well. Some spring professional staple pieces at Goodwill for just a few bucks. Brand names like Ann Taylor and Loft.

Now were a lot of these pieces that I found at Goodwill, were they actually made to be maternity pieces? No, they were not. My trick was that I just shopped in a different section for sizing, so I just ended up doing a size or two up.

So whatever my normal size is, I avoided that section because obviously those were gonna be my normal non-pregnancy sizes.

So I just focused on finding pieces in that other section of sizing that size up from my normal size so that I could find pieces that would work. And again, I'm thinking I spent, it was probably about $20 and I ended up getting about six or seven pieces for my maternity wardrobe to only spend 20 bucks.

You'd be lucky to walk into some of these other shops. If you're buying something full retail price, you would spend more than $20. You would spend triple that on a full retail, one piece of clothing at full retail price, um, when it comes to maternity wear. So goodwill can be such a treasure trove of maternity finds. You just have no idea. And I think I did find one or two pieces of actual maternity wear there. In fact, I'm remembering it now. It was this black dress, it was gap maternity. It was this black rap dress that was super cute. And in fact, it's, it's so cute. I continue to wear it as part of my summer staples, beyond being pregnant because it's so cute, it does not look like maternity wear, but because it's a wrap style dress, it can expand with your midsection expand or not, which is really, really nice. So you just never know what you're gonna find at a great thrift store.

I can't rave enough about goodwill, so I encourage you to check that out. But check out whatever thrift store is in your area. I know some people might turn their nose up at shopping at a thrift store. But I love a good find. I love a good bargain. And so for me, it's goodwill. For you, it may be somewhere else but definitely check your area.

Look for those consignment stores, those gently used sales. Because this is just for a period of time, so yes do I believe in investing in my wardrobe? 100%. But if it's a piece of clothing that I'm likely only going to wear, for a short period of time, and hey, if there is another baby that comes along, that's great.

I will have those pieces for the future. But that's not something that is a forever piece in my wardrobe if you will. So Goodwill or whatever thrift store or consignment store you might have in your area. Definitely recommend checking that out for maternity wear.

My second place that I highly recommend is Ross. Now, I don't know if you have Ross in your area. I can't remember what parent company owns Ross, but in a lot of places here in Tennessee, it tends to be often near a Marshall's or a TJ Maxx, or Home Goods, et cetera. You often find Ross stores kind of near those, and it's very similar to those types of stores.

Now not every Ross will have a maternity section. Living here in Middle Tennessee, I just wanna give you an example. So we live just outside of Nashville, and I went to the Nashville Ross because a friend told me to check out Ross for their maternity wear. I walked into this Ross, I scoured the floor, could not find any maternity clothing. Now they did have a section, they had a rack that had a maternity sign on it indicating that there should have been maternity wear there. I asked a sales associate Hey, where are your maternity clothes? For whatever reason. The prior month or two, that store stopped carrying maternity clothes. So I don't know if just, maybe they weren't selling very many, maybe that's why, but I was so disappointed they didn't have anything.

So I left feeling a little defeated and I thought, well, I know there's more Ross stores. And my friend, she was telling me about how she had gotten nearly all of her maternity wear at Ross. So I thought, well, I know there are a few others in the area. I'm gonna check a few out. So I drove to another little area outside of Nashville called Spring Hill, and turns out they did have a maternity section.

Now theirs was very small. They had some jeans, they had some shorts. They had a couple of simple maternity tops, but it was better than nothing. I'm wanting to say I bought a pair of shorts, a pair of jeans and a maternity t-shirt.

Y'all. These prices were phenomenal. I'm wanting to say the shorts were about $5. The pants were like 8.99, and the top was also like five or $6, something like that. So once again, I got out of there for less than $20 for these three brand-new pieces.

So they were retail, but Ross always has good deals. You go into just about any other store that specializes in maternity wear, you're gonna spend significantly more than that than what I spent at Ross, on a pair of jeans, on a pair of shorts, and on a t-shirt.

So, I was happy that at least at that Ross, I found something. I found a few things. But this is still nothing like what my friend was telling me about. So I went to another Ross store. So this Ross was actually in Clarksville, Tennessee.

And that my friends is where I hit the jackpot. That Clarksville Ross had huge racks of maternity wear. They had dresses, they had sweaters, they had tank tops, they had t-shirts, they had shorts, they had skirts.

They had jeans, pants. I mean, I spent about a hundred bucks at that Ross, and I got four or five pairs of jeans, like three pairs of nice dress pants, four or five pairs of shorts, several. T-shirts, several nice tank tops. I got like two dresses, y'all for a hundred bucks. I got so many nice pieces of maternity wear.

I don't know if Ross is in your area or not. Wherever you're listening from, I hope it is. So definitely recommend checking out Ross. It can be feast or famine. You just never know, but I hope you have a Ross.

I cannot speak highly enough for the great, great pieces that I picked up at Ross. And while we are talking about Ross, walking into Ross was really the first time I had tried on any maternity jeans or maternity pants. And if you, especially if you've just been wearing your normal jeans and if you're doing this hair tie trick that I told you about, As your belly is growing and you finally put on that pair of maternity pants, maternity jeans, shorts, whatever it is, you are just going to breathe a sigh of relief as you put this piece of clothing on because.

It's just so comfortable. The maternity clothing, as your belly is expanding, oh my goodness. You finally feel secure in your clothes. You feel like, okay, my belly is being wrapped in these pants, and you just feel, you just feel significantly more comfortable. So I also have to attribute my maternity pants to now my love of high wasted pants.

So I wear high wasted leggings, jeans, pants, all of that. For the longest time, I don't know about you, but back in high school and college, I was all about mid-rise, the low-rise jeans, low-rise pants. I don't know how I did that. Now, being the age that I am and being on the other side of having a baby, all I want is for my tummy to just be covered and feel comfortable, and feel secure.

And so I attribute all of my great maternity pants to now my love of high wasted pants. So just be aware this could happen to you if you love your low-rise, your mid-rise clothing. Be prepared. You might develop a love of high-rise clothing on the other side of this and there is nothing wrong with that.

So, so anyway, definitely check out Ross, if you have not already. Okay. The third place I want to tell you about is Target. Target's maternity section is awesome. Now I say it is awesome. It was awesome. Hopefully it still is awesome. Bear in mind I have a four and a half year old now, so it's been like five years since I have actually been shopping in a maternity section.

I would imagine things have only gotten better cuter. There are, should be, I would think, more options for you in today's maternity sections. I'm such a huge fan of Target, so I'd have to imagine their maternity section is still just as awesome today as it was then.

There were three things in particular from Target that I really liked. That was their jeans, their shorts, and their tops. So the jeans and the shorts were super cute, very stylish. Had different washes. They had light wash, they had dark wash. They had some that were just very unaltered, just nice, like professional jeans that you could wear to work or whatever.

But then they also had some that were a little more distressed, with rips or holes. And depending on where you work, you may or may not be able to get away with that. And same with their shorts. They had really cute, cut off shorts and they also had really comfortable tops.

The tops I found were actually very similar to some of the ones I was able to get at Ross as well. Now I will say, The price on the pants and the jeans at Target, that was more than what I was paying for the pants and the jeans at Ross, because again, I was walking away from Ross with like seven, eight, maybe $10 jeans. From Target. They were closer to that, like 20 to $30 mark. And again, this was five years ago. So I feel like everything, all prices have gone up all around. So, you might be spending closer to 30 or $40 for a pair of maternity jeans from Target.

Like I said, they were between about 20 and $30. Now, I bought most of my jeans and pants from Ross, but there were some that I just thought were so cute from Target. I had to get a few pairs from there as well. So highly recommend Target as well for your maternity wear. Staples.

Okay. And the fourth and final place I'm going to share with you is Amazon, which probably comes as no surprise to you because if you're anything like me, you may receive packages on a near daily basis to your home at least multiple times a week, especially during the pandemic it seemed like I ordered everything from Amazon, but looking back to the time of my pregnancy, just having comfortable tops and dresses definitely was a priority for me because my dresses were a little tighter, a little more form-fitting. My tops, t-shirts and my workwear, they just weren't accommodating as my body was changing. So there were really three different things that I ordered from Amazon that I loved in terms of maternity wear.

So the first thing was a three-quarter sleeve tunic top. So it was this loose fit t-shirt material top. I'm not sure how to pronounce the brand of this shirt, but I'm going to link it in the show notes.

But this was a top that I definitely ordered in several different colors just because it was so comfortable. It was super cute with jeans, it was cute with leggings.

I had it in gray, white, black, probably a handful of other colors too, and it was just a great transitional piece going from spring to summer, you could put a little scarf with it. You could put a light vest over it, a jean jacket, whatever. And it was just super cute and fashionable. So that will be linked in the show notes.

The second item that I loved from Amazon was another three-quarter length sleeve item, but this was actually a t-shirt dress. Very comfortable. Same material as your favorite t-shirt. And this was kind of the same version as the top I just mentioned, only in a dress form.

So I love this dress and it was the perfect dress because going into the summer, it was exactly what I needed. Just a nice transitional piece because you could. Layer with it. You could put leggings on under it, you could put a jacket over it, or you could just wear the dress as is and throw on some cute sandals or even some little white sneakers, and it just looks super cute.

So the brand of that dress is called, I don't know if I'm pronouncing it right, but it looks like it's called JollieLovin. I will also link to that one in the show notes. and then the third item that I ordered from Amazon. Now again, this may seem kind of silly that I was ordering this at this point in time, but as we're talking about our changing bodies and just helping to stay comfortable, as our bodies are growing, it's not just the belly, it is our breasts too. And so, as the upper area of my body was, but was growing as well, my brass were not fitting and it was getting to the point where, they were just tender and wearing my normal, especially my underwire bras were super uncomfortable.

So I went on and actually went ahead and bought nursing bras even though I was still pregnant. I wasn't nursing yet. So there is a brand of nursing bras from Amazon. You could get a three-pack. And I actually just rechecked the price. So as of March, 2023 on Amazon this three-pack of maternity bras is $30, so that's 10 bucks a pop for each bra. Not bad at all, and these bras are so comfortable. I loved wearing them during my pregnancy. And then it was great because I did end up nursing my daughter, and so this is a bra that I was able to continue wearing for another 12, 18 months or however long.

So highly recommend this brand. It's called I Love Sia. It's a three-pack nursing seamless maternity bra. You will not regret making this purchase, so definitely check those out.

So that's it, mama. Those are my tips for getting the best bang for your buck when it comes to your pregnancy and maternity wear. I hope these tips and resources helped you. I have linked to several of these items in the show notes, so you can just go check them out directly on Amazon on your own.

Obviously, I can't link to things at Goodwill because their inventory is changing all the time, nor can I do it at Ross. Every store is different and they don't really offer shopping online. But I will link to several of the target maternity items that I loved, as well as the Amazon items that I mentioned too.

So thank you so much for spending time with me today. Before I wrap, I just want to share a quick reminder. It's really hard to take care of those you love if you're not taking care of yourself. So, mama, this is just that gentle reminder to stay hydrated, make time for a quick walk around your office, your home, wherever.

Whether that's five minutes, 10 minutes. That is phenomenal. Anything is better than nothing. We've got to get out, get our bodies moving. Also, don't forget to wash your face. So many of us are guilty of just going right to bed, right at the end of the day. We've worked hard. We're just ready to crawl beneath those sheets. But mama, don't forget to wash your face.

Put on a great overnight moisturizer before you slip into bed. And don't forget that sunscreen in the morning. Your skin is going to. Thank you. Okay, I really appreciate you spending some time with me today. If you enjoyed today's episode, please subscribe. If you haven't already, give me a five star rating and leave a review sharing your favorite takeaway so far. Also, make sure you stop by secret mom, where you can find transcripts, resources, and more. All right. Stay tuned for next week's episode. I am working on it right now. And until then, you've got this mama.


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