For my readers who may not know, my husband and I are expecting baby number 2 in early September! Since this baby will be born in the exact opposite season as our first, I needed new maternity clothes: summer ones this time. Since two things I am very passionate about are saving money and helping the environment, I found a way to do both while buying myself maternity clothes. I’d love to share my secrets with you so that you too can save money and help the environment. Aaaahhh feels good on both counts, doesn’t it?!
Basic Strategy: Buy Gently Used Clothes
How does buying used clothes save money AND the environment? As you may remember from a previous article I wrote on things you can do to help the environment, it takes over 400 gallons of water to grow the cotton for an ordinary cotton shirt and 1,800 gallons of water for one pair of jeans! The next time you want to buy new clothes, think about how much energy is used to grow the cotton, make the clothes, and transport the clothes. Buying gently-used clothing saves natural resources.
When you purchase gently-used clothing, there is no new energy being used to create them. And another good thing is that all the chemicals that are added to clothing should have been washed out by now!
Where to Buy Gently-Used Maternity Clothes
Let’s face it, used maternity clothing is generally in great condition. After all, it’s only worn for about five months or so. Here are a few ideas for finding gently-used maternity clothing.
1. Borrow From Friends
The cheapest place to get used maternity clothing is to borrow it from friends! I had several people loan me clothing during my first pregnancy and it was a huge help!
2. Garage Sales and Craigslist
The next cheapest places to buy gently-used maternity clothing would be garage sales or on Craigslist. Garage sales may be hit or miss as far as size, style, condition, and selection. But if there are some in your neighborhood, it doesn’t hurt to check them out! The great thing about Craigslist is that you can do a search for a brand name and/or size. It might help you narrow your options down.
3. Resale Stores
My favorite place for buying gently-used maternity clothing has been resale stores, mainly Kid to Kid. Most of the shirts I found were $4-5, shorts were $3-5, and crop pants were maybe $6-7. They have common maternity brands such as Liz Lange, Old Navy, Gap, Motherhood, etc. They also have a great selection of specialty items like nursing shirts, swimming suits, career outfits, special occasion dresses, etc.
While you may not think that paying $15-20 for a pair of new Liz Lange shorts at Target is too expensive, I would much rather spend $3 for a gently-used pair, as I did for the pair I am wearing in the top photo.
You just might be surprised at how many items of clothing you can find that still have their original tags on them. I saw a dressy Pea in the Pod spaghetti strap shirt with its original tags on, showing a price of $90! Kid 2 Kid was selling it for $10. A few weeks later it was still there and now marked down 25%. Yes, you could have bought that $90 brand new shirt for $7.50!
Here are a few clothing resale stores; check for these and others in your area by doing an online search:
- Kid to Kid: They mainly carry clothes, toys, and gear for babies and kids, but also have a decent maternity section.
- Once Upon a Child: Another children’s resale shop that also carries maternity clothes.
- Clothes Mentor: Resale store for all women size 0 to 26 and including maternity.
- Plato’s Closet: Resale store for brand name teen and twenty-something fashion. They do not carry maternity clothes, but see my note below.
Note about Plato’s Closet: Even though they do not carry maternity clothes, I found this a great place to find some shirts to wear during this pregnancy! I just looked for shirts that would accommodate a big belly; some regular shirts do have a style that works well for pregnancy. I found this to be a great way to get some shirts for early pregnancy, when you are too big for your regular clothes but aren’t big enough to fill out the true maternity shirts (unless you want piles of fabric flowing around you). Also, it may help to look for shirts in a size bigger than you normally wear. These shirts may not take you all the way to the end of your pregnancy, but can get you pretty far – and increase your selection of fun shirts!
Check out the pictures of me on this page. Both show me wearing regular shirts I found at Plato’s Closet! I think I paid $4-5 for the brown one and maybe $5-6 for the green one.
4. Seasonal Consignment Sales
My area has several big seasonal children’s consignment sales, usually held twice a year (spring and fall). Divine Consign is a big one in my area and Just Between Friends is a big national franchise. These usually also have a good maternity clothes selection. For these big consignment sales, people can tag and bring their used clothing and gear they want to sell. There are several benefits to this:
- Shoppers find better prices than resale stores.
- The seller/consignor (you) usually gets a better price than if they sold their items to a resale shop. For example, you might get 70% of your sales.
- The variety and quality of items is better than a garage sale.
To find a seasonal children’s consignment sale in your area, check out this website I found that has national listings by state.
For specific, name brand maternity clothes, ebay might be the way to go. This is a good way to get higher-end, expensive brand maternity clothing at a good price.
Any Other Ideas?
Does anyone have any other ideas? If so, please share with us by commenting!
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Wendy – ParentingTips365.com
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