Maternity Clothes

Women spend an average of £119.61 on maternity clothes in 2014

You can save a fortune with savvy shopping and making the most out of your existing wardrobe

High street chains and even supermarkets now do some great value ranges and you can bag some great bargains

 

Need to know

  • Few people make it through an entire pregnancy (and beyond – unfortunately, you will not be back in your skinny jeans the day after birth) without some sort of maternity wear. However a couple of cheap long vest tops and a bump band to cover an expanding waistline may get you through for a while. You can get these for £5-£10 on amazon
  • Don’t forget to ask around as you’ll probably have lots of friends willing to lend you their old maternity gear
  • It is worth spending a bit of time working out what you can get away with from your current wardrobe (long or floaty tops, cardigans, your partners pyjamas etc) and then see what you need to cover the basics
  • The essentials you’ll need are: leggings or jeggings, a pair of jeans, a dress, two tops, two vest tops, a bump belt and a couple of non-wired, supportive bras (this last one is important – don’t try to do without). We did a combined shop for these at Asda and H&M and got the lot for just £77!
  • Maternity clothes sell very well on the second hand market so see what you can pick up ‘nearly new’ – a lot of it has only been worn a handful of times so these sites and sales can be good for ad hoc items such as winter coats or pregnancy swimwear
  • If you want to invest in some of the more designer ranges – go for key pieces that you’ll wear a lot. You can bag some real bargains if you sign up to secret sale sites or follow the brands you like on Facebook and Twitter to hear about codes and sales
  • You can often sell higher end labels later on for a great return. We know of people who have re-couped two thirds of the cost 
  • For a one off occasion such as a cocktail party or even your own wedding, if you can’t borrow them then consider hiring
 

Sales and Outlet sites

Funky Bump Maternity


Why we like it:

  • ‘one stop shop’- can compare different brands
  • takes you directly to the retailer so you never pay more
  • sometimes benefit from exclusive discounts
  • can search specifically in your price range

Watch out:

  • different store's postage rates will apply

Mothercare Outlet


Why we like it:

  • save 50% and more on Mothercare maternity wear
  • maternity bras and pyjamas available
  • maternity dresses, t-shirts, skirts and trousers also available
  • outlet will change offer frequently
  • free click and collect

Watch out:

  • limited options
  • not all sizes available
  • £3.95 delivery if you spend under £50

Seraphine Outlet


Why we like it:

  • maternity outlet
  • up to 50% off
  • high quality stylish clothing
  • as worn by celebs
  • some REALLY beautiful summer and cocktail dresses on sale
  • high resale value
  • free UK returns

Watch out:

  • most items still £25+
  • not a huge range or reduced clothing
  • not all sizes available on certain items
  • delivery £4.95
  • while stocks last

Zulily


Why we like it:

  • secret sales site
  • brilliant branded flash sales that begin daily at 6am and last for just 24 – 72 hours
  • free Delivery
  • great app
  • gorgeously tempting babywear too

Watch out:

  • you have to be quick – stock of popular lines/sizes sell out fast
  • gorgeously tempting baby wear too

Nearly new and auction sites

ebay


Why we like it:

  • the CHEAPEST option depending on what's listed
  • literally thousands of items available
  • refine your search according to size, condition etc
  • look out of ‘clothing bundles’ which could work out cheaper
  • good for out of season items

Watch out:

  • private sellers don't always offer returns
  • check the seller has a good rating

Maternity Exchange


Why we like it:

  • UK's largest maternity clothes dress agency and clearance outlet
  • save 50-90% off thousands of nearly new and second hand clothes
  • ‘no quibble returns policy’
  • a great option for out of season clothing

Watch out:

  • postage / packaging / insurance charges – start at £2.50 for 1st item
  • you have to pay the postage to return an item

NCT


Why we like it:

  • a brilliant range and choice of items at rock bottom prices
  • you don’t have to be an NCT member to go to the sales

Watch out:

  • can't buy online have to go to your local sale
  • can get VERY crowded– get there early

High Street & Supermarkets - for the basics

New Look's maternity range


Why we like it:

  • great prices – great choice
  • GREAT sale with prices as low as £2!!!
  • free delivery over £45
  • free returns

Watch out:

  • will also have sale items in high street store
  • £3.99 delivery under £45

ASDA George


Why we like it:

  • great for basics
  • bargain prices
  • Free click and collect

Watch out:

  • not a great deal of choice
  • £2.95 standard delivery

H&M


Why we like it:

  • high fashion, low prices
  • free returns
  • Sign up to the newsletter and get 25% off one item

Watch out:

  • delivery - £3.90
  • Not a lot of choice

asos


Why we like it:

  • on trend range
  • really good sales
  • free delivery and returns
  • can do returns at your local newsagent
  • will match the price of a branded item if you find it cheaper elsewhere
  • also has a 'marketplace' where you can buy and sell second hand clothes

Watch out:

  • online store only

Matalan


Why we like it:

  • Good for the basics
  • Free click and collect

Watch out:

  • delivery - £3.95
  • return costs have to be paid for unless you can get to a store
  • Tiny range

Hiring for special occasions

Girl Meets Dress


Why we like it:

  • Huge range of designer dresses for any occasion
  • Designers include Stella McCartney, Victoria Beckham, Marc Jacobs and Alexander McQueen
  • You can order 3 dresses to try on and keep your favourite
  • No need to worry about dry cleaning, it's all taken care of!

Watch out:

  • You might become too attached to your dress and end up spending hundreds!
  • There is a limited maternity range
  • Delivery is £9.95 but that includes returns

Hire Expectations


Why we like it:

  • great range of dresses to hire for 5 or 10 days
  • option to include a free back up size, just in case
  • returns are made easy

Watch out:

  • must hire for 5 or 10 days
  • NEVER iron or clean the garment before returning
  • £9.95 delivery

Get to know the jargon

  • Under the bump – sits just below your bump.
  • Under the bump with side panels - sits under the bump but elasticated side panels allow size adjustments
  • Over the bump – these usually have a soft jersey panel that you pull over your bump and can sometimes fold over wherever it’s comfortable.
 

The inside track

  • Check out the ‘Tall’ ranges many high street retailers offer. The extra long tops can accommodate the bump on otherwise smaller women and the prices aren’t hiked up
  • Try to buy maternity wear every few weeks to accommodate your changing shape, rather than all in one go and finding it doesn’t fit a couple of months later
  • Girl Meets Dress have a range suitable for everyone during pregnancy
  • Use your pre-pregnancy size as a guide (i.e. if you are usually a 12, a 12 in a pregnancy range should be about right if you’re one of the lucky ones – ha ha!). But it varies considerably between brands so when you find one that ‘fits’ – particularly when it comes to trousers/jeans – stick with it
  • Most online companies offer free returns - essential if you aren't sure of your size
  • Re-coup some of the money you spend by re-selling the clothes afterwards. The better the brand – the better the return. Isabella Oliver, Seraphine and Tiffany Rose are good ones to ‘invest’ in

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