I went to Red Racks on Sunday (in Lee’s Summit, MO), and made the most out of my purchase by sticking to their 50 cent sunday sticker promotion. This week it included orange tags, and, as you can see, I actually stuck to my guns!
What I really needed was maternity clothing, but their selection was pretty scant to begin with, and nothing had orange tags. When this happens, I start looking throughout all the racks in the women’s clothing section. First, because I usually find a few Maternity items mistakenly mixed in with the L, XL, and XXL sizes. And second, because I then have the opportunity to evaluate regular clothing for maternity repurposing.
I have a few rules for what to look for when it comes to making maternity clothes out of non-maternity clothing. Rule #1: a flowy, open junior dress makes the perfect third trimester top, not unlike the one below. I prefer to choose ones with an empire waist so I can emphasize my bump and feel a little less like an elephant.
But as you can see, this is not an orange sticker. It’s Red (their summer promotion color, which won’t go on sale until the fall). So the $9.48 on the tag is exactly what you will pay, and I feel it’s too much. Too bad, though. In addition to the empire waist, the rest of the
decidedly short dress has just enough material to cover a large bump like mine up until my delivery.
Rule#2: Smocked elastic tube tops, tube dresses, and elastic skirts also second as maternity tops, and maternity skirts. Smocked outfits like this are very figure forgiving, and will “grow” with you. I would have purchased this one if it had not been for the red tag. Priced at $4.48, it was still more than I wanted to pay for something I will never wear again (this green is just not my color).
Rule #3: Side Rouching in XL. This shirt I did buy. It may be large, but that rouching allows for the top to grow with around the waist, and still cover the bump in style. I think I will be able to wear it for about two months before it’s too small, and without looking like I had reached a point of desperation that wearing other XL non-maternity shirts will definitely emphasize.
Rule #4: when in doubt, pair a large crop top with a stretchy spaghetti strap tank top. I have several tanks already, and I’ve tried wearing them, but I feel
very unsexy overly exposed. This crop top is the perfect solution-even if it does make me look like something from a jazzercise video.
And, finally, Rule #5: Stretchy dresses. They didn’t have any good examples of this at the thrift store, but I do have one in my closet that I was, quite frankly, too lazy to pull out. Again, choose one that sports an empire waist and you won’t have any problem with random strangers questioning whether you are pregnant, or if you’ve just put on a lot of extra weight.
I decided to purchased the tops in the last two pictures, since they only cost me $1.00 altogether, and they have excellent postpartum applications. Both can easily second as breastfeeding tops. I love the idea of a wearable nursing cover, but all the ones I have are extremely tacky, IMO. This one, I feel, is still stylish enough to wear outside my house without screaming “Yes, I AM a breastfeeding mom!”
So how do you shop for maternity clothes? Do you buy brand new, when you need it? Do you plan ahead and purchase clearance items? How do you maximize your maternity wardrobe without breaking the budget? I’d love to hear what you have to say!