Aug. 28, 2013 at 1:28 PM ET
In family portraits released last week of Price William, Duchess Kate, and newborn Prince George, Kate wore a fuchsia dress from Séraphine Maternity. It sold out within hours of the photos’ publication. At $79, the dress was tantalizingly accessible for commoners, who can’t go through pregnancy in custom-made Jenny Packham. But some might consider the price still too high for a piece that will fit for only a few months.
In a new buying guide, Cheapism.com recommends a few places to shop based on consumer and expert feedback online. Expectant mothers can find comfortable, casual style for under $40.
Old Navy (T-shirts starting at $10/jeans starting at $20) doesn’t carry maternity clothes in all its stores but peddles an extensive collection online with true-to-size fit, timely delivery, and hassle-free returns, according to reviews. Shoppers snap up trendy pieces on the cheap and appreciatively note that the jeans retain their shape after wearing and washing. The ample selection extends to outerwear, activewear, and even swimsuits.
Motherhood Maternity (T-shirts starting at $13/jeans starting at $20) stands out for its enormous inventory, including more than 100 jean styles and washes. The selection spans from skinny jeans to wide leg and from stretchy side panels to a patented design that covers the entire belly. Customers report that many of the garments take them all the way through pregnancy and beyond.
Target (T-shirts starting at $10/jeans starting at $25) has a licensing deal with Liz Lange Maternity, whose basic V-neck tee has become a staple for many women. They buy it in multiple colors and take to the reviews section of the website to laud the thick fabric, which doesn’t let bras or belly bands show through. The selection here is a bit more limited but long on comfort and value.
Checklists like this one from BabyCenter can help you choose versatile pieces to get you through pregnancy in as few clothing purchases as possible. Start by shopping in your own closet. Zero in on elastic waistbands, low-slung leggings, cardigans and blazers that can go unbuttoned, and jersey tops and other knits that will stretch as your belly grows. See what you can find on your partner’s side as well. If she’s a woman, does she wear a larger size than you? A man’s button-down can be worn with rolled-up sleeves and feminine accessories and a husband or boyfriend’s T-shirt always makes for comfy pajamas.
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Another tried-and-true source of fashionable maternity clothing: consignment stores. For the best quality, shop in affluent neighborhoods, where new mothers may have shed entire wardrobes of designer clothes along with their pregnancy pounds. And, of course, ask friends who have preceded you in parenthood if they have piles of maternity clothes sitting dormant somewhere. If you’ve got a pile of your own, organize a clothing swap. Women expecting winter babies can dispose of summer items they won’t be using and moms who now stay home with their kids may offer up chic work clothes.
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