Jane is 15 weeks pregnant with baby #3. “I loaned all of my maternity clothes to a good friend in the summer,” she writes, “and she’s due in about 3-4 weeks. I’m at the point where I can’t use the belly band much longer because my regular jeans are starting to feel uncomfortable everywhere, not just in the waist/hip area that I can’t button or zip. I can do without tops for now…I borrowed some from another friend, and I can make do with my cardigans to cover up the bump that is slowly emerging.
But I feel very strongly about having one good pair of jeans. I think I have two in my stash (on loan to the girlfriend), and I love them both. But alas, I don’t have them. Should I just stick it out until she has her baby or should I bite the bullet and buy a new pair? I tried a pair of full-panel maternity boot-cuts at GAP maternity, and I gasped — they looked so amazing and felt soooooo comfortable. But it was about $70 at the store. Right now, as I am typing this email, there is an online promotion for 40% off your purchase, and the jeans would be just under $40. that’s still a lot of money to me, ESPECIALLY for one item of maternity wear.
“What should I do? Any other cheap/free alternatives come to mind?”
Maternity clothes can seem like a crazy investment; we buy them knowing that we’re only going to wear them for a short time and then they will be totally useless until we get pregnant again. The temptation to scrimp on maternity wear is hard to resist, but every mama need a few good pieces in your closet to get her through.
Jane should bite the bullet and buy the jeans, for a couple of reasons. The first is practical: she doesn’t have any jeans that fit just now, and with two other littles at home, she needs at least one great pair of jeans to wear around every day. She can dress them up or down and pair them with non-maternity pieces to get her through this part of her pregnancy, which means that she can wear them anywhere.
Jane has two other pairs of maternity jeans that she likes, but until her friend has that baby (and stops wearing the maternity clothes) she can’t get them back. And honestly, it could be months before those jeans make their way back to Jane’s house. This is one of the dangers of loaning out your maternity clothes when you’re still in the baby-making years: you may find yourself wishing you had that big box of clothes back again. While Jane waits for her friend to be done with her clothes, she should snap up one new pair of jeans to get her through, rather than making due with pants that don’t fit properly or with cheaper jeans that won’t wear as well.
And then there’s the issue of fit. Every pregnancy is different, and what fit you the last time around may not fit this time around. I always found that this was particularly true with pants; I had pants that I wore all the time when I was pregnant with my first son that totally did not fit with #2. It’s possible that Jane will get her maternity jeans back from her friend only to find that they’re not as comfy as the pair she tried on at the Gap. Or that they’re looking a little worn from so many launderings. Investing in one new pair of jeans guarantees that Jane will have that perfect pair as her go-to for this pregnancy.
Finally, let’s talk about price. Jane is clearly a careful shopper, and she’s weighing her options here. But she should keep in mind that $40 for well-made maternity jeans that really fit and flatter her is a total steal. Heck, $40 for great non-maternity jeans is a steal! And as much as she’s going to wear these, they’re worth the money, even if it does feel like a splurge. Jane has nearly six more months of her pregnancy to go; she’s going to get her money’s worth out of these jeans in that time (plus however many weeks she wears them after the baby comes). Totally worth while.
What did you splurge on when you were pregnant? Or were you a borrower/bargain shopper? What tips do you have for Jane for staying chic on a budget while she waits for her baby?
Photo via Gap