by Julie Snyder
The one thing you can depend on during pregnancy is change, especially changes to your body.
By the fourth or fifth month, you may need to shop for a whole new wardrobe. From lingerie to a warm coat and everything in-between, your changing body will dictate what's necessary!
So how you can pick up these items before your belly pops out without bursting your budget?
You can use these wallet-saving tips for buying and wearing maternity clothes for winter or any season!
• Expand your wardrobe when you begin to show
• Buy basic items to combine with things you already own
• Layer t-shirts and simple tops with a jacket or sweater
• Mix-and-match pants or jeans in basic colors
Never underestimate the sisterhood! Once friends learn that you're pregnant, you may be pleasantly surprised with offers of gently used clothing. If not, don't be shy about seeking hand-me-downs. If you have some girlfriends who are already moms, ask them if they'd be willing to loan you their maternity clothes.
Do you not see the point in spending money on clothes that will only get a few months wear at most? Trade your old regular or maternity clothes for someone else's. That Urban Ruched maternity dress you never want to see again is just begging to become that Urban Ruched maternity dress some other pregnant lady will happily wear for months...and then never want to see again.
When your baby arrives, have another mini clothing swap session. Your friends may have a few favorites that perfect for your new mommy shape.
No matter when you're due, pregnancy is just long enough that you'll find at least one great sale. If you found out you were pregnant in the spring and start checking out the sale racks -- in your local stores and online. You're likely to find some great deals on winter clothes from last season.
Compare prices and you'll find fabulous deals on trendy clothes by shopping online. Check out stores like DueMaternity.com, APeainthePod.com, Motherhoodmaternity.com, OldNavy.com and SierraMaternity.com.
Local thrift and consignment stores: It takes patience and the time to sift through the racks, but you're liable to find real diamonds in the rough at costume jewelry prices.
Online auctions: At sites like eBay or Craigslist, you'll find clothes in a variety of conditions, including new with tags, new without tags, or used. Maternity clothes have been worn just a few times, so buying used can be a good deal. Look for a seller with similar style and size who’s cleaning out her maternity stash, buy several items and save on shipping.
Pre-owned maternity -- online: Pre-owned maternity wear continues to grow in popularity. Whether you're on a budget or simply appreciate saving big bucks on your temporary wardrobe, you can find a site to meet your needs. Some sell outright like Nine Little Months and Maternity Resale Dress for Less. Maternity consignment shops include Encore Maternity and Second Peek Maternity Boutique.
That's right, you can rent maternity clothes. If you need a suit for a month or an outfit for special occasion, you might prefer to rent one. Monthly prices range from about $15 to $35 per piece, depending on where you rent the clothing.
Check your husband's corner of the closet for items that you could borrow for a few months. His sweatpants could be perfect for lounging around on Sunday afternoon and his big T-shirts can accommodate your growing belly.
How have you cut the costs? Others on a budget will appreciate your money-saving tips for buying a winter maternity wardrobe.
Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.