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A Guide To Maternity Clothes Shopping

I always enjoyed shopping for clothes, and when I was pregnant with my first child, I was overjoyed not just by the new life growing inside me, but also by the opportunity to replace my entire wardrobe! However, I was quickly overwhelmed by both the expense and the challenge to find clothes that reflected my personal style. After two pregnancies (one while working an office job and the second as a stay-at-home mom), I picked up some great tips and shopping spots along the way! By Carolyn Pravda.

The Basic Steps

1. Ask your friends, relatives and colleagues for loaners.

This is one of the best sources for maternity clothes! Find that stylish mommy friend with young kids, and you can bet she has a box full of maternity clothes that she would be willing to loan. Keep in mind, what goes around, comes around – make sure to take proper care of borrowed clothes and save the clothes you buy to pass on.

2. Check out consignments stores.

In recent years, maternity consignment stores are popping up all over the place. It's a brilliant idea because maternity clothes are only worn for a few months so rarely wear out (in fact, they are more likely to fall out of fashion!). Frequently, moms-to-be can find deals at more than 50% off on high end boutique clothes from brands they wore pre-baby.

3. Don't forget the big box stores.

Gap, Old Navy and Target are great places to shop for basics and even some chic, affordable options. Target almost always has a maternity section in their stores. Shopping at Gap and Old Navy might be better off done online for best selection.

4. Visit the small boutiques for personalized advice & special occasions.

Nothing beats the face-to-face advice of a small boutique maternity store. They usually have tummy pads that let you get an idea of what you will look like as your midsection expands and will help you find outfits that fit your style and shape. These shops are really great if you have a wedding or an important event that requires the perfect thing to wear.

Where To Shop

H & M

435 7th Avenue
New York, NY 10001
(212) 643-6955
This is perfect for hip, fun, inexpensive clothes. Note: not every store in NYC carries the maternity line.

Destination Maternity
575 Madison Ave
New York, NY 10022
(212) 588-0220 

This is a mega-maternity store that includes three different stores: Motherhood Maternity, Pea in a Pod and Mimi Maternity. Plus, check out their maternity spa!

464 Bergen St
Brooklyn, NY 11217
(718) 638-1960 

Bump is one of the hottest boutiques in the city right now with an beautifully curated collection of clothes along with expert advice on fit and style. Plus they frequently host classes and events of particular interest to expectant parents!

Madison Rose
313 Court St
Brooklyn, NY 

171 5th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
(347) 689-3365

Madison Rose is an excellent consignment store that carries high end maternity clothes at a fraction of the price. Their staff is very knowledgeable both about their stock and helping find clothes for a good fit. They have two locations in Brooklyn.

Clementine Consignment
39 1/2 Washington Sq South
New York, NY 10012
(212) 228-9333 

This is a great Manhattan consignment store that also carries children's clothes up to 4T. Shop for yourself and the new babe!

Belly Dance Maternity
548 Hudson St
New York, NY 10079
(212) 645-3640 

This amazing maternity boutique has all the best labels plus a few you haven't heard of but will be excited to discover!

Finally, one of my very favorite maternity designers, Isabella Oliver, has a great article on shopping for maternity clothes. Visit her Web site for online shopping and some great tips.

Carolyn Pravda blogs at Mama Threads (
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