(33 weeks and counting!)
I've never been pregnant in the warmer months before. Well, I've been two or three months pregnant during the summer, but that's pretty irrelevant when it comes to needing new clothes. At least in my case. Furthermore, since my last pregnancy ended abruptly during the second trimester, I didn't ever get around to buying anything new. As a result, the maternity clothes that I own are the items I bought to wear during the December and January before my son was born. Oh, and I was also a supervisor at a bank at the time. So... lots of "dressier" things.
Now I'm a stay-at-home mommy to two preschoolers and the temperature keeps climbing. I really don't want to go out and buy more clothes... but my own supply wasn't really meeting my needs. Can I tell you how grateful I am to have two sisters-in-law who have happily passed boxes of clothes among us for the last couple of years? I'm feeling good about making it to the end without having to shell out another dime.
Here are my best tips for making "maternity clothes sharing" work:
- Be courteous. When you pass on (or return) the clothes, make sure they're clean and folded. If a strap breaks or a button falls off, mend it. If something gets stained (and, face it, it happens), let her know so she doesn't discover it after she's already left the house.
- Be organized. Find a system, be it bags, boxes, or what-not, that works for keeping things straight. We used large diaper boxes to keep seasons and sizes sorted. Label them clearly. This makes it much easier for the next person to find what she needs.
- Realize you may still need to buy something. My legs are a good 4 or 5 inches longer than either of my sisters-in-law's. So, when I busted out the knee of my beloved maternity jeans, I made the choice to watch for sales and spring for a new pair. I wear jeans too often to always look like I'm waiting for a flood...
- If in doubt, don't lend it. Do you have an article of clothing that is just too precious to you? The shirt you were wearing when you went into labor the first time? A dress you searched high and low for to wear to your sister's wedding? If the thought of something happening to it makes you want to cry, just don't lend it. Hold onto it and graciously pass on the rest. It's unlikely the next mommy in line will need or miss it, and this way you avoid having it get lost or damaged.
- Don't be picky. It is rare to have friends and relatives who have the exact same taste and wear the exact same size as you. As I mentioned earlier, I'm taller than my hubby's sisters. I'm also on the narrow side (shoulders, ribs, etc.) They're both blessed with more curves. The result? My tops are all smalls and mediums. Theirs are larges and extra-larges. Does that mean we don't share? Not at all. It just means that they got the most use out my maternity shirts earlier in their pregnancies. And the shirts I borrow are a little baggy. They may not be "perfect" fits for us, but we're certainly able to stretch our own wardrobes by filling in with these pieces! My dressy bank clothes? Well, those came in mighty handy for my accountant sister-in-law. My other sister-in-law's casual summer clothes? You can bet I'm grateful to have them now!
Sharing maternity clothes works for me. And it definitely works for my budget.
This post is linked to Works For Me Wednesday, and Frugal Friday.