Tips for Styling Your Bump on a Budget Once You Hit the 5th Month

Tips for Styling Your Bump on a Budget Once You Hit the 5th Month

Welcome to the awkward stage in pregnancy where you’re indistinguishable from a human grower and a human who ate too many donuts.


As if growing another human being wasn’t enough, you’ve been assigned the daunting task of making a beach ball (aka your growing baby bump) look flattering, all while staying comfortable and not overspending in the process. Though society has come a long way in the pregnancy fashion department, it can still make even the most patient woman want to pull her hair out.

You know you can’t get by wearing an oversized hoodie for much longer, and there will come a day when even the stretchiest pants are no match for your baby bump, so now is the time to strategize. It’s tempting to invest in a maternity wardrobe that fits you now and assume that the clothes will magically fit by the end of your third trimester (They won’t; your belly’s expanding by the day!). Or you might think it’s a good idea to go on one huge shopping spree for clothes that are slightly too big for you now in hopes that they’ll last you all the way to the end of your pregnancy. (This is risky. You’ll spend the middle of your pregnancy practically swimming in your clothes, and the end of it looking and feeling uncomfortable in clothes you’ve outgrown.)

Instead, plan to purchase two sets of maternity clothes: one for your second trimester and one for your third. And only buy the third trimester set once you’ve outgrown the clothes in your second trimester set. Look for versatile pieces like leggings with a supportive belly band and tops you can layer. Approach it like a capsule wardrobe to help you focus on the essentials. And don’t ignore your feet! If they’ve started to swell, you may notice your shoes pinching and squeezing in all the wrong places, so invest in some supportive footwear to get you through the coming months. To free up your wallet for all the adorable baby outfits you’re planning to buy, consider borrowing maternity clothes. Do you have a friend or family member who would be all too happy to share their stash? And don’t forget about sites like eBay, Poshmark, Offer Up, and Facebook Marketplace, where you could score an entire maternity wardrobe for next to nothing! Look at you, you savvy money saving mama!

Your new mantra: Style your bump on a you can have more $ for cute baby clothes!


Baby Size-O-Meter: 5 months = banana


Check out our entire pregnancy series that’s all about YOU. Because being pregnant shouldn’t mean losing yourself and just becoming a baby oven ;)


Me and my twin boys enjoy all of your products!! :) you guys are awesome!

Nadya on

It was super helpful to buy gently used maternity clothes through our local mom to mom sale page on Fb. I also found soft, oversized dresses and shirts that could be worn at every stage of pregnancy and postpartum too!

Elizabeth Krontz on

Definitely get oversized graphic tees and then you can wear it after with leggings and knot up the extra tee. I also liked bigger wavy dresses that I can use after.

Paige on

The first time I was pregnant, finding maternity clothes was a headache. I did not want to spend ridiculous amounts of money on overpriced maternity clothes that ultimately would only be used for a few months. The struggle pursued until I was gifted a pair of maternity jeans that I fell in love with. I even kept them for my second pregnancy- the perfect supporting waistband, soft denim, everything was and still is absolutely perfect about them. So I ask my gifter where they came from…Where else than a thrift shop!?
I have since come to find that thrift shops/second hand stores carry many many stylish and affordable maternity clothes! (Including maternity sweater dresses WITH belts for that perfect fall photoshoot)

Nina on

You can wear your jeans longer if you loop a hair tie through the buttonhole then button.

Jessica on

I bought a few “nice” pieces new but found a bunch of great items second-hand (Facebook Marketplace and Just Between Friends, if you have one local going on when you need it). My most important requirement: everything must be comfortable!!

Pamela Hinshaw on

My favorite go to and budget friendly piece to style my bump were stretchy body con dresses or maxi dresses! They fit during all trimesters and the compliment baby bumps so well!

Janelle Jenkins on

I mostly wore shirts two sizes above my usual size & got cheap leggings from Walmart that would go under the bump

Katie on

During my pregnancies I did a lot of buying second hand from Facebook marketplace and garage sales as well as borrowing from a friend of mine! I only purchased a few new items, most of which would carry through into postpartum!

Melinda Hughes on

Love this article! I was pregnant nine months ago & had the worst luck with maternity clothes. Most of the time, I’d go to stores and just by the next few sizes up (besides jeans.) I’m usually a small, but I would go to clearance sections and by shirts and dresses in large or extra large!

Lindsey on

I loved shopping Motherhood Maternity when they had sales. Also keep in mind the weather when you’re purchasing bigger sized clothes on sales early.

Rachel F on

My suggestion is to size up in tops so they’ll fit you as you grow and then after pregnancy you can still wear them for an oversized look that’s really on trend right now!

Alexa on

I just had twins last October and my favorite thing to wear was a tee shirt tied up or a crop with a maternity skirt! That way I was able to use shirts I already owned.

Alexa on

I would wear some of my husbands T-shirts to save spending money on maternity clothes. Anything I did have to buy I ordered from a cheaper site such as Shein, which were still good quality but cheaper.

Sarah Hooey on

In terms of tops, go for something that is in the regular clothing lines in a size up if possible. Maternity clothes are so expensive and many FTM (like myself) feel the need to buy them. Instead, buy a shirt that will fit over your belly if you got a bigger size. I found a lot of options would work and at almost half the price of the ones with the “maternity” tag on it. If you do buy maternity and plan on nursing, get shirts that accommodate the bump and postpartum body while having the nursing openings. You will get more life out of the shirt past the 3-5 months of pregnancy.

Tamara on

I love shopping Old Navy’s clearance rack for online maternity returns that are marked down in store and their swing dresses in a size up from your regular one are great too. Buying nursing friendly things to wear during the during the second trimester can help you get longer use out of the items of you plan on breastfeeding. Facebook marketplace and resell it sites/stores are great for budget buys too, added bonus of being a greener option. And last but not least if your partner wears a larger size then you, their closet can be a great source of comfy items.

Alex W. on

My last baby bump was huge, I swear. I couldn’t fit anything, at least that’s what it felt like. My husband had been laid off because of the pandemic, so money was already tight. And, y’all, maternity clothes are expensive. My go to outfit was $5 leggings from Dollar General (bought in a size larger than my pre-pregnancy size) and one of my husband’s t-shirts. The leggings from the dollar store have so much stretch! I never would have known it either if I hadn’t accidentally peed myself on a road trip one day! It was a cheap and easy way to look cute with my giant bump! The leggings even worked under my work clothes, so not only were they affordable, they were versatile as well!

Sarah on

My favorite way to style my bump was with ties on my shirts and bows. That way I could size up with my shirt and loosen it as my bump grew.

Cheryl on

My best tip is to invest in pieces that are nursing friendly, and even work long term! I have some maternity tanks that no one would know are super stretchy, but they are so comfortable and stylish.

Ashley on

As a plus size mama, I actually chose to size up in tops, skirts, and dresses and bought a belly band to make my pre-pregnant stuff work longer. I only bought maternity jeans and a pair of shorts and I got those at a baby/kid/parents consignment sale. Saved me LOADS of money and I got better quality stuff than my budget would normally allow for.

Chrislyn Barragan on

As a plus size mama, I actually chose to size up in tops, skirts, and dresses and bought a belly band to make my pre-pregnant stuff work longer. I only bought maternity jeans and a pair of shorts and I got those at a baby/kid/parents consignment sale. Saved me LOADS of money and I got better quality stuff than my budget would normally allow for.

Chrislyn Barragan on

The easiest way to style a baby bump on a budget is repurposing items you already own! Long tanks and cardigans are a bumps best friend!! If you don’t have any longer tops, check out your local Goodwill or resale shop! Lots of maternity clothes don’t get much use and are like new and have plenty of life left in them!

Erin Aviles on

I was working through my pregnancy and we have a strict all black dress code. Since maternity pants are so expensive I stuck to flowy dresses that I found in the clearance at Kohl’s and old navy. instead of maternity pants I wore yoga leggings from old navy too with a belly band I bought on Amazon

Ingrid Ruiz Ortiz on

Black leggings, tank tops, button down shirts or flannels (all worn open over tanks), body con dresses (keep it simple w neutral) and top with any of the button downs or cardigans/kimonos from your regular closet. And EASY shoes. Something you can put on without much fuss. No buckles 😂

Bianca on

Buy cute dresses that are loose fitting around the stomach, as your bump grows it will fill in the dress and look super cute!!!

Amanda on

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