I made a decision early on in this pregnancy that I was going to try my hardest to be stylish. I didn’t want to fall into a yoga pants rut and I honestly feel better about myself and my growing bump when I feel good about how I look. It’s been a challenge to do so without breaking the bank but I’ve lot of fun finding new and fashionable ways to dress my bump. One of the coolest discoveries for an more affordable way to expand your maternity wardrobe is maternity clothing rental. Fashion Forward Maternity offers a wide range of stylish, designer maternity clothes – from casual wear to special occasion dresses.
About Fashion Forward Maternity
Based on the idea that all women should feel POWERFUL- BEAUTIFUL- COMFORTABLE- and STYLISH during pregnancy, and every day, Fashion Forward Maternity is an online boutique where savvy professional women can renthigh quality and designer maternity fashions at a fraction of the price of new to serve them during “all four trimesters.” We then “pass it forward” by donating all gently used clothes that can no longer be rented to women’s organizations around the country. Our unique model lets women choose the subscription level that allows them to maintain their style and fashion-sense during pregnancy and to keep their wardrobe fresh throughout all “four trimesters”.
- The right fit throughout your pregnancy and nursing time.
- Hundreds of styles and sizes to complete your look.
- No wasted time and energy shopping in overpriced boutiques.
Fashion Forward Maternity has a great FAQ section that describes how the process works. It answered a lot of my immediate questions – definitely check it out!
Renting Maternity Clothes from Fashion Forward Maternity
I was curious to get some feedback from other expecting moms about the idea of renting maternity clothes so I asked the question on BabyCenter’s Momformation blog: Would you rent maternity clothes? The overwhelming response was “Yes.” And, it makes sense. Many moms turn to consignment shops or other sources to purchase maternity clothes at a discount. After all, you only need them for a finite period of time. It’s much harder to justify buying a new shirt for $90 when you’ll only wear it for a couple of months. But, $90 is the suggested retail price of this Oilan Boatneck Tunic I’ve been borrowing from Fashion Forward. (right) Rather than shelling out the big bucks, you can rent it for $12.50 a month.
But, let’s back up a minute. The experience of renting clothes from Fashion Forward is really pleasant and similar to typical online shopping. The website allows you to search for clothes by type and occasion. You have the option of joining a subscription program – which includes a monthly fee but the cost of each clothing item is less per month – or you can rent piece by piece. Whether using a subscription or not, one of the benefits of wearing clothes for only a month is that if you don’t love something, you return it and try something else. Or, as your belly grows or the seasons change you can get clothes that are better suited for your needs. The shipping is free and your package arrives nicely packed and with a free return shipping label.
Several of the pieces in my shipment still had tags on them and were brand new. Items that are not new are professionally cleaned and inspected before shipment. Here’s another outfit I’m borrowing: designer maternity denim by Union Laurel Canyon style Paige Premium Denim and a Japanese Weekend Stripe Dolman Tunic. The suggested retail price of this outfit is $267. Or you can borrow it for $25 (or $47 sans subscription) total a month. And, from experience now I know these pants are much better suited for early in pregnancy. I would have been disappointed if I ordered these online at this point in my pregnancy and paid a lot for them. I’ll enjoy them for a month but won’t be totally sad to send them back.
The final piece in my shipment hasn’t been photographed yet because, well, it’s just not that flattering! This Lined Dress in Mocha by Jules and Jim is another piece that would have looked better in the second trimester. And, again, I would have been bummed if I purchased this online. And, let’s face it, I do a lot of my shopping – for maternity clothes – and everything else online. It’s just not practical to try on everything before I buy it, but renting it is a much less risky option.
To Buy or Not to Buy
To Buy… Fashion Forward Maternity has a really great selection of fashionable, designer brand maternity clothes for every occasion. I think renting maternity clothes makes sense no matter what the circumstances as it’s a great way to stretch your budget and expand your wardrobe. It’s particularly cost-effective if you only plan on one pregnancy or (like me) know you’re in your last pregnancy. Moms-to-be who work outside the home will benefit the most from the ability to borrow professional clothes with the ability to mix up the wardrobe every month. Further, who wants to buy a pricey special occasion dress when you are only going to wear it once? Rent, my friends!
Or Not to Buy… You do have to send the clothes back and whether you buy a subscription program or not, the cost of renting pieces can add up. If you’re not going to spend money on designer duds and high-end clothing it might not be worth it to rent them.
Shop! Fashion Forward Maternity clothes start at $23.50 a month per piece. The subscription service costs $125 a month with a rental fee of $12.50 per piece. Right now, if you sign up for the Fashion Forward Maternity mailing list, you get $25 off your first order of $150 or more.
Win Fashion Forward Maternity Style for A Month! Your choice 2 regular items or 1 special occasion item.
How to Enter: Visit Fashion Forward Maternity and leave a comment here with a designer piece that you’d love to wear.
Earn Extra Entries – valid only after completing the first required entry. Please leave a separate comment for each you do.
- Sign up for the Fashion Forward Maternity Newsletter (home page, bottom left).
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Giveaway ends February 8. Open to US residents only.