Isabella Oliver maternity dress in blueIf you plan on leaving the house for any point of your 40 week pregnancy, you can’t just get away with nine months of stretch-waist yoga pants and Target maternity tees. Not that I didn’t try, mind you. I needed some clothes I could actually be seen wearing in board rooms and swanky(ish) parties from time to time, but it seemed so crazy to invest in a high 4-figure wardrobe with a shelf life of 6 months.

If I were to do it all over, my first retail stop would be InstyleBelly, a mom-run online consignment shop featuring gently worn designer and trendy maternity clothes.

The prices aren’t exactly Goodwill level – Right now I see a beautiful Isabella Oliver dress (shown here) that’s $105 down from $175; a gorgeous Liz Lange two-piece suit for $200; and a Japanese Weekend maternity wrap blouse for just $60 — a good price, but actually only $10 less than you can get the same wrap blouse new on sale new since it’s out of season anyway. Labels like Splendid and Velvet are of course a lot less. And the good news is, if no one grabs an item, the price is knocked down 25% the next month, and 50% after that.

It’s nice that you can shop by size, designer, or clothing type. Just um, don’t shop by “celebrity.” Unless you’re a really big Real Housewives of NYC fan. –Liz

Find designer maternity consignment at InstyleBelly – and if you’re done with the baby-making, consider becoming a consignor and making a little cash.

2010 Update – InstyleBelly is now called Belly and Babe and can be found at