The hunt for maternity jeans

by Ashley on April 19, 2011



Someone asked me recently about where I found my maternity jeans. Finding a good pair has been the biggest wardrobe challenge so far (I have put Aron through more try-on sessions than I’d like to admit); but after first deciding that there is too much lycra in the Gap Always Skinny jeans, I’ve come around to thinking they’re the best–and most reasonably priced–option. Runner up? A pair of great, if slightly long, skinny jeans by Maternity America, spotted at The Bump, in Brooklyn.

For some reason, because expectant women need a stretchy waistband, skinny jeans seem to all fall practically into the “jeggings” category (bootcut or flared options are far more vast). I even ordered a pair of AG jeans on ebay at a steep discount (usually my favorite brand), thinking the high price might be an indication of superior denim, but found them to be the same stretchy fabric as all the rest. I haven’t found a way around this, but I have found that I’ve gotten used to (and even started to like) the Gap Always Skinny.

What brands have you liked best?


La Franglaise April 19, 2011 at 9:10 am

My favourite pair of maternity jeans were also from Gap, but a boot cut. My skinnies were from Zara mum and did not look like maternity jeans at all. I highly recommend! Those were the only two pairs of trousers I had. The rest of the time, I wore dresses, dresses and more dresses. They were a better investment because aside from a couple of maternity dresses (from H&M and Petit Bateau) I wore regular cuts so I still get to wear them today, now bumpless!

Ashley April 19, 2011 at 11:34 am

I’m definitely going to be seeking out Zara Mum. I love their kids’ line, but wasn’t aware of a maternity line! Thanks!

Heather from the bar April 19, 2011 at 9:25 am

My absolute favorite pair were made by Citizens of Humanity, sold at A Pea in the Pod. I always told myself I wouldn’t be one of those girls who wore designer maternity jeans but after trying on every cheaper brand out there I was left feeling frumpy. I finally have in and splurged on them and it was the best decision I made! They had a full panel but other than that were just regular jeans. I wore them from month 2 of my pregnancy until about 2 months after the baby was born. Worth every penny!

Ashley April 19, 2011 at 11:36 am

Friends have told me that it’s completely worthwhile to splurge on maternity denim–you wear them all the time! I had wished the Citizens ones worked for me (they had a bit more flare than I was looking for) because it’s true that the denim was much more like regular jeans. Pea in the Pod is a great source for denim!

Rebecca April 19, 2011 at 11:00 am

Ha, I have the same ones! They’re certainly not perfect, but finding jeans without super-embellished pockets was harder than it should have been. So far, they’re my pick too. I do feel like I spend part of the time wearing them hiking them back up, and I blame the crazy amounts of lycra for that. Seriously, is it so hard to make jeans that are stretchy enough to be comfortable, but not so stretchy that they grow throughout the day?

Ashley April 19, 2011 at 11:38 am

So, so true! And I agree about hiking them up–especially in the back. For the longest time I was making my regular jeans work with a hair tie and a bella band, but it meant I had to be extra careful about how long my shirt was. So I’m not sure why companies can’t take a skinny jean in harder denim, open the waist, and add a full panel…

blythe April 19, 2011 at 1:19 pm

i think i bought 6,000 pair of jeans in my hunt for the perfect non-frumpy fit. i refused to spend over $70, so i kinda got what i paid for. i tried the liz lange bootcut from target, jeggings from old navy, skinnies from forever 21 maternity, some terrible heidi klum grey skinnies from motherhood maternity then finally sucked it up and got the gap skinny jeans. they were by far the best in the budget category even thought i didn’t like them at first either. they retained their shape the best (why must maternity jeans give us saggy ass?) and the elastic band (no pair of full panel pants worked for me – i hated feeling like i had to constantly pull them up) held up the best after repeated washings (or i’d toss them in the dryer to kind of tighten up the fabric). that said, it’s spring (i started to need maternity jeans around month seven right in the dead of winter – awesome)! time to forget the jeans and rock skirts (hike up prepreg skirts over your bump and belt a cardigan over) and dresses (just belt under your boobs and call it good). my little dude just turned one month yesterday, which is great, but you know what else is great? being pregnant. i can’t believe how much i miss it and took it for granted – don’t forget to enjoy!

Ashley April 19, 2011 at 1:26 pm

As if trying on jeans weren’t hard enough, right? I kept kneeing myself…
True re summer: I also think I’d like a pair of capris in addition to the skirt as I can be shy at times about showing too much leg (uh, oh–let the search begin).

Congratulations on your new baby! I just popped over and took a peek–adorable!

roberta jane April 19, 2011 at 1:57 pm

the black always skinny with the demi-panel have been my favorite by far! super skinny and black is flattering!

Alexa Evans April 19, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Skinny jeans from Heidi Klum…they were $39 at Motherhood Maternity. Loved those. Now that I’m a nursing mom…I’m back to GAP skinny jeans…those things are Ah-mazing.

alyson April 19, 2011 at 7:22 pm

I started off with a love/hate relationship with the gap always skinny full panel. they were definitely too loose at first in the hips. now, 9 months pregnant, they are the best thing since sliced bread. kind of like putting on denim sweat pants in a sense. I love the full panel too, it really helps to “support” the belly when it starts to feel giant.

good luck in your search!!

bbells April 19, 2011 at 8:56 pm

i found a great pair at Forever 21 and my favorite were from h&m maternity. good luck i know its a hard one!

Annie April 20, 2011 at 7:52 am

I am also pregnant now (23 weeks) and just found the best pair of maternity skinny jeans at Zara over the weekend. They do not look like maternity jeans at all, and they’re longgggg, perfect for tall girls like us!

I don’t know if you have the maternity collection in H&M in NYC (I’m from Montreal) but they also have a lot of jeans that fit well… all under 100$.

I’m going to Paris in May and will report on my shopping there. Can’t wait to see what they have over there!

Ashley April 21, 2011 at 12:39 am

Great suggestions, Annie! Thanks! Congratulations–hope you’re feeling great. Have a wonderful time in Paris! Sounds like a perfect pre-baby trip.

katherine April 21, 2011 at 4:02 pm

I LIVED in my Gap Always Skinny jeans until about the early days of month 8 when my belly began to push the band over and they were no longer comfortable. Since then I have been getting by with some Target Liz Lange maternity jeans. Not my number one choice, but given the price and the fit, they were the winners to take me through to now (39 weeks now!). I’ll keep my Gap jeans for the next time around because they worked so well for so long – and were so hard to track down in my size to begin with – and are very flattering (aside from definitely having too much Lycra) but maybe invest in a good quality second pair with a bigger band.

Ashley April 22, 2011 at 10:55 pm

I forgot about Liz Lange for Target! Thanks for the tip!

Gao April 23, 2011 at 10:15 am

Well, I am bias because I just LOVE, LOVE Gap jeans…all styles, so I would have to say Gap maternity jeans are equally great! However, I found with all my pregnancies that I only had to buy 1 maternity jean or pant for the last month or so of pregnancy, and they were Gap maternity. I just basically looped a hair band through the holes of my regular jeans/pants and hooked it around the button and wha-la….pregnancy jeans. It only worked so well for me because I barely grew anywhere but my stomach…so I guess I was lucky in that way.

I have a friend who also swore by her Old Navy maternity jeans/pants collection. So maybe you can give Old Navy a try…:)

Brooke Fitts April 23, 2011 at 9:17 pm

my faves were from H+M + were only $40. I’ve worn them my whole pregnancy + they kept their form way better than my $80 gap ones…. Good luck!


Ashley April 26, 2011 at 9:33 am

Thanks for the tip, Brooke! Have been following along with your photo blog and you look fantastic–when are you due? Congratulations!

Jane April 27, 2011 at 6:29 am

Try Uniqlo legging jeans. The ones with a stretchy waist band and no buttons. They were around $30 and wore really well from 5 months onwards.

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