I’m going to talk more about maternity clothes and how I have been dressing in general as the weeks go on, but I wanted to dedicate a post to something that has been a gigantic effort and huge pain in the behind, maternity jeans. It’s a key wardrobe element and often one of the the first things you might buy (2nd for me) as jeans can be uncomfortable at the best of times, let alone when they start digging into this invisible passenger that is filling out your belly. I write this at 20 weeks and up to last week when I last tried I could still wear my jeans, (these New Look skinnies I reviewed a while back,) as they are plenty stretchy enough around the waist and quite soft. But I need a belt to hold them up which isn’t great and sitting down is really not comfortable at all. So, I have canvased Instagram and done a fair bit of personal research and wanted to bring you the results here for anyone who is looking, or might be in the future. Please do add your comments and suggestions at the bottom!
The first thing I did was ask you guys. There are a lot of places that do maternity jeans but I wanted to see where the popular ones were and hopefully reduce my shopping efforts. (I hate jeans shopping at the best of times.) So I asked Instagram for your recommendations and here is how the recommendations panned out:
Topshop (Leigh) 8
New Look 5
Mamas and Papas 3
JoJoMamanBebe and Very.com also got 1 mention each.
Gap, H&M and New Look came out top of the pile by far, H&M being the winner, with New Look closely behind them. Your advice was invaluable too so I have shared a couple of comments that I felt were useful here. It’s worth remembering that one pair might not do all the way through as your shape changes, ‘Under bump Topshop ones were fab for me, but now at 33 wks everything is going over bump for sake of comfort’ and there were quite a few people (despite those people who liked Topshop,) who complained about them, ‘Some Topshop jeans fall down, others are ok. It’s trial and error!’. Under bump jeans were also deemed as good for ‘post partum wobble!’. Another reader suggested ‘Find one pair that fit you well then hit eBay for the same style’, although I wonder how second hand would stand up to the repeated wash and wear that is necessary with mat jeans? One other tip that Rachel gave was that they sell out fast, so if you see a pair you like buy them or order to try at home as if you go back they might not be available. I saw lots that I could have bought online and looked good but they didn’t have my size.
I decided that I wanted an ‘under the bump’ style because the majority of my pregnancy will be in summer and I thought it might be hot with a top layered over a bump band if I went for an over bump style. One gripe when shopping was that some shops do exclusively under (Topshop) or over (H&M) bump styles and you often can’t find the same wash or style in both (hello Mamas and Papas.) I found a lot of them lacked detail, even simple things like contrast stitching and as a result looked like jeggings. New Look and Gap under bump jeans waist band extended all the way around (as the over bump styles do,) which I wasn’t as keen on as they don’t look ‘normal’ from the back. My biggest problem however was finding the wash I wanted. I wanted a skinny jean, dark indigo wash (so it could be dressed up or down,) and prefer a bit of subtle fading or distressing than a block dark shade. It was almost impossible to find decent colours with a lot of paler ones or just generally cheap looking washes. A lot of the advice I received was to size down too which I didn’t – I tried on mostly size 10 everywhere, but having said that I wouldn’t normally fit a size ten Topshop jean so perhaps there is something in it! Here’s what I tried…
Number of pairs tried on: 13
Number of shops visited: 7
Number ordered online: 3
M&P Dark indigo wash under the bump skinny jean £36
I happened to try these when Pete and I were browsing Cots and they felt so comfortable straight away with a nice skinny style and contrast stitch. I actually went onto buy them but found when I got them home that the waistband at the back started to gape. They were falling down the minute I sat or bent over in the them after only having them on for 5 minutes, so I took them back.
Topshop Maternity MOTO dark vintage Leigh underbump £38
These were very tight and stretchy like leggings which I didn’t like, but they did have a contrast stitch and different leg lengths (mine are on the short side but I still preferred the 32 leg, so tall types wouldn’t do here.) After a few laps of the changing room and some bending/sitting the bum was sagging already so these were not a favourite for me.
GAP 1969 demi panel always skinny jeans £44
I love GAP jeans so was keen to try these. The only problem I had was availability. I could only get a pair to try in ankle length and they were SHORT but otherwise they were great. Great jean material, no sagging, and a slightly deeper ‘underbump’ band (although it goes all the way around) style that was a better shape on me. If I can get another pair in a better length these are my second choice and I’ll be looking out for a ‘summer’ style even though they were the priciest I tried.
Mamalicious Slim leg jean £38
These were considerably bigger than expected (in a size ten) and the leg wasn’t as slim as I would like. In the right size they might have been better, but I had found my winner by this point and didn’t persevere.
New Look £20-26
New Look’s offerings I didn’t test as vigorously as the others as I just couldn’t find a wash I liked. They are cheaper than most (look on ASOS as well as instore and online at New Look.) and very soft but availability was poor (online too,) and they are cheaper in finish/look I felt.
H&M Overbump (‘high rib’) £29.99
I initially discounted these completely as I found instore that there were only overbump styles but after seeing how popular they were from your Instagram recommendations I thought I’d give them a go. Over bump definitely gave me a better shape to look at and H&M came up trumps with the wash options and look of jeans rather than jeggins too. My one comment would be that they are VERY low cut for the actual jean bit before the bump band starts meaning you might be stuck with longer tops with it. This is both good and bad – good because the jean part is very tight around the hips and waist which means they stay put instead of falling down but in a size 10 (which fitted) I found it really tight and uncomfortable just above my pubic bone and bump so I sized up to a 12 (still super tight) and the discomfort wasn’t a problem. They are also amongst the cheapest! Winner!
So there you have it readers, the result of my extensive investigations. 1 week on having worn the H&M pair a LOT, (including long periods sitting down and walking around over the weekend,) I’m still impressed. They haven’t stretched excessively or gone saggy around the bottom and they are ridiculously comfortable. It’s is however a very personal decision and I’d love to hear your opinion readers, and any tips or recommendations you have. Hopefully this will be a really useful resource for those yet to need it!
PS. If you still want more advice or brands to try, Hello Baby Blog posted about her Top 6 Maternity Jeans here.