The Fash Flash: Maternity Jeans Reviewed

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:
Gap 8
H&M 10
Topshop (Leigh) 8
New Look 5
Seraphine 3
Mamas and Papas 3
JoJoMamanBebe and 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.

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15 thoughts on “The Fash Flash: Maternity Jeans Reviewed

  1. I wish I’d had this as a guide when I was buying maternity jeans. I have at least three pairs which I wore a couple of times then consigned to the back of the wardrobe including some Gap ones which I initially loved but which stretched beyond all recognition every time you wore them for five minutes (should have bought the size down!). In the end I lived in a pair of H&M over bump skinny cords which were just the most comfortable trousers I have ever worn, and a pair of Seraphine under bump grey skinny jeans which made me feel half way presentable and are probably the only item of maternity wear I would still wear now style wise. If I am pregnant again I will probably buy an indigo version of the Seraphine jeans as well, they were slightly more expensive but definitely worth it.

  2. I can confirm that after wearing those same H&M jeans for a whole pregnancy, they’re still looking good. Unlike most of my maternity tops from there…

    Glad you found some you liked.

  3. The h&m ones were the ones I went for too, although by 34 weeks I was so big that the band dug into my bump and left marks so I abandoned them for the last few weeks of my pregnancy. I found wearing a nude vest from m&s underwear department before putting on a top helped disguise the dark band and meant I could still wear light coloured tops.

    I don’t think under bump jeans suited my pear shape as it made them fall down a lot (which also happens with hipster jeans in my non pregnant life) so I lent my topshop skinny pair to a friend.

  4. Yup, I survived the whole pregnancy with 1 pair of maternity jeans and 1 pair of khakis both from H&M. I had the H&M jeans in a dark shade and straight cut (because the skinny ones felt too much as leggings). I loved the H&M jeans all the way through the recovery period, where they fell like bliss on those first weeks where the uterus is going back down to its normal size, your organs are finding their original place and everything feels loose and wobbly. Because I was at my biggest in the midst of the winter it was actually nice to have an extra layer of warmth over my bump. I might keep using them. Actually I have owned the khakis for 3 years before getting pregnant, I got them because I liked the cut and have used them for as long with the band rolled down. I strongly recommend H&M , I did not even look any further.

  5. I have these same H&M jeans in black and they have been a life saver! I have quite a low bump so the fact that the band starts low is an extra bonus for me and others dug in an made me look oddly shaped. At 28 weeks they are still going strong but I am a little worried as I get bigger that the band might not stretch enough.

    I have been looking for a colourful cropped jean or boyfriend style for spring/summer – does anyone have any recommendations?

  6. I’m still wearing my Seraphine jeans now, 4 weeks after baby. Definitely worth a look for comfort and different styles, although lack of availability can be a bit annoying.

  7. I have to totally agree with you on the H&M maternity jeans. I purchased a pair on a bit of a whim at 16 weeks and have worn them throughout my pregnancy (i’m now 39 weeks).

    Like you, I bought a size bigger than normal but this was because it was the only size they had in the shop but to be honest, I have found them so comfortable and I loved the over the bump band.

    I also bought a pair of Topshop maternity jeans at the same time and they pretty much sat untouched in my wardrobe until about 30 weeks as they kept falling down and just didn’t feel as comfortable, however I have to say that in the last few weeks, the under the bump waist is actually better for me simply due to my increasing size every week!

    So I would 100% agree – H&M jeans all the way until about 30 – 32 weeks and then an under the bump jean such as Topshop for after this point.

    Oh and if you want to buy a ‘special’ pair of jeans then i would recommend Blossom Mother & Baby who do designer jeans with pregnancy waistbands. They are much more pricey than the high street but a good investment if you love jeans and usually live in them and aren’t quite prepared to step away from the J Brands / AG Jeans / For All Mankind etc brands!

  8. Hi Rebecca,
    I lived in 2 pairs of maternity jeans from Next, a black pair and a very Summery pale blue. They were skinny fit, with stretch so comfortable and fitted under the bump. The waist could be expanded as required! About £25, so very reasonable. And congratulations! Xx

  9. Great guide Rebecca. I bought some Asos ones – they are comfy although do fall down quite a bit. Then today I noticed some of the stitching in the crotch has come out! 🙁 plus they are dark indigo and the dye comes off on everything… Might have to check out this h&m ones! X

  10. I got the Topshop ones and although they were quite comfortable most of the way through my pregnancy I have to say they were the most annoying jeans I have ever owned. I spent most of my time pulling them up to avoid saggy crotch problems!!!
    For the next bump I think I’ll give over the bump ones a go, as I got Next over the bump leggings (buy a size smaller than you normally would) and they were the most comfortable things in the world all the way to 40weeks, I ended up with them in 3 colours and they are nicely stashed away for future use! I would recommend them to all pregant ladies and that’s more than I can say for the saggy Topshop jeans

  11. I bought some under bump skinnies in dark indigo from New Look, which were great for the first trimester and (ahem) the fourth! And some over bump from Next, which were incredibly comfortable and soft. I was heavily pregnant during the heat wave last summer but still found over bump styles more comfortable overall. I had some over bump navy cotton stretch shorts from H&M which we’re a godsend! X

  12. Seraphine for me! I bought quite a few things from there. A lovely grey skirt which I wore to death with maternity tights and boots (it was mainly autum/winter months for my pregnancy). I found the jeans fit well were super comfy and I wore them for a while after too. In fact I still wear them now round the house!

  13. Great piece and very helpful. I was considering paying more and getting the ‘shaping’ maternity jeans in H&M…I wonder are they an even better fit than you ones you talk about

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