When you’re pregnant, few things matter more than comfort. Between itchy, stretching skin, hip and back pain, and loosening joints, you don’t want your clothes to cause you additional trouble.
Thankfully, comfort doesn’t have to come at the expense of style when you’re pregnant, and a well-chosen pair of maternity jeans can be dressed up or dressed down to fit nearly any occasion.
And the best news? Maternity jeans are way less constricting than the ones you were accustomed to pre-pregnancy. Here’s how to find the right ones for you.
Quick ComparisonOur Top Maternity Jeans Picks of 2019 Read Full Reviews
What Should I Look For?
- Style: Choose a style that fits not only your personal preference, but also your body type and lifestyle. If you work in an office with a strict dress code that allows jeans on Fridays, opt for a straight leg with a dark wash. If you tend to live in leggings and just want to mix it up a bit, jeggings may be right for you.
- Belly Band: If you’re in your first or second trimester, choose jeans with a belly panel. If you’re nearing the end of your pregnancy and your skin is super tight and itchy, you may prefer a below-the-belly style.
- Wash: Jeans come in many different washes (colors). A dark wash tends to be the most professional — and also slimming — while lighter washes are seen as more casual. Choose the one that best fits your lifestyle.
- Rear Pockets: They’re such a small detail, but the truth is that rear pockets have the potential to make or break a pair of jeans. Oversized pockets — as well as those that hit too low on the bum — can make your rear look saggy. Pockets with flaps can give the illusion of a little bit of a lift, and all pockets should end well before the thigh begins.
- Care Instructions: Read the care instructions before buying. While most can be machine washed, some may require hand-washing or dry cleaning. Make sure you know what’s expected before investing in your new pair of jeans, so you know the necessary care will fit your lifestyle.
The Best Maternity Jeans of 2019
I was no fashionista before I had my baby, but when I fell pregnant I still swore to myself I’d stay out of sweatpants and ugly tent dresses. While I can’t say I was always successful, I can say that maternity clothing today lets every woman look beautiful and feel comfortable — even if you plan on living in jeans through your whole pregnancy.
1. Motherhood Fade to Blue Maternity Jeans
These dark wash skinnies will hug your silhouette and elongate your legs. And since they’re made of a cotton-spandex blend, you don’t need to worry about them being too tight; they were made to stretch. Plus, with Motherhood’s exclusive “Secret Fit” belly panel, they’ll stay up without riding down.
2. Great Expectations Petite Full-Panel Skinny Jeans
Goes-with-Everything Must Have
These jeans have a full over-the-belly panel to keep your pants as secure as possible, along with fully functional pockets to stash all your extras. They’re made for the petite woman so you won’t have to roll up your pants or worry about them dragging, and since they’re a slim design, they’ll add visual height to your frame, making you appear taller than you are.
3. Three Seasons Boot Cut Maternity Jeans
Relaxed yet Stylish
These roomy, casual jeans leave plenty of room in the thighs so they won’t be tight, plus they flare slightly at the bottom for a balanced look. The light-colored belly band won’t peek through thin tops, and the embroidered pockets are placed perfectly on your bum to avoid the appearance of sagging.
4. Motherhood Plus Size Secret Fit Jegging
For Curvy Mamas
These figure-hugging jeggings let you show off all your curves. They’re made of cotton and spandex for maximum comfort, and are designed for the woman who has a little more body to love. Pair them with a long sweater or tunic, and you’ll be ready to turn heads without feeling constricted.
5. Seraphine Andi Under Bump Jeans
Under the Bump, Out of the Way
These straight-leg jeans fit on the slimmer side, showing off your cute shape while still leaving room for your swelling belly. But since the waistline is designed to be worn under the bump, you won’t have to worry about a giant belly panel that you don’t yet need.
6. Maternal America California Skinny Jeans
Old Classic with a Twist
The wide, underbelly waistline on these jeans is perfect for early pregnancy since it will gently cradle your belly and expand with you. They’re constructed of cotton like traditional jeans, with just a hint of spandex to allow the fabric some “give.” Round it out with the skinny silhouette and casual medium wash, and these just might become your fave weekend pair.
7. Three Seasons Maternity Skinny Jeans
The dark wash on these skinny jeans make them easy to dress up or down, and the neutral-colored belly band won’t show through your top. The pockets are well-designed to flatter your rear, and the polyester/rayon/cotton construction will help give these jeans a little “give” when you move.
8. DL1961 Maternity Jeans
Stretch Where They Need To
The innovative under-the-belly elastic doesn’t make these look like regular maternity jeans. Because of their design, they will work throughout many stages of pregnancy, and the cotton/lycra construction means that your skinny jeans won’t feel too tight.
9. Sweet Mommy Fleece Lined Skinny Jeans
Cosy and Comfy
If you tend to run cold, you’ve found your perfect jeans. Lined with fleece, these pants help you stay extra warm — and comfy, too. They have a full belly panel and even come in three washes to fit any style.
10. PAIGE Verdugo Ultra Skinny
Fits Like a Glove
Instead of a traditional belly band, these jeans have elastic insets in the waist, so they better resemble a pair of pre-pregnancy jeans. The ultra-skinny silhouette is on trend, and the rayon/cotton/polyester/spandex blend material will allow you to wear them without feeling constricted.
11. James Jeans Jules Trumpet Leg
Full, Easy Coverage
These jeans are constructed mostly of cotton so they’ll feel like your pre-pregnancy jean, but have a full belly panel for your comfort — and to prevent your pants from falling down. The slight flare at the bottom helps visually balance out your belly, and the black wash gives these jeans a funky, modern edge.
12. Wallflower Bootcut Maternity Jeans
Queen of Casual
These casual, distressed jeans have a mid-belly panel to help keep them hoisted, and are made from a cotton-polyester blend to keep you comfy. They have embellished pockets for some added flair, and a slight bootcut shape to give you a nice silhouette.
13. J Brand Maternity Skinny Jeans
Grows With You
These jeans have what most maternity jeans don’t — a button waist! But don’t worry, it’s just a visual detail for show. The elastic inserts do all the work to keep your pants up. The under-the-belly design works well for moms who find their belly panels stretch out quickly, and the dark wash + skinny silhouette will keep you stylin’ through your whole pregnancy.
14. Jessica Simpson Plus Size Maternity Jeans
It's Fab, and it Fits
These pants designed for the plus size pregnant body come in a slimming dark wash and flattering boot-cut silhouette. There is plenty of room through the hips and thighs so you won’t feel constricted, and the cotton/spandex material will make sure that your jeans still have some stretch in them.
15. Levi Strauss Signature Maternity Skinny Jeans
These jeans from the denim powerhouse Levi Strauss come in four different washes and an on-trend, skinny fit. They’re made of a stretchy denim that won’t lose its shape and have a full belly panel to help keep them up.
16. Motherhood Maternity Boot Cut Jeans
Comfy, Classic Fit
Motherhood Maternity is the expert in women’s maternity clothing, and their patented “Secret Fit” belly is designed to expand and hug your bump without stretching out. They’re available in either a dark or medium wash, and the boot-cut shape is both flattering and comfortable.
17. Lilac Maternity Skinny Jean
Your New Favorite Pair
These skinny jeans made of stretch denim have a full belly panel with a faux embellished waistline that looks just like a regular pair of jeans. There is also an adjustable internal waistband to ensure a custom fit. It has a stylish skinny fit and medium, distressed wash to add a casual element.
18. Motherhood Long Stretch Skinny Jeans
Goes the Extra Mile
These long-length jeans will go all the way down to your ankles to keep your regular-fit jeans from turning into capris. They are super stretchy to ensure a custom fit, and the secret-fit belly will make sure they stay up. They also have faux front pockets for a visual detail.
19. Motherhood Secret Fit Long Boot Cut
Great for Heels
These boot-cut jeans will help to truncate your legs so they won’t appear quite as long if you’re self-conscious about them. They have a full belly panel and large, well-designed rear pockets that will also fit if you want to wear a tall pair of heels. Add that to the trendy dark wash, and you’ve found the perfect long pair of jeans.
20. PAIGE Jimmy Short with Elastic Inserts
Perfect for Summer
No need for a hot, itchy belly panel with these shorts. They have elastic insets in the waistline to keep them snug along the bottom of your belly, and the 5 ½ inch inseam will not only help you show off your gams, but also keep them nice and cool.
Which Style Is Best for Me?
Before you go shopping, you’ll want to be familiar with the different types of jeans available to you (source). While there are lots of different options and the “best” one is primarily a matter of personal preference, some styles do tend to work better with certain body types than others.
This style is fitted at the leg and follows the body all the way down to the ankle. While your non-pregnancy skinny jeans might have been constricting, when you’re pregnant they’re designed to fit your ever-expanding body.
- Showing off your curves.
- Adding an illusion of height if you’re on the shorter side.
- Layering under long tops.
- Showing off tall boots.
These are a versatile, middle-of-the-road style option. They tend to be loose in the thigh and then run straight down the body. The opening at the ankle is the same as the opening at the knee.
- All body types.
- Dressing up or down.
- Creating a slimming effect.
This style is straight through the thigh, but then begins to flare out below the knee or mid-calf. The opening at the ankle is wider than the opening at the knee. There are varying degrees of flare from a slight widening at the ankle to a much more noticeable flare. While stylish, it may not always be the best option for shorter women as it truncates the leg instead of lengthening it.
- Creating a slimming effect.
- Taller women.
- Pairing with heels.
These pants are more “leggings” than “denims.” The fabric is dyed to look like jeans, but they’re super stretchy and thin like regular leggings.
- Layering under dresses, tunics, or long sweaters.
- Pairing with high boots.
Over the Belly or Under: Which is Better?
A full belly panel or underbelly waistline is primarily a matter of personal preference and body type.
If you have narrow hips, it may be difficult to keep an underbelly pair of jeans from sagging.
However, if you’re late in your pregnancy and your skin is stretched to its max, the idea of placing an elastic piece of fabric over your tender belly may be unbearable.
Regular, Petite, or Tall?
If you tend to be tall or short, buying regular-length pants may end up hitting at an awkward place on your ankle (or the floor). Sometimes you need special sizing:
Petite: A petite size may fit better if you are between 4’11 and 5’3.
Tall: A tall size may work if you’re 5’8 or taller (source).
However, you may need to try on a pair or two to determine whether these special sizes actually work better for you. Exact fit can also vary based on torso length and footwear preference. In other words, these sizes aren’t one-size-fits-all.
Our top pick is the Three Seasons Boot Cut Maternity Jeans. While skinny jeans look upscale and trendy, every mom-to-be needs a comfy, slouchy, casual pair of jeans in her wardrobe. These are cut to fit nearly every body, have a neutral belly band that won’t show through a thin top, and are at a price point that makes them accessible to any budget.
Jeans were a wardrobe staple before you were pregnant, and that doesn’t need to change once you’re expecting. Choose a pair that are comfy and make you feel fabulous, and wear them with confidence.