You don't have to give up style for comfort now that you're pregnant.
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.
We all know that a well-chosen pair of maternity jeans can be dressed up or dressed down to fit nearly any occasion. But choosing can be hard. You don’t want to pay too much for maternity jeans that end up rubbing on your tender belly, rolling down, or constricting your movement.
Having tried a wide variety of styles and brands, we were surprised to discover that some maternity jeans did exactly this. So, to spare you the discomfort and save you some money, we’ve created a list of the best maternity jeans for every situation, so you can look and feel your best at all times throughout your pregnancy.
Our Top Picks
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Here are our favorite maternity jeans on the market.
Best Maternity Jeans for Big Thighs
If you’ve got big thighs, you can go one of two ways — embrace your curves with skinny jeans or jeggings, or pick a boot cut to balance out the bottom of your silhouette. Either way, a darker wash is going to be the most slimming.
These loose-fitting casual jeans leave plenty of room in the thighs, so they won’t feel 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.
Motherhood Plus-Size Secret Fit Maternity Jeggings
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.
Stay stylish while committing to comfort with these jeggings! They’ve got a stylish denim look without a restricting, heavy feel. Made instead of a modal, cotton, and spandex blend, they feel soft and stretchy.
Plus, you’ll love the multiple panels to keep your growing belly supported. The front panel covers your belly and provides back support, while the side inset panel is designed to adjust at the hips so you can wear these comfortably throughout your entire pregnancy.
Best Maternity Jeans for Early Pregnancy
You can’t button your regular jeans anymore, but you still feel good enough to prioritize style. Look for a pair of jeans that will show off your bump, allowing you to move freely and no longer feel constricted by the typical zipper-and-button design.
Maternal America California Skinny Maternity Jeans
These jeans’ wide, underbelly waistline 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 favorite weekend pair.
Best Skinny Maternity Jeans
Flaunt it, mama! Skinny jeans are great in any season for a variety of body types and can be dressed up or dressed down depending on where you’re headed. Plus, they add a healthy dose of style to any outfit. Just make sure they’re not too constricting — you still want to move freely.
The dark wash on these skinny maternity jeans makes 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 offers a little “give” when you move.
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.
If you tend to run cold, you’ve found your perfect jeans. These pants are lined with fleece to help you stay extra warm — and they’re comfy, too. They have full belly panels and even come in five sizes and six colors to fit any style.
Best Designer Maternity Jeans
You don’t have to choose between fashion and function — with these jeans, you can have both. Most stylists will tell you that one of the main wardrobe pieces to splurge on is a good pair of jeans, and that rule doesn’t change during pregnancy.
Instead of a traditional belly band, these jeans have elastic inserts 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 will allow you to wear them without feeling constricted.
These jeans are constructed mostly of cotton, so they’ll feel like your pre-pregnancy jeans, but they have a full belly panel for your comfort — and to prevent your pants from falling down. Pair it with mid-ankle boots to help visually balance out your belly.
These luxurious jeans will make you feel like a queen as your baby bump grows. Crafted by an Italian designer brand, they have a skinny fit and five-pocket design. Choose from three color options, though we highly suggest the stunning dark blue wash.
The material is an ultra-stretch blend of cotton, polyester, and lycra and includes a super supportive belly bump panel. Feel great, look great, and prepare for your due date in style.
Best Maternity Jeans That Don’t Fall Down
One of the biggest complaints women have about maternity pants is that they don’t stay up. They tend to sag after a while and are not only uncomfortable but unflattering as well. Pick a pair with a strong full-belly panel that will stay in place all day long.
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 added flair and a slight bootcut shape to give you a nice silhouette.
Best Budget Maternity Jeans
You won’t be wearing these pants forever — just for a few months. We get why you don’t want to spend a fortune. The good news is, you don’t have to. And with a few laundry tips like washing less frequently, turning them inside out for washing, and hanging them to dry can significantly extend the life of your budget-friendly jeans.
These jeans from the denim powerhouse Levi Strauss come in four different washes and an on-trend, skinny fit. They’re made of stretchy denim that won’t lose its shape and have a full belly panel to help keep them up.
Best Over-the-Bump Maternity Jeans
For most women, over-the-bump styles tend to stay up better than under-the-belly styles. The stretchy fabric also provides limited support to the belly, offering comfort. Choose a pair with a real, engineered panel (as opposed to just a piece of elastic masquerading as a panel) for maximum support to keep your pants from sagging.
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.
These skinny maternity jeans made of stretch denim have a full belly panel that looks just like a regular pair of jeans. There is also an adjustable mid-rise internal waistband to ensure a custom fit. It has a stylish skinny fit and light blue wash to add a casual element.
Best Maternity Jeans for Tall Women
If you’re taller than 5 feet, 7 inches, you’re probably well-acquainted with the struggle to find jeans that fit. After all, you’re not preparing for a flood. Tall sizes have longer inseams to accommodate your longer leg length, and Rule #1 of Tall Lady Laundry is still in place while you’re pregnant: Don’t throw your jeans in the dryer.
These long-length jeans will go all the way down to your ankles to avoid looking like capris. They are super stretchy to ensure a custom fit, and the secret-fit belly will ensure they stay up. They also have faux front pockets for added visual detail.
Motherhood Secret Fit Long Boot Cut Maternity Jeans
These boot-cut jeans will help truncate your legs so they won’t appear quite as long. They have a full belly panel and large, well-designed rear pockets that will also fit with a tall pair of heels. Add that to the trendy dark wash, and you’ve found the perfect long pair of jeans.
Best Maternity Jean Shorts
You’re ready to show off those legs, but squeezing into your old Daisy Dukes just isn’t going to happen. While a belly panel may keep your shorts from falling down, you may want to wear as few layers as possible in the summer heat. If that’s the case, go for an under-belly option.
There’s no need to endure a hot, itchy belly panel when you have these shorts. They have side shirring in the waistline, and the 3.5-inch inseam will not only help you show off your gams but also keep them nice and cool.
How to Choose the Best Jeans for Pregnancy
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 work dress code that allows for jeans on Fridays, opt for a straight leg with a dark wash. If you tend to live in maternity leggings and just want to mix it up a bit, jeggings may be right for you.
If you’re in your first or second trimester, go for 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.
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.
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.
Read the care instructions before buying. While most can be machine washed, some jeans may require hand-washing or dry cleaning. Make sure you know what’s expected before investing in your new pair of jeans, so you can ensure the necessary care will fit your lifestyle.
Which Style of Maternity Jeans Is Best?
Before you go shopping, you’ll want to be familiar with the different types of jeans available to you. While there are many options and the “best” one is primarily a matter of personal preference, some styles tend to work better with certain body types than others.
This style is fitted at the leg and follows the body down to the ankle. While your non-pregnancy skinny jeans might have been constricting, these maternity jeans are 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 run straight down the body. The opening at the ankle is the same width as the opening at the knee.
All body types.
Dressing up or down.
Creating a slimming effect.
This style runs 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.
Pairing with heels.
These pants are more “leggings” than “jeans.” The fabric is dyed to look like jeans, but they’re super stretchy and thin like regular leggings.
A full belly panel or underbelly waistline is primarily a matter of personal preference and body type.
It may be challenging to keep an underbelly pair of jeans from sagging if you have narrow hips.
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 are either 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 feet, 8 inches, or taller.
However, you may need to try on a pair or two to determine whether these special sizes actually work better for you. An exact fit can also vary based on torso length and footwear preference. In other words, these aren’t a one-size-fits-all item.
The Bottom Line
Our top pick for the best pregnancy jeans 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 shape. They have a neutral belly band that won’t show through a thin top, and they come 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.
Mary Sweeney, BSN, RN, CEN is an oncology nurse navigator and freelance medical writer. Mary has 4 years of experience as an officer in the Navy Nurse Corps. including emergency/trauma, post-anesthesia, and deployment medicine.