I dreaded shopping for maternity clothes. It felt like surrendering my style — and I had particularly strong feelings about “mom jeans.” Not the cool fit that’s been revamped and on trend and seen on the likes of street style darlings like Miroslava Duma, but really classically sad “mom jeans” (the stuff of SNL skit fame). I envisioned awkward, uncomfortable elastic bands for the bump and ill-fitting, too-stretchy denim, closer to the likes of “pajama jeans” I’d seen on infomercials.
Fortunately, Madewell stepped in to set me straight. Sure, I was skeptical, but when I hit five months and could no longer get away with the ‘ol rubber band trick, I was also desperate. When my Madewell maternity jeans arrived, I tore open the box, held them up, and held my breath — my first foray into over-the-bump anything. From the belly band down, they looked just like the skinny jeans I’d normally buy. The black ones came perfectly distressed, and both had a supersoft feel — not shapeless, like jeggings — but more like a well-worn pair that doesn’t require any breaking in.
The part I wasn’t as excited for: shimmying into them. I have curves and like a button and fly for a reason — it gives me the room to get in to my jeans. These are just pull-on; no way is that going to work. They proved me wrong. The belly panel has just the right give that stretches over hips, butt, and thighs, and then, right over your growing bump. Plus, that panel is all kinds of dreamy soft. Unlike other paneling that hugs the sides with tough elastic, this one is breathable, pliable, and provides full coverage without suffocating your skin (something I think about a lot, since it feels like I am actually cooking a “bun in the oven” and my body temperature is perma-set to broil).
Like all the things I love in my closet, pregnant or not, it comes down to this: is it comfortable, quality-made, and does it feel like me? With a resounding yes to all three requirements in question, I’ll just add that the bonus is the compliments I get whenever I wear them (and not just from pregnant women, either).
Read on to shop the pairs I’ve been living in for the past four months.