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Maternity Clothes Guide - How To Buy Jeans or Pants For Your Pregnancy

Updated on March 14, 2014

Maternity Clothes Guide - How To Buy Jeans or Pants For Your Pregnancy

Pic from Amazon
Pic from Amazon | Source

Why should you wear maternity pants or jeans during your pregnancy?

Maternity pants or jeans are an absolute necessity during and after your pregnancy! While you may get away with wearing regular jeans through the first tri-mester, as your belly expands your usual pair of jeans will become progressively confining. In fact, during mid to later pregnancy, continued wear of non-maternity pants or jeans may cause cramping, slight pain, or physical discomfort. Wearing maternity clothes, in general, promotes a healthy delivery. This is the best reason to invest in your first pair of maternity jeans or pants, today!

What does a good pair of maternity pants or jeans include?

  • Less restrictive than non-maternity wear
  • Usually without zippers or buttons
  • Stretchable band, panel, or elastic
  • Fabric has some amount of spandex
  • Sold in same size as your normal clothes

From Pregnancy and Beyond!

It certainly takes a while to get back into your pre-pregnancy clothing, even after your bundle of joy arrives! Maternity clothes are so comfortable, so just keep enjoying them as long as you like. In any case, the maternity support that you choose is effortlessly concealable with a long shirt, tunic, or tummy sleeve. Feel your best knowing that others won't have a clue that you are still wearing maternity pants or jeans.

Most Popular Maternity Brand

What is your favorite maternity brand?

See results

What are the most popular maternity brands to buy?

  • Motherhood Maternity
  • Liz Lange or In Due Time by Target
  • Mimi Maternity by A Pea In The Pod
  • Planet Motherhood & Faded Glory by Wal-Mart
  • Oh! Baby by Motherhood from Kohl's
  • Old Navy or Gap Maternity
  • Thyme Maternity by Babies R' Us

There are so many more noteworthy maternity brands! If you have a favorite maternity brand that is not listed here, please leave your comments below.

Maternity sizing, belly band, and style tips by youtubers:

Before you read further, I have several tasteful youtube videos posted throughout this hub which are meant to assist you with a visual aide and better explanation of each topic. I really want to encourage you to watch each because they will add value to your experience in reading my hubpage.

Below, please view Judith Campbell's short youtube video on her sizing, belly band, and style tips about the perfect maternity jeans. Not only is Judith sooo cute in her maternity jeans, but also the tips she provides are completely helpful! Enjoy!

Stylish Maternity Wear - The Perfect Maternity Jeans (Sizing & Style Tips)

Did You Know?

Maternity clothes also come in Petite, Tall, and Plus sizes! These sizes are normally hard to find in retail stores, so that's just another great reason to purchase them online. There are three examples of these sizes below:

What size of maternity jeans or pants do you buy?

Below I've compiled a basic size chart for your convenience. However, keep in mind that sizing is also different for each manufacturer and brand. Sizing and fit will also vary for each customer and could change through your second or third trimester depending on how much weight you gain and how you carry your baby. Here is an example: in the early stages of pregnancy, my regular clothes fit at size Medium or 8-10. For the rest of my pregnancy, though, as my bump grows I become a size Large or 12-14.

  • Sizes vary for each manufacturer!
  • Size can change throughout your pregnancy!

Waist is measured around the fullest part of your upper leg.

Inseam is measured from the crotch to bottom of inner leg.

Regular Hip Measurements

36"- 37"
38"- 39"
40"- 41"
42"- 43"
45"- 46"

Petite or Short Size

Petite or short sizes are typically listed as PXS, PS, PM, PL, PXL. The average petite size for regular jeans or pants (boot cut, straight leg, etc) runs an inseam length of 29-30 inches. Skinny or Slim fit inseam may run around 26 - 29 inches. Capri's inseam averages about 20 inches.

Tall or Long Size

Tall or long sizes can range from LS, LM, LL, LXL, etc. The average tall size for regular jeans or pants (boot cut, straight leg, etc) runs an inseam length of 32-34 inches. Skinny or Slim fit inseam may run around 33-34.5 inches. Capri's inseam averages about 24-26 inches.

Plus Size

Plus size can range from 1X (18-20), 2X (22-24), 3X (26-28). Hip measurements typically average 1X (48"- 50"), 2X (51"- 53"), 3X (54"- 56"). Plus size maternity jeans and pants are also available in the tall and petite inseam lengths. Inseam for plus size typically run 30" for petite, 32" for regular, and 34" for tall lengths.

Maternity Jeans Fit and Style Guide

Which type of maternity support do you buy?

In a pair of jeans or pants, maternity support, or also called belly support, is considered the belly band, panel, or elastic waist which hold the garment around your waist. Did you know that maternity support is different for each brand? Yes! That makes it so confusing for a new maternity shopper. Each manufacturer utilizes a different system of names for defining their own variations of belly support.

For example, Old Navy has a woven panel whereas other manufactures might call this a real or elastic waist. Choose a type of belly support that best fits your individual preference, body type, and how you carry the baby. I've created a short breakdown of which bands or panels are best suited for each stage of pregnancy, along with the most popular 3 types of pregnancy support below:

Most Popular Maternity Support

What is your favorite type of maternity support?

See results

What are the most common 3 types of maternity support?

The most common 3 types of maternity support that I've noticed are:


Most Common 3 Types of Maternity Support

Pics by Amazon
Pics by Amazon

#1) No Belly, Real or Elastic Waist

Fits like real jeans, sits low on the belly, and has an all-around elastic waist which is often adjustable. Good for early pregnancy!

  • 1st Trimester & Post Pregnancy: No Belly or Panel, Woven Panel, Low Rise, Real Waist, Self Belly, Elastic Waist, Now & Later Belly, etc.

#2) Under Belly Band:

A cotton or elastic covered wide sturdy band which fits under the belly. Great for mid pregnancy!

  • 1st & 2nd Trimester: Mid Belly Panel, Demi Panel or Band, Under Belly Band, Half Belly Band, Front Belly Band, Semi Panel, etc.

#3) Full Panel or Secret Fit Belly

Includes flexible fabric which extends over the abdomen and totally covers it. Perfect for all nine months!

  • Whole Nine Months: Full Panel, Secret Fit Belly Panel, 3 Way Belly, Smooth Panel, 3-In-1 Flex Panel, Pull On Belly, Foldover Panel, Ultimate Panel, etc.

Jean / Pant Cut Styles

What are your favorite Jean / Pant cut styles?

See results

What are the different types of styles?

Just as with regular clothes, there are many different styles and cuts of maternity jeans and pants! The most popular cut of maternity jeans, or pants for that matter, are the boot cut. Leggings and jeggings, crops & capri's, straight leg, and skinny or slim fit jeans are other very popular types in maternity, Other styles include the boyfriend, fit and flare, cargo, carpenter, relaxed, overalls, and wide leg, etc. Pants come in these categories: Capri, Cropped, Cargo, Casual Pants, Corduroys, Dress Pants, Khakis, Chinos, Leather, Linen, Overalls, and Pant Sets, etc.

Below, are examples of the top five styles of maternity jeans:

#1) Boot Cut Style

Boot cut jeans are designed to accommodate a boot. However, these type of jeans are widely worn with other types of shoes because they are very flattering and comfortable. The jeans are tapered to the knee and then slightly flare out. This is the most popular cut of maternity jeans because they are particularly flattering on more curvaceous body types. This type of jean is also recommended for those who are petite or short. Most manufactures refer to a boot cut jean or pant as having a one to four inch difference in circumference from the knee to the leg opening.

#2) Leggings or Jeggings

Maternity leggings or jeggings may look and feel the same as your pre-pregnancy pair, however, the maternity style includes a waist band which is much more forgiving and comfortable to wear while pregnant. In fact, as your bump grows the non-maternity pair become very uncomfortable and by about 20 weeks (or sooner) they no longer fit. This style of maternity pants are skinny through the hip and thigh, with a skinny leg opening and shorter length. Both leggings and jeggings are also perfect for any season. in the summer and spring, wear flats or sandals. In the winter and fall, wear flat mid-calf or knee high length boots.

#3) Crops & Capri's

The Capri cut ends at the mid-calf and is considered a casual, summer wardrobe choice. Wear yours with a pair of stylish sandals, flats, mules, or sneakers. They come in all kinds of fabrics including denim, khaki, linen, etc. The cropped cut ends just above the ankle. These are perfect for most occasions through September when worn with mules or loafers. Dress them up with sling-back pumps and pantyhose. By October, the leather, suede, or corduroy cropped pants could be paired with a mid-calf or knee-high boot. Never wear pantyhose with Capri's or sock above ankles with the cropped style.

#4) Skinny or Slim Fit

The skinny or slim fit cut is becoming very widely popular right now with maternity wear. Normally, these jeans have a snug fit which transcends all the way to the legs and ankles with a small leg opening. Other names for these jeans/pants include: carrot leg, cigarette, drain pipes, peg legs, pencil legs, and tapered legs. Actresses like Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn were fans of wearing skinny or slim fit pants. The Rolling Stones even wore them! Leg warmers can be sported over the bottom of the legs. For the winter, pair with boots and in the summer they are perfect to wear with sandals.

#5) Straight Leg

One great feature of the traditional straight leg opening is that you can wear any type of footwear that you like, including boots! These pants / jeans are exactly what the name says, having straight legs. They have a straight narrow leg which does not flare at he ankles. Their circumference is consistent from the knees to the hem. These pants are great for any season or occasion. If you have a casual Friday at work, try pairing these with a maternity top and blazer for a chic look. Levi's Strauss introduced these jeans to America in the late 1800's.

Copyright Melinda Longoria 2014. All rights reserved.
Copyright Melinda Longoria 2014. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Melinda Longoria, MSM has sold maternity clothes online since 2012, has two beautiful children and one on the way, and has helped many other moms with their questions on her successful Facebook fanpage, Maternity Clothes Online, which has over 550 followers. Please feel free to post your comments and questions about Maternity Clothing in the below comment box.

Please rate this article...

5 out of 5 stars from 1 rating of How to Buy Maternity Jeans or Pants for your Pregnancy


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    • Melinda Longoria profile imageAUTHOR

      Melinda Longoria, MSM 

      4 years ago from Garland, Texas

      Thank you Eiddwen! :)

    • Eiddwen profile image


      4 years ago from Wales

      A great hub which I am sure will benefit many.



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