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Maternity Jeans Reviewed: The Yay to the Nay

By Ilana Wiles

the yay to the nayThe photos above are both me taken on the same day. I KNOW- CRAZY. On the left I look like a chic pregnant woman with a cute baby belly somewhere around my second trimester, and on the right I look like I should have given birth weeks ago and also, I might be wearing a diaper.

I’m here to help you from having to go through this exercise yourself. Nobody should ever have to see themselves looking like a pregnant 45-year-old man, even if it’s just for five seconds in a dressing room.

Last week, at twenty weeks pregnant, I took a trip to Destination Maternity— Manhattan’s mecca for all things baby-bump— in search of the best maternity jeans.

Now, finding the perfect jeans is no easy task, even when you are not ‘with child.’ It involves a very careful calculation of both price and fit. And probably a good two hours of time to try on every pair in the store.

Maternity jeans fall into three different price ranges and categories: high-end such as Joe’s Jeans, AG Jeans and Seven for all mankind (priced $150 and up), mid-range such as Mavi and Vigoss (priced around $100) and low-priced such as Motherhood Maternity (priced under $50).

The main goal of my trip was to determine if the $198-priced pairs were really that different from the $50-priced pairs. After all, you are only wearing these suckers for a few months.

The answer I’m afraid is YES.

NOT ALL MATERNITY JEANS ARE CREATED EQUAL. Not by a long shot. (See photo above.)

The more expensive jeans not only fit better, they use lighter, stretchier, more comfortable material, they have fuller firmer belly bands, and they just look 1000x BETTER.

FYI- Heavier material is bad not only because it’s 100 degrees outside right now but because without a zippered waist holding your jeans up, the material will weigh down your pants causing them to sag. Then you’ll try repeatedly to pull them up using the belly band, but you can’t lift your shirt up to your bra in public, so you’ll pull the band at the part where it meets the jeans right above your butt. AND (this is important) if that belly band material isn’t made of something sturdy, it’s going to start to tear. Trust me— I learned this the hard way, this past weekend.

Here’s “The Yay to the Nay” of all the maternity jeans I tried on:

Joe’s Maternity Jeans

The most expensive maternity jeans of the bunch at $198. I found the fit only okay. Verdict: Maybe it’s just my body, who knows, but I say— NAY, not worth it.

AG Maternity Jeans

These were $160 a pair and they fit and look awesome. Plus the material is super light, soft and comfortable. I knew the second I put them on that I would be buying them no matter what the price. Verdict: YAY.

Seven for all mankind Maternity Jeans

This brand of maternity jeans (also $160 per pair) was hit or miss. I didn’t like the fit of the regular boot cut Seven for all mankind maternity jeans and they weren’t nearly as comfy as AG’s maternity jeans, but the skinny Seven for all mankind maternity jeans were AMAZING. The belly band is nude color instead of blue which is actually awesome for sheer summer shirts. And it starts really low so there is never any bulk- you feel like you are wearing a unitard. Plus, they seem like the kind of jeans that will never stretch out. Verdict: Boot cut- NAY, Skinny- YAY.

Vigoss Maternity Jeans

and

Sold maternity jeans

Both maternity jean pairs looked pretty good but the fabric has hardly any stretch and felt uncomfortably heavy. (Sold maternity jeans pictured below) Verdict: NAY.

Mavi maternity jeans

This is the brand of maternity jeans ($100) I wore during my first pregnancy. They are comfortable but not nearly as flattering as the higher-end maternity jeans. I actually ended up buying a Capri length for summer but those were the maternity jeans I almost ripped this past weekend. YAY for the price- just be careful when pulling them up!

Motherhood Maternity jeans

And last but not least the Motherhood Maternity jeans ($30) were perhaps the most atrocious thing I have ever put on my body. How something can be that loose but also look like you have cameltoe, I have no idea. Also, the jeans below are sized medium and made me want to cry. Verdict: TRIPLE NAY.

The lesson here: if you want to look good and be comfortable in your maternity jeans, you are going to need to shell out some cash.

If you don’t want to spend the money (which is totally understandable and okay), there is no law that says you have to wear jeans while you are pregnant.

Because seriously— you’d have to PAY ME to leave the house in those Motherhood Maternity jeans. I’m having a hard enough time knowing that I just published a picture of me wearing them on the internet.

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Published July 13, 2012. Last updated March 27, 2018.
About the Author

Ilana Wiles

Ilana Wiles writes Mommy Shorts, a popular NYC humor blog geared towards new parents. In addition to blogging, Ilana has worked as a creative in advertisin...

Ilana Wiles writes Mommy Shorts, a popular NYC humor blog geared towards new parents. In addition to blogging, Ilana has worked as a creative in advertising for the past 15 years. She lives in the East Village of NYC with her husband, her two-year-old daughter and a rapidly growing pile of stuffed animals.

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