Steal That Style: Maternity Denim Duds

06/03/2009 at 01:00 PM ET
Celebrity Baby Blog – Steal That Style

A pregnancy may only seem like a moment in time, but those months just might be where comfort is needed most! As an expectant mama’s burgeoning belly begins to grow and maternity clothes become a necessity, the initial shopping spree is often all about purchasing the staples, which should include a great pair of quality jeans.

Apparently, we aren’t the only ones who think a good pair of maternity jeans are a great option for both running errands or walking the press line at celebrity events. Over the last few weeks we have spotted Kelly Rutherford looking casual yet chic while hanging out on the set of Gossip Girl, new mama Kimora Lee Simmons who dressed up the jeans look for a lunch date, Nicole Richie who opted for a darker denim to show off her beginning belly and Ellen Pompeo out grabbing a cup of coffee in a pair of washed-out jeans. Before welcoming her daughter in March, Alyson Hannigan was often seen in Paige Premium Denim‘s Laurel Canyon style maternity jeans in their McKinley ($196) and Lagoon washes ($194), making them the go-to jeans for the actress.

Pacific Coast News; Ramey; Jesse Grant/WireImage; Pacific Coast News

Before heading out and picking up a few denim duds of your own, make sure you know what options are available. Like other maternity pants, jeans are styled similarly as non-maternity — they have front and rear pockets, and often have a faux fly — but they make special accommodations for your bump. There are three basic styles: over-the-belly, mid-belly and under-belly. Over-the-belly has a stretchy panel that covers the entire stomach, starting under the belly and ending just under the bust. This style is great for the second and third trimester but in the early days may slip until your bump is big enough to hold it up. The mid-belly category includes the self-belly panel, where the belly panel is sewn under the fabric for a more discreet look; the half-belly panel, where the belly band is only sewn into the front of the jeans; and the mid-belly panel, with the top of the panel sitting even with the belly button to provide moderate coverage, but maximum comfort. The under-belly category includes the under-belly panel, which sits below the belly button and offers only minimum tummy coverage and the no-belly panel, which is essentially an extremely low-rise cut in the front only — there is no defined stretchy fabric sewn into the jeans so the front of the pants sit lower under the belly — while offering extra support to the back.

All styles can be worn throughout the entire pregnancy (and even after, as you get back into shape) but certain kinds are better depending on how much you’re showing and how you’re carrying. Of course, it also depends on what’s comfortable for you — for example, some women can’t stand having anything on their bellies so they prefer the under-belly options while they leave other women feeling too bare. Our advice is to wait until you start showing before you invest in pants. Until then, you can wear your old jeans unbuttoned or even unzipped a bit with accessories like the IsABelt ($17) or Bella Band ($26+).

Steal That Style: Maternity Denim Duds with the jeans below!

1 in the Oven Invisibelly Jeans

Breaking Bank: We are loving 1 in the Oven Invisibelly Jeans ($128), which includes a nude belly panel to avoid dark fabric peeking through light-colored tops. A celebrity favorite, we also have our eye on A Pea in the Pod’s Citizens of Humanity Kelly Secret Fit Belly 5-Pocket Boot Cut Maternity Jean ($210). The Secret Fit Belly is exclusive to Pea and their less-expensive brand Motherhood Maternity — it’s a panel made of stretchy and breathable fabric that can be pulled over the whole belly, but then rolled down for a great postpartum style as well. A new style to the famous brand, the dark wash jean topped with the secret fit belly panel, is sure to last from the beginning months to well after baby has arrived. Citizens is a new brand for Pea — they also carry 7 for All Mankind, Joe’s Jeans, True Religion and other denim faves. If you’re a Paige girl, you’ll want to check out Paige Premium Denim which includes maternity versions of their popular styles.

We realize the prices are extremely high, but dishing out more dough on a pair of quality maternity jeans can really pay off in the long run. Especially if you’d never spend more than $50 on jeans, pregnancy is the time to live it up. We promise you that you get so much more with a pair of high-end denim in terms of comfort, cut and style that you may have a hard time going back to budget denim afterwards!

Maternal America’s dark wash boot leg

Not Pinching Pennies: The middle road for maternity jeans is clearly met with Maternal America’s dark wash boot leg maternity jeans ($99), a super stylish look fit for women who are in search of an under-belly panel or Maternal America’s pin tucked maternity jeans ($92). In addition to cute rounded pockets, the seam that runs down the front creates an illusion of longer legs, taking the focus off  other areas that you may think are less flattering! Also check out GapMaternity’s demi panel long and lean dark jeans ($50), with a panel that can be stretched over the belly at the beginning of a pregnancy and pulled down during the last few months, and Old Navy Maternity real-waist trouser jeans ($37).

Motherhood Maternity Secret Fit Belly Must-Have Basic Boot Cut

Bargain Buying: If you’re on a budget, but still looking for comfort matched with style, try Motherhood Maternity Secret Fit Belly Must-Have Basic Boot Cut Maternity Jeans ($30). Not only does the Secret Fit Belly panel once again provide great support and coverage, but the stretchy fabric of the jeans add the extra touch of relief during those last few uncomfortable months! Consider a stop at Sears for their New Additions 3 in 1 jean with embellished pockets ($25) or a trip to Wal-Mart for their Signature by Levi Strauss & Co. Maternity demi-panel bootcut jeans ($25), a pair of jeans that are fitted through the waist with a mid-belly panel.

— Anya and Danielle

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j on

secret or not, i HATE belly panels … to me they feel too bulky and too hot. my fave mat jeans – that i am wearing every day pretty much – are .

Arrealia on

As a plus sized woman, I found it impossible to find jeans in my size when I was pregnant. I checked out the sizes for the brands listed and they don’t have anything over a 12 in most cases. I’m a size 18 and don’t understand why it’s so difficult to find cute maternity clothes in plus sizes. I think designers figure women like myself should just wear muumuus.

Mrs. R. on

So with my first pregnancy, I bought a pair of Gap maternity boot cut jeans, and was SO comfortable in them. I wore them for MONTHS! They were just plain old worn out, so I gave them to good will when I was finally done with them.

This time around, I bought a pair of 7’s used on craigslist. I was so excited because I was getting ‘special’ designer jeans. I hate them. They are not comfortable at all. They don’t fit well around my thighs and hips, the belly panel CONSTANTLY falls down and the pants are constantly sneaking down into an uncomfortable position.

My BEST recommendation is to go try on a bunch of pairs. It’s hard to find maternity clothes that feel good and fit well, but with jeans – you wear them SO much of the time, that it’s worth the effort. And of course – my gap jeans STILL cost less than buying second hand designer ones, so cost isn’t necessarily a factor.

Danielle, CBB Senior Editor on

Maternity jeans are totally hit or miss just like other clothes but even more important to get a good fit when you spend significant coin on them. The premium brands fit better for specific body types – some brands and/or styles are more flattering to specific body types – and if they fit, they fit wonderfully. But if they don’t fit, they’re just like anything else that doesn’t flatter. But, as my mom always says, even a bargain isn’t a bargain if you don’t end up wearing it so don’t settle for inexpensive jeans that you don’t love just because they’re inexpensive.

I just bought a pair of Juicy Couture jeans on and lucked out because they fit but if they didn’t, I would send them back, about $15 poorer (after swallowing the shipping cost).

allison on

I agree with you J. Gap has the best mat. jeans for me too. I’m 24 weeks and still in my size 6 low waisted jeans from them but just recently bought a pair of mat. jeans-I think they were about 70 bucks and worth every penny!

Rach on

I was pregnant in the summer and I hated wearing jeans or anything that touched or clung to my skin. I was a huge fan of the maxi dress during my pregnancy. They were pretty,kept me cool and they didn’t stick to my skin.I agree with J. I bought a skirt and a pair of shorts with the belly panel and I couldn’t stand it at all. It made me feel as if I was wearing spanx all day long.

fnhdl on

I also hate belly panels. I wore these jeans during my whole pregnancy:

they now have them in a darker wash, too:

they were unbelievably comfortable and fit great for the whole nine months and postpartum while I was losing the baby weight.

Farah on

I am 14 weeks pregnant and after reading many blogs, decided to try out maternity jeans. So I bought the Morph maternity jeans. They are extremely comfortable and well-fitting. I am so glad I decided to give them a try.