We were pleasantly taken aback by the vast offering of maternity wear at high street fashion forward brand River Island. What first attracted us to the maternity skinny jeans multipack is that we didn’t have to dither over the colour, as the multipack provides a black pair and a lighter stonewash blue pair, too. They’re a stylish tight skinny design, but we actually found them easy to put on thanks to the generous stretch.
Jeans are a staple item in anyone’s wardrobe, but when there’s a burgeoning bump to cater for, pregnant ladies will soon realise that their favourite jeans simply aren’t fit for purpose anymore.
And while what’s happening with a woman’s body is one of life’s greatest achievements, it’s undoubtedly a sad day when you realise, in order to button your jeans, you’d need to rope in a hairband to tie around the button. However, style conscious mums-to-be needn’t worry, as a pair of maternity jeans will become your new best friend.
Gone are the days when dressing with a bump meant impersonating a toilet doily. Thank the fashion gods that things have changed a little, as maternitywear is now a huge market, with dedicated brands and many high street giants offering its own range. Whether you’re a sucker for a skinny jean, or work a wide leg, there’s a maternity alternative out there.
Any pregnant woman will tell you that when it comes to making a sartorial selection, the key is comfort. For some women, they may not start showing until around 20 weeks, where others will find they can’t fit into their pre-baby jeans after the first scan. And just like our bumps (and babies) come in all different shapes and sizes, so do maternity jeans.
Midwife, podcaster and antenatal educator Pip Davies explains “your amazing uterus expands to over 500x its original size in pregnancy, growing from the size of a lemon to that of a watermelon. So, treat yourself to those comfortable maternity jeans.”
How we tested
Tried and tested on a 20-week bump, we reviewed the three different styles of maternity jeans; over-the-bump jeans, where there’s a layer of fabric stitched into the jeans to go over your bump, under-bump jeans, where a discreet panel fits underneath the bump, and jeans with elastic inserts either side of the waistband.
We rated the jeans based on staying-up power, how easy they were to put on and take off, style and of course comfort, which is heavily dependent on the fabric composition used. With each pair we looked at how much our bumps had been taken into consideration when it came to the shape of the jeans and how they would accommodate our developing bodies, plus we factored in bespoke sizing for the taller, or shorter woman and how much they were going to cost us.
The best maternity jeans for 2023:
- Best maternity jeans overall – River Island maternity skinny jeans multipack: £65, Riverisland.com
- Best flattering maternity jeans – Seraphine over bump super-skinny maternity jeans: £55, Seraphine.com
- Best maternity jeans for comfort – Next maternity slim fit jeans: £35, Next.co.uk
- Best maternity jeans for a relaxed fit – JoJo Maman Bebe mid wash straight leg maternity jeans: £15, Jojomamanbebe.co.uk