I found very limited ‘non-toxic’ maternity clothing options. While it’s great to see the wider fashion industry become more aware of their environmental impact and embracing ‘cleaner’ approaches… I have yet to find maternity brands with certifications from 3rd parties like: GOTS (The Global Organic Textile Standard) & OEKO-TEX Standard 100. As consumers, I believe we ‘vote with our wallet’… I will continue to ask for and purchase non-toxic where possible.
When To Buy?
I was only 8 weeks pregnant when I hit ‘order’ my 1st pair of maternity jeans. For 2 weeks prior I had deliberated buying maternity jeans and felt it was too early. I had not shared my news outside of my immediate family and felt wearing maternity jeans would be a ‘give away’. Instead I tried sizing up in normal jeans… while this was slightly better, it didn’t really help. I grew tired of being uncomfortable, un-buttoning/re-buttoning my pants throughout the day and eventually defaulted into dresses and skirts. I seared the internet for guidance on when to buy maternity jeans / clothing and came up short. At a visit with my doctor (mother of 3) I casually asked when is reasonable to buy maternity jeans and she advised I do what I need to be comfortable. Permission granted, i bought my 1st pair of jeans later that day!
Learnings (Tips & Tricks):
- Buy Early: For your 1st baby I recommend staring research at 4 weeks and buying between 6-8 weeks. Don’t wait and be uncomfortable like I did!
- Order Your pre-maternity Size: I was a size 26 prior to getting pregnant. I wanted to ensure I would get my full value from the maternity jeans and ordered size: 26 & 27 to compare. The 27’s were way baggier and falling down, so I ended up keeping the 26. I am now 6 months pregnant and happy to report my maternity jeans still fit great.
- Embrace Stretch: Both pairs of maternity jeans I purchased are not made from 100% cotton. I believe this has been key to maintaining comfort and fit as my body evolves and changes.
- Opt for Elastic Side Panels: I purchased my maternity jeans before I was actively sharing my baby news. To try and appear ‘normal’ I steered away from ‘over-the-bump elastic waistband’ and purchased ‘Elastic Side Panels’. As my pregnancy progressed, I am really happy with this choice – here are benefits & challenges:
- Challenge: Once I ‘popped’, the stitching on my ‘Elastic Side Panels’ jeans started pressing into my belly, leaving rub marks. To combat this, I created a barrier by wearing a belly band and/or tucking a cami into my jeans.
- Flexibility: Multiple leggings I purchased have ‘over-the-bump elastic waistbands’ that I find VERY uncomfortable after a few hours. I appreciate the flexibility to wear: bellybands and/or a cami vs being suck with a sewn in option
- Washing: I put cream/oil on my belly every morning/evening to keep my skin moisturized. I can wash the: bellyband or cami that directly touches my skin at my discretion vs. needing to frequency wash my jeans to remove excess cream or cream build up.
- Brilliant Basics: I recommend purchasing: 1 pair of dark blue/black and 1 pair of lighter blue maternity jeans. This has allowed me to ‘dress up’ and ‘dress down’ as needed to suit any occasion.
- Go Low and high: I ended up with 1 low rise and 1 high raise waist which has been great. Depending on the day/week, I find the low rise or high rise more comfortable and appreciate the option to rotate.
Bands and Retailers:
… Disclaimer – I wear jeans to work most days and choose to invest in ‘nice’ jeans. I took this same approach when purchasing maternity jeans and ‘invested’ in 2 nice pairs from: ‘J Brand Mama’.
- 1st pair: ‘J Brand Mama J Maternity skinny jeans’ from ASOS. These jeans are higher waisted and SUPER stretchy. Due to composition (less than 30% cotton) they tend to ‘bag-out’ a bit faster and I find myself wanting to put them through the dryer to regain shape.
- 2nd pair: “3401 Mama J Super Skinny Maternity Jeans” from ShopBop. These jeans are low cut and more structured (+90% cotton). I feel great in these, they are my ‘go to’ jeans for dressing up.