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Denim is one of the first instantaneously uncomfortable fabrics when you’re pregnant. That is until you’ve happened upon the best maternity jeans. Whether you’re a straight-leg, cropped, skinny, or boyfriend fan, jeans for pregnant bodies abound in many trendy iterations, appearing equally stylish as all the favorites you defaulted to before you were expecting.
In designing core denim silhouettes for maternity and post-maternity bodies, Hatch's Maggie McGowan tells Byrdie: “It’s all about making our woman feel like she’s wearing her normal jeans.”
Similarly, Sarah Ahmed at DL1961 says the brand focuses on offering a range of inseams, fits, and fashion details that cater to those who are pregnant, specifically. “We treat our maternity denim the same as our mainline denim,” she says. “We take our most popular mainline silhouettes, from skinny and straight to boyfriend and bootcut, and tailor them to accommodate the various needs of pregnancy dressing.”
Meet the Expert
- Maggie McGowan is the vice president of design at Hatch, with prior experience at Madewell and Michael Kors Collection. The birth of her two daughters significantly honed her design aesthetic for maternity wear, recognizing the challenge women face when getting dressed while pregnant.
- Sarah Ahmed is the co-founder and chief creative officer at the family-owned premium denim label DL1961.
Both experts suggest owning a few pairs of maternity jeans in a range of fits and washes. “Our motto at DL1961 is: Buy less and wear more,” says Ahmed. “Because our maternity denim is made to wear during pregnancy and after, we suggest selecting a few seasonless styles you can dress up or down.”
A tried and true classic leg shape and wash you can wear every day, like a skinny or straight leg, is a great entry point. “This style would be chic enough to work with a crisp white button-down at the farmers market yet casual enough to sit down on the grass for a lazy evening picnic dinner with friends,” says McGowan. Second, consider a more fashion-forward style in a different wash. “Maybe your second pair is lighter denim in a cropped kick flare, or your second pair is a slouchy boyfriend in a darker wash,” she continues. At the same time, Ahmed points to a white bootcut for summer weather.
McGowan suggests a cropped, slim, stovepipe leg in a stretch black or white denim for a third option. “Use it as an alternative to a legging, style it with everything, and both colors would be appropriate all year long,” she says.
Keep reading for the best maternity jeans, with more fit and shopping tips from McGowan and Ahmed below.
Best Overall: Hatch The Crop Maternity Jean
McGowan says Hatch’s Crop Maternity Jean is her ultimate add-to-cart pick for any expecting mom. “This perfect pair of denim will give you a chic sneaker and white T-shirt moment or a polished night out when worn with your favorite blouse, statement earrings, and a block heel,” she says. “They’re fitted in the hip and thigh, but the kick crop keeps them comfortable and flattering on all the different and beautiful body shapes. With three different wash offerings, you’re ready to go anywhere.”
Material: Indigo and Light Wash: 92% Cotton 8% Elastomultiester; True White: 60% Cotton 37% Tencel 3% Elastane | Colors: Indigo, True White, Light Wash | Size Range: 25-34 | Care: True White: Machine wash warm and tumble dry cool; Light Wash: Machine wash cold and tumble dry cool; Indigo: Machine wash cold and tumble dry low
Best Straight Leg: DL1961 Patti Straight Maternity
“The Patti Straight is our best-selling maternity jean,” says Ahmed—a vintage straight fit with a 27-inch inseam that’s relaxed through the leg and easy to dress up or down. “It comes in three classic washes—light indigo, dark indigo, and solid black—and features stretch panels at the front waistband for ultimate comfort through every trimester,” she continues. “It’s also made with clean dyes, solar power, and less than 10 gallons of water per pair.”
Material: Black: 58% cotton, 28% Tencel lyocell, 13% polyester, 1% lycra spandex; Seaborn Raw and Reef: 99% cotton, 1% lycra spandex | Colors: Black, Seaborn Raw, Reef | Size Range: 23-34 | Care: Machine wash cold
Best Ankle: Paige Maternity Noella Straight Jeans
This medium-blue indigo straight is perfect for work or dressier occasions. The clean, cropped cut hits at the ankle to showcase your footwear of choice, from heels to sneakers and flats. And with medium stretch throughout, elastic panels at the waist, and a button closure and zip fly, they’re as comfy as they are polished, whether you style them with an oversize tee or blazer and blouse.
Material: 98% cotton, 2% elastane | Colors: Roam | Size Range: 23-34 | Care: Machine wash cold
Best Wide Leg: H&M MAMA Wide High Ankle Jeans
Most maternity jeans come in skinny and straight-leg fits. But if you’re all for the trendy slouchy look, H&M’s wide-leg MAMA jeans are for you. The 5-pocket, ankle-length jean features frayed hems for a cool, undone look and a wide jersey waist panel for a comfortable over-tummy fit with a zip fly and buttons.
Material: 99% recycled cotton blend, 1% spandex | Waist Material: 95% cotton, 5% spandex | Colors: Light denim blue | Size Range: XS-XXL | Care: Machine wash cool
Best Skinny: Citizens of Humanity Rocket Ankle Skinny Maternity Jeans
Citizens of Humanity is a tried-and-true favorite for jeans, which, wonderfully, includes maternity. For your go-to off-duty pair of skinnies, look to this light-wash pair featuring a single ripped knee with tattered hems for an undone look. The seamless over-the-bump stretch panel offers discreet comfort and support that layers well under tops and knits of all kinds.
Material: 98% cotton, 2% spandex | Waist Material: 93% nylon, 7% spandex | Colors: Surf Spray | Size Range: 25-32 | Care: Machine wash
Most Comfortable: Spanx Mama Ankle Jean-ish Seamless Maternity Leggings
Spanx Jean-ish leggings are the perfect way to master maximum comfort with the put-together look of denim. Coming in white, black, and dark blue, these feature a comfy over-the-bump stretch panel that’s seamless and supportive as your bump grows. Keep them in rotation after baby when you’re in the mood for denim sans a restricted fit. It’s worth noting that the brand recommends washing these before you wear them for the first time.
Material: 69% cotton, 26% polyester, 5% elastane | Waist Material: 89% nylon, 11% elastane | Colors: White, Black, Twilight Rinse | Size Range: XS-XL | Care: Machine wash cold inside out, gentle cycle with like colors; lay flat to dry
Best Mom Jeans: ASOS DESIGN Maternity High Waist Slouchy Mom Jeans
No better time to embrace slouchy mom jeans than when pregnant, right? This non-stretch pair is designed for a loose fit through the legs, with elastic panels at the waist to sit under the bump comfortably. Pair yours with sneakers and an oversize hoodie for relaxed days, or proudly showcase your bump with a fitted tee.
Material: 93% cotton, 7% spandex | Colors: Stonewash | Size Range: 2-16 | Care: Machine wash
Best on Amazon: Signature by Levi Strauss & Co. Gold Label Maternity Skinny Jeans
Love your Levi jeans? Look no further than one of the brand’s best-selling maternity styles during your pregnancy—the Gold Label skinny. With over 4,000 five-star ratings on Amazon, these super-stretchy jeans come in four washes and retain their shape wear after wear. Plus, they feature a smooth and comfy knit over-the-bump panel that grows with you throughout the trimesters and beyond.
Material: 78% cotton, 20% polyester, 2% elastane | Colors: Blue Ice, Blue Laguna, Flip Sig, Noir | Size Range: XS-XL | Care: Machine wash
Best Value: Gap Maternity True Waistband Full Panel Cheeky Straight Jeans With Washwell
Gap’s straight-leg maternity jeans are a mega pregnancy style win, combining affordability with sustainability and vintage-inspired design. Featuring a classic five-pocket design and over-the-bump stretch panel, you get the look of modern and versatile straight legs with the comfort of stretch denim that you crave most with a growing belly. Plus, they come in five different eco-friendly washes.
Material: 98% cotton, 2% elastane | Colors: Medium Wash, Dark Indigo, White, Dark Wash, Grey Wash | Size Range: 25-34 (in short, regular, and long) | Care: Machine wash
Best White: Joe’s Lara Ankle Maternity Jeans
Joe’s maternity jeans are constant sellouts, so act fast on this white straight-leg fit for summer. The clean look and lightweight feel are comfy in the heat and perfect with slide sandals, summer sneakers, and heels if you’re up for it. Even better, the stretch panels go a little more unnoticed if they peek out from beneath your top (a common later-in-pregnancy woe).
Material: 71% cotton, 27% lyocell, 2% elastane | Colors: White | Size Range: 23-34 | Care: Machine wash and tumble dry
Best Black: Madewell Maternity Side-Panel Perfect Vintage Jeans
Who doesn’t love vintage-wash black jeans to style casually with sweatshirts or dress up with heels? This pair by Madewell is cut low for an under-the-belly fit with elastic inserts and an adjustable elasticized waistband. The perfectly broken-in feel will feel good throughout pregnancy and beyond, whether you style them with a button-down and slides or a peplum top and pumps for dinner.
Material: 99% cotton, 1% elastane heritage stretch denim | Colors: Lunar Wash | Size Range: 23-33 | Care: Machine wash
Best Sustainable: Seraphine Organic Cotton Over Bump Maternity Jeans
If you’re seeking over-the-bump skinny jeans, look to Seraphine’s classic style, made with organic cotton. With the classic look of a traditional button and fly closure, you can wear tops of all kinds, from sweaters to button-downs and tees. The darker wash can easily be dressed up or down for errands and coffee runs to dinners out.
Material: 81% organic cotton, 17% recycled polyester, 2% elastane; waistband: 94% cotton, 6% elastane | Colors: Blue | Size Range: 2-16 (in regular, petite, and long) | Care: Machine wash; do not tumble dry; can be dry cleaned
Best Flare: Blanqi Maternity Belly Support Flare Jeans
We’re indeed amid a flare jean resurgence, especially when they nonchalantly pool around your ankles. During pregnancy, reach for Blanqi’s super-stretchy, pull-on design, crafted from the same moisture-wicking and buttery-soft microfiber used in the brand’s bestselling leggings. They’re made with a hidden but supportive over-the-belly panel that lifts and redistributes baby weight while feeling smooth and gentle on delicate (and likely super-stretched) skin.
Material: 87% cotton, 12% polyester, 1% spandex | Colors: Light Stonewash, Worn Indigo Wash | Size Range: 0-14
Best Boot Cut: Hudson Jeans Nico Mid-Rise Bootcut Maternity Jeans
Blame Y2K nostalgia, but the bootcut is also back. This maternity pair by Hudson looks as stylish pooled at the ankle with sneakers as it does with strappy heeled sandals, featuring front elastic panels designed to sit below the bump and plenty of stretch throughout for maximum comfort.
Material: 93% cotton, 6% polyester, 1% elastane | Colors: Spades | Size Range: 23-34 | Care: Machine wash
Best '90s-Inspired: Good American Good '90s Maternity Jeans
Some nostalgists don't fancy a flare or bootcut; rather, they gravitate towards baggy straight-leg styles. If this is you, shop Good American's Good '90s maternity style, which features a full-coverage belly band for extra comfort and roomy pant legs. Throw on a simple T-shirt and your favorite kicks to get the fullest '90s vibe.
Material: 62% cotton, 38% lyocell | Colors: Blue934 | Size Range: 00-30
Best Jogger: Ripe Drawstring Denim Maternity Jogger
When you’re craving a denim look that’s as comfy as your sweats, it’s all about the maternity jogger jeans. This pair by Ripe features a clean straight leg and is made from soft and stretchy denim with an elastic waist, drawstring, and side front pockets. Pair them with cushy sandals and a tank in the thick of summer, or layer up with an oversize knit and sneakers or boots when the weather is cool.
Material: 96% cotton, 2% polyester, 2% elastane | Colors: Fade Wash, Medium Wash | Size Range: XS-XL
Best Plus-Size: Motherhood Plus Size Secret Fit Belly Straight Leg Maternity Jeans
Motherhood boasts a pair of straight-leg jeans that will suit plus-size figures in any trimester. The sizing goes from 1X to 3X and offers all of the same features as your usual pair of jeans, just with an added seamless stretch maternity panel.
Material: 93% nylon, 7% spandex | Colors: Light Wash | Size Range: 1X-3X
What to Look for in Maternity Jeans
Ahmed says the most important factors to seek in maternity jeans are features that support and provide flexibility for bump growth. Additionally, McGowan says that “fit, proportion, and fabric composition is everything that separates a great pair of maternity jeans from your favorite go-to denim.” Of course, the fit must be designed with a pregnant body in mind, including how the hips and belly change and the effect said changes have on the pulling and bunching of fabric. “Each denim maternity style is about keeping proportion in mind,” McGowan continues. “A growing belly changes the entire silhouette of the body, and maternity denim factors that new shape into its fit.”
Soft, stretchy fabric
Soft fabric with good recovery through stretch is best for the material in maternity jeans, too. “Our core denim was selected as it feels like the perfect worn and loved jeans right off the shelf,” McGowan says. “The element of stretch helps give you a bit of give as your body shifts and helps keep its shape,” she continues. “Our slim jeans have a high element of stretch so they can move with you easily and be forgiving on the body while still having that fitted silhouette.”
Ahmed says most DL1961 maternity styles are made with high-retention stretch to retain a level of comfort and mobility. “We also offer select styles in our DL Ultimate fabric, which features botanic fibers such as Tencel and Modal that are known for their ultra-soft hand feel and breathability,” she explains.
How do you know what size maternity jeans to buy?
While fit can fluctuate between brands, McGowan says most maternity denim labels offer sizing based on your current pregnant measurements, so however you grow during pregnancy, you can purchase the right size, whether you opt for a below- or over-the-bump silhouette. “Fitting for above the bump or below should be based on your preference,” she says. “Over-the-bump styles should have a panel that is tight-fitting to the body to help keep your pants on you, but not so fitted to the point of discomfort.”
Like DL1961 maternity jeans, some labels follow the same sizing as the mainline in sizes 23 to 34. “All of our maternity denim sits under the bump as we have found this to be the most comfortable for our pregnant customers,” Ahmed says. “Because of the elastic panels at the front waist, they can be worn post-pregnancy.”
When should you buy maternity jeans?
There’s no official “right” time to buy maternity jeans—it’s all about preference. Ahem says many maternity jeans are designed to be worn at all stages of pregnancy, including post-pregnancy. “Most women start shopping for maternity clothing once they are not able to wear their pre-pregnancy clothes comfortably and need more room and support,” she says.
To extend the life of your existing denim, McGowan offers some advice. “The rubber band trick or front panel extenders help make some of your favorite pants work a little longer,” she explains. “Once you try on a well-fitting pair of maternity denim, you usually wish you had bought a pair sooner.”
What makes them maternity jeans?
Below-the-bump maternity jeans feature elastic panels at the front waist and a lower front rise to accommodate all stages of pregnancy, with a slightly higher back rise for a secure and mobile feel. Over-the-bump maternity jeans feature a larger stretch panel, typically without a button and fly, resembling leggings.
Why Trust Byrdie
Laura Lajiness Kaupke is a seasoned editor and commerce writer who had her first child this spring. As a Byrdie contributor, she’s constantly on the hunt for and trials products that are not only stylish but make life easier, including pregnancy-related essentials. Her work has appeared in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, ELLE, Marie Claire, Glamour, Town&Country, InStyle, Esquire, Women’s Health, WWD, Footwear News, Brides, Refinery29, Coveteur, and more. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and a minor in art history from the University of Arizona.
According to our Diversity Pledge, 15% of products in our newly-published market roundups will feature Black-owned and/or Black-founded brands. At the time of publishing, we were not able to find enough maternity jeans from Black-owned and/or Black-founded businesses to meet this percentage. If you know of one we should consider, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will evaluate the product ASAP.