Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Finding Maternity Pants

Honestly, my only qualm with this sprinter (weather speak: winter that just won't leave quickly enough) is the reality of the maternity pants struggle. I have no idea how the few pairs I own have held up so well to the serious beating I have forced them to endure. Even though winter temps beat down upon us, you might be silently asking me why not having pants to adorn my baby belly is a problem, allow me to explain:

1. You say: Why not wear dresses with tights every day, Danielle?
 I say: If I have to choose between fighting with tights or pseduo zipper, pseudo-button-closure pants in the bathroom several times a day, the fake-me-out pants will win every time. Unless they're in the dirty clothes basket.

2. You say: Why not try a belly band so that you extend the life of your pre-pregnancy pants, Danielle?
I say: The belly band is called a band for a reason, but I do not yet know why it attaches belly to the descriptor. I find this rubberband-like torture device choking all other parts of my body (namely my ribcage) versus actually holding up my pants. If it does, indeed, cover the ubuttoned, unzipped part of my normal pants, I then must fight with it in the bathroom several times a day. I have patience with teenagers but not finicky clothing. 

3. You say: I have heard of this "rubberband trick" that involves letting a rubberband stretch the distance between the button and button closure of your normal pants. What about that?
I say: I injure myself walking down two steps. I cannot imagine what will happen when you stick me, a full bladder, and a rubberband keeping my pants together in a bathroom stall. That will be the day the rubberband breaks, I forgot to bring a back-up, and I have no way of actually buttoning my pants.

I keep reading all of these "avoid buying maternity clothes!" posts, which all suggest the belly band, the rubberband, or wear really low rise pants. None of these take into account that my normal low-rise pants still must cover my lower abdomen, which is where baby likes to reside these days. Neither baby nor I enjoy being poked by a button.

So, I have been on the hunt for pants. I plan to try H&M and have a pair of LOFT pants headed my way, so I will update you on them when I try them out for a day. I also scheduled a maternity stitch (my first Stitch Fix plunge ever), so we shall see if they send me pants that pass my test. Note: I refuse to pay full price on any item of clothing, especially maternity clothing. I tried to find stuff on thredUP, but came up empty on multiple occasions. I have scoured the internet for consignment stuff and etc., but that search is exhausting. Plus, I am getting so much wear out of the ones I bought (none full price, some gifts) that it's okay I spent $20-$40 instead of $10-$15.

Here are my results:

Full Outfit Posts: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

 Lavender Pants (Motherhood Maternity—also have in white)--Husband bought on BOGO promotion, but they're originally $44.98
I had to try on SO MANY pairs to find ones that did not make my butt look dumpy. These fit the bill, but the same pants in another color looked awful. Weird. Also, they are full panel, which I know will make me sweat in the summer, but everything will make me sweat in the summer.  

Black-wash jeans (Gap 1969 inset panel resolution slim straight jeans—also have in light wash blue jean and white)--I bought them at 40% off, but they are $69.95 original price

 Inset panel maternity jeans are by far my favorite because they stretch with my abdomen, the button does not jab me, they have real belt loops (not sure how that'd work really, but I still like feeling as though I am wearing real pants), and no belly panel makes me sweat. I do have to hike them up a little more, but I always have to do that with low rise, maternity pants or not.

Dark black skinny jeans (Motherhood Maternity--can’t find online—Mom bought them in store.)

 They are so dark that they don't look like jeans, so I wear them like normal black pants to work. I don't think anyone really notices. At least they're not leggings. They are full-panel, but the panel isn't too tight.

Charcoal gray pants (Motherhood Maternity--can’t find online—Mom bought them in store)
These are the best work pants ever. I really wish they had them in several colors. They don't sag, they hold their shape well, the full panel isn't too tight, they are as comfortable as leggings because they're a ponte-knit, and they go with everything. I am hoping the LOFT ones I ordered in bi-stretch are the khaki version of these.

Gap Flare leg jeans (1969 demi panel long and lean jeans--currently $69.95, promotion though) 
These worked for a little while until the baby decided to set up shop very low in my abdomen, which means the demi-panel squeeeeezes my lower back and abdomen, and I get the worst backaches. I thought it was a fluke until it happened more than once and with the Old Navy pair. Demi-panel is not for me, but it might work for you. (If I sized up, the pants would float on my legs.)

Old Navy Dark wash skinny jeans (Maternity Low-Panel Skinny Jeans--currently $28, promotion though) 
Same issue as the Gap demi panel: bad back pain. They just plain hurt. They cover my bum very nicely and look soooo good on, but dang, I think I cut off circulation to me and the baby. Again, sizing up would have made the pants fall down, so that wouldn't have solved the problem.

Maternity Side-Panel The Pixie Chinos (tried olive and navy--$34.94, promotion though)
I had the opposite problem with these, but I struggle to find pants when I'm not pregnant. Therefore, these might work for you. I found that when they fit in the legs, they were HUGE in the waist. Maybe I'll need to get these when I'm much bigger? I even got the smallest size, and I was swimming in them. Dude, where's the happy medium between these and the demi panel? These pants are also inset panels like the Gap pants on my good list, but I guess Gap does inset better than Old Navy. 

Yes, I want them in the light blue because I am becoming quite fond of this color. I watched a "maternity haul" video on YouTube, and the girl looked to be about my size with the same complaints about most maternity pants (dumpy butt). She posted the video last year, but these are the same pants from Old Navy. You know I got them on super sale, of course.  

I really want these to work because I love LOFT, and I have to pay the return shipping because you cannot return maternity stuff to LOFT stores. Dumb dumb dumb. I bought them on a 40% off promotion.
MAMA treggings from H&M (in olive—$34.95)

 The outlet mall near me has an H&M that also sells maternity. I am hoping they have this pair or the next pair in their store. We'll see. If not, I might be tempted to order them online. I wear a lot of pants to work, so it'd be nice to wear something other than a jean material.

MAMA Slim-Fit Pants (blush, navy, and black--$34.95)

 Recap of what I have kept:
1. Full panel Lavender jeans (gift from Jeff)
2. Full panel white jeans (gift from Jeff--bought on BOGO by him, with a coupon! Go, Jeff!)
2. Full Panel Dark black jeans (gift from Mom)
3. Full Panel Charcoal Pants (gift from Mom)
4. Inset panel, light wash, casual black jeans (Gap--bought by me on 40% promo)
5. Inset panel, light wash blue jeans (Gap--bought by me on 40% promo)
6. Inset panel, white jeans (Gap--bought by me on 40% promo)
**I got another white pair b/c I think the full panel will fit me better when I'm bigger, and the inset panel will fit me better now. 

Recap of what I will donate:
1. Gap flare leg jeans (I think someone carrying higher would appreciate the demi panel more, OR a woman earlier on in pregnancy. These were perfect for early pregnancy.)
2. Old Navy skinny jeans (same reason as #1)

Recap of what I'd like to add:
1. Super casual, comfy pants (light blue from ON)--I think these might work for the hospital, too.
2. Khaki pants (let's hope the LOFT ones work)
3. Olive pants (I did not realize how much I wore my normal olive pants until I stopped being able to wear them.)
4. Dark wash skinny jeans to replace the Old Navy ones that sadly no longer work.

 General Notes:
1.  I considered some DIY fashion for maternity, but I'd rather use my DIY efforts on a nursery, not pants for me. Plus, as evidenced by my increasing road rage, hormones have played games with my patience level.   
2. Between eBates rebates and money I've made through thredUP, that money has pretty much paid for the stuff that hasn't been gifted to me. 
3. Pretty much the only "maternity" things I buy are pants. I try to buy everything else in non-maternity styles that will fit me before, during, and after baby. 

Linking up with Style Sessions  


  1. Be prepared for Stitch Fix sticker shock. Even in the 'cheaper the better' bracket for prices, they still send items over $70, which makes me cringe!
    Hope they send things you can't live without and it will make spending the $$ easier!

    1. That is actually one of the very reasons I have avoided Stitch Fix for so long, Kristin! However, I am hoping they come up with some magical maternity brand I have not heard of or found online through my endless searches. If they send me a great pair of olive pants or a reeeally cute white dress, then it'll be worth it for that one box, haha.

  2. I was pregnant mostly in the summer so it was mainly shorts, fold over skirts and dresses for me. I only bought three pairs of pants and grew out of the one pair in the second trimester. Seems like you've explored almost every pants option there is :)

  3. I know you've been struggling to find maternity pants that fit right. You seem to have found quite a few though! Are you going to start looking for shorts in the summer? Do your jersey maxi skirts still fit if you wrap the band around your belly instead of folding them down? I hear that pregnancy makes your feet swell so at least you'll be able to wear sandals soon! It sounds like we're having similar weather. While it's been the 70s for the past few days, we're getting a thunderstorm tomorrow with snow on Thursday. At this rate, I don't see my legs seeing the light of day until mid-June!

  4. Yeah, finding maternity pants sucks. I hated paying full price for anything, too, but honestly, when you find something that fits right, just go ahead and buy it. It's worth it to be comfortable in your pants, when sooooo many other things are uncomfortable already. I found that Motherhood was a really good place to look, but have you tried the Liz Lange stuff at Target? I had some luck there as well. We also have Burlington Coat Factory here, and I found a couple pants there, too.

  5. Oh man, I can SO relate to this!! I hated the belly band. I honestly wish I had never spent money on it. So not comfortable and I didn't feel like it extended the life of my pants at all. gah. I only had 3 pairs of maternity pants the entire time (jeans, gray jeans, black pants) and somehow I made it work. My favorite jeans were H&M so hopefully that works out well for you!

  6. Okay. Motherhood maternity AG skinny fit. Are they hella expensive? Yes. Will they look fantastic for your ENTIRE pregnancy? Yes? Will they go on to look fantastic for your second pregnancy? Yes. I wore the crap out of them and they are still in fantastic condition.

  7. I bought a pair of the ponte pants from LOFT for about $12 a month or two ago and I love them. I live in the Target Ponte pants at work because they are like dressy leggings that actually ARE pants. I just bought two more pair from LOFT (grey and black) when they did a 70% off flash sale marking them down from $70 to $7.50. Yep. Stretchy, comfy, AND cheap. They are pretty heavenly!

  8. I say: yoga pants?
    I say: knee high or mid to thigh high socks and mumus?
    I say: wear the pants that do still work for you all. the. time.

  9. It's so funny how different styles and tricks work for different people. I loved the belly band, but I had to play around with it to make it work properly for me. But of course, that only lasted for the first couple months. But I do agree with you about the low panel jeans that I had - they were comfortable enough until one day they just weren't even wearable! I'm mostly rocking the full panel now (or mostly trying to wear skirts and dresses without tights!), but I still do like my Old Navy pixie pants with the side panel. If I had to guess, the H&M treggings will probably work well for you. I say this because I think we have opposite body types, and they didn't quite work for me. I have worn mine, but not very often, and not very comfortably. Anyway, I hope your weather warms up soon!


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