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why maternity jeans are worth the investment

Categories: maternity


Jane is 15 weeks pregnant with baby #3. “I loaned all of my maternity clothes to a good friend in the summer,” she writes, “and she’s due in about 3-4 weeks. I’m at the point where I can’t use the belly band much longer because my regular jeans are starting to feel uncomfortable everywhere, not just in the waist/hip area that I can’t button or zip. I can do without tops for now…I borrowed some from another friend, and I can make do with my cardigans to cover up the bump that is slowly emerging.

But I feel very strongly about having one good pair of jeans. I think I have two in my stash (on loan to the girlfriend), and I love them both. But alas, I don’t have them. Should I just stick it out until she has her baby or should I bite the bullet and buy a new pair? I tried a pair of full-panel maternity boot-cuts at GAP maternity, and I gasped — they looked so amazing and felt soooooo comfortable. But it was about $70 at the store. Right now, as I am typing this email, there is an online promotion for 40% off your purchase, and the jeans would be just under $40. that’s still a lot of money to me, ESPECIALLY for one item of maternity wear.

“What should I do? Any other cheap/free alternatives come to mind?”


Maternity clothes can seem like a crazy investment; we buy them knowing that we’re only going to wear them for a short time and then they will be totally useless until we get pregnant again. The temptation to scrimp on maternity wear is hard to resist, but every mama need a few good pieces in your closet to get her through.

Jane should bite the bullet and buy the jeans, for a couple of reasons. The first is practical: she doesn’t have any jeans that fit just now, and with two other littles at home, she needs at least one great pair of jeans to wear around every day. She can dress them up or down and pair them with non-maternity pieces to get her through this part of her pregnancy, which means that she can wear them anywhere.

Jane has two other pairs of maternity jeans that she likes, but until her friend has that baby (and stops wearing the maternity clothes) she can’t get them back. And honestly, it could be months before those jeans make their way back to Jane’s house. This is one of the dangers of loaning out your maternity clothes when you’re still in the baby-making years: you may find yourself wishing you had that big box of clothes back again. While Jane waits for her friend to be done with her clothes, she should snap up one new pair of jeans to get her through, rather than making due with pants that don’t fit properly or with cheaper jeans that won’t wear as well.

And then there’s the issue of fit. Every pregnancy is different, and what fit you the last time around may not fit this time around. I always found that this was particularly true with pants; I had pants that I wore all the time when I was pregnant with my first son that totally did not fit with #2. It’s possible that Jane will get her maternity jeans back from her friend only to find that they’re not as comfy as the pair she tried on at the Gap. Or that they’re looking a little worn from so many launderings. Investing in one new pair of jeans guarantees that Jane will have that perfect pair as her go-to for this pregnancy.

Finally, let’s talk about price. Jane is clearly a careful shopper, and she’s weighing her options here. But she should keep in mind that $40 for well-made maternity jeans that really fit and flatter her is a total steal. Heck, $40 for great non-maternity jeans is a steal! And as much as she’s going to wear these, they’re worth the money, even if it does feel like a splurge. Jane has nearly six more months of her pregnancy to go; she’s going to get her money’s worth out of these jeans in that time (plus however many weeks she wears them after the baby comes). Totally worth while.

What did you splurge on when you were pregnant? Or were you a borrower/bargain shopper? What tips do you have for Jane for staying chic on a budget while she waits for her baby?

Photo via Gap

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5 comments so far...

  • Why doesn’t she just ask her friend for one pair of her jeans back to get her through? My friends and I all shared clothes and it was pretty much understood that stuff would come back if one of us got pregnant. Plus, I had a lot of stuff that I wore in early pregnancy that I absolutely couldn’t wear in those last 3 to 4 weeks. I certainly wouldn’t drop $40 on a pair of jeans without at least checking with my friend if there was anything in the clothes I had lent out that I could use first. Personally, I think that $40 is an astronomical sum to pay for maternity jeans. Maybe I’m just cheap!

    amanda  |  December 9th, 2011 at 6:28 am

  • Agree with Amanda. There is a good chance that her friend is not wearing maternity jeans that would fit her in the 2nd trimester. It was a while ago that I was pregnant, but I didn’t wear full panel pants until the 3rd trimester. And the ones I wore in the 2nd trimester didn’t fit in the third trimester. Totally worth asking her friend if there are some early maternity clothes that she is finished with that she could have back. In some respects she would be doing her friend a favor, as it is better to get some of that out of the house before the new baby overwhelms her.

    As for price, $40 for a pair of jeans that she is going to wear pretty much nonstop for a few months (even if just three months or one trimester) is not so bad, if they are comfortable, flattering and will stand up to a lot of use. The price per use is less than a cup of Starbucks for each day she wears them.

    k-t  |  December 9th, 2011 at 6:53 am

  • I definitely splurged on maternity jeans when I was pregnant (maybe a bit too much). But, I wore them frequently and felt great when I did. Also, I wore them for a couple weeks post-partum.

    One item I wish I would have splurged on was leggings. During the last couple weeks of my pregnancy, I was so large and uncomfortable that I lived in leggings and the pair I had were constantly falling down and were just kind of crappy.

    Rhi  |  December 11th, 2011 at 9:15 am

  • Jeans are something you can wear almost every day vs. having to buy a dressy maternity outfit you may only wear once or twice. My favorite maternity jeans were from JC Penney’s - don’t remember how much they were but probably not more than $40, plus JCP always has coupons.

    Ellen W  |  December 12th, 2011 at 2:23 pm

  • Got my jeans last week, and have worn them everyday since. And now I am impatiently waiting for them to dry on the drying rack. (I never put jeans in the dryer!) I love them and have received pleasant compliments on them already. The dark wash is absolutely superb — goes with anything.

    Jane  |  December 19th, 2011 at 8:06 pm