Maternity Clothes REVIEWS: Affordable Denim, Tops, Sweaters, and the BEST Dress
Wow, this post is much overdue as I’m 27 weeks right now and almost in the 3rd trimester and only now getting around to posting these reviews for maternity clothes! Part of it was due to the holiday posting schedule and part of it was launching the PMT Winter 2018 Challenge. But a large part of it is because I haven’t bought that many maternity clothes, so until recently there wasn’t even a whole lot to review. That said, a few of these pics are from November when I was 18 weeks pregnant while the rest are from a couple weeks ago at 25 weeks pregnant. If you’re wondering why my bump is smaller in some pics, that’s why. Onto the reviews!
SIZING: I’m 5’6″ and usually size 6/8 or S/M. Sizing for all pieces listed below in each review.
MATERNITY JEANS AND PANTS
I’ll start by saying during my last pregnancy in 2014 I LOATHED maternity jeans. I tried maybe 30+ pairs and never found a pair that I wore. (With the exception of one pair that I could only wear during the first trimester.) I vowed that the next time I was pregnant, I would be willing to pay for designer maternity denim. But the good news is that since 2014, stores like Old Navy and Target have really upped their game in the denim department in general, and that includes their maternity selections.
This time around I’ve tried on a little over 20 pairs of maternity denim from Old Navy, Target, Macy’s (Jessica Simpson and Motherhood Maternity), H&M, and even the $200+ pair of AG maternity denim that a bunch of people love. Below are my favorites, and they’re all from Old Navy, Target, and Macy’s. Yup, those stores beat out the AG denim for me, not just in cost but in how they fit my body. The jeans below all retail under $46, but I paid around $25 for each of them since all three of those stores run frequent sales. WOOHOO! Now, whether I LOVE them or not…well, you’ll have to read on to find out.
– size 4
In the last couple of years Old Navy has completely upped their denim game, and if you’ve been reading PMT for a bit you should know that I’m a huge fan. While Old Navy had my LEAST favorite maternity denim of all time in 2014 (itchy panel that squeezed you and never stayed up, and stiff denim–ugh), I decided to give them a shot again given how much I now liked their regular denim.
The pair above is the maternity version of my absolute favorite non-maternity distressed Rockstar skinnies that sold out and haven’t come back in over a year. This is a side panel with a waistband that is super stretchy–almost too stretchy. These things slide off of me a lot, unfortunately. But I keep them and wear them because the leg fit is exactly what I like–soft and stretchy and comfy with very skinny ankles.
Downsides are that they slide off me (though that is not the case for some people according to reviews) and they don’t have front pockets. Not many maternity jeans I’ve tried have real front pockets, though. With regular denim I’m extremely picky about denim not sliding off, but with maternity jeans, given how much I loathed them in 2014, right now I’m kind of taking what I can get, and these have a great fit, are super soft, and look great. I’m overlooking the sliding down thing because this is a vast improvement from 2014.
SIZING: In the non-maternity pair I sized way down to a 4 and they stretched out after the first wear and didn’t stretch out further for 4-5 wears before washing. Same thing is true for this maternity pair. I tried the size 2 to see if that would help the sliding, and somehow I fit them, but they slid off me even more because they were probably too small. Size 4 it is! Trust me on this. I’ve checked this with nearly 50 women already for the non-maternity pairs. But, if you are in doubt, order two or three sizes since Old Navy offers free return shipping on all orders. And do my 3 hour stretch test described HERE.
– size S
I’d heard a ton of people raving about these. They are often on sale and this whole week I’ve seen them priced at $20.99 though sometimes they’re $29.99.
They sit under the belly, and overall the denim is very stretchy and soft. I like the dark wash, and I like that the stitching on the side blends in rather than being a golden thread that’s more noticeable.
Downsides: Just like the Old Navy pair above, these don’t have front pockets either and they slide down on me–more than the Old Navy pair. More importantly, I don’t feel like the elastic has a lot of resilience, both in the legs and the waistband. I feel the waistband is less resilient than the legs though. They are starting to feel looser on me and don’t appear to be bouncing back to super tight after washing. That makes me wonder how long they’ll last. But at $20.99, I’ll take it. How long do these need to last anyway? Not like I’ll be pregnant forever!
See how much I compromise with maternity jeans when you guys know I make no compromises with regular denim? Aye! The struggle is real with maternity style!
All that said, these are my most worn pair of denim. They are quite comfortable minus the sliding off me. I probably need full panel denim to fix the sliding off problems, but I hate most full panels more than I hate pulling up my jeans.
SIZING: I’m wearing size S. They run pretty big. If XS were available online (as I hear it’s available in store), I would have tried that too!
– size S
I thought these were leggings in store, and I’m still treating them as such even though they’re described as ponte pants and have back pockets. No way I’m wearing these as anything besides leggings because of how fitted they are. I bought them to substitute for my favorite non-maternity Zella leggings since I don’t want to stretch the waistband of those out.
These are super thick, soft, stretchy, and comfy. The full panel could be described the same way and does not dig into your belly or squeeze too hard at the top. Reviewers say these slip down a little which is somewhat true, but not nearly as badly as the two pairs of denim I talked about earlier. They stay up better if I wear the full panel up instead of folding it down. See them HERE.
– size 6
These come in a side panel version like the one I’m wearing above or a full panel version. I haven’t worn them much yet, but so far I’m pleasantly surprised with them! They have cool distressing and a raw hem, and the fit is pretty good.
Downsides: Again, no front pockets. And again, they slide down a *liiiiiittle,* but the least of all 3 pairs of denim I reviewed today. So far they haven’t stretched out or sagged. Another downside is that the rips at the knee are quite large. I mean, I know the jeans are distressed, so duh, but I actually feel the cold air in them. I don’t feel that with the distressed pair of Old Navy jeans above.
SIZING: I tend to be size 6 in Target pants, sometimes 8. These fit me better in 6 than in 8. I would have loved to compare to size 4, but they weren’t in store. I keep meaning to order the 4s to compare, but I’ve been traveling a bunch so I haven’t gotten around to it. If you are ordering online, order several sizes to compare, and return them in store for free.
– size M
Before I found the Target Ponte Pants above, I tried a pair of Old Navy leggings and this pair of H&M leggings (which are only $12.99!) I preferred the H&M pair over the Old Navy ones since they are longer and the rise is higher. They were both much thinner than the ponte pants, but fine to lounge around at home in.
– size M
My sweater is sold out, but in case you want to hunt it down in store, it’s from Old Navy and you can look at it HERE. I wear it in size M.
Unfortunately these are sold out in many solid colors, but in case you can find them somewhere I wanted to include them. I’ve been wearing this black long sleeve and the white version nearly everyday while pregnant in place of my usual HEATTECH layer. These are really soft with a good amount of stretch, and overall a great basic layer! Find them HERE.
– size S
This is not quite as stretchy as the black tee above, and I actually question whether it’ll make it through the third trimester. However, it is soft and is another cute basic tee. I find I always need a striped tee in my wardrobe, so I’ll wear this one as long as it’ll fit over my bump–hopefully all the way to the end, but I’m skeptical!
– size M
This dress is WONDERFUL! It’s the maternity version of my favorite Old Navy pajama dresses. Sooo soft and sooooo stretchy. Maybe too stretchy?–It was a little too loose on me at 18 weeks (first pic w/o maroon cardigan), but now it’s good. I hardly ever wear fitted dresses when I’m not pregnant, but I find fitted dresses more flattering during pregnancy, personally.
This dress is a WINNER! And it’s often ON SALE! See it HERE.
– size S
How stinking cute is this grey bell sleeve bow tie sweater? I found it on clearance at my local Target for around $12, which is where you should check because it’s not available to ship online anymore. Whomp whomp. Still worth mentioning here though!
It’s veryyyy soft with ample stretch and overall just comfy and effortless to wear. (BTW in the pics above are the Jessica Simpson Jeggings. They look great, don’t they? That’s why I’m willing to pull them up all day. )
NON-MATERNITY TOPS THAT ARE GOING STRONG
Aside from these items, I’m still getting away with wearing a lot of non-maternity tops with my staple thick oversized cardigans to stay warm. You can see them on my Instagram account (@puttingmetogether), but to name a few that are still going strong (all sizes are pre-pregnancy, which still work for me at 26-27 weeks):
- I also started wearing my plaid tops unbuttoned and open over the solid long sleeve maternity tops that I reviewed in this post
I know all those won’t last much longer as I’m headed into the third trimester and the baby is going to grow the most rapidly during that time. I’m not sure what I’ll need to add during my third trimester given the seasonal change, but I want to make a game plan and create a mini capsule wardrobe for that time before I buy anymore maternity pieces.
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