The Panel Debate: Maternity Jeans

Full, demi or side stretch, find out how to find your best maternity jeans fit.

We don’t expect you to go 9 long months without your favorite pair of denim. Let’s face it, even those early days postpartum will have your belly looking a little puffy and leggings can’t cut it every. single. day. But never fear! When the time comes to add maternity jeans to your closet, there are loads of fashionable choices from skinny leg to boot cut that will suit all your wardrobe needs. But what about that waistband? We have friends who swear by the high panel, others who rock the BellaBand straight through and plenty who fall somewhere in between.

The best way to know what suits you best is to get to the store and try some on (not the best way to spend a Saturday, we know!). So here’s a quick recap in case online shopping is more your speed. You can still be comfy and cute while that baby (and your belly) grows.

Maternity Jeans Full Panel

Full Panel. This is the good old maternity pant that your mom remembers (although mine tells me that the material is much sturdier than it used to be). Typically, the pants end just above your pubic bone and that’s where the stretchy panel begins. These might feel a bit clunky during early and mid pregnancy but they will fit snugly on your belly and comfortably stretch to just below your bra line in those final months. Some pants feature a nude colored panel that won’t be visible under light-colored tops while others have a panel the same color as the pants (think dark blue or black, depending). Both are good for different reasons: the panels that match the pants are less obvious when wearing a shorter top that might ride up but won’t be a good match for your basic white tee.
Above (Left to Right): Old Navy, $34.94 // Gap, $69.95 // James Jeans, $145

 

Maternity Jeans Demi Panel

Demi Panel. Think of your very favorite jeans, add a wide elastic waistband and you’ve got yourself a pair of demi panel maternity pants (beware: you may never wear regular jeans again!). These are great for early pregnancy and even for the later days so long as you’re comfortable with a bit less belly support and coverage. Also, some mommas-to-be report an itchy belly as the skin stretches or over-heating during the hot summer months. In those cases, the demi panel offers a nice alternative to the full panel and lets your belly breathe.
Above (Left to Right): Topshop, $76 //  ASOS Maternity, $57 // Liz Lange for Target, $34.99

 

Maternity Jeans Side Panel

Elastic Side Panels. If you’re anti-all things maternity but this trick just isn’t cutting it, the elastic side panel jean will be your best friend. These are the least intrusive as they still feature a regular-looking waistband with the inclusion of two elastic side panels. Be sure you’re comfortable wearing your pants below your belly (high-waisted lovers need not apply) and these will be a welcome addition to your new wardrobe.
Above (Left to Right): DL1961, $178 // Citizens of Humanity, $278 // Madeleine Maternity, $149

SHOP MATERNITY JEANS

Liz Kerins Pacheco

Liz Kerins Pacheco

Liz Kerins Pacheco is the former Kids Shop Buyer for Fab.com and a freelance writer who is passionate about great design for babies, kids, moms and dads. She lives with her husband on the Upper East Side and calls herself a proud auntie, happy New Yorker and jelly bean fanatic.

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