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why maternity jeans are worth the investment

Categories: maternity

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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?”

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Best maternity jeans: I ask, you answer

Categories: maternity

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It’s been eight and a half years since I was last pregnant, but I can still remember how hard it was to find maternity clothes I really liked. Everything I could afford was poorly made, while the pieces I really liked were out of my budget. I made due with regular pieces in larger sizes; when I outgrew the waistband on my pants, I would rubber band them closed (I cannot tell you how many times the rubber band broke while I was in the middle of teaching a class — awesome).

These days, there are much better options for stylish, affordable maternity wear; every time I walk through Target, I see all sorts of adorable, well-priced pieces, and fast-fashion chains like Forever21 and H&M are carrying maternity wear that almost makes me want to have another baby.

But not quite.

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GAP maternity jeans (these did not exist when I was gestating, sadly)

Maternity wear has come a long way since my last baby — certainly the biggest improvement has to be in maternity jeans. I hated every pair I had during both my pregnancies; the polyester-based fabrics were horrible, and the “maternity panel” typically covered everything from my crotch to my bra. Not a good look.

I get a lot of emails about the best maternity jeans, and I have to confess that I’m at a loss to answer them, not having worn maternity clothes since 2002. But I know that some of you are well — and recently — versed in this, and so I’m turning it over to you. Who makes the best maternity jeans? Is it worth it to splurge for a high-end pair, or can you be chic and comfy with something more mid-priced?

Help the pregnant mamas out, girls. Leave your suggestions in the comments and let’s see what brands are really the best.

Best maternity tops, for work and weekend

Categories: maternity

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Finding something to wear every day can be tough enough; add in a baby bump and it gets even harder. Look for tops that combine soft, stretchy fabrics with some sort of structure; an empire waist or a belt will help you avoid the shapeless lump syndrome that sets in about the sixth month. And while neutral pieces are easy to wear over and over (add a scarf or bright necklace or colored cardigan), be sure to include a few bright pieces in your maternity wardrobe. A rich jewel tone both highlights any pregnancy glow you’ve got going on, and brightens up a tired complexion (because let’s face it, not every day is a glowing day). The top at left is available at Target for $16.99.

Here are my favorite picks — none of these is terribly expensive, which makes them a nice option since they’re really only going to be part of your closet for a short time. Keep them looking good by washing in cold water with a gentle detergent, and line drying (you can toss knit pieces in the dryer to fluff them after they’re dry).

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