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From trousers to jeans, pants shopping can be complicated, but even trickier is shopping for the best maternity pants. It’s not uncommon to feel instantly comfortable in a pair of leggings or loungewear bottoms, like joggers and cropped ribbed flares, but when a bump becomes part of the equation (along with other common bodily changes throughout pregnancy, like swollen legs and widening hips), finding a comfortable and stylish pair of pants can feel impossible.
“Pants are tough, and your feelings about them may change throughout pregnancy,” says Grace Kapin, co-founder of luxe basics maternity and parenthood clothing label, Storq. “There are some points where any waistband feels like punishment, and there are other points where you may want additional support from a waistband.”
The bottom line? “All pregnant bodies will grow differently, at different rates, and tolerate each stage differently,” Kapin continues. “Some bellies are cantilevered, some are pointy, some are round, and some are sensitive to certain fabrics. Because there’s no one size fits all pregnant body, there will never be a one-size-fits-all pant.”
Similarly, Ingrid+Isabel senior designer Jennifer Kelley says that finding maternity pants that fit throughout your entire pregnancy and don’t compromise on style can be a challenge. “A common issue for women when looking for the right maternity bottom is what kind of waistband is most comfortable for them,” she tells WWD. “There are over-the-belly panels, under-the-belly elastic waistbands, and different types of novelty waistbands, like shirring, that grow with you. Trying on different styles to determine what you feel most comfortable in is key.”
While unstylish associations are common for motherhood collections, many have come a long way, including L’Agence’s new line, catering both to an expectant woman’s needs and trends at once. Even celebrities, like Rihanna, are finally putting to bed the idea that pregnancy outfits are drab. Some of the best maternity brands for pants include Ingrid+Isabel, A Pea In The Pod, Motherhood, Hatch, Bumpsuit, Seraphine (Duchess Kate Middleton is a fan of this London-based line), Storq, Belabumbum, and Emilia George for dedicated pregnancy and postpartum staples. Similarly, there are plenty of cute maternity dresses that are flattering for every stage of pregnancy, and even several nursing bras are developing chic designs, and both wardrobe pieces can be some of the best gifts for pregnanct women that they would love to have, but may not buy on their own.
Contemporary brands also offer great maternity pants, from denim to activewear, including Spanx, Beyond Yoga, Madewell, Gap, DL1961, Paige, and Joe’s, as well as high street retailers, like H&M Mama, ASOS Maternity, and River Island, with great maternity offerings that mirror the brand’s mainline aesthetic.
“Overall, the maternity market has made great strides from a style perspective in the last few years,” says Kelley, pointing to the increased number of options that allow pregnant women to stay true to their style while feeling comfortable throughout pregnancy. She also highlights the evolution of the maternity-specific waistband. “Full belly panels are more supportive and secure, and under-the-belly faux waistband bottoms give her the option to ‘faux-tuck’ in her top to project her bump-proud style,” the senior designer explains.
Maternity jeans and leggings are the most popular pants for pregnant women as they’ve come the farthest in terms of comfort and modern style. “Options for denim have been around for a while now, and that’s a category that can really help you feel a little more human throughout pregnancy,” Kapin tells WWD.
The Storq co-founder says that most people opt for jeans or leggings without much experimentation in between, due to the fact that finding the right fit and value can be so challenging. “When we started making maternity clothes, all pants seemed to have unflattering and uncomfortable polyester or nylon panels — like a regular pant with a swimsuit bandeau sewn on clinging to your belly,” she continues.
Kelley notes how Ingrid+Isabel’s has perfected the fit of the label’s active legging selection by incorporating feedback from pregnant women who wear the leggings before bringing them to market. “Ingrid+Isabel also has a great range of denim and relaxed styles that are comfortable and versatile,” she continues. “Paige Denim has a wide variety of denim and cargo styles. Also, Ripe offers some great casual styles using smocking for the waistband, which is super comfortable.”
Top Maternity Pants 2022
- Best Ribbed Pant: Storq Cozy Rib Day to Night Pant
- Best Black Legging: Bumpsuit The Leggings
- Best Straight-Leg Jeans: DL1961 Patti Straight Maternity Ankle Jeans
- Best Jogger: Belabumbum Foldover Jogger
- Best Ponte Pant: Ingrid+Isabel Everywhere Ponte Pant
- Best Athletic Leggings: Beyond Yoga Spacedye Love the Bump Midi Maternity Legging
- Best Chinos: Asos Design Maternity Chino Pants With Under The Bump Band
- Best Skinny Jeans: Madewell Maternity Over-the-Belly Skinny Jeans
- Best Leather Leggings: Spanx Mama Maternity Faux Leather Leggings
- Best Cargos: Paige Mayslie Maternity Joggers
- Best Cashmere Pants: Pietro Brunelli Wool Cashmere Eco Sustainable Maternity Jogger Pant
- Best Bootcut Jeans: Motherhood Bootcut Stretch Secret Fit Belly Maternity Jeans
- Best Straight-Leg: Hatch The Asher Pant
- Best Dressy Pants: Seraphine Slim Leg Black Maternity Pants Over Bump
- Best Paperbag Waist: H&M Mama Paper-Bag Jeans
- Best Jumpsuit: A Pea In The Pod Luxe Maternity Jumpsuit
The Different Types of Maternity Pants
As the maternity pants market now offers a wider range of modern designs, options vary from traditional denim and leggings to casual maternity lounge pants and maternity track pants. There are also styles for maternity pants for work, including ponte pants, maternity khaki pants, and wide-leg maternity pants. “When looking for the best maternity bottom, you want to consider the waistband,” advises Kelley. “You should try different styles to determine if you want an over-the belly panel, a waistband that sits under your bump, or elastic side insets that you’ll find mainly on denim and other woven pants.”
- Maternity jeans: Kapin says maternity jeans are a great option for daily wear to get the most bang for your buck. “Letting go of jeans for ten-ish months is a tall order,” says the Storq co-founder. “It can feel liberating to find a mostly comfortable pair of jeans that don’t fall constantly, look fairly normal, and are classic and easy to style.” Similarly, Kelley says maternity denim is the most popular pregnancy pant. “There are a ton of different fits to choose from, like skinny, boyfriend, and relaxed,” the Ingrid+Isabel senior designer tells WWD. She adds that “skinny jeans are forever flattering with a baby bump.”
- Maternity yoga pants and leggings: Maternity leggings are some of the most versatile and comfortable pants to add to your pregnancy wardrobe. Black leggings can easily transition from loungewear to a dressy outfit with the change of a top or addition of jewelry, while active leggings are adaptable between workouts and relaxed moments. “Some are super soft, some are super opaque, and some are leather,” Kapin explains. “You have a lot of options here — it shouldn’t be hard to find the pair to suit your needs.” If you’re a runner or have a regular yoga practice, she adds that you “might want something sporty that feels good to move in.” Kelley suggests investing in at least one active maternity pant or legging that you can work out in, but can also easily layer to go out in. “Right now, biker shorts are very on-trend and as well as yoga pants with a flared leg opening,” she says. “You can’t go wrong with any of these styles because they are so flattering, functional, comfortable, and versatile.”
- Maternity sleep and lounge pants: If leggings aren’t to your taste or have become too compressive and uncomfortable as your bump grows, other soft and flexible loungewear pants, from joggers to maternity track pants and maternity pajama pants, are a pleasant alternative. “Your at-home uniform takes on a whole new meaning,” Kapin says of pregnancy. “This is where you can be your most comfortable. Consider something flexible here that you’ll want to keep around after the baby arrives.”
- Maternity dress pants: A more formal maternity pant is a great pregnancy wardrobe addition for work or dressier occasions. Fluid materials or stretch fabrics, like ponte, are great options. “Look for different style details that suit your look,” suggests Kelley, such as wide-leg or cropped designs.
Keep scrolling to shop the 16 pairs of the best maternity pants, from leggings to slacks to jeans.
Storq Cozy Rib Day to Night Pant
Best Ribbed Pant
- Size Range: XS-3X
- Colors: Black, Toast
- Features: Ribbed, cropped, high-rise elastic waist, straight leg, machine washable
Storq’s cropped and high-waisted pants are a stylish and comfortable maternity option with on-trend ribbing, offered in black and tan. “We love this pair made from a modal jersey rib, which means it’s extremely soft, hugs your contours, and is the perfect combo of great stretch with excellent recovery,” says Kapin. “They work well for pregnant bellies and postpartum bodies, plus they look kind of fancy with a heel, but you can totally sleep in them. Best of all, they look and feel like normal pants.” She adds that “these pants are part of a set, and people seem to love a set these days, particularly for pregnancy — the less you have to think about what to wear on a given day, the better.”
Bumpsuit The Leggings
Best Black Legging
- Size Range: XS-XL
- Colors: Black, Brown, White
- Features: Over-the-bump silhouette, double-lined brushed jersey fabric, 4-way stretch
A pair of black leggings that are versatile enough for lounging, dressing up with polished pieces for work, or pairing with casual staples for relaxed outings is a maternity must-have. Bumpsuit’s leggings feel soft, but not overly compressive or revealing. Bumpsuit’s over-the-bump leggings are one of their best-sellers — and a favorite of Kylie Jenner’s. They’re double-lined (aka squat proof) with a four-way stretch that feels supportive, but not uncomfortably tight over your bump. Not to mention, they’re super soft, crafted from brushed jersey fabric.
DL1961 Patti Straight Maternity Ankle Jeans
Best Straight-Leg Jeans
- Size Range: 23-34
- Colors: Black, Seaborn Raw, Reef
- Features: Straight leg, ankle length, stretch denim, under-the-belly fit with elastic stretch panels
The ultimate modern maternity denim fit? Straight legs, without question. This pair by DL1961 is cut from soft and stretchy mid-weight fabric with an under-the-belly fit with elastic stretch panels. They’re designed to hit at ankle length to showcase your shoes of choice — be that sneakers, loafers, sandals, or heels. Style them for work with an oversize blazer or button-down shirt, or go more casual with a tank top or relaxed tee.
Belabumbum Foldover Jogger
- Size Range: S/M, M/L, L/XL
- Colors: Gray Marl, Jet Black, Indigo
- Features: Jogger, French terry fabric, above or below belly fit, cuffed tapered leg
Whether you’re not a leggings fan or want an assortment of lounge-worthy maternity pants, these joggers will be a comfy go-to throughout pregnancy and beyond. They’re cut from an ultra-soft French terry fabric with an adjustable waistband that you can wear over or under your bump as it grows. And while super comfortable, the tapered cuffed legs boast a sleeker appearance than some oversize sweatpants you may love. Pair with slides and a tank in warm weather, or layer up with a hoodie and sneakers with tall socks in the cold.
Ingrid+Isabel Everywhere Ponte Pant
Best Ponte Pant
- Size Range: XS-XL
- Colors: Black
- Features: Under-belly silhouette, pull-on elastic waistband, cropped, Oeko-Tex® certified fabric, machine washable
Kelley describes this black cropped pant as “the perfect mix of versatile styling and super soft ponte fabric that gives a polished, structured look with a lounge-like fit.” Featuring a tapered leg, they work equally well with flats or sneakers. Plus, they’re a comfortable option you can dress up with a blouse for work with heels, flats, or loafers.
Beyond Yoga Spacedye Love the Bump Midi Maternity Legging
Best Athletic Leggings
- Size Range: XS-XXL
- Colors: Darkest Night, Nocturnal Navy, Black-Charcoal, Black-White, Bright Iris Heather, Bright Iris Heather, Pewter Heather, Wild Wisteria Glacier, Deep Olive Heather, Pink Crush Rose, Electric Pink Heather, Bright Iris Heather, Bright Iris Heather, Pewter Heather, Wild Wisteria Glacier, Deep Olive Heather, Pink Crush Rose, Electric Pink Heather, French Lavender Heather, Vetiver Green Pine
- Features: Over or under bump waist, ultra-soft space-dye fabric, 4-way stretch, moisture-wicking, UV protection
Beyond Yoga’s space-dye leggings are the softest, making a pair from their maternity line essential during pregnancy. While they’re ultra-comfortable for lounging, you’ll love these for working out, whether you’re a runner, walker, yogi, cycler, dance cardio, weight lifting, or Pilates fan. You can wear the flexible waistband over or under your bump and will appreciate the four-way stretch, moisture-wicking fabric when things heat up. Plus, they have UV protection to keep you well-covered for outside activities and come in a pocketed version if you dig the extra utility.
Asos Design Maternity Chino Pants With Under The Bump Band
- Size Range: 2-16
- Colors: Stone
- Features: Under-the-belly elastic waist, pockets, machine washable
If you’re searching for maternity khaki pants or are the chino-loving kind, this under-the-bump style from Asos Design will be your pregnancy go-to. It features a flexible elastic waistband and roomy legs you can cuff or wear straight. So whether you style with a simple tank top or an oversize button-down shirt, the semi-structured fabric ensures a more put-together look that’s still relaxed and breathable in a cotton blend fabric. They’re a good step up from leggings or loungewear when getting outside the house.
Madewell Maternity Over-the-Belly Skinny Jeans
Best Skinny Jeans
- Size Range: 23-32
- Colors: Danny
- Features: Skinny jeans, over-the-bump stretch panel, Fair Trade Certified™ Tencel™ fabric, machine washable
Skinny jean lovers, this over-the-bump style from Madewell is for you. They’re a versatile pair you can dress up or down with tees, sweaters, and tops in a medium blue wash. They feel ultra-soft to the touch for sensitive, pregnant skin and growing bellies, crafted from a stretchy cotton and Tencel blend. Even better, they’re made in a Fair Trade Certified™ Hoi Meng China factory where Madewell contributes to a Community Development Fund managed by the workers.
Spanx Mama Maternity Faux Leather Leggings
Best Leather Leggings
- Size Range: XS-XL
- Colors: Very Black
- Features: Faux-leather, stretch over-the-bump elasticized waist panel, pull-on silhouette, machine washable
Spanx’s maternity leggings are among the most popular for pregnant women, combining the best of comfort, style, and support. This pair, cut from a sleek faux-leather fabric, makes a bold style statement you can wear for work, dinners out, or even a party. In addition, they have a glossy finish for extra style points you’ll feel a bit dressier in. Plus, they feature a comfortable over-the-bump belly panel that will grow with you throughout the trimesters.
Paige Mayslie Maternity Joggers
- Size Range: 23-34
- Colors: Vintage Ivy Green
- Features: Cropped, inset elastic panels at waist, elastic cuffs with exposed zips, button closure and zip fly, pockets
Behold the cutest maternity cargo pants for casual outfits. While Paige offers a range of best-selling maternity jeans, these pocketed pants are a stylish and functional casual alternative to pair with tees, tanks, blouses, sweaters, and shirts. They feature a cropped fit, which is flattering with everything, from sneakers to slide sandals to flats. And in a mid-weight stretch twill fabric, they’re breathable with enough structure to feel comfortable, yet put together for errands, meals, out, or casual work environments.
Pietro Brunelli Wool Cashmere Eco Sustainable Maternity Jogger Pant
Best Cashmere Pants
- Size Range: XS-L
- Colors: Light Grey Melange
- Features: Jogger, drawstring, under-belly fit, eco-fabric
There are joggers you wear for workouts and then there are those with a more luxe feel, like this pair under-belly pair by Pietro Brunelli for lounging, errands, or travel. “Is there anything more luxurious than cashmere pants?” says Kristen Dolzynski, senior vice president of brand creative and design at Marquee Brands. “These are eco-sustainable and perfect for any occasion.” Hitting at ankle length, they’re cozy without being too oversize and slouchy. And while they’re made for casual moments, they look thoughtful and considered with the coordinating sweatshirt.
Motherhood Bootcut Stretch Secret Fit Belly Maternity Jeans
Best Bootcut Jeans
- Size Range: XS-XL
- Colors: Hidden Shadows
- Features: Bootcut jeans, over-the-belly silhouette, stretch fabric, machine washable
For the denim-loving mother-to-be, bootcut maternity jeans are a pregnancy wardrobe must-have. This pair by Motherhood features an over-the-bump design that sits seamlessly under tops of all kinds. Plus, there’s plenty of stretch through the hips and legs so you’ll feel comfortable when dressed up or down. Mia Solkin, associate creative director of imagery for Motherhood and A Pea In The Pod, tells WWD, “These jeans have that great bootcut shape that’s universally flattering and gives you that over-the-belly comfort — double whammy.”
Hatch The Asher Pant
- Size Range: XS-XL
- Colors: Ivory, Black
- Features: Straight leg, elastic waistband, pockets
Hatch’s straight-leg pants have a relaxed yet tailored feel you can easily transition from the workweek to weekends. Featuring an elastic waistband, they’re a comfortable and stretchy option you can wear throughout the trimesters, styling them higher on the waist and then lower down under your belly as it grows. The slightly tapered leg and pockets create a clean and polished line to prevent them from feeling like a loungewear-only design. They’re incredibly soft and lightweight, crafted from a Tencel and linen blend — a breezy option to wear in warm weather or on days when you’re running warm.
Seraphine Slim Leg Black Maternity Pants Over Bump
Best Dressy Pants
- Size Range: 2-14 in regular, long, and petite lengths
- Colors: Black
- Features: Slim leg, dressy, over bump band, pintuck detail, bi-stretch twill fabric
On the search for formal maternity leggings? Look no further than Seraphine’s black, slim-leg pants with pintuck detailing. They’re crafted from a stretch twill fabric that looks smart for dressier occasions while feeling super comfortable with tops and shoes of all kinds. This pair features an over-the-bump panel, but they also come in an under-the-bump design if that’s your preference.
H&M Mama Paper-Bag Jeans
Best Paperbag Waist
- Size Range: Xs-XXL
- Colors: Black/Washed out, Light denim blue
- Features: Jeans, paper bag waist with an over-the-bump stretch panel, tapered legs, conscious recycled fabric
If you love a paper bag silhouette, you can still wear it comfortably while pregnant. Enter: this pair of so-soft jeans by H&M’s maternity Mama line, detailed with a ruffled waist. The tapered legs, hitting at ankle length, pair flawlessly with sneakers, mules, slide sandals, and flats. Coming in a black and light blue wash, you can stock up on both pairs for $100 and rotate through them for casual and dressier denim outfits.
A Pea In The Pod Luxe Maternity Jumpsuit
- Size Range: XS-XL
- Colors: Black, White
- Features: Jumpsuit, knit fabric, self-tie belt, machine washable
Jumpsuits are some of the best and most comfortable pregnancy pants outfits. So if you’re an all-in-one fan regularly, consider this a maternity must-have. Coming in white and black knit jersey fabric, Dolzynski says A Pea In The Pod’s soft and thin-strap design “requires minimal time to get dressed” — an ideal piece anytime, but especially so when pregnant. “The wrap adds a nice detail to accentuate the bump,” she adds. Or, you can wear it loose for plenty of room and ease.
Meet the Experts
- Jennifer Kelley is a senior designer at Ingrid+Isabel, where she’s focused on dresses, intimates and bringing innovation and versatility into all of the brand’s maternity and postpartum styles since 2020.
- Grace Kapin is the co-founder of luxe basics maternity and parenthood clothing label, Storq.
- Kristen Dolzynski is the senior vice president of brand creative and design at Marquee Brands.
- Mia Solkin is the associate creative director of imagery for Motherhood and A Pea In The Pod, with a background as a seasoned fashion editor. She’s also the mother of a baby girl.
Meet the Author
Laura Lajiness Kaupke is a contributing writer for WWD. Her work has also appeared in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Marie Claire, Glamour, Town&Country, InStyle, Esquire, Women’s Health, Brides, Refinery 29, The Zoe Report, Coveteur, among others. She covers fashion, accessories, fine jewelry, and lifestyle topics, with expertise in maternity, new mom, and baby products, as she’s welcoming her first child this spring.