I’m not pregnant now, but I used to be. That’s how I learned that there are seven pairs of maternity jeans in the world. Here they are in order from most soul-crushing to least depressing.
The pair that makes people ask if it’s twins.
These probably came from Motherhood Maternity, might be bootcut and definitely have a belly panel that is 117% pure unrefined insulation fiber. Good luck finding a T-shirt that doesn’t (a) stick to the belly and (b) let the inexplicably navy blue or black panel show through.
The pair that was too expensive.
Those $200 Paige jeans that you keep thinking will become flattering once your belly gets just a little bigger? You’ll give up in the third trimester and admit you should have just bought five more pairs of H&M Mama skinnies instead.
The black ones.
Have you really worn black jeans since 1996? No. But for some reason you think they’re a good idea when you’re pregnant. Just get slacks if you need pants for work.
The pair you bought in desperation.
You buy these during your first pregnancy, when you read an article that recommends trying to save money by modifying your normal wardrobe and only shopping for maternity clothes on sale. Here’s a hint: These were on clearance for a reason. The valuable lesson you learn? At a time when you’re being betrayed left and right by your own body and random strangers feel entitled to tell you your business, it’s worth paying a little more for maternity clothes that make you look good.
The pair you wear home from the hospital.
Because honestly they’ve become a part of you at this point.
May be the same as…
The pair that you wear in the first trimester.
Not really “maternity” jeans per se, these are the pull-on jeans you discovered after having your first baby. You have to wear a long shirt with them because the fly is a sewn-on decoration that just leads to a wide, flat panel of stretch knit waistband. They are heaven on earth.
The pair that looks better on you than any of your non-maternity jeans in your non-pregnant life.
Remember those H&M skinny jeans you should have bought more of? You might never feel that confident in a pair of jeans again. Sorry, though: It’s generally frowned upon (not to mention potentially logistically challenging) to keep wearing them once you fit back in civilian pants again.