When I was pregnant, I really needed to buy some comfortable clothes, so I thought I’d do some research of my own to find great maternity clothes that were really comfortable.
I’m no fashion/clothes expert and I’m normally happy to be guided by those who are, but when I was expecting I knew I had to put me first and not be a slave to the latest fashion craze. If I wanted to wear leggings or dungarees, I was jolly well going to!
So, what are the best maternity leggings?
I found that Foucome Women’s Over Bump leggings are the best based on a variety of factors I considered. They were so comfortable to wear and because the material was soft and strong, they were not see-through.
They are over the bump ones, which was what I preferred, and the front coped well with my ever larger and larger baby bump. Although those were the main reasons there are others listed below.
If you wish you can go straight through to Amazon to buy them here: Best Leggings Foucome maternity (over bump super soft)
Though I’d prefer it if you did take the time to read my full research behind my decision. I also highlight my “Best Budget Option” below if you are on a tight budget.
I’m so glad I put the effort in to find out and I was really pleased with what I found, so I thought I’d share my findings with you.
There is nothing worse than being uncomfortable even in the early stages of pregnancy so if that’s what annoys/irritates you, you will want to read what I did to find the best leggings.
Factors I considered
|Not see through|
|Good fitting leggings|
|Maternity leggings size|
|Over or under the bump|
|When to start wearing them|
Not see through
The first thing I wanted were leggings that were not see through. I was having coffee one day very soon after I found out I was pregnant, and I saw a lady who looked about 8 months pregnant bending over to retrieve something from her bag and I immediately thought “Oh no”.
That sight stuck with me and I knew then and there I was going to try and avoid that look! Trust me no one wants to see my bum under normal circumstances and certainly not when I’m heavily pregnant.
It is possible to buy cheap leggings from supermarkets which are pretty good for the money but with some of those budget brands the material, especially after a few washes, starts to look like a pair of tights.
All I was thinking initially when I started looking for leggings was, good quality cotton which is thick enough over bump and bum so that there were not see through.
Care is needed because even some expensive brands that look quite thick, may still be see through on your bum. After a few washes it will only get worse.
In truth there probably are not any leggings that will not thin slightly after multiple washes so when I went out, I tried to avoid treating them like trousers. Normally when out of the house I would have a long jumper, shirt, or jacket over them. At home of course is a different matter!
If you are going to treat them like trousers then my best tip? Wear knickers that are the same colour. White knickers under black leggings, yuk.
Good fitting leggings
So next I looked at the fit and following on from the “no see through” theme this is where having a nice thick pair also seemed to help. It doesn’t necessarily follow but often a nice thick pair will not only cover your modesty but will also stay up. There is nothing worse than constantly having to pull them up every 5 minutes.
I remember my Grandad when I was young, he always wore braces instead of a belt. When I asked why he said it was because he needed both hands for his job at the factory, so he never had a spare hand to hitch his trousers up. I sometimes think that poorly fitting leggings should come with braces!
Maternity leggings size
Sometimes and pregnancy is one of those times you should almost ignore size labels. They are useful as a starting point but that is about all. We all know that size standards are vastly different between some shops/brands. Also, if you have wider hips that can make a big difference.
Some brands use “vanity sizing” which by putting smaller size labels in their normal clothing as it makes us feel good but let’s be honest once you get past 6 months any pretence at having a nice shapely figure is out the window!
So why designers would bother doing that with maternity clothes is anyone’s guess.
If you are shopping at a store in the high street, rather than online, take a good friend with you. Someone who isn’t afraid to tell you what you should be told not what you want to be told.
Remember to buy leggings for the biggest parts of you, your belly and bum. It can be tough to find good fitting leggings when you are expecting but if you are taller/shorter than average, then you are sadly in for a hard time.
Another pet hate of mine is where the leg length is all wrong and they are either halfway up to your knees or have roles of material bunched up around your ankles.
When shopping online, check the returns policy carefully because you may need to return items.
Over or under the bump?
I asked so many of my friends and family about this and really started to obsess over it. I did try both in the end as opinion was quite divided. After a relatively short period though, I opted to stick with the over the bump leggings and I think I made the right decision.
I still had some joggers and jeans I was wearing under the bump and I started to feel some discomfort as it was pressing a bit on the underside of the bump. Without going into too much detail I did find that when they pressed on my bladder it was uncomfortable.
I would say though that if you are heavily pregnant through the very warm summer months then that would perhaps make under the bump ones more appealing. I was wearing mine through the winter but some of my friends said they found the over bump ones got warm and on occasions sweaty.
So, my findings on over/under I concluded that over the bump for your leggings is best and I teamed them up with under the bump knickers. The bigger I got the better the support my tummy got from the over bump leggings.
When to start wearing them?
I have a lot of friends who didn’t start wearing maternity wear until six months, but I and my sister-in-law did as early as four months pregnant. To be honest I had to buy some new bras when I was only eight weeks and at three months my jeans were a no-go area.
If you’re undoing the top button on your jeans and not just after meals and you’re starting to feel bloated throughout the day, then it is time for some comfy leggings!
You must do what is best for you. Your body will tell you if it is uncomfortable having a waistline across your stomach.
Not just clothes but when I shop for almost anything these days I try and assess what I’m buying on the Quality/Price scale.
We’ve all heard the phrase “buy cheap, buy twice” which relates to buying a cheap but inferior quality item. When you do that, in the long run you will end up spending more as although you spend less initially, it is often a false economy.
If you are buying something you will not use very often then cheap is fine. It will not need replacing any time soon because if you don’t use it, then it will never wear out!
So, there are times when buying a cheap alternative is good but if you end up living in your maternity leggings day after day (which I did) then it certainly isn’t.
For this article I’ve tried to recommend what I think is the best pair of leggings regardless of price and I’ve also recommended a “budget” option.
ChalkKids Best Buy
I found this one the overall “Best Buy”
OK so why did I think these were the best? Comfort was the first word that comes to mind. They are over the bump ones, which was what I preferred, and the material was soft to the touch but strong.
They are made from cotton mostly (95%) but do have spandex in them as well for the stretchiness required for your bump and bum etc. The all-important panel at the front coped well with my ever larger and larger baby bump.
Not see through
Crucially they didn’t become see through even when covering my bum!
They just look and feel like good quality even though they are nowhere near as expensive as some well-known brands I looked at.
I felt I could wear them all day everyday as they seemed comfortable whether I was stood up, sitting, lying down, or walking around. They have an adjustable multi buttonhole belt allowed me to let out some slack at any time of the day when needed and of course over the weeks as my bundle of joy got bigger and bigger.
I liked the feeling the under-belly support gave me and it felt like they were helping to cradle the baby.
Sizes: They use the UK standard sizes
|Label Size||UK Size||Waist (inches)||Hip (inches)|
|M||6 – 8||30.70 – 45.27||35.43 – 37.79|
|L||10 – 12||32.28 – 46.85||36022 – 38.58|
|XL||12||35.43 – 50.00||37.79 – 40.15|
|2XL||12 – 14||37.00 – 51.57||38.58 – 41.00|
|3XL||14 – 16||38.58 -53.14||39.37 – 41.73|
|4XL||16 – 18||40.15 – 54.72||40.15 – 42.51|
Size wise they fitted me very well and most reviewers on Amazon (over 70%) rated them “True to Size”. Of those that didn’t rate them true to size the vast majority thought they were on the larger not smaller size. So, I’d recommend ordering your normal size initially. The chances are they’ll be fine.
Apart from being super comfortable round the house I felt they looked smart enough to wear when I went out. I even started to wear them to work under my dress and jacket.
They washed well so the “non see through” should remain the case for a considerable amount of time. When I tried them on for the first time, I really was pleasantly surprised how well they fitted.
Best Budget Option
Above I’ve suggested my best pick but if you are on a tight budget you could consider these ones by Crazy Chick as although they don’t measure up quite so well against all my criteria, for the money you really will struggle to find better.
The Crazy Chick ones are available in sizes 8 through to 20 and have a very high “True to Fit” score on Amazon.
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Regarding other items you might need for you and the new baby, please be sure to read my “Planning a Baby Checklist” article.