Though I’ve been a slow convert, I have come to appreciate the wide leg pants styles that have reappeared on the fashion scene after years of unchallenged skinny pants supremacy. When worn with a fitted top, wide leg dress trousers really do look polished and feminine, evoking classic Hollywood sophistication and womanly confidence, a la Katherine Hepburn.
That said, my warm feelings toward the wide leg look mostly end where pregnancy begins. A pregnant professional woman relies on her flattering pair of black maternity dress pants more than any other wardrobe staple, so buying the right pair is a must. Here are the reasons you should typically skip wide-leg maternity dress pants in favor of slim leg looks:
Put Your Best Leg Forward - Buy Maternity Dress Pants That Flaunt Your Assets
Most women have a personal list of body assets - the parts of our anatomy that we know tend to look great and wear well in (and out of) our clothes. We learn to choose designs that accentuate our best features and downplay those we find less fabulous. Pregnancy throws a wrench in this routine because it can create such dramatic change in all areas of our bodies, not just our adorable baby bumps. Those of us with fit arms suddenly see jiggling, trim hips grow wider, and smooth legs bloom cellulite. These changes are normal and beautiful, but they can wreak havoc on our comfort with dressing our now-unfamiliar bodies. While every woman is different and every pregnancy is different, the obvious universal is that we all get a lot bigger in the middle. For that reason, it basically means women become more apple-shaped while expecting. )If you’re not normally an apple shape, this article from The Concept Wardrobe is a detailed and helpful guide.)
A key fashion difference for the pregnancy apple shape is that you shouldn’t try to camouflage your wider waist like many non-pregnant apple shaped women do (because it’s impossible, and will make you look like you’re rocking a circus tent). Rather, focus on finding slim or straight leg pants (usually darker in color) that highlight and elongate your legs. For women with thin legs, wearing skinny or slim leg maternity work pants makes it clear that your weight gain is, in fact, a baby. I mean, look how fit your legs look! For our gorgeous mamas with thicker legs, wearing a slim or straight leg in quality, substantial material will give you the flattering look of height, confidence, and sexy curves. Yes, please. Conversely, wide leg maternity suit pants create a ballooning silhouette on your bottom half, and rise to meet your ballooning baby belly. Result:
Thin Fabric Can Spell Maternity Pants Disaster
Thinner fabrics are usually favored for wide leg pants because of the easy, flowy look they create. While this is a beautiful effect in the right context, it isn’t great for pregnant women whose bodies are constantly changing, stretching, and - er - leaking. Substantial material works better for a more fitted leg, and is more commonly used on narrow cuts than on wide leg styles. Substantial fabrics mean better coverage for bumps, lumps, and cellulite. It doesn’t go see-through or limp if our growing bodies stretch it a little - or a lot. AND, dare I say - if we haven't yet learned to cross our legs when we sneeze, substantial material will make it less likely that anyone will be the wiser.
Prioritize Timelessness in Your Maternity Dress Pant Selection - A Fitted Leg Will Always Be in Style
After the first baby is born, we’re often so in love, content, and sleep deprived, it’s hard to imagine doing it a second time, much less a third. But, if statistics are any indication, most of us move past our feeling of zombie-like one child fulfillment and punch another ticket on the maternity roller coaster. When that happens, our current selves will thank our past selves for being so fashion-canny and buying quality, core pieces that don’t fall in and out of trend. Few styles are more fashion-resilient than the slim leg pant of both Audrey Hepburn and Meghan Markle.
Whether for a courtroom appearance in a formal pant suit or a casual-chic brunch in a loose sweater, the tailored, flattering lines of slim leg maternity dress trousers are timelessly elevating. Chosen correctly, they will truly be your best pregnancy investment.