How to Diffuse a Waistband Revolution

Since I have had a baby and converted to staying at home, style has really taken a backseat to comfort.  When you decide a pair of yoga pants qualify as “dressy” because they are black and worn with a semi-decent top (maybe a v-neck instead of a crew neck t-shirt), you know you have reached a new fashion low.  
When I find the time to shop these days, the new gold standard for a top of any kind is whether or not a.) it can easily hide puddles of baby barf and b.) it can be worn with leggings.  Lately, I am pretty loose when it comes to deciding what can be worn with leggings.  I used to prescribe to a rather strict leggings doctrine adopted from my sister’s golden rules of leggings: 1.)  Your leggings must not be transparent in any way and 2.) Leggings are glorified tights; you only wear them with long tops/dresses you could otherwise wear alone.  My modified version in the interest of convenience is that 1.) Your leggings should not be transparent--or if they are, only in acceptable places like around the knees because you are always kneeling to do stuff with the baby...or really anywhere because--let’s face it--you aren’t going anywhere anymore, and 2.) Your leggings are comfortable pants that may be worn with anything that at least covers your butt.  In addition, leggings are the fashionable step up from yoga pants if you are going out for a nice meal (as if!).
The following is a quick data analysis I have conducted to show the proportional relationship between how stretchy a waistband is to how much I enjoy eating when wearing said waistband:

The truth of the matter is, I miss my maternity pants.  I remember when I first got pregnant, I was grieving inside for those favorite outfits I would no longer be able to wear, and I wondered if I would ever get to wear them again.  It’s a lot of work to find a good pair of jeans, and I figured I would have to kiss them all goodbye.  A year later, I am able to wear most of them again, but I find myself wondering why we need to put a zipper fly and a button on the waist of a pair of jeans at all.  I miss jeans that just pulled on and off like sweatpants.  Why is it that a pair of jeans with an elastic band are totally acceptable on a pregnant woman but just plain frumpy and sad otherwise?  Women, we are all being held hostage by the waistbands of our pants!  I think we should rebel.  
For a while, I could get away with continuing to wear my maternity skinny jeans.  But the pair I own has the full belly panel--the kind that is made to completely encase your pregnant belly--so as my body deflated, it started to look like I had a stretched out kangaroo pocket smashed beneath my clothes.  The day I could button my old skinny jeans again, I transported the maternity pair to the attic.  I’d be lying if I denied staring wistfully at the attic door on occasion and contemplating getting those jeans with the deliciously unrestrictive waistband out of the attic and back in my closet.  
The postpartum body is fascinating.  On one hand, it’s amazing that parts of you that were stretched to near breaking are able to find their way back to their original positions.  On the other hand, some things you didn’t even think could shift did, and they stay that way, too.  My hips fall into that latter category.  Sadly, that makes my trusty, pre-baby skinny jeans fit like a boa constrictor around my lower extremities these days.  Saying I have to suck in to get them on would only be the tip of the iceberg.  And the muffin-top spillage on top is appalling.  Still, they are the perfect hue of blue, look great on my butt and legs, and don’t have any of that spandex jegging look so many skinny jeans have lately.  In addition, shopping for clothes with an infant should be added to the CIA’s list of banned enhanced interrogation techniques.
Last week, I decided that I needed to stop fastening my pre-baby skinny jeans with a hair band and visit the tailor.  I had a few ideas for what we could do with those pants in order to achieve that “sweat pants on top/skinny jeans on the bottom” look I have been craving.  One option was to move the button on the fly over a bit to make buttoning easier.  Unfortunately, that--and I am embarrassed to say this--just wasn’t enough to relieve the bone-crushing pressure of these pants.  Also, I really wanted a “grow with you” type of waistband that would stand by me after a really great meal.
“I was wondering if you could insert an inch or two of elastic on either side of this waistband to make it a little more forgiving,” I announced to my tailor’s apprentice, a loquacious young man in a Ramones t-shirt.
“You mean like maternity pants?” he confirmed, confused I am sure by the fact that my baby was sleeping soundly very much outside of my body in her stroller.
“I’d like them  to have maternity pants type properties, yes,” I qualified.
The tailor’s apprentice picked up my jeans and looked them over, flipping them down in the back to get a look at the label.  He handed them back to me.
“Honey, these are H&M jeans.  Just buy another pair,” he said.  I’m sure that comes across as callous here, but I can assure you he said it with the utmost sympathy.  
I left the tailor with my shame and my tiny pants in tow.  
I don’t really have a moral to this story, unless it is that if you need someone to put a pin in your hopes and dreams, you should talk to my tailor’s apprentice.  
Or maybe it is that buying a new pair of pants can sometimes be a way to accept the changes life brings.  
Upon further reflection, I’m pretty sure it’s that first one.


  1. No point in letting those maternity clothes go to waste!

  2. I loathe maternity pants. At 34 weeks pregnant, I've given up and just bought way too many pairs of black foldover yoga pants. I miss my jeans like I miss a limb, and I haven't been able to fit into them since my first baby 2 1/2 years ago. That said, stretchy pants are the awesome, and I totally wore "dressy" yoga pants with a fantastic top (and 5 1/2 inch heels) to Eli's semi-formal work Christmas party.


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