Update: Since contributing editor Jessica Silvester first wrote about these leggings in 2017, she’s had her baby, and we wondered what she thought about them now. Here’s what she said:
“Somehow they withstood constant wear all the way up until my belly was ready to burst, and kept with me through the postnatal deflation process. My son is now two years old and my proportions have more or less returned to normal, but the fabric has snapped back, too; it continues to conform to my shape. A few weeks ago, I saw the leggings on sale in a pretty shade of Kashmiri chai tea: They were only available in a size up from mine, the size I went to during pregnancy, but I bought them anyway.”
At seven months pregnant, I marched into Lululemon and said, “Please help me.”
I was suffering, suffocating; every item of clothing I put on felt like punishment. Even leggings. The thing is, they seem like a no-brainer for someone with child — the elastic waist, the full range of motion, the companionability with an oversize sweater in winter. Indeed, for many months, they served me well.
But then the third trimester hit and the situation deteriorated. Whether from Target, or American Apparel, or the barre studio, or Rosie Pope, stretch pants no longer seemed so stretchy. They clung for dear life against my belly. They left teeth marks above my crotch. Committed as I was to my knitwear-plus-leggings wardrobe, I suddenly no longer knew how to make it work.
“These are the ones all the pregnant women love,” said the kind, blonde Lululemon saleswoman, pointing to a pair called the Align. “It’s because of the Nulu fabric — it’s designed to look like a legging, but not feel tight. And they still have the high-rise.”
A beat passed. I replayed the words in my head. Look like a legging, but not feel tight. With a single touch, I knew what she meant.
Think of ranunculus petals. Think of the bear from the Downy commercials. Think of your skin post–Korean face mask, or the superior tissues that Oprah must blow her nose with. I bought two pairs of the Align, have worn them almost every day since, and plan to do so every day hence. This means, they may well unravel by the time I give birth; but by then, it will be spring, and I’ll have already moved on to the cropped version.
(For our full list of the best maternity clothes, click here.)
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