Crossover vs Side Panel Maternity Jeans: Which Ones Are Better?

It’s a dilemma all of us pregnant women face: What kind of maternity jeans to get?

Two Types of Maternity Jeans

The two main maternity jeans types are ones with a crossover (or what I like to call “over the belly/bump”) panel, or ones with insert/side panels. To me, they both have their benefits. However, I am more comfortable in one over the other.

My Evaluation of Crossover and Insert/Side Panel Maternity Jeans

When I was about 32 weeks pregnant, I went on a maternity clothes shopping adventure because nothing. Was. Fitting. I wanted some pieces that could accommodate my 3rd trimester growing bump, but also ones that I could wear for a little bit postpartum and while nursing. I was also on the hunt for some good maternity jeans that could fit this bill.

Enter Target.

Ingrid & Isabel’s line for Target is awesome because most (or all, from what I could see in the store) of maternity jeans styles come in the two different type of panels. So, I was able to try both in a style I liked!

Here are my thoughts:

The medium wash maternity jeans with distressed knees and a fun hem detail (longer in the back…kinda like a mullet, haha!) spoke to me. I was able to try both the crossover and insert panel version on in the same size. I tried both sizes 10 and 12 but ultimately decided on size 10.

The Verdict

I liked the insert panels better because:

  • The crossover/over the belly panel felt too tight on my bump. It was so uncomfortable! I tried sitting down in both, and it did not feel very good to sit down in the over the belly ones.
  • The insert panels felt like they could really grow with my belly, and I knew they would work for postpartum, too.
Maternity jeans crossover panel vs. side/insert panels
Embracing the stretch marks! I’ve accepted my fate 😉

The one thing I think the crossover panel could do better than the insert panel maternity jeans is keeping them from falling down. Now that I’ve settled into my insert panel maternity jeans and my bump is MUCH BIGGER than it was 6 weeks ago, I do notice I’m pulling them up often, because they need to sit under the belly. But to me, it’s a small price to pay for jeans that can last pretty much an entire pregnancy and then some. (They would definitely work even for a 1st trimester belly.)

Crossover maternity jeans are made so you can pull the band down and have it sit below your bump. However, that means that you will have extra fabric bunched up or folded up under your belly, and that’s not comfortable to me.

I have crossover panel pants that are more like a really thick legging, and then I have some over the belly (no crossover in the back) leggings that I really love. But for jeans, I knew I wanted ones that were more versatile than that.

Here’s a detail shot of the insert/side panel maternity jeans I decided on:

I love how good they make my bum look! 😉

As you can see, the panels aren’t even that big. They stretch a TON, though!

I love the hem detail and distressing.

For a trip to the Utah State Capitol to see the cherry blossoms last week, I paired the jeans with a basic white maternity t-shirt, springy long cardigan, and comfy flats I’ve been living in since I sprained my ankle.

Shop this look:

What would you pair these maternity jeans with? The options are endless!

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