Courtesy of Jam Kotenko

The Stretchy, Slouchy Pants That Saved Me Postpartum

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Let’s be very, very honest about this — pregnancy and childbirth change your body. Regardless of what tabloid headlines about celebrities’ post-baby bodies and Instagram #fitspo posts might tell you, the reality is that your body’s going to look and feel a little different after having kids — which means your clothes will probably look and feel different, too. Luckily, you don’t have to wear your maternity jeans and your partner’s ratty old college sweatshirts forever (unless you want to!). Mom Jeans is Romper’s guide to helping you figure out your postpartum wardrobe during the first few months postpartum and beyond.

Shopping for maternity clothes is one of the most stressful things a mom-to-be has to do. If you want to maintain a semblance of style and comfort, you either have to spend tons of money, or be OK with looking like a sack of potatoes for 9 months.

I had a tough time finding clothes to wear during my pregnancy. It didn’t help that I'm so petite — all of the maxi dresses were too long and the tops were too lousy. I had so many failed attempts at shopping for maternity wear that I made a decision to just wear my regular clothes and stretch them out if need be. Luckily, my wardrobe was already teeming with stretchy, affordable, and replaceable basic tank tops and flowy shirts, but finding bottoms was a different story. In my usual leggings, my legs felt like they were in sausage casings. I needed something with an elastic waistband, stat.

As a pregnant woman, I often found myself feeling warm no matter what I wore, so I wanted to find bottoms that didn’t cling to my skin the way my normal jeggings do. After checking out website after website, I finally found what I was looking for — the perfect slouchy pants.

The Elephant Pants is an online store that was recently featured in the show Shark Tank. The company's website claims to sell “the most comfortable pants that anybody had ever worn," among other things like tops and other accessories. The brand donates 10 percent of their earnings to a worthy cause: saving elephants. After checking out the website, I settled on a pair of harem pants, which cost $24 per pair.

The Elephant Pants

The print was kinda loud, but that didn't bother me. I am no stranger to bottoms that have funky patterns and designs: I have at least two pairs of galaxy leggings, and maybe two that have cats puking rainbows on them. What I didn’t have was anything that had a forgiving waistband, which the elephant pants did.

What I really liked about these harem pants was that the waistband was thick and ruched, which made it comfortable to wear either over or under your bump. I didn’t waste any more time looking for other options. I bought three pairs in three different colors. I figured I could always return them later if they didn't fit right.

But I didn’t return them — not even one pair. The colors that I bought the pants in — blue green, red, and black – were easy to match with my tops. The pants were flattering and breezy and most importantly, the most comfortable pants I had ever worn, just as the website had promised!

My son is now 14 months old, and I am still rocking these pants like nobody’s business.

One unexpected plus to ordering these babies was the fact that I was helping to fund a worthy cause. Shopping for expensive maternity wear is a tough pill to swallow because you’d only be wearing these clothes for a few months. (And let's be honest: even if you plan to get pregnant again in the future, you probably won't wear the stuff you bought last time around, because new clothes are always better.) Knowing that you’re giving back with the money you spent makes the decision to buy a new item of clothing easier.

Even though I found The Elephant Pants during my quest for something comfy to wear over my baby bulge, I was only able to wear my three pairs of harem pants for a short time as a pregnant person, because I bought them during my third trimester. (I would have hoarded more if I'd found them sooner.) However, I got a bunch anyway fully knowing that I would need comfy bottoms to wear postpartum, ones that wouldn’t be painful to wear over my c-section incision and would make me feel chic AF. They did not disappoint.

Courtesy of Jam Kotenko

My son is now 14 months old, and I am still rocking these harem pants like nobody’s business. They are perfect for warm weather, and because of their particular design, they’re considered fashionable here in Singapore, where we recently moved. Do I regret spending more than $60 for three pairs of pants that look exactly alike? Not at all. Would I be open to ordering a few more in the future? Definitely.