Recently I had the dilemma of needing tights, only I needed maternity hosiery and I was quickly surprised by how difficult this was to get a hold of. In the end I opted for hold ups – why I hadn’t thought of it sooner, I’ll never know! It proved to be the greatest idea at the time as it totally addressed my bump issue by circumventing it. But while hold ups were perfect for one evening I don’t think I could have worn them for any longer, so finding maternity tights suitable for a long day’s wear was still imperative.
Heading into January takes us to the heart of winter’s frigid weather. Thick tights are the only answer when I can’t or don’t want to wear my leggings but there actually isn’t that much winter-ready maternity hosiery out there; for some reason it’s all sheer sub 40 denier and not the cosy thick leg I like. Looking at UK Tights, however, I did see a few promising options and it was great to be given the opportunity to review the pieces that caught my eye.
Left: Ambra Baby Bump tights, Right: Kunert Mommy 80 tights
Ambra Baby Bump tights
I decided to wear these on Christmas Day with my new knitted dress (from Santa!) as I didn’t want leggings to spoil the look. I also went without my maternity support belt that I usually wear beneath my bump to support my hips and pelvis, something that isn’t a great idea to forgo but it doesn’t look great under close fitting clothing. The tights felt like they had a decent amount of support in the body so I figured I’d see how well I manage with them as they were.
The Ambra baby bump tights are an opaque 70 denier with the softest peachy feel. Featuring a broad waistband these maternity tights have a deep body that boast a clever bump friendly design. A scooping front panel, densely woven and bearing a finer inner mesh, create a supportive core at the tummy. The result, a controlled belly band that gives the baby bump much needed support while allowing ample room for growth.
The body of the tights is especially generous, even with a baby bump in mind. They have a high rise close to the line of a bra band and a single seam down the bottom lead to a cotton lined gusset. A smooth plain knit from the leg to the reinforced toe makes sure these tights have a uniformed fit that’s both comfortable and highly durable.
The Ambra tights come in three different sizes: medium, tall and extra tall, and are measured by your weight and height. Being 5’8″ tall and now edging toward 11 stone at my pregnancy weight, I went for the extra tall size. The size is spot on – roomy in the body and long in the leg, with no rippling of fabric.
I’ve found these tights to be extremely wearable and most definitely my favourite pair. Thanks to the flat seams and velvety soft texture of the fabric they feel a pleasure against the skin; the level of softness makes them feel so good to wear, and you can tell they’re a premium quality product. They cling snugly without feeling tight, while the body hugs my growing bump in such a soothing way. I feel well supported around the tummy which is reassuring and super comfy.
Photos taken at 24 weeks pregnancy
Kunert Mommy tights
I wore these on the day of my 30 week bump photo shoot, again with my favourite dress of the moment, the knitted dress I got for Christmas. I needed something that looked good for photos while keeping me warm as it was a chilly frosty day out.
The Kunert mommy tights are an opaque 80 denier knit made to a more heavy duty finish, with its densely woven fabric leaning toward a velvety microfibre touch. Featuring an exceptionally generous body with a long torso, these tights have a superior bump support design that encompasses the entire waistband. With reinforced flat seaming, nine control ribbed panels focus on a 360 degree network of support that holds your bump comfortably while allowing room for expansion.
Five size variations mean more compatibility and hopefully a better, more refined fit for your measurements. I went for the L3 size which caters to a 42-44″ hip and matches my 5’8″ height.
Interestingly, the mommy tights come with a little pocket seam cutter in the package, so that you can tailor the fit of the body. The thought of cutting any part of my tights was all too daunting a prospect for me to try, but I endeavour to take a look at it at a later point as my bump continues to grow.
The mommy tights are a true premium hosiery product; super strong and long lasting, supremely thick and considerably well constructed. I found the sizing on the larger side with both the body and leg feeling a little too generous; with some adjustment down the leg I was able to make them fit but the waistband was more difficult to shift. I do get some excess fabric that causes folding and rippling, which although doesn’t bother me as I’m wearing them, does feel frustrating when dressing. I’m hoping that as I progress toward the end of my third trimester this will all even out, and I may end up glad of the generous proportions by then!
Photos taken at 24 weeks pregnancy
Both the Ambra and Kunert tights are amazing maternity friendly products – they’re precisely the thick winter tights I was searching for, and both deliver. While some women I’ve spoken to on the subject have said that they simply buy larger tights to accommodate a baby bump, I found it makes much more sense investing in the right garment. These tights are particularly impressive as they aren’t simply tights with extra room. They’re intricately and uniquely made in two very different but functional ways; so you have tights that fit perfectly from the early stages of pregnancy through to a gorgeously blooming belly. Personally, it’s just great being able to wear ‘normal’ hosiery that’s secretly tailored to me.
What’s your experience of maternity hosiery? Have you struggled to find bump friendly tights? Have you given up wearing some styles of clothing because of poor maternity hosiery experiences? I’d love to hear what’s worked for you, what hasn’t, and what you’d really like to find.