‘Toothpick’ Is A Really Dumb Name For Maternity Jeans


J.Crew has added maternity jeans to its denim lineup, and the new pants will certainly be perfect for any pregnant ladies looking for something to pair with a giant, crystal-embellished sweater.

“Introducing our two most popular fits, the toothpick and the matchstick,” the website says, “now in maternity styles.”

We laughed for like 20 minutes when we read that announcement in a post over on Racked, because the idea of forcing a pregnant woman into toothpick jeans just sounds cruel: “You might be gestating a watermelon in your abdomen, but that’s no excuse for your legs not to look like tiny, dried-out slivers of wood.”

We’ve never had a problem with skinny jeans, straight-leg jeans, or even jeggings themselves, but J.Crew’s naming conventions never fail to annoy. We can only assume they went with “toothpick” and “matchstick” because just calling jeans “skinny” isn’t already weird and baggage-laden enough. Don’t just be skinny, be toothpick skinny. (Or matchstick skinny, if you’re a failure.)

It would be nice to be able to buy some damn pants without the pants reinforcing the idea that we’re all supposed to be really skinny, all the time. Thanks, pants, we hadn’t heard that the last 16 times we watched TV or looked at a magazine or read the Internet.

As Blisstree’s Hanna Brooks Olsen pointed out, there are a lot of nicer names for tight-fitting legging jeans than “toothpick”:

Old Navy, for example, has the Rockstar, which is kind of nice and friendly and makes women feel like, well, they rock. Calvin Klein has the “Powerstretch” jegging, which at least has the word “power” in it. True Religion opts to skip the whole thing and name theirs after people, though they still categorize them as skinny jeans because, well, it’s what people know because it’s what everyone calls them.

We already hated J.Crew’s denim naming conventions when they were just referring to regular skinny jeans, but now that they’re being sold as maternity jeans they seem extra absurd. Being pregnant sounds like the ideal excuse to not shove oneself into a pair of skinny jeans. In fact the best thing about pregnancy (aside from the baby and all that “creating new life” stuff) is that it’s a perfect opportunity to swath oneself in tent-shaped maxidresses and maybe JNCOs, like these:


Because just try to tell me those don’t look like the most comfortable things in the world.

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    • Lindsey Conklin

      toothpick haha I just hate it

    • Anne Marie Hawkins

      Maybe the kind of toothpick you’d see in a martini, with an olive on it…

    • Andy

      Yeah…there is no way in HELL I was subjecting my bloated self to skinny jeans during either of my pregnancies. Not that I think pregnancy is a free for all weight wise, but shouldn’t it be the ONE time in a woman’s life where she shouldn’t be made to feel guilty for being less than stick thin?

      • Martine

        Seriously? the NAME of the jeans makes you feel bad? Must be the pregnancy hormones.