The mom jean: a starry-eyed throwback to the days of scrunchies, neon fanny packs, military-style boots, shoulder pad jackets and huge hoop earrings. While the term “mom jean” wasn’t coined until 2003 during a Tina Fey Saturday Night Live skit, the look is an unmistakable nod to the high-waisted, medium washed denim popular throughout the ‘90s. Like other trends calling to the days of boy bands and Blockbuster stores, nobody expected mom jeans to experience the resurgence they are having today.
But here they are. And their renewed popularity is well earned. Here’s why.
Mom jeans sit on the waist, have a just-snug-enough fit through the hips and bottom and are slightly tapered at the ankles. They accentuate the natural curves of those hourglass-shaped body types.
But mom jeans aren’t just for those ladies with hourglass figures.
These high-waisted, ankle-length denim staples flatter almost every body shape. Wearing them true to size brings out curves around the hips and in the legs. And, when wearing a size up, their slight bagginess can help hide some not-so-flattering features.
For jeans to fit virtually every body type is a rarity in the world of fashion. As most women know, denim can either be your best friend or your worst enemy. Mom jeans are a functional, chic solution to the denim doldrums.
Every body type is different. And every woman may want a slightly different result with her jeans. But here are some general tips for getting a flattering fit no matter your body type.
Think mom jeans aren’t for tall girls? Think again. The fact is, taller frames benefit from a jean that provides definition around the waist. Enter the mom jean. With their high waist, mom jeans bring out a tall figure’s hips and help define the balance between your legs and torso. Just make sure to buy mom jeans with an inseam long enough to make it clear you’re wearing pants, not capris!
The high waist of mom jeans works to balance a curvy body’s contours. And they can make you look thinner in the middle, if desired. Buy a size that’s fitted, but not baggy. You want the denim to rest comfortably on your skin, but not bunch. Look for stretchy denim that will form to your natural curves while still allowing plenty of movement and comfort. Look for dark washes or black jeans—they have that magical instant slimming power. You get the added benefit that darker denim is easy to dress up for work or a night out.
The high rise of mom jeans makes your waist appear higher, elongating your legs. Buy them true to size and look for plain jeans without a wash. This will help divert attention away from short legs. If you want jeans with a wash, just make sure it continues for the entire length of the leg. Any wash that ends at or above the knees will make your legs appear shorter. Tuck a t-shirt or sweatshirt into them to make your hips and backside appear fuller.
Flat bottom problem? Mom jeans, with their high waist, lift and provide definition to an otherwise flat backside. Some ladies with flat bottoms wear long sweaters or tunics to cover up their . . . lack of “back.” But that’s a mistake, especially if you’re petite, as a long top will also cut off your legs and make you appear shorter. Instead, pick a mom jean with a slight stretch that rests above your hips, naturally lifts your bottom and provides needed definition.
The perfect jeans for plus-sized women will hug her curves without creating a muffin top. That’s why mom jeans in a stretchy fabric are great for plus-sized ladies. Like curvy figures, the key is to buy a size that allows the denim to form to your curves but isn’t too tight or restrictive. Stretchy fabric will also lift the behind. Look for dark washes or those with subtle vertical patterns that continue all the way to the ankle to appear slimmer and taller.
The Perfect Jean?
Mom jeans, with their high-rise, tapered leg and relaxed, fitted shape provide a worthy option to almost every woman—no matter her body type. Channel your inner Kelly Kapowski and embrace this fashion-forward nod back to the eclectic ‘90s.