Illustration by Baleika Tamara

Mom Jeans – Moms Over Forty Beware

StyleFeb 25, 2018by Tracey Jackson Comments

When I was growing up there were no “mom jeans.” There were Levis, Wranglers, and at some point in the seventies along came Gloria Vanderbilt who turned the workman’s pant into a fashion statement. Before that, there just weren’t many styles of jeans for moms to wear.

In the nineties, when I became a mom myself, the mom jean entered the picture. I don’t remember them being called mom jeans. They were just the latest style, different enough from the previous one that in order to remain in style you needed to own a pair. And as the photos of me pushing swings, carrying birthday cakes, and running around parks would suggest, they were far from flattering. High of waist, low of crotch, accentuator of hips and flattener of ass. They pretty much highlighted whatever was bad and distorted what was likely good on most bodies.

Then, like many fads, they disappeared. But no one lamentingly said, “remember mom jeans? I wish they would start making those again.”

And now they’re back. Why? The only answer I can come up with is that they ran out of other people you are close to to name jeans after.

Boyfriend jeans, made famous by Marilyn Monroe, delivered an inherent sexiness. The fact that in their looseness and bagginess one could camouflage middle age spread hips, under toned thighs, and that little roll of fat around your center that somehow, no matter what you do to avoid it, suddenly appears, made them a great post-forty mom choice.

I was perfectly happy with the girlfriend jean (a tighter, slimmer, higher-waisted version of the boyfriend jean). And the skinnies, all that elastic that could hold you in and push you up, though often cutting off the circulation in your legs. But for a high ass, who needs blood flowing to their feet? And my favorites, the little flare jean that shows just enough ankle it takes years off your legs and looks great with booties, sneakers and heels.

But now we’re left with the latest trend, the ultra- unflattering mom jean. And because they have mom in the title, many women over a certain age decided they should return to wearing them.

Sure, for those of us with kids now in their twenties they harkened back to another time, a time when we were pushing our angels on swings and not removing them from our insurance policies. They had a nostalgia factor, but they’re more unflattering now than they were when we were thirty.

Here’s the thing: I’ve seen Mom Jeans look really good. They look good on the kid I was pushing in the swing in the nineties. She is now twenty-six and a size two.

As for me, I’m sticking with my kick flares, my boyfriends, and my skinnies. I will leave the mom jeans for those who are yet to actually be moms.

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