How to rock your favorite pair of mom jeans in different seasons & dress ‘em up or down.
If you take a peek into the depths of your mom’s closet, odds are you’ll find a pair of high-waisted, relaxed-fit jeans that, these days, go by the name “mom jeans.” More often than not, they’re light blue in color with ample space around the zipper and crotch area. Occasionally, you’ll even find an elastic waistband.
For a time, this 90s look was considered unflattering by the younger generation, especially when associated with the antiquated, reductive stereotypes about motherhood. But not anymore. Women of all ages are embracing and modernizing the laid-back, baggy (in the best way) look, and we are SO here for it.
What’s the difference between mom jeans and boyfriend jeans, you ask? Truth be told, they’re similar, with boyfriend jeans having a slightly more relaxed, masculine look. For the purposes of this article, we stuck with designated mom jeans, but TBH, it’s a fine line.
We published a full list of our 15 favorite pairs a while back, but when questions started pouring in about HOW, exactly, to style mom jeans, we decided to compile a list of tips and outfit ideas to help you rock this fashion trend and feel the most at home in your beautiful bod.
There are so many shoe options that pair wonderfully with mom jeans, but if we had to narrow it down to a few, we’d go with…
- Kitten heels
First popularized by Audrey Hepburn (and, later, Michelle Obama), kitten heels have short, curvy heels that are only about 1-2” high.
- Ankle boots
Don’t be afraid to pair your high-rise mom jeans — ideally slightly cropped — with ankle booties. If they’re not cropped (and, as a result, don’t cut off above the booties), just make sure they’re roomy enough to fit over the shoes.
Mom jeans take on a chic and sophisticated look when paired with loafers, a leather moccasin-shaped shoe with a low, flat heel.
- White sneakers
There’s something about high-waisted mom jeans and crisp white sneakers that works every. single. time.
Because mom jeans are, by definition, on the cozier side, pairing ‘em with a chunky sweater or turtleneck in the winter is a go-to. (Scroll through the Insta photo gallery below to find the mom jeans-sweater snapshot.)
One of the many things we love about jeans is their versatility and JUST how easily they can be dressed up and down. If you’re heading to the office or a semi-casual evening event, pair mom jeans with a crisp white T-shirt and blazer — the more structured, the better to lend contrast to the baggy look. A button-down is also great here. Shoes-wise, we’d suggest loafers.
Everyone from Rhianna to Gigi Hadid, Selena Gomez to Cindy Crawford has sported the jean-on-jean look — plus, perhaps most famously, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake, both of whom rocked the fashion world when they sported the groundbreaking ensemble at the 2001 American Music Awards. Don’t worry, the look has come a loooooong way since then, with mom jeans staking a well-deserved claim as one-half of the vintage look.
Bring mom jeans from day to night by sporting a crop top. In order to make this look as comfortable as possible, don’t go TOO cropped — aim for just above the waistline of your jeans — otherwise you’ll be left in the uncomfortable situation of either pulling up your mom jeans (which, like mentioned, may be baggy) or pulling down your crop top. No bueno.
Revelle founder JoAnna Hartzmark is a BIG fan of bodysuits.
“They reemerged as a trend a few years back, and I think a lot of brands did them a disservice in making them appear inaccessible to many body shapes through their marketing,” she explains. “To me, a bodysuit is a staple, because it’s so versatile. It transcends seasons and occasions, with plenty of options for basics or more dressy, that can be layered when it gets cold out. Justice for bodysuits!”
We couldn’t agree more and love the bodysuit–mom jean duo. Accessorize with a statement belt for an extra oomph.