Mom jeans — high-waisted, often lightly colored women’s jeans — may have been parodied by SNL, but these days, the denim style isn’t a joke at all. “Mom jeans have proven their staying power for the last few seasons. Women have really embraced the higher rise and slightly more relaxed fit,” says celebrity stylist Samantha Brown. Most mom jeans also have a tapered leg, and allow some room in the bottom and waist area (very FUPA-forgiving). That’s the general blueprint, though there are really all sorts of iterations on mom jeans these days, given their recent rise in popularity. Here, we talked to nine denim enthusiasts and stylists on the mom jeans they love to wear.
Classic mom jeans
You can often find a good deal on vintage mom jeans if you scour a thrift store — but newer versions can be had for under $100, too. For a traditional shape that you might have come across in the ’80s and ’90s, it’s hard to go wrong with Levi’s mom jeans, which two style experts pinpointed as the quintessential, true-to-form mom jean. Piper Gore — a stylist and lifestyle consultant who started her career in the denim industry over 15 years ago — describes the light, summertime wash as “the tried and true originals” and adds that the fit and wash only gets better over time, so you can hang onto it for years. Celebrity stylist Ali Levine — who has lent her fashion expertise to shows like Bravo’s Stripped — loves their vintage appeal, too: “They’re super cute and easy to throw on with a tee, and get out the door.”
These Urban Outfitters jeans look like they might have cameoed on Full House back in the day, which is precisely the look that Levine appreciates. “I like how casual these are,” she says. “They are a fun throwback to the ’80s, and I like that you can wear them rolled up or long.”
Stylist Lindsey Shores also tipped us off to this very affordable pair of jeans from Zara sister brand Bershka, which she says she’s been wearing on repeat lately. “My favorite cut of jean that can be easily styled normcore or non-normcore, are high-rise jeans with a solid straight leg or mom fit.”
Madewell has jeans with both a nine and ten-inch rise, says Brown, which she deems the perfect rise for a mom jean. She loves the brand’s signature “momjean” and their similar “perfect vintage jean” because they’re cut slim through the leg. “This helps to keep the silhouette flattering and not dumpy. They also have the perfect amount of stretch so they are not constricting, and don’t lose their shape with wear.”