Mom Jeans! You Can Wear Them & Here’s How

Woman wearing high-waisted, baggy jeans
Woman wearing high-waisted, baggy jeans

So-called “mom” jeans tend to have a bad rap. But why? There is nothing wrong with a pair of jeans that are comfortable, flattering and easy to wear with just about anything.

The beauty of this silhouette is precisely in its versatility and timelessness. It boasts cool-girl street cred, yet it’s also a little bit old-school and nonchalantly chic. So how do you wear this style born in the 1980s that’s experiencing such a magical 21st-century revival? Check out these tips for styling your mom jeans.

How to Style Mom Jeans

1. Choose a sleek top

Mom jeans aren’t sleek, fitted, or anything remotely like your favorite pair of skinnies. That’s what we love about them, but it’s also the very reason this jean style has a bad rap. Mom jeans have a relaxed fit, a loose crotch, and a tapered leg. Pair all that with an ill-fitting or stained top, and the look just doesn’t work.

To balance the volume of your mom jeans, opt for something sleeker on top. A bodysuit works well if your jeans are especially full. Or, you can try a form-fitting tee plus a pair of heels.

Whichever your choice, make sure you have stylish belt and shoes to complete the ensemble. Say yes to sleek, pointed-toe pumps. And opt for a hard pass on canvas belts and any belt that came free with another pair of pants.

2. Crop the top.

No need to hide your jeans just because they’re high rise and slightly different from what you might normally pull on. Show off this comfortable silhouette by pairing them with a crop top. It’s a great choice for a casual summer day — all you need is a pair of strappy wedges to complete the look.

3. Add a blazer.

Though they boast a casual vibe, mom jeans also look right at home with something structured. A crisp, immaculately tailored blazer is a smart choice for cropped mom jeans — it establishes a lean, defined, and balanced silhouette, as @msjoystar displays. A pair of high heels completes the look perfectly.

4. Bring some leather to the mix.

Mom jeans aren’t exactly known for being edgy, so a dose of rough-and-tumble is a very good thing. A cropped leather jacket toughens up the whole ensemble just enough. Then, you can slip anything on underneath to change the tone of the outfit — a striped top is a great way to soften it a little bit. @dizzybrunette3 shows how and why this look works so well.

5. Don a sweatshirt.

Just because you’re off duty doesn’t mean you have to wear yoga pants again. A pair of mom jeans is a fun alternative that keeps you warm if you’re popping out for a minute. All you need is a lightweight sweatshirt and a pair of sporty canvas sneakers to finish this not-so-meticulous look.

This ensemble fabulously, with a few caveats. The sweatshirt needs to be your size — not a men’s XXL — and you get bonus points if it features a logo. If the top is on the long side and your waist disappears, go ahead and tuck it in. Lastly, keep the hair and makeup tidy. A slick ponytail and red lips is all you need.

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    Tanya is a seasoned journalist based in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. Specializing in fashion, beauty, and travel, she loves to explore new places, read as much as possible, and scour the web for fabulous finds — all in the name of research, of course.

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