Best Mom Jeans 2020

In Style over 50 by Joni4 Comments

With amazing discounts in online stores right now, this is the perfect time to buy a classic item for your wardrobe.

Because it can take hours scrolling through images of jeans that aren’t suitable I’ve done the research for you and found the best Mom jeans at the right price from both UK and US online retailers.  These also ship internationally.

Looking for an update? New 2021 style jeans tryon compares the newer wider cut jeans with Mom jeans.

What makes the list of The Best Mom Jeans 2020?

  • Quality fabric
  • Good range of sizes
  • Classic styling
  • Good price
  • Reliable and helpful online retailer

Scroll all the way down to see the recommended Mom jeans. At time of writing (lockdown May 2020) all these jeans are massively discounted. They are sure to go up in price once the warehouses are empty though. So don’t wait too long if you intend to buy.

But first, just in case you’re not sure what Mom jeans look like, here’s the description, plus the reasons why they are now a staple for most women – but especially all of us over 50 – and some notes on how to look your best in them.

What are Mom Jeans?

These jeans are cut high at the waist (high rise).  They have a straight leg.  They are usually a classic style with five pockets, metal top button and front zip fastening.  Expect a slightly generous cut.  Traditionally made in quality thick denim.

Stretch or no stretch?

Here’s the main difference between those Levis you looked so fabulous in during the 1970’s (if you’re my age!) and today’s Mom jean. 

The original jeans had no stretch.  You just bought them as close fitting as you could squeeze into and washed them when they started to loosen up. 

Most jeans today have at least some stretch.  This is excellent news for us older women.  So Mom jeans will stretch over your tummy and rear without hugging your thighs (phew!)

Why women over 50 love Mom jeans

The name Mom jeans started as a joke on Saturday Night Live in 2013.  The sketch shows women over 50 with large behinds wearing unflattering elastic waist jeans.  Baggy but comfy. 

But recently designers have embraced the need for easy to wear and style jeans that come up to the waist and today Mom jeans are an important item in every older woman’s closet and in many younger women’s wardrobes too.

The high rise waist

The original Levis sat just below your waist.  Their shape was unisex.  Guys (young fit ones anyway!) do not have as large a difference between waist and hip measurement as women do. So these jeans stood away from a woman’s slim waist – which I think looked great – even when they were reasonably tight against her hips. 

Then fashions changed and jeans became hipsters. 

These look superb on anyone with a slim waist.  But for us older women carrying extra fat around our mid section these hipster jeans emphasise this extra flab by cutting into it and pushing it up into a roll of soft flesh at waist level. 

Not the best look, let’s be honest.

But a high rise jean keeps that extra flesh distributed between hip and waist without causing the bulge.

The strong fabric

Today many jeans are made in lightweight cotton which starts to lose its shape after a while.  Mom jeans are usually made in thicker denim similar to the original sixties and seventies jeans which gives more wear with less bagging at the knees or hips.

The straight leg

The last few years have seen skinny jeans take centre stage.  Great if you are tall and have slim legs and ankles but pretty awful if you have thick thighs or calves or swelling ankles. 

Skinny is as near to baring your legs all the way up as is decently allowed in public. 

Is this really what older women want to reveal about themselves?  Generally not.  Straight leg jeans give a long structured silhouette which might be less sexy but is considerably more forgiving to us rounder women.

How to style Mom jeans

You can – and should – style your Mom jeans up and down. 

Start with a camisole or tank top.  Or even a body suit if you have one. 

Now, young women will look great with a sleeveless top tucked in neatly and with some jewellery at the neck. 

But if your upper arms are like mine you’ll probably want to add another layer.  Dress up by adding a jacket – this can take you to work or for lunch with friends. 

You’ll have a jacket in the length that best suits your shape already in your closet. But because of the long front, Mom jeans can look really good with a longer jacket. 

If your strappy top is white or a bright colour and your jacket is darker you immediately look slimmer.

Because your Mom jeans fit reasonably close at the waist you may prefer not to tuck your top in.  This is fine.  

Your stomach and hips will be smooth and without odd bulges making it really easy to pop on a top that hangs outside. 

Don’t wear anything too long or you will lose the lengthening effect of the straight legs. 

A Breton striped tee would look casual and young.  Or a cotton top with broderie or ruffle details will look cool and feminine in white.

What shoes should you wear with Mom jeans?

Flat summer shoes or sandals look perfect.  You will probably want to roll up the legs a few inches to balance with the lighter weight shoe. 

But sneakers can look great too.  White sneakers will look sporty whilst colorful sneakers can look modern and stylish. 

Try them with the jeans worn to the ankle or turned up once or twice.  You may be surprised at the difference these little touches make. 

Prance around at home in front of a long mirror until you find the silhouette you are looking for.

Mom jeans are so versatile.

What’s the difference between Mom jeans and Boyfriend jeans?

There’s very little difference.  But every designer has their own take on these styles.  Some will offer a smaller more fitted waist on a Mom jean than a Boyfriend jean.  Others will make the Boyfriend jean all over a little more roomy.  Some Mom jeans taper very slightly near the ankle whereas Boyfriend jeans are always straight leg.

Capsule wardrobe item

Mom jeans are one of the items for your Capsule Wardrobe 2020. Find out more about how to create your own capsule wardrobe here.

Take a look at the Best White Shirts recommended for your Capsule Wardrobe 2020 to go with your jeans.

Easy to wear mid-wash blue jeans, straight legs, high waist.  They stop just above the ankle.
Agolde Ripley Cotton High Rise Straight Jeans in Riptide at Bloomingdales
Slightly faded ankle length Mom jeans
Mother The Dazzler Straight Leg Jeans in On The Edge at Bloomingdales.com
Cropped Mom jeans in traditional mid blue denim
Paige Jacqueline Straight Leg Jeans in Medium Blue at Bloomingdales.com
A generous cut Mom jean ideal with sneakers
AND/OR Sierra High Rise Straight Jeans in Azurite at JohnLewis.com
Double button high waist Mom jeans with lots of support and stretch
J by Jasper Conran Mid Blue Lift and Sculpt Straight Leg Jeans at Debenhams.com

If you try any of these jeans please leave a comment to let us know what you thought of the fit and quality.

This post is part of a series about creating a capsule wardrobe at 50+. Other posts is the series are:

10 Steps to Create a Capsule Wardrobe if You’re Over 50

The Best Cardigans for Women Over 50 and How to Style Them

My Capsule Wardrobe at 70. Real Life Try-on

The 2020 Best White Shirts for Women 50+

Comments

  1. Just read your article, but what if you have large legs and ankles due to health issues, wide Jean’s are great but feel they make me look short ,5’4″.I’ve lost my petite size 10 or less as I was in the 70s and now a square size 18. Can you help without breaking my bank.

    1. Author

      Hi Carol. Thanks for your question. So we are actually not so different. I am only 5’2 and am now between a 14 and 16, definitely a square type!

      I would go for the John Lewis straight leg jean that I show here in the final photo. They have a small amount of stretch (too much and they ‘sculpt’ the leg and show off one’s least good feature.)
      They are straight cut which both you and I need. They go up to size 18 and have free returns.

      Although for a model’s height they might be cropped to above the ankle, for you they should be just right – to the ankle but no more. Your jeans must hang straight, not so long that they crease up over your shoes – this destroys the line you want. If your ankles are very swollen then wear pants that finish just on the ankle bone.

      Never, ever, wear any jean that stops more than 2 inches below the waist – muffin tops ahoy!

      Listen, you and I will never be mistaken for slender but that doesn’t mean we can’t do the best for our looks as they are. I refuse to be invisible.

      I’ve written a post about cardigans. You might want to think about a longer cardigan (thigh length at least) in a size large enough to hang straight at the back. This way your straight jeans continue a straight centre line where your shirt shows between the edges of your cardi. The idea is to get several parallel straight lines, as long as possible, to draw the eye up and down and not across. So NOTHING tight – not shirt, cardi, jeans nor underwear. And no tiny shoes either. Nice comfy wide flats or sandals to continue the theme (boots in winter).

      The same idea goes for a summer shirt or top too. Let it hang long and straight. You can always add warmth by popping on a cardigan or jumper that stops at the hip and let the shirt hang down below.

      Oh, and NEVER ankle socks!!!!!

      Own your size but don’t flaunt your curves unless you love them.

      Hopt this helps
      Joni

  2. I’m 67 yrs. old, am I too old to wear the distressed jeans the young ones are wearing these days?

    1. Author

      Hi Betty. Lovely to hear from you. I would avoid ripped jeans but faded and distressed jeans are fine whatever your age. Personally I don’t buy jeans where the fading is on an area where I’m especially heavy as the lighter shade draws attention. It really depends on the personal style you want to achieve – so less cool at church than at a BBQ!

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