To be honest, these mom jeans are still tricky for me. Sometimes I’m just not sure how to style them. Getting the proportions to feel “right” is where I have the most trouble.
But, tricky or not, I love these jeans and I’ve always liked a good style challenge. :)
So, here’s the latest look I’ve come up with. I’m pretty excited about it! I’d wear this outfit to hang out with my lady friends, or even on a casual dinner date with Aaron.
Here’s why I think it works:
- Familiar elements. When I’m getting used to a new item that feels outside of my comfort zone, I sandwich it between familiar pieces I feel mega comfortable in — like that black tank and cognac shoes. I’ve had both since my very first capsule! My standby color palette of denim, black, and cognac brings the look even further into my comfort zone.
- Chunky heels: The heels balance out the relaxed shape of the jeans. Relaxed, loose-fitting bottoms can sometimes make legs look shorter, but the heels elongate the legs instead.
- A not-too-tight-not-too-loose top: Getting the right shape on top was challenging. I didn’t want a boxy crop, but I also didn’t want a tight crop top. So I split the difference cinched a loose tank at the waist with a tie. The whole tied shirt thing seems to be a trend right now, which is fun because you can do it without buying anything new. Just take any button down shirt, tie it at the waist, and you’ve got the look.
So tell me: If you’ve got mom jeans, are they in or out of your comfort zone? Do you have a fail-proof outfit recipe to share? I’d love to get ideas from you! If you aren’t into mom jeans, what are some other pieces you have that are out of your comfort zone? How to you style them to make them feel right?
No post tomorrow, but Thursday will be fun — I’ll show you the pink tee I added to my capsule. And on Friday, Lee of Style Bee and I are kicking off our Spring 10×10 remix! Need a quick start guide? Here you go!
• • •
Liked today’s outfit? You can shop it and support Unfancy at the same time by using these affiliate links:
01 | Black tank (old) | similar (made in USA) | similar
02 | Jeans by Grlfriend (made in USA) (Fit Note: These jeans have zero stretch. I’m usually a 24 in jeans and sized up to a 25. They feel tight in the waist at first, but over a few wears they mold to your body. Wash them on cold, don’t ever put them in the dryer, and they’ll stay molded like that forever.) | similar (under $70) | similar (under $40)
03 | Shoes by Steve Madden | similar
04 | Bag gifted by ONA | similar (made responsibly) | similar (under $65) | similar (under $49)
I have a pair of mom jeans that I constantly wear because they they’re my only high waisted and only light wash pair ;)! It’s so hard to find jeans that fit perfectly, and I think I’m trying to accept the fact that I love them even though they’ve stretched out and no longer look as flattering haha! I’m with you on the not too loose, not too tight top idea – I honestly think it works the best for my body type, too!
Hannah, if you wash them on hot, they will shrink a bit (temporarily, but still, just keep washing them on hot).
Wow, it is amazing how you styled your mom jeans! And the best thing is I own similar jeans and shoes. This means I can hopefully copy this cool look :)
xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena
I love the tie on the top! I think that it ties (no pun intended haha) the whole outfit together. I wear mom jeans, although I’ve never really styled them differently than my regular jeans- this is a great idea :)
Love love love! I adore mom jeans i actually think they’re quite flattering is you style them right, and you totaly did! xo
Kathy Sc says
Caroline, can you explain the difference between Mom jeans and Boyfriend jeans?
Hey Kathy! So I find that the boyfriend + mom jeans are fairly similar in cut, except the mom jeans nip in at the waist and hug the curves quite a bit more. The boyfriend jeans are more of a straight cut all the way through the waist and hips. They are also sized much differently, so the boyfriend jeans hang looser while the mom jeans are worn tighter and up higher on the waist. I do think you could get a similar look if you bought the mom jeans oversized. Hope that helps! :)
I was going to ask the same question. Thanks. I have boyfriend jeans and I struggle with tops all the time.
The Roamer says
I was going to ask the same question… I’m glad I saw your comment. Sometimes there are so many comments it’s hard to check if the question you have has already been asked.
Littleblackdomicile blogger says
Oh my girlfriend, I’ve got some original gap mom jeans that I’ve had truly being a Mom and back! I never thought they were flattering but see now how to style them to make a old friend new. -Laurel Bledsoe
Are mom jeans the same as girlfriend jeans? I have a pair of mid-rise girlfriend jeans that I love, but another pair of high-rise ones that I can’t seem to get right. They pancake my butt, so I’m always pairing them with long things in back, and they stretch out weird over my hips. Maybe zero-stretch is the way to go. Mine are also a horrible wash. I think I’ve just talked myself out of keeping them in my capsule – but maybe I need the challenge!
Hey Elizabeth, from what I can gather — mom jeans and girlfriend jeans are very similar, however, mom jeans might technically have bigger pockets and be a little baggy, while girlfriend jeans are more fitted with no slouch. The pancake butt sounds more like legit mom jeans. Maybe check Pinterest for some styling ideas! :)
Mom jeans are out of my comfort zone! I like how you styled them but I usually do not like them at all especially if someone is going really hard for a 90s look…! It’s too much. They don’t look mom-ish or ironic on you. They just look like light wash high rise jeans that aren’t skin tight, which is a good and legit option. I just find jeans in general uncomfortable – and not very long lasting, since they always seems to get ripped in the crotch from friction, just from daily activities like riding a bike or just walking around. I prefer leggings or skirts.
Anna W says
Love this outfit – simple, but clearly well thought out!
I struggle with tunic tops. As a pear shaped person, that flowy, breezy tunic top is great, until it hits my hips and suddenly stops being flowy and breezy anymore. Plus, when I wear a sleeveless tunic, it reminds me of children’s clothes (though of course I never think this when I see others wearing tunics). However, I have managed to acquire a couple that don’t make me feel like I’m wearing a pillowcase.
So just for the extra challenge, I put not one, but two tunic-ish in my Spring 10×10, because why not? (my 10×10 overview post is live today!)
Yes! Go for it, Anna! The easiest way to start getting used to an item is to just wear it and get it over with. Have fun! :)
I do not have any mom jeans, I’m not sure why I would get them? I currently usually just wear regular skinny jeans and find them flattering so I stick with that. They look good on you tho!
-Kirsten // http://www.porkandcookies.com
Nothing wrong with sticking to what works, Kirsten! :)
I too just wonder why I would wear jeans that aren’t flattering on me! I’ve never understood mom jeans or boyfriend jeans for that matter. I already have a flat-ish bum… don’t need any more pancake-ness happening! haha. I think they would give me terrible flash backs of the awful clothes my mom dressed me in during senior elementary school… before I had any opinions of my own about clothes. (ugh…seriously I cant even look at pictures from those years! ;)
Sheila Joy says
Mom jeans are my favorite and I love this pair on you! Personally, I like to style them with a tight fitting top since they are baggy in nature. I also prefer to tuck them in to cinch my waist, but still have a boxy feel on top!
Sounds cute, Sheila! :)
Elizabeth Broderick says
I’m still not feeling the mom jean look on my self, but you make them look great. I did want to stop in and say I’m loving the new vibe on the photos though. It may be out of your comfort zone but you are killing it! They always look great in your living room, but it the new look is just making your blog feel so “aired out” and fresh. Perfect for spring.
Thanks Elizabeth! That’s so nice to hear. :)
I have a small waist and larger hips and thighs, so high-waisted, relaxed fit jeans are the only style that look good and feel comfortable on me. I do have some lightweight summer jeans that aren’t as high-waisted, but they are not low-rise either. I never wear skinny or low-rise jeans; I can’t imagine wearing anything so uncomfortable. These jeans that you are wearing, Caroline, still look like a slim-fit to me, so I wouldn’t describe them as mom jeans, but I like the high waist on you.
Thanks Carol. Maybe they’re more of a “girlfriend” jean than a mom jean ;)
Madeline Mudd says
Proportions are what I struggle with about mom jeans too! I just started pairing them with anything and everything that I would wear with normal jeans and surprisingly some things worked! Experimenting is the best!
i always think those jeans look amazing on you. i haven’t yet found my perfect mom jeans.
Girl & Closet says
Have a pair and love em’! I pretty much wear them with everything… slouchy sweaters & flats, or paired with my fave blazer & stilettos. And love your advice of sandwiching new items with the familiar! Makes all the difference + you’re looking absolutely beautiful Caroline and I love, love the new photo format too!! xo
Awesome! (And thank you!) :)
Kathryn Mader says
Really cute outfit. The tanks you listed as similar are not button down. So would you just tuck them in? Or is there a way to somehow knot them? Thanks.
Hey Kathryn, yes! I tried to link to ones that had a similar flowy feel, so I think you could definitely do a front tuck for the same effect. Or even a little knot :)
Mom jeans are in my comfort zone! I love non-stretch denim and a higher waist just looks better on my shape. It can be hard to find the right top– I like your idea to tie one! They can look right, I think, with a partial tuck-in too.
Greetings! Your outfit looks fantastic! I had children in the 80’s when jeans had not quite evolved to the amazingness that they are now. Seeing mom jeans now as an addition to selection is great. But honestly,they scare me fashion wise. I won’t be buying them. I do own one pair of dark wash,little more than mid rise jean and that will do it for me. Is the pendulum swing going back to higher waist in response to so much of the skinny or super low cut jeans? I would love to see a store with a business model that offfers jeans with all styles,washes and lengths, plus top quality,and throw in flap back pockets sometimes. I’m there!
Hey Lisa, the pendulum is definitely swinging toward the higher waist (for now!) But I love your denim store idea. Trying on tons of options is the only way to find the best jean for YOU. :)
Anna W says
Seriously, can we please make the denim store happen??? Because right now I’m watching my fav jeans start to show some wear and I’m literally planning a shopping trip to a town 2 hours away and in a different timezone, just so I can hit up 5-6 stores and try on ALL THE JEANS.
I don’t have mom jeans because they’re way out of my comfort zone! I think yours look so cute though. Well done!
Aspiring minimalist says
Caroline I’ve had that tank of your pinned to a board on Pinterest for like for years! What is the brand? The one you linked to isn’t the same at all. The think that makes that tank you have is the small white buttons all the way down, and no collar! Do you have a suggestion of another sustainable shirt of that nature?
I found a couple similar silk tanks (here and here) but they are a little pricey and no white buttons! So I linked to ones with a similar flowy feel instead. The original brand is hard to make out — it’s from Nordstrom Rack, called either Pleione or Dleione? Haha!
Oh, just found this one from Grana too: http://bit.ly/2o70Sqh
Sorry I can’t be more help, but good luck on the hunt! :)
Aspiring minimalist says
Pleione yes! That’s a real brand!
And those one two have collars. Busty gals and collars are like long torso people and low waisted jeans. Proportional disaster!
But I’ll check that bitly link and go on the hunt!!! Thanks!
I had left a comment below about how I also have admired this tank for years and it sent me on a hunt for a similar one. If you we’re looking for a collar I did find one at Anthropologie and wanted to share the love! It isn’t ethically made but wanted to pass it on anyways =)
Well done, Chelsea!!
kim domingue says
A waist high, slender leg Jean came in vogue as a 180 degree turn around from the early to mid 70s hip hugger, bell bottoms jeans. We wore fitted tucked in, button up shirts with a slender belt with them or something a little blousy, again tucked in with a slender belt. The rebellious girls, like me, didn’t tuck our shirts, we tied the shirt tails at the waist as you’ve done and wore similar shoes. Lol! If you live long enough, you’ll a lot of the same styles repeated! Mom jeans, back then, were high waisted but had a wider leg at the bottom if I’m remembering correctly. You look very vintage! (In a good way!)
Those hip huggers looked horrendous on me. High waisted pants came out when I was a senior in high school and they were such a relief!
LOVE this look on you, always happy to see you incorporate pieces from old capsules I remember. This shirt has been one of my favs of yours since the beginning (I’ve been on the hunt for a similar one with buttons for YEARS UG – still can’t find one if anyone has stumbled across anything help a girl out!) but I’m really digging it tied up. Will definitely be stealing this style tip for the spring/summer :)
I have tried higher waist jeans but I don’t think the proportion really works for me. On me they make both my legs and upper body look shorter. I keep trying different pairs though as I like the idea of wearing some shorter tops without the worry of exposing as much midriff. Maybe there is a pair for me out there somewhere.
Bronwyn, I’m sure there is a pair for your out there — but they are NOT easy to find! Totally understand.
Samantha Lee says
I have a pair of “mom jeans” from Madewell that I absolutely loved when I tried on and had to buy (the most I’ve spent on a pair of jeans, to be honest). But unfortunately they almost immediately stretch out when wearing, which as I’m sure you know, makes them not so flattering. Still trying to figure out how to wear them, so my bottom half doesn’t look like a dumpy mess, haha.
Dumpy mess LOL love the description, and very accurate :D
So great that you still have and wear pieces from you first capsule! Now that’s some sustainable fashion :)
Kayleigh Mydosh says
Hi Caroline! I love how often you are posting. I missed your posts terribly when you took a break from un-fancy. You are a huge source of fashion inspiration for me! I have a question for you, where do you look for inspiration when you’re feeling like you’re in a fashion rut? Aside from just trying to mix up pieces you already have in your closet are there any other specific fashionista’s or bloggers your turn to for fresh idea’s or new pieces to invest in? Thanks! :)
Hey Kayleigh! I look for inspiration in a variety of places — including Instagram, Pinterest, and other blogs. I’m a fan of Style Bee and Man Repeller. But when I’m in a rut, my favorite thing to do is turn to my own closet and try to come up with new outfits from old pieces. It’s always a surprise and learning experience. (Also why I’m excited for our upcoming 10×10 challenge!) :)
I’m so glad to see real denim, natural waists, and straight legs come back after a decade of thin, stretchy low-waisted pants! These look great.
Mom jeans aren’t really in my comfort zone but i love the way they look on other people haha!
I scored an awesome (looking) pair of 90’s high waisted Guess jeans on Ebay for cheap! And I do really like the way that they look on me when I get the style just right, buttttt they aren’t the most comfortable and I love comfy jeans. I have 3 pair of old madewell high waisted jeans that are SO comfy. It’s been really hard to adapt to the no-stretch and they kinda hurt my stomach when I sit down for too long tbh. This Manrepeller article really just got me: http://www.manrepeller.com/2017/03/how-to-wear-high-waist-jeans.html
I really love your idea here because I’ve only come up with one or two ways to wear them that don’t feel frumpy. Would definitely love to see you style your pair up more!
Awesome styling! I have a question – how do you know when to match your bag to your shoes? Or not? Thanks! Xx
Hey Niloopa! I actually wrote a post about this in the Fall (http://bit.ly/2ozzv9r) It will be interesting to see how it plays out in Spring and Summer with sandals instead of boots! :)
I’ve been slowly circling around Mom jeans for a while, and just took the plunge and ordered a pair! We’ll see how it goes. My issues with pairs I have tried on before are that 1) because they have no stretch, they are actually initially less comfortable than my skinny jeans and 2) styling–I don’t want to wear looser, nominally comfier pants but then feel like I need to wear uncomfortable high heels (that I don’t own anyways) to balance the look out. I think as Mom jeans have become more widespread I’m seeing them styled successfully with flats more and more though. So we’ll see if the ones I ordered will be keepers or not. I hope so, you make them look great!
You look so good in mom jeans, I’m short and have big leg so mom jeans make me look like a potato, sadly. Great post still <3
I’m short with big legs too, but the small waistline on mom jeans keeps me from looking like a potato. :)
Mom jeans are my go-to. I like a fitted pair but not too tight (like yours! I have the Levi icon wedgie which I love because they have a bit of stretch and so it’s way easier to bend in them).
I just wear them with a t-shirt usually. Not too fitted, not too tight. Just a classic crew neck shape but not super light. I think a tighter t-shirt can look good but I like a more relaxed looking tee better with these jeans. The shape that doesn’t work is boxy, unless you can tuck it in somehow. I’ll wear them with slip on sneakers, Birkenstocks, or mules just depending on what footwear would be best for my activity.
I’m an actual mom, so I feel like sort of an expert on this ?
Emily Mahi'ai says
I have like three pairs of mom jeans and I wear them with basically every top I own. ?
Boxy or loose tops are out of my comfort zone in terms of feeling flattering to my “pear shape” but I do love the drape of a good one so I pair them over a dress that is short or skinny jeans to balance it out. I have only chosen pieces that have good drape (I have a linen tee and a cotton loose knit sweater) so that when you move, you still see your shape.
I’m loving the outdoor pictures. I’ve never really been able to find a pair of “mom” or “girlfriend” fit jeans that fit me well. I have a relatively small waist compared to hips/thighs. So they tend to still look like skinny jeans on me, even a size up. Two sizes up is usually too big or doesn’t look nice anymore.
No mom jeans for me. Maybe I’m too old for them to be ironic lol. (My husband asked dumbfoundedly when he saw someone wearing them, “didn’t Obama wear those jeans?” I love him (my husband, but also Obama) so much.
I just wear Levis, the old school ones with low, big pockets, and a low waist (501s). I was never so happy as when high waisted jeans went out of style. Nothing is less comfortable for me (straight, boyish figure, which, shockingly, looks better in men’s jeans).
One of my favorite mantras is “you do you!!” I’m so happy for anyone who finds a look and clothes that they feel happy in. You rock those mom jeans ladies!
You keep inspiring me :). Although with my mom jeans I couldn’t cope. Actually I have them already 3 years (didn’t realise that they are called mom jeans though >_<) and they have always been tricky! Some months I loved them, the others…It felt like wearing a rug, too loose, too uncomfy in the wreist. This year, i decided to take only 1 jeans for a week in Spain – those! And I deliberately made holes in the knees ;) and rolled them up above the ankles! It felt soo good with sneakers and sandals! Much more comfortable also for the swingy sunny &windy weather (it's coller in them as the wind goes through the holes!). Since then, these are my comfy jeans for travel &vacation ;)
Hey Caroline! I just recently found your blog and I’m in love with it! I did a major and much needed wardrobe clean-out the same day I read about capsuling. Although it has definitely helped me clear my head about where I’d like to be with my style, I still don’t feel right about what I’ve narrowed it down to. I still spend more time than I’d like picking out and outfit, and don’t usually love them one hundred percent. Is this normal? I feel like my problem may be that I am lacking a few key items and things that I really love, but I am worried if I shop I’ll end up right back where I started… If you have any suggestions on where I should go from here, it would be truly appreciated! Thank you :)
I recently got a pair of the “perfect summer jeans” from Madewell and I LOVE them – they are just the right amount of mom and boyfriend jeans, all rolled into one. However, my current style challenge is finding a sweater/jacket that looks good with them. Since I work in A/C all day long, I get chilly! I haven’t yet found something that balances out the high waist and straight, cropped leg without looking frumpy. Anyone have any ideas?? xx
Hi, these jeans look excellent. Are you wearing GRLFRND’s Karolina high-rise skinny fit, or Helena straight-fit? I’m asking because they appear looser and lighter in your pic from the one pictured in the link.
They are the Karolina high-rise skinny fit — I agree, in person they are definitely looser than they look on the website. :)