Mom jeans have gone from being a fashion mistake to being a fashion hero. Suddenly, everyone wants to wear mom jeans. They actually are quite flattering to certain areas of the body and when they’re styled well, mom jeans look amazing. Should you wear a belt with mom jeans? What type of belt? With the right styling tricks, you can take mom jeans to the next level.
What Are Mom Jeans, Anyway?
Mom jeans are not just jeans that your mom wears. They’re actually a distinct and specific jeans style, like boyfriend jeans or skinny jeans. Mom jeans are defined by the way they fit. These jeans are high waisted, sitting above the belly button on the body. They are somewhat loose and roomy through the thighs and backside and have tapering legs that fit closer to the legs as they go down toward the ankles.
Once considered to be a bit of a frumpy fashion look, mom jeans have found new legs in the style world. They’re comfortable and they do a good job of defining the waist, which never hurts your overall look. Mom jeans look good on multiple body types, particularly on curvy bodies like pear shapes and hourglass shapes. The high waist helps create a flattening effect on the tummy and it’s high enough to prevent the hated “muffin top” look.
Flatting, comfortable and stylish? Mom jeans are almost too good to be true. But if you’re not styling them the right way, your jeans might not be any of these things.
Where Did Mom Jeans Come From?
Blue jeans have been around for a pretty long time, all things considered. The patent for jeans was taken out by a tailor named Jacob Davis and a businessman named Levi Strauss way back in the 1870s. But blue jeans didn’t really take off as a high fashion item until about a century later. In the 1970s, designers like Calvin Klein got into the jeans game and started creating high-end styles in all sorts of different cuts and looks.
But as we all know, lots of unique and interesting fashion trends appeared in the 1980s. And by unique and interesting, we mean that some of them were super weird. In the 1980s, a particular silhouette of super tapered legs and loose fits around the middle and top of the body became popular in fashion. Oversized tops and skinny legs were everywhere. This would become the inspiration for the now-classic mom jeans style.
In the 1990s, the mom jeans style appeared as the hot look. The young and the fabulous were wearing high waisted, somewhat baggy jeans with tapered legs throughout the decade. Check out popular movies and TV shows from the time and you will see these distinct jeans on all the hottest celebs of the day. Yes, this was absolutely the cool look. But like all good things, it couldn’t last for ever.
In the 2000s, extremely low-rise jeans looks were in and high-waisted jeans were totally out. This is when the high-waisted style was dubbed as “mom jeans.” They were old fashioned, out of style and just not hot. But once again, this trend would do a total 180 in the years to come and mom jeans would, once again, come into their own.
Mom jeans have become cool again and again, they’re appearing on all the hottest celebs and fashionistas. The style has become a little more streamlined and even more flattering to the body. Mom jeans have gone modern and they are definitely a hot, trendy modern look that many people are wholeheartedly embracing. But mom jeans aren’t at all as modern as you might think.
However, the high-waisted and rather baggy style of jeans that characterizes mom jeans actually has its origins in the 1930s. Levi’s made a version of their 501 jeans in a ladies’ version that was high-waisted and baggy. This means that mom jeans styles have actually been around for almost a century!
Belting Your Mom Jeans
There are lots of ways to wear mom jeans. They look great when layered with cropped jackets, like maybe something in leather or denim. They work beautifully with shirts tied around your waist, such as a button-down that’s knotted rather than tucked in. Heck, they work beautifully with T-shirts that are tucked in! There are many different types of tops you can wear with your mom jeans, including layered looks like a fitted tank top and an open button down. You can find tons of ways to experiment with this classic jeans silhouette.
But when it comes to wearing a belt with mom jeans…don’t.
Mom jeans are designed to fit close around the waist. They should fit you well enough that the waist fits with no major gapping, bunching or pinching. That means you should be able to sit and twist and bend and otherwise move comfortably and the waist of your jeans should more or less stick with you and pretty much stay right where it is. Since mom jeans are fitted around the waist already, you don’t actually need a belt to get them to fit well or to add emphasis to your waist area. So there is no practical reason to wear a belt with mom jeans. However, there is also no style reason to wear a belt with mom jeans.
These jeans already fit close at the waist and give you the look of an hourglass figure. Adding a belt to this just adds another layer to the middle of your shape. It adds more bulk around your waist. And when you’re wearing jeans that are meant to emphasize your waist, adding a belt only adds bulk that you don’t need or want. Going beltless will result in a sleeker look that emphasizes the small waist and makes your curves look even curvier, which is exactly the effect you want.
Don’t wear a belt with mom jeans. Wear cropped and fitted blouses, tucked in tops and items that are going to show off that waist. The point of the mom jeans silhouette is to make your waist look nice and tiny in your mom jeans. So show it off through what you’re wearing and don’t add anything extra to your look that’s only going to add bulk.
Should You Wear a Belt With Mom Jeans?
When you’re wondering if you should add a belt to your mom jeans, don’t. Adding a belt will only ruin the line of the jeans. After all, these jeans are all about the silhouette they create. Since that silhouette is designed to emphasize your waist and make it look smaller, don’t add a belt that’s going to make your waist look bigger and bulkier. There are lots of ways to wear your mom jeans without a belt and plenty of ways to style these jeans so that they’ll look great. You don’t need to clutter that up with a belt.
Still have questions about wearing mom jeans? There’s a lot to know about styling this particular silhouette to keep it flattering. We’ve got the answers to all the most common questions about mom jeans to make it much easier to wear this style staple.
How do you get mom jeans in the right size?
When you know how mom jeans are supposed to fit, it’s not difficult to get these jeans in the right size. All you need to do is look for mom jeans in the size that you already wear. Mom jeans are designed to fit close around the waist, creating a snug fit here. However, they are loose in the backside and thigh area and then taper to become more fitted through the legs. This is the fit they naturally have, so just look for mom jeans that fit your jeans size.
If you aren’t sure about your size, measure your waist with a soft tape measure. You can also use a ribbon or a string if you haven’t got a soft tape measure. Just use the ribbon and measure the ribbon. Either way, measure around your natural waist at its slimmest point. This is usually right around the belly button. Measure the hips at their widest point. And to get an inseam measurement, measure from the top of the inner thigh to the middle of the ankle.
Use these measurements against a size chart to find your perfect jeans size. Remember to check size charts on all parts of jeans when you’re buying online, because there are differences between U.S. and UK sizes, not to mention other sizes from farther away around the world. Using the measurements will guarantee that you get the right jeans size every single time.
What should you wear with mom jeans?
Pair your mom jeans with cropped and tucked blouses and tops that end at your waist. You don’t want anything too low or bulky. Nothing that hides your waist, in other words. The idea of mom jeans is to make your waist look smaller and it totally works because of how these jeans are styled. Wear tops that will allow your waistline to show so that your waistline will look small and your body will look more like it has an hourglass shape.
Because these are casual jeans, you can wear mom jeans in all sorts of different looks. Pair them with canvas sneakers, loafers, high heels, ankle boots, any footwear you like. They will pair with lip flops or stilettos, ballet flats or high-top sneakers. You can wear mom jeans with anything. But to make sure they’re flattering on your body, wear them with items that will allow the line of your waist and the silhouette of the jeans to show.
How should you wash mom jeans?
You aren’t supposed to wash denim too often, because the material itself is so resilient to stains and dirt. But if your jeans are dirty or if you’ve worn them several times and you know they need a wash, you can wash them. Though denim itself is a tough material that’s known for wearing well and taking a lot of use, you should actually wash your jeans as if they are very delicate. The fibers of the denim can be affected by water and heat. Wash your jeans the wrong way and they can lose shape and it can even weaken the denim.
Experts advise washing jeans on a gentle wash cycle using cool water. Don’t wash jeans with other items. Wash only denim itself when you’re washing jeans. This means denim won’t be rubbing against other fabrics. Jeans should be hung up to dry, ideally. If this is not possible, dry them on a low heat setting in the dryer. Always wash and dry your jeans inside-out.
Can mom jeans be business casual?
When it comes to dressing casually, nothing is more casual than blue jeans. They’re famous for being casual wear, in fat. It practically doesn’t get more casual than this! But when it comes to business casual clothing, mom jeans don’t fit the category. Jeans just can’t be business casual wear. They’re a little too casual for most professional settings. However, you can still wear your mom jeans when you’re running errands, going out with friends or hanging at home.
Can mom jeans be altered?
Jeans are not easy to alter, though some small changes can be made if you want to achieve a more perfect fit. The length of jeans can be shortened when needed. It’s much harder to extend the length, though you can do this by adding another type of fabric and simply sewing extra pieces on. Jeans can be patched and added to in this way and it only adds to the character of the jeans, rather than taking away from the overall style.
Jeans can also be altered to fit slightly tighter or looser in the waist. However, big changes can’t be made here because big changes would affect the way the jeans fit everywhere else. Altering the waist a great deal would change the way the jeans fit in the rear end and this would affect the overall drape and silhouette. So some alterations can be made, small changes, but if you need bigger changes then you should get a new pair of jeans instead.
Mental Floss – The Surprising Origins of 9 Jean Trends
Silver Bobbin – Mom Jeans vs Boyfriend Jeans: What Is the Difference?
The Trend Spotter – How to Wear Mom Jeans with Style