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What are Mom Jean Shorts?

And there's something about mom jean shorts that makes them flattering on people of all shapes and sizes. This is the place to be if you have no idea what mom jean shorts are or how to wear them.

A view from above of a denim shorts on pink background.

Denim shorts. Aren’t they just one of those garments you absolutely have to have? I mean, for summer (and just about anytime) jean shorts fit the bill. And there is something about mom jean shorts that means they will suit literally every body shape and size. What would your wardrobe be without at least one pair?

If you don’t know exactly what mom jean shorts are, or how to wear them, this is the place to be.

What are mom jean shorts?

Simply put, mom jean shorts is the name given to shorts made from denim that are high-waisted. Another characteristic feature is that they often have more pockets than other denim shorts. Then, , mom jean shorts are relatively loose around the legs and also tend to be longer than other styles of denim shorts, even reaching to mid-thigh.

They are popular for their retro look and because their shape and cut are flattering for all body shapes and sizes.

Origin of the name ‘mom jean shorts’

During the 1980s, with the big hair and enlarged shoulder pads, came the high-waisted pants look. This, of course, spilled over into jeans. When the style became popular quite recently, the classic high-waisted, pleated loose-fit jeans earned the title ‘mom jeans’, named for the comfort and style that mothers seek. Denim shorts that follow the same high-waisted style are called ‘mom jean shorts’.

Related: Are Mom jeans good for big thighs? What other jeans are good?

Mom jean shorts are made from denim

A young beautiful woman in white top and denim shorts near at river.

Mom jean shorts are all made of denim, which means they all have the characteristic diagonal-patterned twill weave. The most common color of denim is blue, but with an underlying white tone. This is because denim is woven from two threads, one blue, and one white.

Apart from the color of the denim, mom jean shorts also have the classic look of denim jeans, with double stitching along the seams and pockets. They also have more pockets than most other denim shorts.

Even though denim has a typical look, denim is not just denim. Mom jean shorts can be made from different types and colors of denim. This includes thicker denim, which is relatively stiff, and denim which is quite thin. However, they are not made from stretch denim, because they have wider legs and suit just about any body shape.

Mom Jean Shorts Always have the Same Look and Feel

Two set mom fit denim shorts different color hanged.

So, mom jean denim shorts can be made from different thicknesses and colors of denim. You’ll find that the denim from which these shorts are made is usually relatively thick, which suits the longer length and looser fit.

Although the majority of mom denim shorts are made from blue denim, they may be denim that has been dyed. Black is a popular color for denim shorts and white also features quite a lot. You will occasionally find brightly colored mom jean shorts, but other colors are usually more mutes. You will also find some shorts with patterns dyed into the denim.

Then, of course, there is always the classic faded or distressed look of the denim, which will always be a part of the look of mom jean shorts. What makes mom jean shorts even more up-to-date is the ripped look you will also find.

Mom jeans are high waisted, longer, and looser

Mom jean denim shorts are characteristically high-waisted, which means the denim is usually slightly pleated below the waistband. The belt loops around the waist echo the classic look of jeans.

The name ‘mom jeans’ comes from a style of jeans worn in the ‘80s, which may mean you could think of the style as being old-fashioned or even frumpy, but this is a “flattering shorts style” that is anything but frumpy or old-fashioned.

Mom jean shorts are also longer and wider than other denim shorts. They usually reach to about mid-thigh and often have turn-ups. Mom jean shorts are definitely not bum shorts.

How to wear mom jean shorts

A half body shot of a stylish girl in high waisted denim shorts two hands in pocket.

The beauty of denim is that it can go with anything, which is what you should bear in mind when putting together an outfit including mom jean shorts. Because these shorts have a classic look, they can also be dressed up or dressed down.

To create a casual summer look, wear a vest or crop top with your mom jean shorts. Add a pair of flip-flops or flat summer sandals. Don’t forget to accessorize, with a beaded bangle and neck choker featuring a shell.

If you are on and around the beach, then you can wear a bikini top and keep the sunblock at hand.

You can dress up a summer outfit with mom jean shorts by adding a loose blouse, or a button-down shirt tied at the waist. The buttons should be undone.

For a smart casual summer look, wear your mom jean shorts with a loose short sleeve blouse and linen jacket. Add pumps or wedges and some chunky jewelry, like a big bracelet and statement plastic rings.

Don’t think winter needs to stop you from wearing mom jean shorts. Just put them over a pair of leggings or tights, with ankle boots. A polo neck over a T-shirt, with a bomber jacket will complete the look and keep you warm.


If you want to be sure to be comfortable and retro-stylish, then choose mom jean shorts. You can wear them for comfort, for style, or just for fun. Don’t let the season put you off: you can wear mom jean shorts year-round. The high waist, slightly longer legs, and comfortable, loose fit means they are perfect for all body types and all sizes. Mom jean shorts are for everyone.