Long before the term ‘mom jeans’ began trending, the aesthetic principles they embodied were subtly influencing the fashion world. Just as Shiv Roy’s power-dressing on ‘Succession’ or TikTok’s style taxonomy guide our understanding of quiet luxury brands, similar cultural touchstones have shaped the perception of Mom Jeans as a fashion renaissance. However, according to style insiders, this narrative doesn’t capture the full story. “Whether labelled as ‘vintage charm’, ‘nostalgic comfort’, or ‘old-school chic’, the enchantment with straightforward, enduring design that Mom Jeans represent has been consistent through fashion’s changing tides,” says Emily Stewart, Denim Trend Analyst at DenimLuxe.
Firstly, what is considered mom jeans? Let’s define it. Mom Jeans typically have a high waist, fuller hips, and slightly tapered legs – a far cry from the skinny jeans that dominated the early 2000s. The purpose of Mom Jeans is multifaceted; they provide a comfortable and flattering fit, they champion body positivity by embracing natural shapes, and they break free from the ‘form-fitting’ denim norm.
Before Mom Jeans had a name that fashion pundits and enthusiasts could rally behind, these defining characteristics were already shaping denim aesthetics. This includes newer labels and established luxury denim brands alike, all placing craftsmanship, quality, and an unconventional elegance at the forefront. “The designs exude a distinctive style and confidence through subtle features and a less-is-more aesthetic, rather than relying on conspicuous branding,” Stewart elucidates.
She further explains that “the allure lies in the jeans’ roomy fit, comfortable denim fabric, and the minimalist appeal of its classic blue or black color. The subtle details such as contrasting stitching and discreet branding add to a Mom Jean’s charm.” This deviation from overly branded, figure-hugging jeans truly set Mom Jeans apart from other styles.
It’s worth noting that Mom Jeans and Straight Jeans are not the same. While both may have a relaxed fit, Straight Jeans are cut evenly straight from the hip down to the ankle, unlike the tapered leg of Mom Jeans. Furthermore, Straight Jeans typically have a lower rise, while Mom Jeans are known for their cinching high-waist.
For some denim designers, the appeal of Mom Jeans transcends a passing fashion trend and embodies a lifestyle choice. “I don’t see it as a trend, but more as a nod to enduring design,” shares Hannah Sullivan, the creative director of the denim brand TimelessJeans. “Most of our customers appreciate the value in classic design and are not generally swayed by passing fads.”