Photo Chatelaine
Best Ways To Style Mom Jeans 2022. Photo Chatelaine

Update your denim outfit rotation this fall with the coolest new ways to wear mom jeans. From layering pieces like oversize blazers and timeless shoes like sleek black ankle boots to simple sweaters and statement accessories like brightly colored bags, add each combination to your lineup to freshen up your denim style. Today it’s all about how to wear mom jeans and outfits you can wear on repeat no matter the season.

What are mom jeans?

As one of the most trendy pieces of casual attire, the mom cut features a high waist and long zipper. This denim offers a baggy leg and often makes you look taller, and it is a feminine alternative to the more relaxed boyfriend silhouette. These typically come in the classic blue color with no rips or tears in the fabric, but they look just as great with a bit of wear. This denim is a perfect option for a cute brunch date, or even a night out on the town with your friends.

Mom jeans, boyfriend jeans, skinny jeans – the amount of denim choices are endless. So how do you tell your mom jeans from your girlfriend jeans? Look at 90s mom-jean inspo and you'll see mom jeans are high-waisted with less stretch - like classic denim - and are cut to have a baggy fit particularly over the bum and thighs. They then taper down around the ankles, creating the silhouette favoured by women in the 80s and early 90s.

Where to buy the best mom jeans?

Unlike some denim trends that come and go, mom jeans have been popular for a couple of years now, and are around to stay – which means you’ll be spoilt for choice. Topshop has one of the best mom jeans ranges in all washes, and ASOS has a great selection too, including branded styles like these Stradivarius mom jeans that come in under £20 and are so high-waisted. If you're looking to invest in a pair of designer mom jeans, there’s no better place to shop than Net-A-Porter. We particularly love this pair of J Brand mom jeans and these tapered Citizens of Humanity mom jeans in Spring-appropriate blue.

Nine Ways to Wear Mom Jeans

Tucked Into Boots

AKA the Princess Diana way to wear. Take advantage of those tapered legs and tuck into calf-length boots. Extra points for cowboy styles and an oversized blazer a la Camille Charriere.

Unbutton Your Shirt

Just think of this as the grown-up alternative to a cropped top and give shirting a refresh by unbuttoning from the navel to hem. The mom jean’s high waist makes this a surprisingly wearable move.

What bag to use with mon jeans?
Photo Top Trends Guide
Photo Top Trends Guide

Mom jeans are obviously not just for moms… but one thing holds over from moms in mom jeans to dog moms in mom jeans: hands free bags.

What bags specifically?

-Across body bag

-Canvas tote

-Mini tote

This, like the shoes, is just a suggestion. You can still (and I still do) use a clutch or top handle. After all a Louis Vuitton speedy adds a 90’s throwback to these jeans… but, the most practical bag (and most “mom-sy”) is something you can throw on your shoulder or strap across your body.

Double (or triple) Up Your Denim

Lean into those vintage vibes and layer up with a denim jacket, shirt or bustier (a surprise fashion girl success story). The Hadids would be proud.

Tie Your Ankle Straps Over

Take your cue from Tamu McPherson and give jeans and a white T-shirt a new season spin by fastening your ankle straps over your jeans. The streetstyle set love this styling hack.

Make It All White

Your mom jeans don’t have to be blue. White denim feels fresh now. If you’re feeling brave (AKA not anywhere in the vicinity of small children/animals/red wine/grass/you get the drift) go tonal like Pernille Teisbaek. Box fresh Converse and a white tee are always a good idea.

Couple With A Cardi

Sparked by Alexa Chung, a denim devotee, who wears her high-waisted jeans with a cropped cardigan – and we will be too. We love this snug, oversized look on Sylvia Mus.

Pair With A Pretty Blouse

Into those prairie style pieces doing the rounds but worried about looking like a member of the Ingalls family? Seek out a sweet blouse and dress down with your denim. Lucy Williams masters this move again and again.

Toughen Up With Leather

Denim + leather is always a good idea. The streamlined leather blazer is a fashion girl favourite right now, or unleash your inner rebel like MyTheresa’s Tiffany Hsu in a leather shirt and bomber. She also makes the case for a tough-luxe belt, Tiffany’s is by Bottega Veneta. Swoon.

Loosen Up

Still not sure about the mom jean? Then just nod to the style by choosing wider-legged styles (high-waist still essential) like Paloma Elsesser. The 'cool mom' jeans, perhaps?

What shoes do you wear with mom jeans?

With a few exceptions, any shoe can work with mom jeans. From grungy flip flops to svelte ballet flats, they’ll complement these jeans.

What shoes don’t work?

Boots where you need to tuck in the ankle: ex. moccasin boots, over the knee boots, and unfortunately Isabel Marant Dickers.

What shoes look exceptionally cool?

1- Heels, like…

-Lace up espadrilles

-Mules

-Sling backs

-… basically any shoe with, well, a heel

Mom jeans naturally lengthen your leg because of their higher perceived waistline. Because of that, you might as well go the extra mile and slip on a pair of low-medium heels to make your legs look even longer. A more refined shoe (like a pair of Manolo Blahnik BBs) also elevates the outfit from “regular” mom to ~fashion editor mom~ (like Emmanuelle Alt, a real mom).

2- Flats, like…

-Ballet flats

-Birkenstocks

-Trainers

… but if you want to be an even ~cooler~ mom, pull an Alexa Chung (not a real mom) and pop on a pair of Converse or a pair of ballet flats. While Birkenstocks go against the idea of slimming a mom jeans outfit, they still look suspiciously cool.

Best Combo for mom jeans

1. RUFFLED BLOUSE + BLUE JEANS + STILETTO HEELS

Photo Getty
Photo Getty

Loose-fitting denim has a tendency to feel super casual and a bit masculine (mom jeans and boyfriend jeans are pretty closely related, if you think about it), which is why we love the idea of pairing cropped mom jeans with a flirty top and vampy heels (yes, they can absolutely be kitten heels if sky-high stilettos aren’t your thing). Pro tip: Tucking in your top, no matter the style, will keep you from getting lost under all that fabric and will give the illusion of a smaller waist.

2. CROPPED JACKET + ANKLE-LENGTH JEANS + BOOTIES

Photo Getty
Photo Getty

A structured jacket that hits just below the waistband of your jeans has the same flattering, waist-nipping effect as tucking in your shirt, but it’s way more comfortable—and won’t create any awkward bunching of fabric around your hips. Feel free to use the style of your jacket to inform the other elements of your outfit (e.g., go colorful with a floral blouse and bright boots, or keep it sleek by pairing a chic black turtleneck with square-toe, block-heel sling-backs).

3. LEATHER JACKET + STRIPED TOP + DISTRESSED JEANS + BOOTIES

Photo Getty
Photo Getty

The saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” absolutely applies to this timeless combo. We’re not going to go out on a limb and say that a striped shirt and a leather jacket with jeans is trendy, but we do want to applaud this reliable standby for getting us through years and years of wear. And don’t feel obligated to stick with a traditional moto silhouette, a modern leather blazer will work just as well.

4. LONG JACKET + COLLARED SHIRT + DARK WASHES + BOOTS

Photo Getty
Photo Getty

One of the key features of mom jeans is a higher rise. And if you have a longer torso, this cut can sometimes compress your curves or distort your body shape to look out of whack. Adding a long duster, trench coat or even just a blazer that hits past the widest part of your hips can help return some length and proportion to your overall look.

5. BASIC BLACK TOP + FADED JEANS + BLACK SANDALS

Photo Getty
Photo Getty

Yes, there is a way to make loose jeans in light washes—even those with distressed knees and raw hems—look polished. Opt for minimalist black (or white, navy or brown) pieces in slim-fit silhouettes, like a high-neck tank top, fitted turtleneck tee, simplistic sandals or sock booties, to balance out your casual bottoms. And while you can definitely add a pop of color with a bag or fun sunglasses, stick to equally minimalist designs rather than patterned pieces or anything with too much detailing.

6. OVERSIZE SWEATER + FITTED JEANS + POINTY-TOE SHOES

Photo Getty
Photo Getty

Remember when we said you should always tuck your top into mom jeans? Well, there are some exceptions to that rule. Case in point: a cozy tunic sweater that hits just below your hips. This outfit will work best with mom jeans that have a slightly more fitted leg. Finishing your look with a pair of printed pointy-toe kicks, either heels or flats, ensures you look polished and chic rather than frumpy.

7. SILKY BLOUSE + CROPPED JEANS + POINTY-TOE ANKLE BOOTS

Photo Getty
Photo Getty

We prefer cropped mom jeans to full-length styles because that hint of ankle works wonders for slimming the line of your legs (and it also prevents you from looking dowdy). So how’s a gal supposed to keep that sliver of sex appeal when wearing boots? Choose ankle boots that feature sharp, clean lines, like a pointy toe or a slim heel, and make sure they fit close to your ankle. Now is not the time for western booties or slouchy styles. Of course, it never hurts to match your footwear to a posh leather trench coat, too, for an extra dose of chic.

8. COLORFUL CARDIGAN + NEAT, UNDISTRESSED DENIM + COORDINATING HEELS

Photo Getty
Photo Getty

This simple combo is great for any upcoming events or parties where you want to bridge the gap between dressy and casual, and works well no matter what styles, prints or colors you choose for your knit and shoes. (That said, we highly suggest opting for a mid or dark wash denim over anything too light or acid wash.) Want something that feels extra festive? Pick a cardigan with rhinestone buttons, satin or patent heels and some sparkly statement earrings.

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