Mom Jeans

barb by christian cimoroni

Mom jeans is a humorously pejorative term for a type of women’s jeans worn in the 80’s considered to be unfashionable and unflattering to the wearer’s figure. This style usually consists of a high waist (rising above the belly button), making the buttocks appear disproportionately longer, larger, and flatter than they otherwise might. It also tends to have excess space in the zipper/crotch and leg areas. The jeans are usually in a solid, light-blue color, with no form of stone washing or fading.

Other attributes of the style often seen are pleats, tapered legs, and elastic waistbands. The style is often accompanied by a blouse or shirt that is tucked into the jeans. This style of jeans was popular with women in the United States until the mid-1990s, when lower rise jeans started to become fashionable. High-waisted jeans became popular with young fashionable women once again in the early 2010s.

The term gained greater prominence after a May 2003 ‘Saturday Night Live’ skit for a fake brand of jeans called ‘Mom Jeans,’ which used the tagline “‘For this Mother’s Day, don’t give Mom that bottle of perfume. Give her something that says, ‘I’m not a woman anymore…I’m a mom!” A corresponding term, ‘dad jeans,’ has been coined in popular media to refer to an unflattering, high-waisted and shapeless style of jeans often worn by middle-aged U.S. men. This term has been used occasionally since 2009, when President Barack Obama was depicted as wearing such jeans to a baseball game. In March 2015, Obama appeared on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ for the ‘Mean Tweets’ segment, in which he read a Tweet mocking him over the jeans. Jimmy Kimmel then comes out, wearing high-waisted jeans, and attempts to defend them.

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