How to Wear Mom Jeans for the Transition from Summer to Fall

Mom jeans have become even more popular than boyfriend jeans in the past year (and we all know we need a break from skinny jeans). For a long time, I admired mom jeans on others but thought they wouldn’t be flattering on me. In this post, I’ll talk about how to style mom jeans for a variety of late summer and early fall activities.

What are Mom Jeans?

Traditionally, mom jeans are light wash with a high, fitted waist and a looser fit through the legs. This distinguishes them from boyfriend jeans, which are usually loose through the waist and legs.

Finding your Mom Jeans

I picked mine up at Goodwill, so if you have a Goodwill nearby and the time to try on a lot of pairs this can be a good, cheap way to find your perfect pair, especially if like me you try not to spend a lot of money on “weekend clothes” that you can’t wear to work. Keep an open mind—you may wear a larger or smaller size than you’re used to in jeans from the 70s. Urban Outfitters will also have different cuts of mom jeans. Make sure the jeans fit well in the waist—too tight and they’ll make you uncomfortable, too loose and they won’t highlight your waist. The length is important too: they should hit you just above the ankle to keep the jeans from being overwhelming. I wear mine cuffed almost all the time.

The Outfits

Late August – On a Boat

CCtakesDC wears mom jeans on a boat.CCtakesDC wears mom jeans on a boat.

For activities on the water, put the mom jeans over a plain black bikini with a fun back, then finish with leather slides. This outfit is easy and keeps the sun off if you tend to get sunburnt on the back of your legs like me.

Early September – Weekday Trivia

CCtakesDC wears mom jeans to trivia.

If I have plans to do something fun with friends after work I rush home and change so I don’t have to stay in my stuffy work clothes and get to showcase the clothes I can’t wear to work (read: crop tops). The mom jeans keep this outfit from being too over-the-top for a weekday. The light wash of the jeans creates a monochromatic look with a strappy blue-and-white striped crop top and red canvas sneakers add contrast.

Mid-September – Weekend Away

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
Photo credit to the lovely Ellen Penn Berry.

To follow the crop top and jeans formula on a weekend trip with friends, try out a printed crop top with the mom jeans and the same leather slides you wore for the first outfit. Again, the voluminous jeans balance out the daring low back of the crop top. This outfit is great for shopping, museums, or whatever else you have planned.

Late September – Daytime Date

CCtakesDC wears mom jeans on a boat.

If you’re going on an active date, like exploring a street fair, strike a balance with a chunky cropped sweater, the mom jeans, and canvas sneakers like Converses. Glamorous big sunnies keep the glare off. Between the cropped sweater and high-waisted jeans you should be showing just enough skin while staying comfortable.

Would you wear mom jeans? Which one of these outfits would you most like to try? Let me know in the comments!

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