Not too long ago, mom jeans were the definition of uncool, more frumpy than fashionable. Their flattering high rise and comfortable loose fit were loved by moms everywhere, though, and soon the rest of the fashion world caught on. Now, mom jeans can be spotted on everyone from TikTok teenagers to Hollywood celebrities, and come in a variety of silhouettes and washes to fit every lifestyle.
For the perfect combination of flattering and comfortable, we recommend American Eagle's Stretch Curvy Mom Jean, which comes in lengths ranging from extra-short to extra-long. See nine more stylish picks below in our carefully curated 10 best list, and check out our buying guide for tips on how to choose the best mom jeans for you, with commentary from a wardrobe stylist!
Taissha helps women and men build functional wardrobes with essential pieces that are classic and versatile. She is based in Albany, New York, and she posts helpful tips on Instagram and her blog about how to style yourself.
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Table of Contents
Mom jeans have a few defining features. One non-negotiable is a high rise; mom jeans sit at your natural waist above your belly button, emphasizing your hourglass figure. They’re usually looser in the hips and thighs, leaving some room for movement (and food), with a straight or tapered leg.
Compared to boyfriend jeans, mom jeans are less baggy and designed to emphasize your curves rather than hide them. However, they’re not as form-fitting as skinny jeans, making them more comfortable and casual.
Mom jeans originated in the late 1980s and early 1990s and were mainly worn by middle-aged American women. At a certain time, mom jeans were considered unhip by trendy younger women.
However, mom jeans have proven to be a great option for those who put comfort first and want to embrace the high-rise trend with a more relaxed fit.
Modern mom jeans come in a range of materials, washes, and leg styles. Here are some things to consider to help ensure a comfortable and flattering fit.
Mom jeans are designed for comfort, with a loose fit around the hips and thighs. The composition of the denim will affect how stretchy they are and therefore their durability and comfort.
Cotton is a natural fabric that’s durable and breathable. Jeans made from 100 percent cotton will be quite sturdy and thick. However, it's not elastic, so cotton jeans have limited stretch and can feel restrictive. Cotton also tends to shrink in the dryer. And when it stretches out, it won’t bounce back to its original shape until you wash it again.
However, since mom jeans have a looser fit, stretch may not be as much of an issue. If you choose to buy 100 percent cotton jeans, it’s best to buy them small and break them in. As you wear the jeans, they’ll soften and form to your body over time, creating a pair of ultra-comfortable pants.
If you prefer some stretch to your jeans, look for a blend of cotton and elastane, also called Spandex or Lycra. Elastane adds elasticity to the fabric, helping it return to its original shape when stretched. It can make for a more comfortable fit, as well as more flexibility and ease of movement.
You can find jeans with anywhere from one to 10 percent elastane, but for mom jeans, it’s better to stay within the one to three percent range. Higher percentages are best for form-fitting styles like skinny jeans or jeggings and are harder to care for.
A one to three percent elastane blend will give you a bit of stretch in the waist and legs, while still retaining the classic denim look and feel. However, there is a trade-off. Jeans with elastane in them won't last as long as pure cotton jeans and are thinner in general.
To increase the life of your jeans, look for a cotton blend containing polyester. You can find jeans made from just cotton and polyester as well as jeans that combine cotton, elastane, and polyester.
Polyester is a synthetic material that adds strength to jeans. It doesn’t stretch, so it can help counteract cotton’s tendency to become baggy. Additionally, it dries quickly and resists wrinkles and abrasion, keeping your jeans looking nice for longer.
On the flip side, polyester isn't a very breathable fabric, so it may make the jeans a little less bearable to wear during hotter months. The addition of polyester also makes the fabric a bit stiffer.
The modern mom jean has a high rise that makes your waist look thin and flatters your booty. The style of the legs can vary. Some mom jeans have tapered legs, which is the classic style, while others have a straight silhouette.
Tapered legs will emphasize the difference between your hips and ankles, which can create an hourglass look for people with straighter bodies. On the other hand, a straight leg will create a more even balance between your upper and lower body.
You’ll still get the hourglass shape thanks to the high waist, but with less emphasis on your hips. Whether tapered or straight, a cropped leg is generally a universally flattering look that’s great for warmer weather. We would warn, however, that those with petite frames should try to avoid cropped flared jeans, as they can make you look shorter!
In general, look for cropped jeans that hit a few inches above your ankle to help elongate your legs. And if you want to try both styles, remember that you can always roll up the ankles to create your own crop!
And besides tapered or straight legs, you can also find different overall jean fits, like relaxed, slim, or wide. Relaxed fits are a bit looser, especially around the thigh and butt areas, making them a bit more comfortable.
Slim fits are similar to skinny jeans, in that they are tighter all-around, but they do differ from skinnies in how their leg openings tend to be a bit larger. If you love skinny jeans, they're great transitional jeans to try out. Lastly, wide-fit jeans are wide all around. They tend to be baggier, with the widest leg openings of the bunch, making them the most comfortable.
Choosing the right leg style is crucial when searching for a good pair of mom jeans. While the skinny leg has been a popular trend in the last few years, tapered, straight, bootcut, flared, and wide-leg have also become hits in more recent years.
Most find it a challenge to come across the perfect leg. The best solution to finding the leg that works best for you is to try on different brands. Once you find a winner, stick to it.
While the classic mom jean is a medium blue color, you can now find this style in a range of washes. Light wash and white jeans are great for summertime and casual wear, while darker wash and black jeans tend to look more put together.
Darker colors like black are also easy to match with almost anything already in your wardrobe! You can create a classic black and white silhouette, as well for those days you want to be a little more formal. Darker colors also help to create the illusion of a slimmer figure.
Regular blue washes have a standard casual, jean look and is also relatively easy to pair. You can dress them up or down, but they're easy to throw on and work for all seasons. Lighter white or blue washes have more of a summer feel to them, so you can get a pair to make your wardrobe more versatile.
Picking the right wash is also an important factor when searching for a good pair of denims. I also recommend sticking to a medium to dark blue wash as these colors can be worn all year round. Once you find the right blue wash, owning a black denim should be the next pair in line.
If you're still having trouble finding the right wash, try on a few of them, but make sure you pair them with the clothes you already have in your wardrobe. There's nothing worse than buying a pair of denims that don't mesh well with the colors in your closet.
In addition to the color, consider whether you want any kind of distressing. This could include fading at the hips and knees, as well as rips and holes on the legs. In general, distressing will make the jeans look more trendy and youthful. But if you want a year-round look, you may want to stick with blue jeans with no distressing for a classic mom look that won't go out of style.
When buying mom jeans online, it’s important to know your measurements so you can find a pair that fits. Since mom jeans are high-waisted pants that help cinch in and emphasize the waist, you want to make sure it fits well or it won't flatter your figure. Before you start shopping, get a tape measure and write down your waist and inseam measurements.
To measure your waist, wrap the measuring tape around your natural waist, above your hips. To find this spot, you can also bend to the side and look for the point below your ribs where your body creases. To measure your inseam, start just below your crotch and measure down your leg to your ankle.
While some jeans only come in one length, others let you choose between a few different inseams, which is especially helpful for tall and petite people. You can also measure a pair of well-fitting jeans instead of your body; however, make sure that they’re high-waisted to get an accurate waist measurement.
You should definitely take your measurements before looking for a pair of mom jeans. Most people buy clothing based on their sizing. However, knowing your measurements can prevent disappointing sizing mishaps.
When it comes to denims, memorize your waist, hips, and inseam. Knowing your body measurements can ensure you'll find the perfect fit in mom jeans.
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Stretch Curvy Mom Jean
Best for an All-Time Classic Mom Jeans Feel
High Loose Taper Fit Women's Jeans
Best for Reliable Stretch for All-Day Comfort
Loose Fit Mom Jeans
Best Easy-to-Match Pair Made of Recycled Fabric
Best Business-Casual Mom Jeans
Women's High-Rise Distressed Mom Jeans
Best Fitting Mom Jeans for a Trendy Look
Maniere De Voir
The Petite Momjean in Mayes Wash
Best to Use as a Staple Statement Item
BDG High-Waisted Distressed Mom Jean
Best Pair for Buyers of Petite Sizes
Riley High Rise Straight Crop in Contraband
Best Plus-Sized Fitted Mom Jeans
Mom Fit Jeans
Best Variety of Washes and Lengths for Mom Jeans
The Recycled Linda Barrel Jean in Bleached Blue
Best Mom Jeans for the Sustainability Conscious
Levi's High Loose Taper Fit Jeans are an absolute classic pair of mom jeans. They have the feel of genuine denim, a waist-accentuating high-rise fit, and are made to be loose and comfy. People especially love the retro feel of these jeans. Overall, these jeans are a cult favorite for the mom jean style.
Many reviewers suggest sizing down for a better fit. They say that after they sized down, these jeans were much more comfortable to wear.
These mom jeans from Stradivarius are made with 99 percent cotton, ensuring a sturdy structure. The added bit of spandex allows for flexibility without being too stretchy and is especially useful for all-day wear.
There are a few reviewers who feel the sizing and length fall short of expectations, but these jeans do a great job of having stretch without losing their shape throughout the day.
These jeans are simple and straightforward in fit and washes, making them great for any outfit. In addition to light and darker shades of blue, they also come in white or black. The polyester in the jeans adds some durability to them over classic denim. Plus, they're made of 10 percent recycled denim, so you can feel good wearing them, too!
Compared to Levi's option, they have a lower waistline with more of a straight leg, tighter fit to achieve an appealing silhouette. Some feel the jeans are tight around the waist and thighs, so we recommend ordering a size up. Overall though, these jeans are great as a pair of classic-looking denim pants that go with everything.
The eggshell color, which is achieved naturally, is perfectly neutral, making it an easy color to pair with any business casual outfit. They are also made to be long-lasting. Plus, Amendi is committed to transparency, traceability, and responsibility. For the socially responsible, that means you can easily track where and how your jeans were made.
Amendi suggests sizing up for a roomier fit or staying true to size if you prefer more form-fitting clothes.
These slouchy, wide-leg mom jeans from J.ing are a TikTok fashion dream. Asymmetrical button waists are becoming popular in contemporary streetwear styles and, as an added function, the criss-cross accentuates your natural waist shape. Additionally, the relaxed fit helps you stay comfy and still look good.
Many reviewers love how perfectly these jeans fit. If you like modern vintage street-style clothing, these jeans are essential.
If you're ready to make a statement, these jeans are perfect. The loose thread embroidery is incredibly unique without being excessive. While it may be difficult to get these hemmed in any way, the snap hem and internal waistband make this less of an issue.
Reviewers feel these jeans are incredibly well-made. The adjustable waistband is a great touch that makes these jeans more comfortable to wear.
Madewell has made a fan favorite petite jean. The stretch breaks in over time, making these comfier the more you wear them. The highlight of these jeans is their raw hems; they add a small unique flair to any outfit!
Some suggest the jeans run a bit large. Other than that, petite buyers of various sizes feel these mom jeans are exactly what they have been looking for.
The snug waist of these Fashion Nova jeans is useful in combatting the classic waist gap issue, where the waist is just a tad loose and, in fact, flatters the waist instead. These jeans come with a roll cuff for ease of wear in different ways and come in larger sizes to fit body all body types.
There are a few reviews that believe women with more curves need to size up for a more comfortable fit. Other than that, the added stretch and 12-inch rise make these jeans especially loved by plus-sized buyers.
These jeans have the greatest variety of wash colors in the same design. This can be hard to find as many companies choose to design each wash differently, which can make finding the right pair difficult. It's also a tad bit more figure-hugging for those who are transitioning from last year's skinny jeans.
Some reviewers feel the jeans do not hold their shape. However, these are a worthy wardrobe staple. Plus, with their environmental practices, you can also feel as good as you look.
For the eco-friendly fashionista, these mom jeans are the best sustainable option. Their jeans are made from "the greenest mill in the world," where they have strict denim regulations and 100 percent of waste turns into denim yarn or insulation for housing. They also only dye their jeans with natural means.
These jeans aren't just ultra-sustainable but made for the ultimate comfort and style. The vintage look of these jeans is easy to match and with added stretch and a relaxed leg fit, you can go all day in these jeans.
Don't let your money go to waste! By following these five tips, you can make your jeans last even longer than they normally do.
Now that you have the perfect pair of mom jeans, it's time to complete the look. Check out more of our favorite summer accessories below.
Besides mom jeans, there are plenty of amazing, comfortable, and stylish jeans out there. Check out Amazon's best sellers list if you want to find some other great options!
This expert reviewed the contents of the buying guide for accuracy and provided factual corrections when necessary. They did not participate in the product selection process, nor are they affiliated with our choices unless explicitly stated so.
No. 1: Levi's | Stretch Curvy Mom Jean
No. 2: Stradivarius | High Loose Taper Fit Women's Jeans
No. 3: SHEIN | Loose Fit Mom Jeans
No. 4: Amendi | Rosie
No. 5: J.ing | Women's High-Rise Distressed Mom Jeans
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