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Jeans for Moms that Aren’t Mom Jeans

By Melissa Summers

Last week I mentioned my bitter disgust with all things Skinny Jean related and also my undying adulation for Gap Curvy Bootcut jeans. Little did I know this week was Women In Jeans week. I also didn’t know Women In Blue Jeans is also an organization dedicated to women in rural america. I have a sneaking suspicion the women of ‘Women In Blue Jeans’ don’t spend even $60 on a pair of jeans…much less hundreds of dollars.

But guess what? I am not an official Women In Blue Jeans member so I can spend whatever I want on jeans. I can also write an entire post about jeans.

In the sixth grade I saved my babysitting money for 4 months to buy my first pair of Guess jeans, with the zippers at the ankles. I saved for 4 months because back then people paid their babysitters normal sums of money, not salaries with 401Ks and medical benefits. My love affair with jeans was realized at that point, though it had started years earlier with Brooke Shields. Of course it was good I didn’t save my money to buy Jordache jeans because by 7th grade it was decided by the powers that be, Jordache was for girls who lived in the next town over and teased their bangs into something resembling a buff puff. We were more sophisticated than that and had jeans with zippers and a triangle on the butt. You can clearly see the difference.

The problem with buying jeans is that every pair is different and every body is different. My girlfriend, for example, needs to accentuate her less than ample butt. This makes me want to pinch her tiny little cheeks. I need to make my ample butt make more sense on my body and the right shape pants helps that along. I read somewhere most women have to try on 9 pairs of jeans before finding something which works and if my supermarket express line is any indication a lot of women are trying on 9 pairs and finding something which doesn’t work all that well. I don’t know about you, but after trying on 3 pairs of jeans I am hating my body for being so…..difficult. Let’s get some help on the internet so we can at least narrow down our choices once we make it to the dressing room.

oprahjeans.jpgLet’s start at Oprah.com. All good things flow from Oprah I think. Oprah and Martha Stewart, but I’m not sure I trust Martha to pick out my jeans. For inspiration read through the Genius Jean Makeover pages and for some brands to try look at the buying guide. After reading this, I’m wondering if my favorite jeans are even as good as I can do. Maybe I need to find a trouser fit?

myvirtualmodel.gifWhen I feel like giving myself a body image reality check I type in my stats to Virtual Model and take an honest look. It’s sort of rewarding when I have to add 40 pounds to the model to get it to look the way I think I do. If you’re not psychotic like me, you could use Virtual Model to virtually try on jeans before buying. This will give you a way to narrow down your choices and also drive home the fact, in living color, that skinny jeans are not meant for women with hips.

I’m maybe going to get some grief for this, but I love Old Navy jeans. I have about 8 pair of different styles of their Rockstar jeans and I love them all. They fit perfectly on my big ol’ booty and they are so comfortable that sometimes I forget I’m wearing jeans. (These are my current favorite. ) The best part about Old Navy jeans is that they are affordable (especially when they go on sale–which is often!)

lucky.jpgLucky offers a helpful tool for navigating their denim choices. You tell them if you want slim fit or relaxed, low or mid rise, bootleg or straight and you end up with your two to four choices. If you have a Lucky store nearby this will make you feel less sweaty when you walk into the store and are faced with a wall of denim you can’t make sense of. God forbid you accidentally take a pair of skinny jeans into the dressing room.

levis.gifI am so uncool I even get confused by the Levi’s store. All those numbers and stacks of blue overwhelm me. Why can’t they just name their jeans things like, “Not for Melissa” or “Perfect For Melissa”. Their online tool will help me know my 525’s from my 505’s (skinny! hiss! hiss!).

Ultimately, I think we can all agree we need to avoid Mom Jeans at all costs.  Promise me you’ll do your best.

Tell us about your best jeans, where you bought them and why you love them. Also, if you have a pair of jeans you can’t stand, jeans which offend your core values, why don’t you tell us about those too.

I already told you about my favorite. My least favorite were a pair of Joe’s Jeans I tried on in a moment of incredibly poor judgement. What my butt put those jeans through was bordering on criminal and I’m surprised no formal charges have been filed following the incident in a very brightly lit dressing room. …..shudder…..

[Edit: If you have a pair of jeans you love, can you also tell us what you’re trying to play up or down….your height, your hips, your thighs, playing up your butt? For me I like jeans which hide the muffin top (so not too low rise) and ones which balance out my Prominent Butt.]

Melissa Summers
About the Author

Melissa Summers

Melissa Summers was a regular contributor writing Melissa’s Buzz Off.

...

Melissa Summers was a regular contributor writing Melissa’s Buzz Off.

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ceri richards
Guest

I always have a problem finding jeans that are the right length for my stumpy legs. That’s why I was thrilled to find dark-rinse jeans (with “whiskers”) in the petite line at Ann Taylor The Loft. These jeans are nice and dark and fit perfectly. Price: about $60.

Zoot
Guest

I like the Mossimo jeans at Target – but that is one of those brands that if you wear a 10 in GAP, you’ll wear an 12 (or higher) in Mossimo – so therefore I HATE buying them.

slouching mom
Guest

“My butt is currently forming a Presidential Exploratory Committee.”
I am laughing so hard my jeans are cutting into my waist. Hate that.
As for jeans, I have never come close to the style I achieved at 8 years old. My jeans then had an appliqued sneaker on the back pocket, and the sneaker had — get this — real laces.
Cool, hmm? Not so much.
Zipper jeans. Had forgotten those.

Mrs. Chicken
Guest

J. Crew. I have two pairs – one Hip Slung and one Boot Cut. I love them both. And if this gives you a clue, I am a fledging member of Weight Watchers. So yes, you can be 25 pounds heavier post baby and still buy cool jeans.
Each pair was $100, but I’ve already worn them at least 20 times, or $5 a showing.
And the dark rinse? Oh-so-slimming.

Sadie
Guest
Sadie

My two favorite pair of jeans are kind of at opposite ends of the price spectrum. I have a pair of Gap “original low-rise boot-cut” jeans in a dark wash with a crease down the leg, and I paid $29.99 (on sale) for them online. They accommodate my hips and ass without gapping at the waist, and the creased leg elongates me so I don’t look stubby. My other favorites are a pair of 7 for all Mankind low-rise bootcut jeans that I paid $148 for at Nordstrom. They are a medium wash, and kind of beat-up looking, but they… Read more »

Meg
Guest
Meg

I gave up on the Gap years ago but after reading your article last week I decided to give them another chance. I went to my nearest Gap and tried on a pair of Curvy Boot Cut jeans and they were a great fit. Thanks for the tip!

Woman with Kids
Guest

I like Old Navy jeans. Cheap, they fit and they’re neither high water nor too long on me. And I love boot cut. That’s all I have, because I have hips. And a prominent ass.

dayna
Guest

My favorites are Levi’s… they’re bootcut, not too lowrise, but still with back pockets that give the lowrise appearance (the yoke is low). I have to have the regulars hemmed though, which adds $7 to the purchase price of each pair but still keeps them under $35. They might be the New Mom Jeans. With the ability to fool you into thinking they’re lowrise!
The worst pair ever was definitely in middle school.. they were either Sasson or maybe even Gloria Vanderbilt – blue in the back and gray in the front. Mullet jeans, if you will.

katiebe
Guest

I too have a “prominent seat” and, bizarrely enough, I found my favorite pair of jeans at Express about 3 years ago; they’re a darker wash with a little stretch making them look great and fit well. Of course, right after I bought them they unveiled a new line of jeans, so I can never buy another pair like these. Also, that story about the Guess jeans had me cracking up. I did the same thing because my mom thought it was just ridiculous to spend that much money on one pair of jeans. At my school, anything not Guess… Read more »

Summer
Guest
Summer

I’m really digging my Department of Peace jeans, made by (blast from the past) Z. Cavaricci. I’ve not found them anywhere except Dillard’s, a fairly widespread dept. store. I’ve not been able to find find an online ‘locator’ service to tell me where else they might be. The pants come in 30, 32, and 34 inch inseams and a variety of designs, and range in sizes from misses to plus. They run in the $50-70 range. My own jeans are dark, plain, slightly stretchy, and helpfully conceal my pooch and spare tire with their more-flattering mid-rise cut. Also, they don’t… Read more »

Sheree
Guest

What a timely post- I just blogged about my jeans buying experience last week. 🙂 Anyways, I ended up buying a pair of the Gap’s Curvy Boot Cut jeans and they are great. They fit wonderfully, have a little stretch for comfort and were about $58. Plus they come in shorter hem lengths (I’m only 5’4″) so I don’t have to have them hemmed. I also got a pair of Levi’s straight leg, just below waist jeans (don’t know the #) in a dark wash. They aren’t skinny jeans, but they aren’t relaxed either…they’re straight legged but not peg legged.… Read more »

amy
Guest
amy

After trying on $100 jeans at Banana Republic, which I loved, I decided to face up to reality and find some cheaper ones. I found the Boyfriend fit at American Eagle, and LOVE them. And you know what? They cost $30. Take that, Banana Republic.

Kim
Guest
Kim

My long time favs are Ralph Lauren Polo Saturday jeans. But, alas the older style not the newer ones. The new ones are still called Saturday jeans, but the fit has changed. These were perfect. Straight leg, not too flared and definitely not skinny. Low rise without muffin top, looked great with a wide belt or not. And pockets placed on the rear just right. (Pocket placement is important). I am coaxing my last few pairs along and have even bought a few pairs on ebay I love these jeans so much. They even made them in capris. Beware about… Read more »

Peggasus
Guest
Peggasus

I have slim hips, no saddlebags, and a fairly flattish ass, but a bit of a pooch, so I buy my jeans in the men’s department: Lees or Levis, regular cut. Basically, I have a lower body like a middle-aged man. I look better from the front or back than from the side. Soooo attractive.
I can’t afford to spend $150 on fancy jeans, but I do have two pair of Mossimo stretchy bootcut jeans (from Target) one in a washy blue and and the other in black that are pretty flattering, and they were under $30.

dani
Guest

My mom thought Guess? was too expensive, but my friend Kim had them with the zippers and a muted pinstripe on them. I borrowed them from her for ALL the YMCA dances. My three favorite jeans right now are: First, Halogen jeans from Nordstom – they come in short lengths and are not too low. I think they discontinued Halogen, but they have Calson now. A good every day jean for curvier people. The other two I wear ALL the time are my Luckys. I did go online and use that fit guide. I ended up buying 4 pairs and… Read more »

MamaKaren
Guest

I have fallen in love with Levi’s Signature collection mid-rise bootcut. The difference between my waist and hips is signficant enough that it’s hard to find jeans that don’t gap at the small of my back without going so low rise that I’m flashing everyone,and I have short legs. I found these at Target for $20 and bought pairs is three different denim washes.

Jennifer
Guest
Jennifer

What I really hate are those articles in magazines that are supposed to help you find the perfect jean… because they always do this “if you have a big butt, buy these; if you have wide hips, try these,” etc… what if need to de-emphasize everything! Plus, they always throw in one section for the skinny, no-butt people; like they need the help!
Jennifer

Amanda
Guest

I am the proud owner of an extremely long torso and extremely short legs. My waist, being smaller than my badonk means that jeans that fit my butt and thighs, never fits my drop waist/hips. And they are ALWAYS too long. Abercrombie jeans are cut higher in the back to prevent plumber’s butt but low in the front to still be lo rise. They never need alterations for my short legs and fit perfectly throughout. I usually have to try on a millon pairs because even though they all say 6 does not mean anything. That’s the only frustrating part.… Read more »

jen
Guest

Eddie Bauer. I have no idea what kind they are, but they say “Natural Fit” and I hold my breath every time I try to replace them. Can’t remember how much. I have the hardest time finding jeans; I’m 5’11” and picky. Not too low rise, please no mom jeans, and for pete’s sake, they have to be long enough…but not too long.
I had forgotten about zipper jeans; do you remember rolling and tucking them into socks? LOL

erika
Guest

I just found Zafu, too! I bought a pair of Sakura jeans from JCPenney (never shop there, normally) and I won a pair of Lucky jeans on ebay for about a third of what they normally cost. Both recommendations from Zafu. Love both of them.

MamaRenee
Guest
MamaRenee

Thanks for giving me the great flashback with the zippered Guess jeans. I was a big dork in high school, focusing more on the books than on style until my senior year. It was then that I finally ditched glasses for contacts, discovered the cool zippered Guess jeans look and saved up some money to buy both. I can honestly thank those Guess jeans for getting me my first romantic moment with a boy: we went to the movies and I put my feet up on the seat in front of me and was playing with the zipper and he… Read more »

Amy
Guest

I second the Levi Strauss Signature collection from Target. I wear the stretch mid-rise bootcut—the midrise helps rein in my slight pooch, and the bit of spandex makes them easy to move in. I have large thighs (it’s muscle from my soccer-playing, track-running days, but that doesn’t seem to make a difference when my husband refers to them as ‘horse thighs’), and I find these jeans to be slightly fitted but not clingy. I’m 5’6 and wear the regular length with higher-heeled shoes, the short length with flats.

Kristy
Guest
Kristy

I think jean shopping for me might actually be worse than bathing suit shopping. I don’t feel like I have an outlandish body, but I must because no one makes jeans that fit me. I have a “prominent” butt and “full/athletic” thighs according to Zafu, and a small, defined waist. TOTAL PEAR. It’s not like I’m fat — 5’9″ and 142 lbs. — but I still have yet to find the perfect jean. In November, I took a trip to NYC to visit a friend. We went to Bloomingdale’s with the sole purpose of finding me some jeans. In case… Read more »

Nicole
Guest

I am soooo cheap about jeans. My kids are still little enough that I often crawl/kneel to help them with shoes etc, and I typically blow the right knee (always the right) out of my jeans within 6-9 months. I love the fit of the Gap Long and Lean–they make me look a little longer and a little leaner, oddly enough. But I can’t justify buying a new jeans wardrobe twice a year. My solution? Thrift stores, baby. I have no trouble finding my Long and Leans, in like-new condition, in my size, and they cost $7-$15. Who are the… Read more »

Linda
Guest

Jag Jeans “Sydney” Stretch Jeans (Petite) from Nordstrom. Just the right amount of stretch and perfectly proportioned for a 5’2″ curvy size 12. The knees are in the right place and don’t get all saggy, the legs aren’t too wide but wide enough to balance out saddlebags, and they are super comfy.

Sara
Guest

There’s a brand called Christopher Blue I like. I actually don’t own the jeans, but I have khakis in the same style. (I did try on the jeans though.) The rise is a bit higher than the typical designer jean, but it’s not in mom jean territory. They are a little more expensive than, say, Banana Republic, but I think a couple of pairs of good, well-fitting jeans (or pants) will last longer than a pile of crappy jeans that give it up in 3-6 months. I do also like Citizens for Humanity, but I have to sport long tank… Read more »

libbyfish
Guest
libbyfish

i have to second the j-crew. i also have two pairs the boot cut (which i think is universally flattering) and (gasp) the skinny jeans. both in dark rinse and every time i wear them i get compliments. they also have a boyfriend cut that are nice as well.

Melanie
Guest
Melanie

My best jeans are from 7 years ago, maybe. They were Abercrombie boy-cuts I got at T.J. Maxx for super-cheap, and they were just HOT. I also had hand-me-down boot-cut Wranglers from my dad (probably from the 70s) that were awesome. But I haven’t had good jeans since then, probably largely because they don’t make good fat girl jeans. I need to lose some serious pounds and then go on a hot girl jeans spree.

Charise
Guest

I love the Mossimo brand at Target. I am 5’5″, so most regulars a little long but shorts are definitely too short. But these are a good length, and are cut right to avoid the muffin top while also not being too big in the stomach (i have a substantial butt and not a too small waist, but for some reason, a lot of jeans are baggy in the stomach/crotch area on me,)

Melissa
Guest
Melissa

I have to agree with (I think) the first commenter about the dark rinse jeans at Ann Taylor Loft. I have a pair of their jeans in petite length and I wear them most days and continually get comments on how good I look in them. I am going to get a least another pair. I feel really good about myself wearing these pants. I do not normally feel that way! The price is right, as well. I also like my Target jeans, but not quite as much. I have to wear them when the Ann ones are in the… Read more »

Lianne
Guest
Lianne

I HATE jean shopping. I’m about 10 lbs overweight, obviously pear-shaped, store my fat in my thighs. Nothing fits right. My favourite jeans from when I was thinner/younger/firmer were Guess 725’s (I think). Boot cut, fabulous butt jeans. My favourites now? Probably Old Navy although I’m between sizes at the moment. I get the boot-cut, just-below-the-waist, with a bit of stretch. Different lengths too (I’m 5’1″) so no hemming. BTW – If you do hem, pay the extra for a euro-hem, it looks more like the original. P.S. I had zipper Guess too in HS! I looooved them but in… Read more »

Beth
Guest
Beth

I *love* the Levi signature jeans too! They fir my round rear and don’t flatten it. They, somehow, make my legs look long and slim. They ride “high” in the back (good proper coverage-LOL)and comfortably low in the front.I have worn 501’s for too long(can’t stand them now though-too high-LOL. No other womens jeans have worked for me. I have whittled from sz.10 to 4 (no longer fitting) and they don’t make a 2 (I haven’t been well). I tried the Juniors but they are toooooo low! help, any suggestions? 5’6″ 130lbs.

Mary
Guest
Mary

My rear end is so prominent, it has it’s own ZIP Code — and that’s after losing 30 pounds last year. Gap just opened it’s newest concept store, Forth & Towne, in my area and I’m in love with their Gap Edition Curvy jeans. I’ve found that the Gap Curvy jeans really don’t fit me (the first stretch style did, but I’m two or three sizes smaller now and trying on the new ones made me suicidal). I like the F&T ones because they fit me in the waist AND the butt AND the hips AND thighs without making me… Read more »

melissaS
Guest

I love the idea of Forth And Towne. When will they come to me???
http://www.forthandtowne.com/#0.1

Mary
Guest
Mary

Call ’em and ask! They’ve just started adding more centralized ordering, so I suspect that it’s only a matter of time before they offer online ordering like the rest of the Gap family. I really was a little skeptical of the concept when I originally heard, but now that I’ve been there? Totally sold on it.

SusieJ
Guest

The current favorite is Nautica, from the Reading (Pa) Vanity Fair outlet. They were $8 (not kidding, but that was the big clearance, regularly $20). Lower rise, flared. Size smaller than I thought I took. I’d just lost a lot of weight (gestational diabetes will do that to you), these were NOT Mom jeans, which I’d been wearing for 10 years before the baby, long inseam (why do only men get inseam choices?), and did I mention they were a size smaller than I thought I wore? What wasn’t to love? I did get a pair of the skinny jeans,… Read more »

Dee
Guest

I just bought a pair of Department of Peace jeans at Dillards. They are awesome. They come in 30,32,34 inseam so it is great that they do not have to be hemmed. I am only 5’3 and run into that problem alot. I have not been able to locate the jeans any where else but would love to get another pair. They are a vintage look and fit great.I am a mother of 2 and could stand to lose 10 lbs. I have a hard time finding jeans to fit my butt and waist. I am betw a 10-12. The… Read more »

Cheryl From Kultic
Guest

Hi Alpha Mom!
#1 Thanks for your bit on us!
#2 We are having a sale right now that is one of the biggest discount we’ve ever offered. Receive 30% off everything except the “at cost” section (but clearance is included) plus free shipping at http://www.kultic.com through 4/6/2007 with coupon code save30.
Happy shopping and don’t forget to feed the fam:) Our sale may make it a bit easier!
Take care!

Ann
Guest
Ann

I also bought a pair of Dept. of Peace jeans a few weeks ago that I adore. Everytime I wear them, I get compliments. Found mine at Marshalls for $19.99. My only problem is that they stretch a little too much after wearing a while. Wish I had bought a size smaller. Will return to see if I can get more.

Anna
Guest
Anna

What a great post! Thanks for the ideas – jeans shopping really is the most difficult thing for me too… I ran across this video of tips and tricks that helped too:
http://www.thenewsroom.com/details/313696/Life+and+Leisure?c_id=jlt

gina
Guest
gina

I just found levis slimming jeans at macys.com, I am thinking of buying them for my mom because she doesn’t like the tummy she has from having 4 kids. I found a cheap pair of “not your daughter’s jeans (nydj)” at nordstrom rack but we had no luck in finding her size.

Terri
Guest
Terri

Well I have NOT found the right jean for my 43 year old, flat butt with wide hips, large thighs and saddle bags. I have tried everything, levi’s, american eagle, eddie bower, old navy…guess I will try the Gap curvy jeans.

Debbie
Guest
Debbie

My fav’s are Cali’s from Hollister!
They’re distressed, broke in and wonderful!
My second and third are Lucky jeans and Limited. I’ve always found my jeans at consignment shops! Best shop ever is Plato’s closet! 45 and lovin it!