We all know about the “mom jeans” stereotype still lingering from the mid-’90s, right? Loose-fitting, light-wash, makes-your-butt-look-two-times-as-long mom jeans. The type of jeans that should be sitting in a minivan with a bunch of soccer balls rolling around in the back seat.
But in avoiding (or ignoring) that “mom jeans” look, there are so many more mistakes that us parents make when shopping for a new pair of jeans.
Here are 8 of the biggest mistakes to avoid when shopping for jeans:
1. Super low-rise jeans
You want to avoid the elongated-tush look, but looking for “low-rise” isn’t always the answer. Pretty much all of my pre-baby jeans are unwearable without an extra long shirt to compensate for all of my squatting and bending and kneeling and crawling. No one wants to see your underwear — or worse, what that underwear is covering up — so please, moms, test out your jeans before buying them. There are plenty of stylish, well-fitting jeans out there that aren’t of the “super low-rise” varieties (which are best left to teenagers). Give them a test run before buying, because everyone’s definition of “low rise” is different.
And surprise! High-rise jeans are finally trendy!
2. Light-colored jeans
While I’m all for wearing white after Labor Day, and I love the light-colored patterned pants trend as much as the next gal, there’s a time and a place for white (pale pink, light yellow, etc.) jeans. And play group or the playground (or anything else that starts with “play”) is not that time or place. Dirt, grass stains, spaghetti stains — these are not friends of white pants, but they’re inevitabilities with motherhood.
If you’re shopping for a new pair of jeans, remember that a dark-wash color looks flattering on everyone.
3. Too Big
Covering up extra baby weight in baggy jeans is flattering on exactly no one. While the “boyfriend jeans” look is a great way to look stylish while still staying comfy, it’s best to have at least one pair of well-fitting jeans for your body shape. Choosing a shapeless pair of jeans is the stuff that stereotypical “mom jeans” are made of.
4. Too Small
Also not flattering: muffin tops. Your body might not be the exact shape that it was pre-kids, so ignore the insignificant numbers on your jean tag and just find something that fits correctly. You’ll look and feel so much better.
5. No stretch
You need some flexibility in those play-time jeans, mama.
6. Too expensive
While I do believe in the long-lasting benefits of a good denim investment, there’s good denim and designer denim. Spending over $100 on a pair of jeans may not only be impractical, but unnecessary.
7. Too cheap
That being said, no one praises Forever 21 for their denim quality. If you’re going to buy a new pair of jeans, make sure that it can handle the (quite literal) ups and downs of motherhood without leaving your knees and rear-end baggy by 5 p.m.
8. Buying into the trends
Listen, I love a good pair of skinny jeans — but they’re not for every body type. I also think that certain women look lost in “boyfriend jeans,” and especially petite women aren’t the best suited for cropped pants. Step away from the glare of trend lists and must-have guides, and take a look at your body type. There are so many types of jeans — boot-leg, wide leg, boot-cut skinny, straight, etc. — that there is the perfect style for you. It just takes some trial and error (or an online quiz) to find it.