I have waited 25 years or more for this day.
In my student days, these were my favourite pair of jeans.
They were second-hand, distressed, men’s 501’s, I bought from some trendy, independent clothes shop in the Cardiff arcades. They were too big on the waist, so I synched them in with a wide, brown suede belt but they were the perfect length for my short legs. I wore them with brogues or red leather baseball boots and they became my college uniform.
During my late teens, I never wore jeans or trousers, I was strictly a dress and skirts girl. I liked to feel feminine and also found jeans restrictive and uncomfortable. That is, until I discovered the soft, loose quality of these amazing jeans. I wore them until holes appeared and then hand embroidered cross stitch patches to repair them.
I don’t remember when I let them go. Most likely holes appeared in places I could no longer patch or perhaps they went out of fashion? Since the early 90’s, I have never found another pair of jeans that I loved so much. The boot cut, low-rise, that came into fashion next were fine for my pre-motherhood flat stomach and the low slung combat jeans were a close second but not quite as comfy as those 501’s.
Then there were skinny jeans – great with boots and long sweaters but even with extensive lycra, never really felt comfortable to me. A few weeks ago, I was shopping with my teenage daughter and the shop assistant was wearing a pair of jeans that looked just like my old faithful’s. I complemented her and told her how much they reminded me of my jeans from my student days. My daughter told me they were called ‘mom jeans’ and were really fashionable.
Mom jeans are high-waisted, with a baggy fit around the zipper and legs. The name was coined from jeans your mom wore in the 80’s and early 90’s and were originally seen as unflattering and unfashionable. But somehow, teenage girls have realised how amazingly comfortable and flattering these jeans are and brought them back.
I was overcome with excitement! I could finally find a comfortable pair of jeans, where my middle-aged belly wouldn’t creep over the top and I could sit down in all day without feeling I had been cut in two. But then the dilemma – they are not called mom jeans because they are for moms but because they used to be worn by moms. Is it okay for a woman in her late 40’s to wear the jeans a teenager would wear?
My teen seemed to think it was, so I bit the bullet and bought them. I love them, they are comfortable, they make my waist look small and they are the perfect length for my little legs. They have a few too many rips for my liking, as a sensible mother, I feel they may wear in too quickly and I don’t want to give them up!
I’ve had to adapt my wardrobe slightly with some shorter tops and a pair of shoes (they really don’t work with boots). I love them, perhaps because they are nostalgic, perhaps because they are comfortable. Either way, I urge all middle-aged women to reclaim those mom jeans. Why should the teenagers have all the fun? Although maybe if we all start wearing them, they will quickly go out of fashion. Perhaps I should stockpile them while I still can.