Mom jeans. Just reading those two words made some of you cringe at your desks, I'm sure. Some of you closed your eyes to keep the image of stone wash denim and feathered bangs at a safe distance, as if letting it slip through will somehow give you a fanny pack when you open your eyes.
I know it's a hard trend to get on board with. While many of us envision West Coast vibes with the look — with our hair in loose braids and crop tops balancing out the relaxed fit of the waist — that's not what many of us get in the changing room. Usually, you zip up the nine-inch zipper and then muffle a cry as you see what the silhouette did to your hips. The attendant isn't even going to check in on the wail because she saw what you carried in with you. She's just shaking her head up front, straightening blouses and quietly hoping you'll find a way to piece your life back together after this.
But I get why you put yourself through that. I get that it's better to have tried and failed, than to have never tried at all. And that's the thing: Fashion isn't about sticking to what's safe and true. It's about playing. It's about getting your hands on fun, intimidating pieces and working them until they fit your style. Just think back to the first time you tried on skinny jeans. You probably vowed to never eat a cruller again... and then took one out of your purse to eat away the negative feels. Now look at you! It's paired with every knit sweater ensemble you have.
Styling mom jeans takes a bit of creative spark to work — I'll give you that — but we can definitely muster up said spark! Below are six women who show us just how to take the fear out of the trend:
1. Go Quietly Elegant
While most of us reach for jeans when it's time for sweater and beanie action, you have to keep in mind that you'll need to balance out the matronliness of the jean silhouette. In order to do that, go for some quiet elegance with your accessories. Choose shoes with clean, sharp lines and bags that are structured and well made. Little touches like those will help give some refinement to the denim, and will make a fun contrast against the casual knit.
2. Pair With Statement Shoes
Want to know the fastest way to give a touch of style to anything bordering on the edge of ugly? Pair it with some killer shoes. It's as if a switch is flipped and all of a sudden your iffy piece is fashion forward. To give some youth to your baggy jeans, pair them with cut-out booties, stacked heels, or boots with some serious hardware. The bold shoes will drag the eyes downward and balance out the look.
3. Throw Fur Coats Into The Mix
To give your look a touch of chic, throw on your faux-fur coat and let the contrast between the luxury of the coat and the the casualness of the denim do all the work.
4. Go Minimalist
When you're trying to find your stride with a trend, a great way to start off is to style it minimally for the day. Instead of going all out and feeling awkward with the attention you think you're putting on yourself, dip your toe in the water by styling the piece like you would anything else in your wardrobe. For example, style your mom jeans the way you would a skinny pair: With a thick cable-knit sweater and a killer pair of boots. Roll the jeans at the cuffs to give yourself some proportion control, and head outside as if you've been wearing these even before the 80s moms did.
5. Pair It With Tailored Pieces
Another great way to quiet down a piece you're not completely sure about is to drown it underneath tailored pieces. When you have an immaculately cut coat on your shoulders or a strong collar on your button-up, the rest of the outfit just falls into place. The eye gets dragged to the well-made pieces, and the rest of the elements in the look turn into accents. For example, if you have a pretty coat with strong lapels and sleek boots with a clean shape, the mom jeans won't be the statement in the look. Rather, they will be a fun addition that throws in some creative contrast.
6. Jazz It Up With A Fur Vest
We might not all have fur coats but the bulk of the female population has some sort of fur vest or other such thing. That, or a friend with a fur vest. Or a neighbor with a friend of a friend with a fur vest. Point being, you can get your hands on one easily. Pair your high waist, loose fitting jeans with the furry piece for a chic, 70s vibe. The mix is casual enough to go grab chocolate croissants with a friend in the early afternoon, but chic enough to also lean against a bar in the evening and get a round of gin and tonics for your group. Win, win!
Images: Instagram/Courtesy Users