In fashion, there is nothing quite like denim. Denim consists of both timeless styles like the classic jean jacket and new, modern silhouettes like the latest designer dungaree. The denim market is continually evolving with eco-friendly fabrics and advanced designs, yet it also dips into the archives every now and then. About ten years ago, the mom jean, in particular, made a major return and hasn’t gone anywhere since. The way the high-waisted waistline hugs just right below the rib cage. The way the legs fit like a glove, accentuating all the right curves—it’s a feeling we’re never willing to give up.
Aside from the mom jean’s one-of-a-kind fit, they’ve also proven to be one of the wardrobe’s most versatile pieces. They have become a styling essential and can be worn casually with a tank and a sleek pair of loafers or styled for a more sophisticated feel with a classic white button-down and fitted blazer. And, mom jeans aren’t restricted to one color or one style; in fact, it’s quite the opposite. Ahead, we break down what exactly defines mom jeans and reveal the best mom jeans outfit ideas to inspire your next look.
What Exactly Are Mom Jeans?
First introduced in the ’60s and then resurfaced again in the ’90s with a nod to a minimalist way of dressing, mom jeans no longer carry a negative connotation. Mom jeans embrace the power of this newfound energy to dress in styles that flatter the body and are comfortable while still being incredibly on-trend. According to Marianne McDonald, the Creative Director of iconic denim brand Citizens of Humanity, “Mom jeans fall in that indescribable camp of essentials that are stylish and comfortable and manage to appeal to both teenagers and the design crowd. They sit high at the waist and have a relaxed leg that can either be straight or tapered at the leg opening. They look incredible paired with anything from a sneaker to heel while running about town and look equally as good while barefoot at home.”
Keep scrolling to discover the mom jean outfits that are in now—and forever.
Shop the Best Mom Jeans Outfits
The Classic Mom Jean Outfit
The classic mom jean outfit is an ensemble of all of your wardrobe essentials in one look. Case in point: this combo of oversized, white button-down, sleek, pointed-toe shoes, and a structured lady handbag—when paired with vintage wash mom jeans, the classic mom jean outfit is achieved. The best part? It never—ever—gets old.
The Baggier Fit Mom Jean Outfit
The baggier fit mom jean is undoubtedly the hero style of 2020 and 2021. It’s not only incredibly chic, but it became the perfect solution for times when wearing yet another pair of sweatpants seemed unbearable. Opt for a more polished look with the baggy mom jean by styling it with another classic pairing: the tailored, menswear-inspired blazer and the crisp, white button-down shirt. Complete the look with a suede bootie—or in warmer months, try a strappy heel—and you have officially nailed the baggier look.
The Ripped Mom Jean Outfit
Though ripped mom jeans are the most casual iteration of the style, when worn with elevated basics like an oversized trench coat and a neutral cashmere jumper, they instantly become the look’s focal point. Accessorize the outfit with subtle accessories like an animal print bag or textured heel, like Bottega’s braided leather mules, to make the outfit more fashion-forward.
The Crisscross Mom Jean Outfit
The asymmetric waistband mom jean had a moment over the last two years and seemingly dominated our Instagram feeds. This new design detail catapulted the mom jean into a dynamic fashion piece while also proving extremely flattering. Err on the classic side by pairing this silhouette with a blue striped button-down for a monochromatic base, accented with a black leather blazer for a luxe-looking contrast.
The Dark Wash Mom Jean Outfit
Finding the perfect dark wash jean is quite the task; fortunately, Isabel Marant has mastered the art of varying dark wash denim and acid washes. Take a styling cue from former Harper’s Bazaar editor and style icon Chrissy Rutherford, and opt for a dark wash with front seaming detail. This subtle yet incredibly elevated design will accentuate the legs and candidly, make dark wash jeans seem less mundane. Keep the look effortlessly cool by styling dark wash jeans with a statement, transitional coat, a fitted knit tank, and low-heel bootie.
The White Mom Jean Outfit
One way to instantly make your outfit look more high end? Make it monochrome. Wearing a similar hue from head to toe is an easy way to elevate any outfit, and it just feels fresh. You cannot go wrong with an all white mom jean look, and model Linh Niller does it flawlessly. Keep the ready-to-wear look clean and simple, à la white mom jeans and a beige linen blazer paired over the beloved white T-shirt. Want to be a little bold? Inject color with your accessories, like Nike’s old-school Dunks.
The Gray Wash Mom Jean Outfit
Gray has become another must-have denim wash to add to your collection. We’re obsessed with Citizens of Humanity’s gray high-rise mom jean—it’s truly an unexpected piece that goes with everything. For the ultimate sleek New York look, style the gray wash with all black everything, from the T-shirt and sunglasses to the handbag and boot. And casually drape a pin-stripe blazer over your shoulders to sophisticate the look.
The Black Wash Mom Jean Outfit
The black wash mom jean has undoubtedly become interchangeable with the black legging—it’s comfortable, reliable, and extremely versatile. What more could you want from a jean? While there are a plethora of black wash mom jean outfits, we’re revealing one of our go-tos as the seasons begin to change. Pair black wash jeans with a fitted white tank (which is also a great piece for layering), gold, everyday jewelry, and a Gucci loafer for a fail-safe black mom jean outfit.
The Medium Blue Wash Mom Jean Outfit
Perhaps the best part about mom jeans is their everyday ease. They’re easy to wear, they’re easy to style, and they’re readily available in every wash possible. The medium blue wash gives a nod to more vintage-inspired mom jeans as they are a true blue wash. These Re/Done mom jeans are the ultimate testament to vintage as the brand’s denim is actually made of restored vintage Levi’s. Because this wash is a bit simpler, you can have a bit more fun with your other pieces. Think an exaggerated collar blouse, hoop earrings, and strappy sandals.
The Light Wash Mom Jean Outfit
Last, but certainly not least, is the light wash mom jean look. Similar to dark wash denim, it takes some time and dedication to find your light wash denim soulmate as the wash’s fade and distressing have to fulfill the desired look. Keep it in the neutral family by styling these mom jeans with Valentino’s light gold longline cardigan and delicate gold jewelry for the perfect at-home—and beyond—light wash mom jean outfit.