By Charlie Bell
Pitting boyfriend jeans vs mom jeans and not sure which to choose? We get it, shopping for jeans can be tricky.
Dressed up with heels and a blazer, or down with a slogan tee and trainers, find the best jeans for your shape and style and you’re set for any occasion. We Brits can’t get enough denim, with Marks & Spencer selling on average a massive five million pairs a year. While across the pond in the US, the average American has seven pairs of blue jeans in their closet.
We certainly love our high street jeans – from mom jeans to skinnies, boyfriend fit to straight-leg.
Mom and boyfriend styles may have started off as trends, but they have now become firm staples in our denim collection. Their relaxed cuts make them more comfortable (not to mention more modern) than a skinny jean, but they're just as versatile.
But what actually is the difference between boyfriend jeans and mom jeans, and which type of jeans do you need in your life? Let us break it down for you.
What are boyfriend jeans?
This borrowed-from-the-boys look was made popular in the 1960s, when Marilyn Monroe donned a pair in The Misfits. Since then, they have become a much-loved style of celebrities, seen on all the A-listers, from Victoria Beckham to Katie Holmes.
Slouchy and baggy, boyfriend jeans have a relaxed, comfortable fit. They often sit mid-low on the waist and should look a little oversized on the wearer. There are many variations of the boyfriend cut; some are slimmer than others, so if you prefer more fitted clothing you can opt for a style that is more structured, but still loose.
What to wear with boyfriend jeans
Boyfriend jeans are perfect for creating an effortless off-duty look, but styling them can be tricky to get right – it’s all about creating some balance.
Offset the boyish, laid-back vibe with tailored blazers, feminine blouses and heels (or fancy flats). A tight-fitting top will help balance out the looser shape of the jean for a more flattering shape.
“The easiest way to make a boyfriend jean look more polished is to throw on a blazer. It will instantly smarten the look, while adding more structure to your outfit, too,” says Paula Moore, fashion director at Woman & Home.
“I would then play on the boyish aesthetic and add some feminine detailing, such as a silky cami, a pair of heels and layer on some gold jewellery. Dressy but cool, it’s perfect for a low-key dinner date.”
Boyfriend jeans: get the look
Raey Dad Baggy Boyfriend Jeans
Everlane The Short-Sleeve Crew Neck Bodysuit
Zara Tailored Blazer With Buttons
G.H. Bass Whitney Easy Weejuns
What are mom jeans?
This retro-style jean was a favourite among mums in the 80s and 90s, hence the name. It’s now back with a bang and a lot cooler than you might remember. Like the boyfriend jean, it has a relaxed fit, but tends to sit high on the waist. Loose around the thighs, they then go down into more of a tapered leg, so they don't look as baggy overall. The hem is often rolled up, finishing just above the ankle. The long back pockets tend to make the bum appear longer and flatter.
What to wear with mom jeans
Mom jeans are easier to style than boyfriend jeans, thanks to their high waist, which makes for a less casual look. The key to making the most of your mom jeans is to tuck in your top, whether it’s a tee, body or polo neck. A belt will also help add definition and give you a gorgeous silhouette. Toughen up with hefty ankle boots or keep it casual in chunky trainers – they are guaranteed to go with pretty much everything.
“A light blue or acid wash will give your mom jeans an extra retro vibe,” says Paula. “They also look great with a turned-up hem, so if they are coming up too long, just embrace it and roll them up.”
Mom jeans: Get the look
Everlane The ’90s Cheeky Straight Jean
Arket Sheer Merino Wool Roll-Neck
& Other Stories Chunky Leather Chelsea Boots
Missoma Box Chain Layered Necklace
Boyfriend jeans vs mom jeans: The verdict
It mainly comes down to personal preference.
Boyfriend jeans require more thought and attention if you want to nail the look. However, if you find the right balance with a fitted top or shirt and offset with pretty footwear and accessories, the finished look can be really fashion-forward.
Word of warning: Do think about your height before investing. You may find that some boyfriend jeans drown your figure if you’re petite.
Mom jeans suit more people, regardless of stature, and are generally more versatile. You could throw on most tops with a mom jean and the style would be passable. The high-waist and tapered leg combo delivers a flattering silhouette, and if you’re partial to a bit of 80s or 90s nostalgia, mom jeans are a real winner.
Prince Philip’s selfless ‘final wish’ for funeral will ‘not be lost’ on Royal Family
Prince Philip's funeral will feature a ‘rallying cry’ for his family
By Emma Shacklock •
How to watch Prince Philip’s funeral from anywhere in the world
Prince Philip's funeral will take place on Saturday 17th April
By Laura Harman •
The M&S X Ghost collection has the delicate florals your wardrobe needs this summer
Ghost London has partnered exclusively with M&S to launch a chic line of dresses just in time for summer
By Rylee Johnston •
The Duchess of Cambridge's elegant frosted blue scallop cardigan from Boden is back in stock
But you'll have to be quick if you want to snap one up!
By Lauren Hughes •
Best shoes for flat feet: Supportive pairs that don’t compromise on style
Finding the best shoes for flat feet needn’t be a case of compromising on style for the sake of comfort. Here's where to shop...
By Jess Beech •
M&S is selling the perfect spring dress for fans of Kate Middleton's style
The Duchess of Cambridge is a fan of wearing clothes with these four elements
By Selina Maycock •
British clothing brands that will luxe up your wardrobe
Here's the lowdown on our favourite British clothing brands, with classic and chic pieces that will spruce up your wardrobe
By Charlie Bell •
How to dress for your body type - tips and tricks to make the most of your shape
Figuring out what body type you are is sometimes tricky - but once you nail where you fit in the fruit bowl shopping becomes a lot easier.
By Sibelle Mehmet •
Debenhams to open stores next week for massive closing down sale - is your local store on the list?
The high street retailer will slash the prices of its stock for shoppers after going into liquidation
By Selina Maycock •
Bathing suits for body types: How to find the most flattering one piece for your shape
Then our guide to the best bathing suits for body types is essential, confidence-boosting reading this summer.
By Hannah Hughes •