Why mom jeans are the best style for women aged 40+

Still think mom jeans belong in the 90s? We break down the key features of this versatile shape.

Best mom jeans, as worn by street style stars
(Image credit: Getty Images / Future)

Mom jeans are one of the best styles you can add to your wardrobe right now. But what makes a jean a mom jean? And which ones should you buy? 

The best jeans are often considered a wardrobe essential. A foundation piece in many a capsule wardrobe, finding the right jeans for your body type can be a real struggle. But that's why we're so pleased that mom jeans are back on the fashion agenda, even though we still love our best skinny jeans

There are '90s references in many of the fashion trends of 2022. Mom jeans are firmly back on the menu. The high-rise style flatters many figures, looking as stylish on apple body shapes as it does on rectangle and pear-shaped silhouettes. The high-waist shelps to create hourglass curves and the tapered leg cut is universally flattering, skimming a pear-shaped body and adding curves to a rectangular figure. 

Team with a silk shirt, your best blazer and loafers for occasions when polish is required, or try sleek white trainers and one of the best cashmere sweaters for off-duty engagements. 

Best mom jeans to shop now

best mom jeans from Good American called the Good Mom. Tapered leg, light blue wash with ankle crop finish

(Image credit: Good American)

1. Good American Good Mom Jean


RRP: $149 / £140
Sizes: US: 00-24

Reasons to buy

Great size range
On-trend cropped hem

Good American jeans have become a firm favorite amongst the fashion pack. They might be a celebrity-owned label, but Khloe Kardashian has proved that her denim brand is all about great cuts and quality. The jeans are sized from a US size 00 to a size 24, making them one of the most inclusive denim ranges on the market right now. 

The Good Mom jean is the brand's modern update of this particular trend. Featuring a full leg tapered to sit right above the ankle and a flattering high rise finish, to help hold and sculpt your shape. 

Best mom jeans from Levi's include this tapered hem pair

(Image credit: Levi's)
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2. Levi's High Waist Taper Mom Jean


RRP: $69.50 / £60
Sizes: Waist: 23-32 | Length: 27 or 29

Reasons to buy

Lots of washes available
Great quality denim

The mom jean is the style to invest in for a perkier-looking bum, as you can see with these Levi's. The high waist, coupled with the high-set pockets, makes your derriere look instantly higher and rounder. 

Levi's is a classic denim brand, so we know we can trust them. This particular cut comes in eight colorways, from a light blue wash to faded black denim, keeping in line with the mom jeans '90s aesthetic. Wear with anything from your best shirts to a grungy graphic tee. This pair of mom jeans, with a slightly cropped ankle-skimming hemline, are right on trend. 

best mom jeans from Zara inclue these faded washed blue jeans called the Z1975

(Image credit: Zara)
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3. Zara Mom Jeans


RRP: $45.90 / £27.99
Sizes: US: 0-14 / UK: 25-32

Reasons to buy

Great price points
Lots of colorways

Zara has a great selection of denim and is always quick to bring out trend-led styles. They have a really good array of mom jeans, with classic greys and blues making a strong show alongside spring and summer-ready whites and beiges.

We all know Zara sizing can be a little tricky to navigate sometimes and the website already notes that these jeans run small, so it's worth sizing up to avoid disappointment. 

At a budget-friendly price-point, these are ideal if you've been pondering whether to fully invest in the mom jean trend and simply want to road test the look. 

best mom jeans from Topshop at Asos, recycled black slim fit mom jeans

(Image credit: Topshop / ASOS)
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4. Topshop mom recycled cotton blend jean


RRP: $74 / £40
Sizes : Waist: 24-36 | Leg: 30-34

Reasons to buy

Great price points
Long-standing reputation for good jeans

Many fashion stylists and editors will tell you that they're fairly devoted to their Topshop denim jeans. Whether it's the Editor or the Jamie jean, or the relative newcomer mom jean, Topshop, now housed at ASOS, has some of the best denim on the market—which is great for those that want mom jeans without breaking the bank. 

With a slim fit and high waist, these dark denim mom jeans will look great teamed with a pair of the best Chelsea boots and a slouchy sweater for relaxed, off-duty style. 

best mom jeans from New Look include the new Tori cut in curve light wash denim

(Image credit: New Look)
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5. New Look Curves Blue Mid Wash Waist Enhance Tori Mom Jeans


RRP: £25.99
Sizes: UK 18-30

Reasons to buy

Petite, Plus, Maternity available
Huge selection of styles

Recently launching a whole new series of fits, New Look currently have a whopping 56 options for mom jeans on their website. Covering main, petite, plus size and maternity collections, the latest New Look mom jean, or Tori as it is known, offers a high waist and slim leg silhouette made with responsibly sourced cotton.

The Tori is available in many iterations, from light to dark washes, patchwork, smarter executions, and ripped and distressed varieties. With Tori's across all categories, if you've struggled to find a pair to fit your body shape, New Look is definitely worth checking out. 

best wrangler mom jeans include these light wash ice ice baby jeans

(Image credit: Wrangler)
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6. Wrangler Mom Jeans in Ice Ice Baby


RRP: £85
Sizes : Waist: 24-42 | Leg: 30-34

Reasons to buy

100% cotton
Chemical-free finish

This pair of Ice Ice Baby Wrangler's really champion that nostalgic cut and wash of the '90s mom jean. With a flattering curved high-waist, tapered leg and cropped ankle, these embody the aesthetic perfectly. Made from 100% cotton they have the original denim rigidity but are still super wearable and comfortable too. 

Using recycled and organic cotton, they have a certification from Earthwash, which means that they have minimized the amount of water, energy, and chemicals used in production. They have a 100% chemical-free finish too. 

best mom jeans from Frame Jeans, distressed front light wash classic jeans

(Image credit: Trilogy Stores / Frame)

7. Frame Le Original Straight Jean In Clash


RRP: $293 / £215
Sizes : 24-30

Reasons to buy

Trend-led styles
Distressed finish

Frame is an American clothing brand, founded by Jens Grede and Erik Torstensson. Known for some of the best basics, you can find great cashmere, leather, cotton and denim. Hitting the scene in 2012, the brand is much loved by those in the know, with wardrobe staples made from the finest materials. 

Channeling that '90s vibe with a distressed finish, these straight cut jeans offer that classic, rigid denim finish, made without stretch, from 100% cotton fabric. With high-rise waistband and a tapered leg and raw hem finish, these jeans fit the mom jean brief perfectly. As they're made without stretch, you may want to size up as they will have less give. 

best mom jeans from Marks & Spencer in black

(Image credit: Marks & Spencer)

9. Marks and Spencer The Mom Jeans


RRP: $69 / £39.50
Sizes: US: 2-18 / UK: 6-24

Reasons to buy

Great price points
Rave reviews

Marks and Spencer is well known for making quality basics, from underwear to t-shirts, it's the place we head for assurance that we're investing in our wardrobes wisely and this is no more evident than in their denim collection. Already successful with their much-loved magic shaping jeans, their mom jeans have been a big hit too. Available in five washes, their black colorway is super smart and great for slightly more dressed-up occasions. 

Slim at the hips and a high waist, these organic cotton jeans have been blended with stretch so you get a great fit and plenty of comfort. You'll be wearing these on-repeat. 

best mom jeans from Gap in light blue grey wash and ankle crop length

(Image credit: Gap)

10. Gap Sky High Rise Mom Jeans With Washwell™


RRP: $69.95 / £49.95
Sizes: 24-33

Reasons to buy

Classic denim brand
Good price points

How can you talk about denim without bringing Gap into the conversation? These low stretch denim mom jeans in a grey-blue wash are ideal as we head into spring. The low stretch means that these jeans will retain their shape for longer and with a host of positive reviews from shoppers, these are a great investment for your capsule wardrobe. 

Part of the Washwell™ program, these jeans are also part of Gap's water saving initiative, making denim in a more sustainable way, using less water consumption. 

What figure is best for mom jeans

The joy of mom jeans is that they work for lots of different body shapes. Their high waist is great for offering waist definition and sculpting support to apple shapes, while the waisted style is equally good for those with hourglass figures as it's easy to tuck in a top to help highlight your curves. 

If you have a rectangular shape, the balance of the tapered leg and the higher rise will also help to add curves to your silhouette and if you pick a style with high seated pockets, that will add some perkiness to your bum too. 

For pair shapes, the straight leg into a tapered style might feel tricky to navigate but if you opt for a pair with a gentle taper, they should skim over hips and offer great shaping. Unlike skinny jeans, they won't be too tight, but they will offer more definition than straight or boyfriend jeans.

Are mom jeans still in fashion?

Popular during the late '80s and early '90s, mom jeans fell out of fashion favor during the early '00s, when they were usurped by bootlegs, which, at the time, were considered a younger, cooler style. However, a decade later, the revival came and they have continued to be popular ever since. As such, it is now a bona fide modern classic.  

Characterized by a relaxed fit, high waistband and tapered leg, the shape is both flattering and feminine, skimming the hips and thighs and accentuating the waist. The chic vintage aesthetic has a cool-yet-grown-up appeal, making them a smart choice for those who can remember them the first time around. In fact, if you still have your pair from the '90s now’s the time to dust them off. 

Things to consider before investing in a pair of mom jeans

If you’re yet to bag a pair of mom jeans, there are a few things to consider before adding some to your basket. Look for styles with back pockets that sit high on the bottom and angle outwards. This will make your rear appear delightfully perky. It’s also worth checking leg length; a pair that hit around your ankle bone will elongate and slim the leg. If styles come up a little long, roll, or even chop the hem until they sit just right. 

Steer clear of excessive detailing such as patches, rips and distressing. These tend to look a little on the young side and will date much faster than a classic pair. Opting for a timeless, fuss-free style will ensure you’ll be reaching for them in years to come. 

When it comes to washes, again classic is your watchword. For smarter occasions, reach for a dark wash, such as indigo, charcoal or black, which can be worn with a classic white shirt, tailored jacket and leather flats for the 9-5. Switch the flats for heels and add statement earrings, and you’ve got an effortless dinner-ready look. Weekends call for something more relaxed, so head towards grey, mid-blue, or light blue washes to team with a parka and plimsolls. 

Though more commonly associated with the warm summer months, white denim makes for a crisp autumnal look when layered with knits in biscuit and caramel tones. Eschew bright white, which can be hard to pull off, opting for softer off-white shades. Make sure denim is on the thicker side so it doesn’t show off your underwear.

Frankie Graddon

Frankie Graddon is a fashion and beauty journalist and co-founder of @thewingwoman (opens in new tab), a weekly podcast and newsletter about thirty-something life, honestly. 

Frankie has over a decade of experience working as a writer, editor, podcaster and consultant. She has been a regular contributor to a number of high-profile publishers including The Telegraph, The Times, Grazia, You Magazine, Glamour and woman&home.

Frankie has interviewed numerous industry experts and celebrities, from Claudia Schiffer and Karlie Kloss to Sam McKnight and Trinny Woodall. She has also created content for numerous fashion and beauty brands including Liberty of London, Whistles, Kitri, Hush and more.