Category Archives: Fashion

Why I Am Proud to Say I Wear Mom Jeans

While browsing Pinterest a couple days ago, I came across a pin that blared “Gap and Old Navy Make MOM Jeans!!”  Intrigued, I clicked through to the original blog post.  The writer had apparently done lots of “research,” trying on numerous pairs of jeans from Gap and Old Navy, photographing herself wearing them, and comparing the results to those of her backside in various luxury denim labels.

Do your jeans qualify as "mom jeans?"

As I read the entire story, I found myself irritated, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on why.  It was a very popular pin.  Scores of women had commented about how funny it was.  The author professed that she was trying to free others “from the noose” of mom jeans.  No red-blooded young woman wants to be caught dead in the tapered monstrosities that our moms rocked in the 90s.  But is this a fair comparison?

At first I decided to simply let it go.  Who cares what some random chick in cyberspace thinks about fashion.  But I couldn’t stop thinking about that article.  I wear Gap jeans.  And I was damn proud to finally purchase a pair of “normal” jeans five months after the birth of my first baby.

I assumed that since I was slim before my pregnancy that I would have no trouble getting back into shape.  I heard breastfeeding just melted away the pounds.  Not for me.  An unplanned c-section meant I could hardly walk, let alone exercise for the first eight weeks postpartum.  Consequently, the weight clung to my midsection.  It was a very discouraging experience.

When I was finally cleared for physical activity, I hit it hard.  I worked out six days a week, graduating from walking and light yoga to more intense cardio and weight training.  One day my husband told me it was time to put away the maternity clothes– they were hanging off my butt.  We went to a store that I thought might have something to fit my more mature shape at an affordable price.  I still had some inches to lose, so I figured that I would get a few pairs of pants until I needed to buy smaller ones again a few months down the road.

When I tried on that first pair of size 27 (keep in mind I’m only 5’3″) Gap boot cut jeans and they *gasp* FIT, it was such a rewarding feeling– my hard work and dedication had paid off.  So what if they weren’t the most trendy jeans on the planet–they had a solid waistband and an actual button and to me that was a huge accomplishment.

So when I see some girl’s diatribe against jeans that millions of us moms wear happily, it ticks me off.  Has this girl had a baby?  Has she struggled to lose those stubborn pounds that made it impossible to wear ANY jeans without an elastic waistband? Doubtful, as she likely would have mentioned that in her post.

She recommends that we moms instead shop premium denim brands which offer more flattering cuts and details.  For two hundred dollars a pair they damn sure better make your butt look incredible!  But when I’m simply looking for a couple items to hold me over while I work on the last ten pounds, I’m not going to sink a car payment into each pair of jeans.

I’m not ashamed to shop at Gap, and if that means that I’m now officially dressed in “mom jeans,” so be it.  To wrap things up, I thought I would include some photographic evidence of my own:

momjeans

Guess what — it’s the same pair of jeans.  Gap Jeans.  Amazing what different camera angles and poses will do!  Like the old saying goes: it’s not about what you wear, it’s how you wear it.  “Mom jeans” doesn’t have to mean something bad.  My “mom jeans” are a badge of honor–I know what I went through to get into these jeans.  Many of us sacrificed so much to become a mother, and equally as much to reclaim our womanly figures.

This is the kind of message we should be sharing– one of positivity and support for our fellow ladies and mothers.  Sure, if you have the money and want to buy your True Religion or Seven for All Mankind Jeans there’s nothing wrong with that.  But there’s also nothing wrong with buying what you can afford and what you feel comfortable in.  Fashion is fun, but I vote that we try to care more about the people behind the clothes.

I gave up on being the “cool” mom

I didn’t always plan on becoming a mom– I was going to be independent, travel, always be stylish with amazing clothes.  I sort of accomplished that.  But somewhere along the way I became open to the possibility of kids.  The catch was that I would be a “cool” mom– I would still always be stylish with amazing clothes, my kids would obey me without question just because I was awesome, and we would always be getting into adventures.  I would most definitely NOT be wearing “mom clothes.”

In my mind I WAS the cool mom.  The kids and I liked to “jam” together to my iPod playlist.  That MUST mean that I was cool.  My first inkling that maybe I was a little mistaken was when a song came on the radio (I don’t remember specifically, just a current pop song) and I started singing along.  Lilu was astonished: “Stacey, how do YOU know this song?”  Reality hit like a ton of bricks.  My 6 year old did not think I was cool.  Ok, so maybe my iPod playlist is heavy on the Steve Winwood, Michael McDonald, and 80s hair metal — but those are timeless hits!  Right?  Right……?

Well at least I still had my incredible fashion sense to claim.  I mean, the Gap has been a standby of “cool” for decades.  Plus they have killer sales.  AND their jeans fit like a glove during that difficult time a few months after the baby when my legs were shrinking down but my stomach was still being stubborn.  You feel me?  And heck, most of the time I don’t even have to dress fancy– yoga pants are totally hip for young moms on the go.  That way everyone knows you are active and all about heath — popping in to Whole Foods after your workout sesh at the Pilates studio.  You know, if you have a nanny to watch the kids so you can do those things.  Today’s “fashion” is just too ridiculous anyways– targeted towards teenagers with crazy patterned leggings, neons, and ripped jeans.  I HAVE caught myself giving disapproving looks at the mall, or whispering to my husband that our kids will “dress respectably.”  I’ve seen pictures of what I wore at sixteen, and I sure as hell wouldn’t let myself wear those miniskirts and platforms if I was my mom!

Ok, so I’ll admit it– I’m not the “cool” mom.  I do mom things.  I wear mom clothes (sad face).  I may or may not be even less cool than my own mom was.  But my kids aren’t worried about it.  They don’t care that I was Best Dressed Class of 2003 at St. Albans High School and they don’t care if I let that legacy slip.  They just want me to spend time with them, no matter what we do or what I’m wearing.  And even if my “jams” aren’t popular anymore, they are more than happy to listen with me on repeat and learn all the words– because these are OUR jams.  (And hey, at least they aren’t talking about twerking, bubble butts, and menage-a-you-know-whats.)

So I gave up on being the cool mom.  I think we all start off with high hopes and the best of intentions.  But when your day looks like this: wake up, feed baby, put baby back to sleep, wake up big sis, feed big sis breakfast, make big sis lunch, wake up daddy to take big sis to school at exactly 7:50 so she is on time (gotta watch that tardy count!), take a quick nap, wake up with baby, feed baby again, change diaper and dress baby, play baby games, put baby down for nap, workout, wake up baby, pick up big sis from school, go to swim class, shower big sis, feed kids dinner, bathe baby, do homework, brush teeth, bedtime story, tuck in big sis, feed baby and put to sleep, wash dishes, fold laundry, sweep and mop kitchen, do my writing, watch one tv show, feed baby again, and FINALLY go to bed– you might not even have time to worry about being “cool.”  And that’s ok.  Your kids will love you anyways.  And there is always that yearbook photo to prove that you WERE cool at one time…in case there is ever any doubt.