From flared styles to patchwork pieces, recent denim trends have encouraged us to get creative with our jean collections, expanding them way beyond our favorite skinnies. And when it comes to the biggest styles of the moment, none have captured our attention quite like mom jeans. The high-waisted, straight-leg style may have been the butt of a joke or two over the years (remember that "Saturday Night Live" sketch?), but recently, they've come back in style as people rediscovered just how comfortable and flattering they can be.
"It’s such a classic, cool fit," New York City-based stylist Sheyna Imm tells Shop TODAY. "The way that they are cut allows room for different body types to kind of make them their own, and they look really flattering on a lot of different shapes and sizes."
Here, Imm walks us through how to identify the trend and offered some tips on how to wear your own mom jeans.
What are mom jeans?
One of the defining factors of mom jeans is a high waist — it's part of the reason why they’re thought to be so flattering, Imm says. They typically hit right below the belly button and are a little narrower at the waist with a bit of give in the hip and a wider thigh, she says. Another key detail? The straight-leg design. “It’s not really hugging you in any places other than the waist, so it accentuates your waist and gives you more of an hourglass figure — even if you don't have one,” Imm says.
The styles we're seeing today are much more varied than the ones that we had in our closets back in the ‘90s. They now come in tons of different washes, denim weights and have unique pocket aspects and distressed details, Imm adds. All of this only adds to the fun of styling them.
How to style mom jeans
The nice thing about mom jeans is that they can go with just about everything in your closet, so they’re a true wardrobe staple. “It’s one of those things where you can invest in a pair and you know you’re going to get a lot of use out of them,” Imm says.
Plus, the style can suit any season or occasion. For a winter look, Imm suggests pairing the jeans with a tucked-in tight turtleneck and zip-up boots. She also recommends wearing them with an unbuttoned long-sleeve shirt over a tank top and trendy loafers for "a more casual out-and-about look." They pair well with heels too, so you can even slip them on for a night out.
Because of where this specific style hits at the hip, if your pair is too tight, you might notice that it can creep up a bit in the front. While it's completely normal and something many women experience with a variety of different types of pants, it's also preventable. When shopping for mom jeans, Imm suggests making sure the pair isn't too tight around the waist. "That's one of the aspects that makes mom jeans so great; they are very flattering with a little bit of room and give." If you find that they feel a little tight around the waist, you might want to consider sizing up.
With all that in mind, here are 16 mom jeans Imm and our editors love that are sure to become staples in your wardrobe.
With more than 50,000 five-star ratings, many reviewers have raved about how comfortable and stylish these jeans are. “These pants!!” one verified reviewer wrote. “What can I say about them except THANK GOD they exist. I bought my first pair randomly (and cheaply) at Costco. When I got home, I was surprised to find that they fit perfectly. And now I know I can order them from Amazon and get that same perfect fit, any time I want. The length is right, the waist is not too low, they’re well made ... I love these pants!!”
Deputy editorial director Ali Deabler is a huge fan of this pair from H&M. "They feel like the half-step between skinny and mom for the millennials who aren’t ready to make the jump," she said. However, Deabler suggests to buy true-to-size or size up if you're between since there's little to no stretch.
These American Eagle mom jeans have racked up hundreds of five-star reviews, and it’s not hard to see why. Available in three different washes, they’re said to have a comfortable stretch fit and are made with sustainability in mind. “Really loved these mom jeans!” said one reviewer. “Super comfortable, fits perfectly, fits a bit bigger than expected but still looks amazing. Super stretchy and roomy in the butt and thighs which is exactly what I wanted. Literally want [these] jeans in every color.”
Made with 100% cotton, Wrangler jeans can take you from the barn to the big city and everywhere in-between. Built to last, production coordinator Camryn Privette raves about this pair and says other brands can't match their comfort and durability.
This vintage-inspired high-rise pair is just what your curves have been asking for. According to the brand, it hugs your body in all the right places before tapering off at the ankle.
According to Imm, Zara is another great spot to find the popular style. The brand's Mom Fit Jeans look like the perfect nostalgia-inspired addition to your wardrobe. The five pocket jeans come in several washes and go for under $50. According to the brand, the jeans run small, so you might want to consider sizing up when purchasing.
Relaxed through the thigh and tapered from knee to ankle, this pair couldn't be more on trend. Better yet, the brand is offering buy one get one 50% off on all denim.
Equip with not two, not three, but five pockets; you'll have more than enough room to store your essentials (a.k.a five of your favorite lip products).
"Levi’s makes the Wedgie Fit, which is super cute and it's a more medium price point, so I think it’s an attainable denim," Imm says. According to the brand, the "wedgie" style is designed to accentuate your curves and give your backside a nice boost.
Of course, we can't talk about mom jeans without mentioning Levi's 501 style. The classic pair features the straight fit and signature button-fly design that Levi's fans have come to know and love. Plus, they're available in two length options and seven washes to fit a range of styles.
When you hear the name Abercrombie & Fitch, you might have some flashbacks to wandering the local mall as a teenager, but the brand has become pretty popular again. And its jeans, in particular, have gotten a lot of love on TikTok. This pair is perfect for anyone looking to try out the trend. They come in a variety of washes, though some sizes are already sold out, so you'll want to get them while you still can.
Madewell jeans are a favorite among many editors on our team and for good reason. Available in seven different washes and sizes 23-33, you'll be able to find your perfect fit.
Good American is known for creating jeans that fit people of all shapes and sizes. This popular mom-style pair come in sizes 00 to 32 (though there's a waitlist for select sizes at the moment). They're made from a sculpting and smoothing fabric that the brand says is meant to hold its shape, even after repeated wears.
These jeans from Reformation — which are another staple in Murphy’s closet — seem like a worthy investment. The brand describes them as a rigid jean with a cropped straight leg and finished hem. One helpful thing to note: If you’re looking for a more comfortable fit, Reformation recommends ordering in a size up.
Re/Done is another brand that Imm recommends for the mom jeans trend, and these are one of the company’s bestsellers. While the price tag might make you hesitate at first, the stylist is quick to remind shoppers that a good pair of jeans is often worth the investment. “I think it’s always wise to invest in a pair of jeans,” she says. “They last forever, they always circle back into style, and they have a high resale value — so I just think it’s a win-win.”
Commerce editor and producer Julie Ricevuto says these jeans are her go-to recently. "I usually hate wearing jeans because they often feel stiff and uncomfortable, but this pair has the perfect amount of stretch and softness while still being form-fitting and flattering," she says. Plus, the dark wash makes them versatile enough to pair with any outfit choice. Talk about a win-win!
Meet our expert
- Sheyna Imm is a New York City-based stylist with focuses in editorial, advertising and video.
How we chose
We selected mom jeans based on insights and recommendations from a professional stylist, and approved picks from Shop TODAY editors and staffers. Other mom jeans were sourced through verified shopper reviews.