I’ve about had it with Mom Jeans, or whatever other moniker has been put on those denim (or denim-knit) jean-like pants that every woman over 40 who’s had babies reluctantly tries on and inevitably buys because nothing else even remotely fits.
(Note: I tried to find a photo of Mom Jeans, and what I saw horrified me so much that I felt I couldn’t subject my readers to such photos. You’re on your own! Enjoy the flowers.)
I used to work in retail. I know jeans, especially Mom Jeans (though of course, we didn’t call them that in the store I worked for). You know the ones – they hold your tummy in while cutting you off at the waist. Or, the zipper is two inches long, the waistband is now hugging your bladder (which has dropped and is protruding due to those darling monsters you call children), and your belly fat slops over the top of the jean. They’ve changed the zipper only because they’re trying to lure in the 30-something women who normally don’t shop in the boutique stores but who do wear almost mons-baring jeans. (They’re still shopping in Forever 21. No, seriously.)
When you do get a pair of jeans that makes you look somewhat the way you did 30 years ago, they stretch. Slowly, insidiously, until wearing them the third day, you’re tugging them up over your ass every five minutes so you don’t look like a gang-banger with your undies showing. (Because you don’t think the people on the street need to know you still enjoy wearing thong underwear even though you’re over 50/not skinny anymore. Yes, thong underwear DOES come in large sizes, thankyouverymuch.)
Where was I? Oh yeah. So, in order to get these jeans to fit correctly, you have to get them a size smaller. Doesn’t matter what size you REALLY are – because the boutique stores’ sizes are all fucked up anyway. You climb into the size-smaller pair of jeans, suck in your stomach, blow out all the air of your lungs, stand on tiptoe, and TUG LIKE HELL to get the zipper up. Once you do, and after hastily dropping your somewhat-billowy shirt down to cover the fat rolls poking over the top, you do a fanny check.
Niiice. Not airbrushed, no spanx, but your fanny looks smooth. Firm. The jeans slim your legs down (or, if you’re on the thin side, make them look shapely), are long enough to wear a slight heel on those days you feel daring, yet won’t drag too horribly when you wear flats.
So you can’t breathe. Get over it, you’ll be able to breathe in two or three hours. And just think, in three days, your waistband won’t be hugging your asscheeks because they stretched too much, so you get more wearability with less washing (depending on how dirty your typical jeans-wearing activies are, of course).
You think, ah. Jeans Nirvana. After several hours in several different stores, you finally – FINALLY – find the right pair. After checking out the price tag (GULP – over a hundred bucks?!!), you reluctantly put the second pair back. Or, conversely, you buy a second pair, rationalizing that they never go on sale so may as well bite the bullet while you’ve still got room on your credit card and while you still fit into this ridiculous size that isn’t really your size but woo, it’s a small number.
Everything seems to be going well – until you’re wearing them for the first time in your real world day. Stressed, late for work, too much to carry – you go to shove your cell into one pocket and your small travel coffee cup into another pocket so you can get everything to the car in one trip. But the pockets? They’re not big enough for your HAND, much less your cell phone. While the beloved jeans of your youth had pockets that went deep, and could handle that coffee cup, these jeans don’t.
Oh Mr. Levi, or Mr. Wrangler, or heck, the Gap – can one of you PLEASE come up with a Mom Jean that makes me slim, beautiful, eliminates the rolls of fat, has nice deep pockets but doesn’t look strange from the front, and will also shove my bladder back where it belongs, permanently?
I’d so spend a hundred bucks for a pair of jeans like that.
~ ~ ~
DEMON SOUL is out – have you read it yet? DEMON HUNT coming this summer!
This would be why I normally wear skirts.
I’m not a mom, but I have good Irish child-bearing hips nonethess. I’ve rarely been able to find jeans that fit comfortably, so I’ve all but given up.
Which means I sometimes garden in my pajama pants, if I’m doing something skirt-inappropriate. The neighbors think I’m insane anyway, so I don’t really care if they don’t like my loud striped pants.
LOVE it! I’m usually in jammy pants at home…not in the garden, though. They’re too thin for me. Hugs hon!
I’ve decided, as I approach 60, that I don’t care what other people think of my jeans. I buy Lee, sometime stretch, sometimes not, since even though it’s now as big 2 of my thighs in high school, I still have a waist. Occasionally, because they’re on sale for $10.99, I’ll buy guys jeans at Bi-Mart. They actually do all the things you described above, except that the top button pokes painfully into my belly button…
I’m an older woman. There, I said it. I have a right to look this way – I worked hard to get here! So, there will be no huffing and puffing, dammit; I want to be comfortable. I may not be stylish, but, hey, I can breathe!!
LOL Laurie – you crack me up. I’m still holding out for stylish AND no huffing and puffing!
Have you tried “Not Your Daughter Jeans”?
I am a former plus size mom of two and they were amazing when I was a size 22 and a size 16. Every person I have talked to loves them. I am now a size 6 and I still wear them after losing 120 lbs and it holds your flabby belly in and your butt is up and firm. I highly recommend purchasing them half price from Nordstrom rack.
I have not. And if you like them, through all your size changes, that means I’d better go try them on! Thanks so much for the recommendation, Sara – hugs hon!
I’m with you, Sara. I’m in my early 60’s and I still love jeans. I only wear NYD’s Jeans and they never let me down. They’re expensive but I buy one pair of blue and one of cropped jean pants, and those take me through all seasons. In fact, Stein Mart is now carrying them (at least in the Cali desertit is) and the price is way less than the department stores like Macy’s. You might be getting last year’s style but heck, when you’re 60+ who cares? : )
Okay, that’s two for the Not Your Daughter’s jeans…Hrm…Nordstrom Rack, Stein Mart…I’ll have to do a google search for them. Thanks, Roben!
Make it three sort of. I am still looking for a pair with a slightly lower waist, but other than that I live in NYD jeans.
You crack me up woman. If you ever find theze, please tweet them! 🙂
LOL – thank you for getting the humor! And I solemnly promise to tweet said “put the bladder back where it belongs” jeans as soon as I find them.
Christine, thanks for the best laugh I’ve had in days. (Still snickering over the ‘enjoy the flowers’ line, as well as the rest, including all the ladies’ comments) Raising my boys, I didn’t think about the ‘correctness’ of my jeans all that much. Oblivious is my middle name, after all, and with a husband who loves my ass, despite the fluctuating size, who cares. A pair of Levis and I am set. But gaining a DIL is brutal on a 40+ woman’s ego. Suddenly, if the waist isn’t skimming my pelvic bone, the cut is dorky. And a boot cut-holy crap! I’m seriously considering those drawstring, garden pants. That should give her a heart attack!
Mac – I’ve worked around men for most of my life – and being vain, I have always tried to look – well, at least “sleek”. Now that I’m over 50, I’m going with “not embarrassing”. Cheers hon!
NYD jeans come the closest to perfect although I when I am thinner (and I won’t discuss how many pounds thinner) Chico’s has some great jeans, too.
I’ve heard that Lee Jeans are fabulous and has anyone tried the new Levi Curve Id program? I haven’t but I’ve been meaning to. Some day when my car stops racking up the dollars, and taxes aren’t due, and the kid isn’t having an emergency, and the cat hasn’t hit me up for an emergency vet visit and the creek stops rising, I am going to go jean shopping again. Hopefully I’ll have lost some weight by then too.
I absolutely will not buy a pair of jeans for a hundred bucks, no matter how wonderful they make me look. But I’ve spent plenty buying jeans that didn’t work out and given them away, so I guess it amounts to the same thing.
The pockets question? Absolutely insane to make those shallow little pockets that you can barely fit your fingers into. One pair I bought had faux pockets (described at 5-pocket style meant they just looked like they had pockets). When I finally find a pair of jeans I like (and have pockets) I’m going to buy them, pricey or not.
Not holding my breath.
I’m not a mom, and I am not overweight. At all. However, I have a tough time wearing jeans these days. Unless I buy them so baggy that I look like a “gangsta,” they literally hurt me.
What happens is the inner seam rides up when I sit. By the end of a few hours, I feel as though someone has been punching me in the crotch. I am actually sore the next day. What you were talking about in your post–jeans that hug your figure–is something I couldn’t wear.
I wear more and more skirts. I have some cheap jeans I bought in the men’s section at Walmart (that are really too big) that I wear when I work outside. I have a couple of pairs of Gap jeans that don’t kill me when I wear them, and I wear them when I have to. But, yeah, it’s skirts these days.
So, even though our problems aren’t the same, I do feel your pain.
I didn’t mind waiting for a friend reading this post, although I probably looked crazy laughing. It’s all so true, I have so many pairs of jeans that for some odd reason shrink as soon as I get them home! Thank you for the chuckle
I’m so behind! I just saw this post. Thanks for the laughs! I finally found THE PERFECT jean. My mom and I are built nothing alike and she liked the brand as well. I wore them for 3 years. AND they were only $26 to $29. Amazing, huh? Yep. Too amazing. I could only get them through QVC. They’re not carrying them right now. And since they have what they have left on clearance, I’m guessing they’re not going to anymore. Everyone on their website is complaining about it. Well, maybe not everyone, but those who want the jeans back. I really need new jeans. I’ve lost two sizes. I finally bought a pair at Wal-Mart for under $30 because I just had to have a pair. You know what? They’ve worked pretty well and are comfy. I was afraid they’d draw up when washed but they didn’t. I absolutely refuse to pay more than $50 for a pair of jeans. And now in my weight-loss mode, I’m looking for cheap jeans because I won’t be in them long. I’ve gotten lots compliments on the Wal-Mart jeans. Maybe it’s because my ass isn’t as big as it used to be. LOL