UPDATED: A Plus Sized Sequel was published on October 12, 2012.  Click here to read that post.

A few months ago during one of our more “social” small group gatherings (in which all of the guys tend to gravitate to the kitchen to be closest to the snacks while the girls sit in the living room where they can talk about “girl stuff”), Lydia shared with us a deep fear that has been seated in her heart for a long time.

Being that she is in her early 30’s, the possibility of it coming to pass was getting closer and closer. She was sorely afraid – nay, terrified even – of attaining the dreaded “long butt” that seems to happen to moms in their mid-30’s or early 40’s.

She said that she didn’t mind if she had a little extra curvature, a.k.a. junk in tha trunk, but she just didn’t want her butt to get LONG.

I quickly jumped in, because, you see, I often ponder about deep issues such as this. I told her that Long Butt is not a “condition” that some women contract – butts don’t elongate. It’s actually all about the jeans. And, to be more specific, the pocket placement on the jeans. It is a symptom completely avoidable by ensuring proper knowledge in how to outfit one’s butt.

Immediately, relief washed over her face. Just the possibility that it could be avoided lifted a burden off of her shoulders. But then, doubt. Could it possibly be that simple?

I continued. Because you see, the assumed shape of your butt has EVERYTHING to do with where your pockets are in relation to the beginning and end of said butt.

Let me explain. Mom Jeans typically have long pockets and high waists. And, due to this, the tops of the pockets are usually on the back above the butt, while the bottom of the pockets tend to hit mid-butt.

However, the bottom of one’s butt is the most distinct part – it curves inward – so it clearly defines the end of the rear. SO if your pocket STARTS two inches above board and your curve ends two inches below pocket, you just gained an extra two inches of butt, thereby creating the cursed Long Butt.

To avoid LB, go for pockets that actually start a little below the top of your butt and end an inch or so BELOW the butt. This shortens the butt dramatically – because you can still see the distinctive curve at the end of the butt, so it looks like your butt is only as tall as the beginning of the pocket to the curve, thereby making it about half the size of the aforementioned dreadful Mom jeans.

Now I know that this seems like much too simple of a solution to this issue, so, naturally, I have scientific proof to back up my theories.

Lydia and I ran a completely scientific experiment to prove that, indeed, it’s all about the pocket. But, while doing so, also made many other notes for you to help you avoid a Mom Jeans catastrophe altogether.

Because we’re here to serve the Mom community.

So, without further ado, I present to you:

The Study of Mom Jeans and the Dreaded Long Butt

Hypothesis: The condition known as “Long Butt” does indeed originate solely from poor pocketage.

Research Laboratory: Riverchase Galleria.

Test Subjects:

Subject A: Rachel.

Age: 27.
Height: 5’6″.
Size: 6.
Mom Status: 1 kid – 2 year old.

Natural Habitat:

Subject B: Lydia.

Age: 32.
Height: 5’4″.
Size: 8.
Mom Status: 3 kids – 5 year old, 3 year old, 7 month old.

Natural Habitat:
Testing Standards: We only tried on jeans that were our size to ensure proper comparison standards. Also, our appearance was not altered in any way like they do on infomercials – we did not poof out our stomachs, take off all of our makeup, or wear really unattractive shirts to make the bad jeans look bad. All things, but the jeans themselves, are equal.

Testing Oversight: Provided by Ali & Radford, LLP. They can be seen in some pictures ensuring the highest degree of application of the scientific method.

Disclaimer: Forgive any rude terms such as “butt”, “crack”, the combination of said words, or any other term that you find offensive. Please understand that this is a purely scientific experiment, and so accurate language must be employed to ensure full communication of findings.


Test Subject B wearing a pair of Mom Jeans. Notice how the butt is elongated due to the pocket starting on the back and ending BEFORE the curvature of the butt ends:
The same butt measures half the visual length when wearing a pair of jeans that the pocket starts halfway down the butt and ends after the curvature:
Test Subject A with elongated buttocks. Also notice the complete and utter flatness created, which only adds to the elongation effect:
Also measures half the visual length but with curves that were noticeably missing in prior picture. Hard to believe, but scientifically proven, that this is the same butt:
Further testing was enacted. Here are more examples, this time with a closer view.

Test Subject A. Notice that it doesn’t matter if a pair of jeans were a popular brand when you were in high school. They can still attrociously lengthen your butt:
Test Subject A’s butt done right:
(Some important keys can be found in the labeling of above jeans. ALWAYS avoid the word “tapered” or the phrase “sits at waist”. However, if words such as “honey”, “booty fit”, “curvy” and “physique” appear on the labels, don’t automatically assume that they will be skanky. It most likely just means that they are NOT Mom Jeans.)

Test Subject B:
Test Subject B saved by the pocket:Just in case you are not yet convinced of the atrocious sins of the Mom Jean, let’s look at what they do to the front of your body:
Our findings were that when THAT MUCH of your body is zipped up into a pair of jeans, there is much opportunity for pulling and lumping and a host of other unattractive side effects, including being so high that they actually make your “upper body” also look lumpy and droopy.
Look how much more flattering the RIGHT pair of jeans can be:

Here are the rest of our findings that might be very helpful to you in ensuring that you never accidentally step off the cliff of Mom Jeans:

1. At all costs, AVOID DIAGONAL REAR POCKETS. These create the “elbow” effect – where it looks like your butt cheeks are really elbows in an outward pointing angle:
Instead, pockets should always go straight down, with NO curve to the outsides:

2. If the waist cuts off your air supply when you bend over because it is pressing on your LUNGS, then they are a Mom Jean. Yes, during these dangerous experiments, Lydia and I had several occasions where we bent over and had to gasp to get a breath. It was quite excruciating and shocking.

3. If the jeans come in sizes small, medium and large, then they are most definitely a Mom Jean.

4. If the jeans come in sizes small, medium and large and they have a completely elastic waist, you’ve gone way beyond Mom Jeans. You are at the point of Grandma Jeans. Turn yourself in immediately to someone who can help you with your problem.

5. If you can’t tell your front from your back, you are off the Grandma Jeans Deep End.

6. For that matter, do not EVER choose jeans without back pockets. Your butt will always appear to be a watermelon shoved in the back of your pants that is trying, but failing miserably to defy gravity.

7. There should be a definitive break where your butt ends and your legs begin. Otherwise, your butt ends up with the infinity effect. . .

And if you’re about to say that you don’t like wearing tight jeans, they don’t have to be tight to give you definition. See here how a nice, loosely fitting pair is giving Subject B a very definitive (and small) butt, without sacrificing comfort (in fact, Subject B loved these jeans so much that I was forced to have a therapy session with her to get her out of them).
8. DO NOT BE FOOLED by the Cool-Jean wannabe that is found in and amongst the Mom Jeans. THEY ARE WORSE than Mom Jeans. These jeans tried by having a more modern leg line and pockets,

But failed miserably when the elastic side darts were revealed,
besides the horrible, uniform color, high waist,
and nearly Grandma-ishly unshapely backside.

9. Length, length length. Your sock should NEVER show – front, back or side -while standing:
Instead, your jeans should have a nice swoop almost but not quite to the floor:
10. Pay careful attention to colors. If your jeans are completely solid (unless it’s a nice, dark blue denim), this may mean you have Mom Jeans. Especially if they are black:Or heaven forbid, Pink:
Here’s how you can do a black right. Notice the variation in the color, the washed out look, and the pocket detail that all help this jean achieve stylishness:

And here are some notes to help you not go TOO FAR in the other direction when trying to correct your Mom Jean problem:

1. Use caution with low rises. Obviously we are trying to escape the dreaded phrase, “sits at waist”, but this can be taken too far, and create some horrible side effects, including:

The Muffin Top:(Which, by the way, you don’t have to be wearing a midriff to show off your muffin top – they show quite nicely THROUGH shirts as well.)

Or the Whale Tail:
2. Speaking of which, it is imperative that you KNOW YOUR OWN CRACK. And what I mean by that is that Lydia and I have both noticed a very under-reported phenomenon: different people’s buttcracks start at different points. Some people can wear ultra low rise and bend all the way over to pick up a penny and not have a problem. Other people can have a mid-rise, bend over slightly to help their toddler, and still have a very unsightly wardrobe malfunction. Know where yours is, and buy accordingly. And if you are concerned, be sure and test them out in the dressing room.

3. Watch out for widely spaced pockets. This can serve to make your rear view be a bit wider that you would like. These jeans have the pockets in the right place vertical-wise, but way to far apart horizontal-wise:

4. Just because something is in style doesn’t mean you have to wear it. For instance, skinny jeans:
(Ali was bringing her the hanger – I think it was a hint)

Skinny jeans look good on 2% of the population when worn like this. They look good on 80% of the population when worn with a super long shirt and boots, but if you’re going to cover up that much of a pair of jeans, are the really worth it??

5. Yes, I know the 80’s are coming back. But I am choosing to ignore that fact when it comes to denim. And I recommend that you do the same.
6. A good way to ensure hipness of jeans is to make sure that they have wash detail – wrinkles, fades, and even some tastefully done “wear appearance” (which you CAN achieve without having all-out holes in your jeans):
7. You do not have to spend a fortune to get good non-Mom jeans. Although we tried on some expensive jeans, we also tried on some very reasonable jeans from Express. Their jeans run from $49-$69, but they almost always have a buy one, get one half off sale, AND if you get on their mailing list, you will often get $30 off of $60 coupons. Using both can definitely afford you a steal of a deal on some very nice looking jeans:8. As mentioned before, dark jeans are the only exception to the “no monotone color” rule. However, even if you are going to get a dark jean, they still look better if they have a bit of fade in appropriate places:

9. Wide legs are okay, but make sure that the width starts at a reasonable level and doesn’t make you look like you have full-length, denim culottes on. Also make sure that the width doesn’t go straight down from the butt and you lose the aforementioned butt-to-leg differentiation. These jeans are about as wide as you should take it:

I truly hope that after you use the scientific information gathered in this post, you’ll never feel the need to have this apology-face for your jeans:

Now you may be saying to yourself, “Sure, this would be easy to do if I were 27, or 32, but I’m not. How can someone older make sure and not make Mom Jean mistakes?”.

Well, don’t worry. Keep an eye out for the sequel post coming soon: “How To Avoid Mom Jeans for Moms over 50”, with a guest subject, My Mom. Sequel was Published on Monday, March 9th.

Looking for the rest of my denim posts? Here’s a list:

If you wear Gap or Old Navy jeans, click here.
If you’re plus-sized, click here.
If you’re over 50 years old, click here.
If you want more specific tips and tricks to pick out the perfect jeans, click here.
If you want a list of every post I’ve ever written about denim, click here.

440 thoughts on “Mom Jeans and the Dreaded “Long Butt”

  1. That was completely awesome!! Thanks for the information, the laughs and the peace of knowing that I too can be a hip mom at 32 in my jeans!! LOL
    I LOVE jeans..I own so many pairs but tend to only wear a select 2 or 3 mainly because I know my butt looks better in these jeans!! I can’t bear to get rid of the others….just in case!!

  2. Rachel,

    I’ll read your post a little later as I have more time, but for now, I read your last comment to me. You had me laughing out loud! I think you’re right about the funky smell. You are always thinking!! How do you get any sleep?! :-)

  3. Well, now I’m depressed since I realize I am doing almost everything wrong. I hate shopping for jeans. Next time I have to buy some, I’m making you come with me to make sure I do it right!

  4. Oh man I think this is my favorite! Have you seen the SNL sketches about Mom jeans? they are great too!
    I also think you should do a sequel for people that are not size 6 or 8…i’m just sayin’ (that and I personally havent seen those sizes since I was in Jr High! LOL)

  5. Too funny! But you must be fair… Jeans that come in sizes S, M, or L with an elastic waist could also mean they are maternity jeans. Not the most stylish things in the world, but a necessary (and super comfy!) evil.

  6. GREAT post! You need to query a few women’s magazines about this LB phenomenon — it would make a super article… and you could make some cash off this significant research!

  7. Niiiice. I can’t believe you guys put such up-close shots of your butts on here, haha! I think the last picture is the best. I love the face Lydia is making.

    I hope you guys at least made a purchase…I mean after ALLL that trying on.

  8. I have always thought that, and I appreciate the scientific analysis of the theory – this post is hilarious, too!

  9. I love it! I went jeans shopping a few weeks ago and left completely empty handed. It was so frustrating! Ihave a hard time finding a good in between pair that aren’t low rise and not up to my belly button, that don’t have that “tapered” and “relaxed” fit in a wash that I actually like. I can’t afford $100 for jeans, but I have never tried Express. Thanks for the hint!

  10. Thank you! I’ve never been o interested in looking at Butts :) especially those attached to women…
    I love your site, and will be back to visit often.

  11. How can your posts get better and better but they do; hurry with the over 50 version which you know I need. Thanks for all the advice. It will take me much longer to buy jeans now. LYB<

  12. Thanks for passing this along and approving my jean selection last Thursday. I have a hard time, since I certainly fall somewhere between the comments by Lindsay and Ann Marie. –Julie

  13. LOL! You are too funny! You had to have put a lot of time in that post and it was worth it. Great job and very informative!

  14. I am so glad I found this. It is amazing that one butt can look so different with different pockets/waists, etc. Awesome work, and so much more real than when Oprah does it!

  15. Cute post, Rachel! I clicked over from another blog & saw you are from B'ham too! Hello from another in the city. Stop by my blog sometime.

  16. I’m digging subject B and I LOL at all your scientific and quite descriptive terms. The Grandma jeans were definitely the worst. The inability to tell if you are coming or going is a bad thing.

  17. okay i have never thought about the pockets. definitely knew no high waisted and skinny, or too short, but never thought about the pockets. oh and this post was so funny. :)

  18. Wow. Thanks for the lesson on jeans. I think i have a pair of mom jeans…. I’m just not finding any jeans to fit right anymore. Oh well. Maybe I can go get me some soon that don’t make me feel fat or frumpy.

  19. You and Lydia are awesome to put your butts out there like that! You two crack me up (pun intended)! That was extremely scientific, and I think you should send this to Clinton and Stacey from “What not to Wear.” I don’t think I’ve ever heard them mention anything about pocket placement before…it’s the key to knowing the difference between mom jeans and “hot mama” jeans. Great work!!

  20. Thank you for taking the time to research this very important problem. Who knew there was a solution for the most common mom jeans issues.
    A learning and laughing experience that should be read by all who could possibly fall victim to the mom jean curse.

  21. How unbelievably educational for me. Thank you for the thorough research it took to attain this valuable knowledge. I’m sure I have both types of jeans in my closet and I will be sure to toss out any remnants of Mom jeans. I can’t wait to shop for some new jeans now that my knowledge base has widened considerably.

    What I want to know is how long did the research take? Did you end up buying any jeans that day? And how long did it take to post this particular piece?

    It was beautifully done and, once again, provided laughter and sheer delight. :-)

  22. This was the most informative and funny post I’ve read in a long time. Thanks! You must have spent a long time “researching” and putting it all together. Great post!

  23. Hi Rachel!
    Your blog is so cute! It makes me realize again the joy of writing!
    Love this post! And can’t wait for the next one.
    I hope you will put the picture of you, your mom and your sweet girl, Ali our fitting room.
    Thanks for making the world a better and more beautiful place to live, one pair of well-fitted
    jeans at a time!
    God bless,
    Elaine from Ann Taylor
    who needs to go work on her blog….
    …and then maybe I’ll be brave enough to
    give you the link!!! Never mind, I just gave it to
    you where it said select a profile! Don’t visit for awhile OK???? LOL

  24. I linked to you from BigMama, and I have to tell you, when I got to the Grandma Jeans, I almost spit my coffee on my keyboard. Thanks for the laughs!

  25. OMG. This is stinkin’ HIGH-larious. And not to mention bang-on. How LONG did it take you to put this together?? Nice work!

  26. This is awesome. I really struggle with finding jeans that fit me. The placement of pockets never occurred to me.

  27. This was hilarious and informative. And since I’m an older Mom (Ahem) I will be back on Monday!

  28. i love it….laughed a lot!!! So funny because of the many number of women who actually wear the jeans in your “mom jeans” photos. I’ve seen them…and they weren’t in a dressing room!!!

  29. This is the funniest thing I’ve read in a long time. My husband and children were looking at me funny as I was rolling on the floor with my laptop. Thanks for the laugh.

  30. What a great post! Thanks for the info, witty commentary, and the very helpful photos. I’m going to go jean shopping armed and dangerous now.

  31. came from bigmama.
    thanks for this. fun, factual, funny and helpful, esp. graphics
    y’all are brave!
    one addition to your research, along w/ older woman’s jeans is pockets w/ flaps. i can’t abide them, but bigmama likes them.
    i guess it goes back to your credo of “know your butt”.

  32. Hi! This was great!! So cool that you guys brought your kids with you for the research…they won’t make fashion mistakes when they’re older,huh? Love your blog!!

  33. This is great!!!!!!!!! LOL
    I make sure that my pockets are always in the right spot
    my sis in law led me to this, and she’d never thought of it.
    I’m 36, and won’t wear jeans if they don’t make my butt look good
    I’m 5’9 and wear a size 6 and let me tell you, the wrong jean can make me look too long, or too wide. it’s all int the pockets, baby!
    thanks for sharing your insights!

  34. That was very clever. Informative too. I immediately went to the mirror to make sure i was wearing non Mom jeans. Whew! I’m am wearing nice well fitting trendy washed Silvers. I have to confess tho…i have 2 pairs of MOM jeans that are now going in the garbage. Thanks!

  35. ok. HI.LAR.IOUS! I wrote a post a while back about having mistakenly chosen a pair of “sits at waist” jeans and tried them on in the dressing room where i made said discovery — and had a shudder/slash/”get these off me!!!” reaction when i realized they sat up at my neck. I did laugh out loud on this post many times! And I truly think that this post has to go somewhere big — like CNN — because this is a very valuable PSA. Seriously!

  36. This is hilarious and super useful all at once. I’ve been avoiding the mom jean for quite some time, and now you’ve given me the tools to be sure to run in the other direction (screaming) when I inadvertently touch one in a store. Thanks for making my whole family laugh.

    I love your post so much that I just had to share your blog with my blog readers, so here is my short post redirecting them here. http://lifewithlydia.com/?p=1724

    BTW, how fun to see that your friend and my daughter share the same wonderful name: Lydia.

  37. Came over from another blog and this is informative but yet funny. I always do butt checks when I buy jeans and most of the time it’s all in the pockets!

  38. Darn it.. I just bought new jeans yesterday!! I’ll have to go check out the pockets now.. they have buttoned flaps… I wonder if that is a bad thing!

  39. LOL. Thanks for educating us. If you ever have the urge to become a personal shopper, give me a call.

  40. This has to be one of the best posts I’ve ever read! I never understand how women could wear Mom jeans. I have to be honest though, I never fully realized that long butt was caused from jeans. Your pictures have proved it though! I will for sure be sharing this post with friends :)

  41. hello! we are complete strangers, but someone actually emailed me the link to this blog..LOL. its funny that you wrote about this as i actually found a picture of me-from behind-and it was a slap in the face to realize i was wearing MOM JEANS. my sister and i had this very conversation following the discovery of the picture. this was GREAT! im off to buy me some jeans!!! hehe.

  42. haha. rachel. you guys are hilarious.
    i love how many times your butts are on the world wide web now.
    have you ever seen the saturday night live sketch about mom jeans?
    you should probably check that one out.

  43. That was HILARIOUS!! I struggle with the Mom Jean epidemic with my own Mom. We have yet to go out shopping to get her the right pair. She’s the one that actually sent me this link and reminded me we need to go. We don’t call hers the long but, just the flat one. Thanks for the laugh… and for reminding me that I need to get my Mom out shopping!

  44. Wow, this was great. Whereas some people are fashion conscious, I am fashion UNconscious. I REFUSE to wear low cut jeans. I'm not fat, but I don't have much stomach tone, and I wanted to avoid the muffin top look. Even though I refused to go for the low cut stuff, I did not realize I was wearing mom jeans! How exactly can you avoid muffin top but not be wearing mom jeans? I don't get it!!

    Furthermore, I did not understand what exactly mom jeans were. I totally understand now. And I am so embarrassed! I actually owned the exact same pair of jeans as one in your post. See this post, first picture –> http://katieswords.blogspot.com/2006/11/extreme-fashion.html

    My other problem is that $20 is my max for jeans. I'll have to see if I can get some good coupons, or maybe a sympathetic sister to buy me some fashionable stuff!

  45. This post was completely AWESOME! I wish I could have been with you and your friend to test out jeans! How fun! PS I tweeted your post, I’m spreading the knowledge for jean buying success!

  46. That was completely hilarious and informative. I loved it! My husband has informed me that I may have somehow wondered into “mom jean” territory. I have no idea how I get there but I did. The funny thing is that the I’m in my early 20’s with no kids…HA. I will be keeping you and your pointers in mind while I’m at the mall. :-)

  47. Thank you very much for the scientific study on this. I just turned 30 and am definitely not the size I was before. I have had and still have trouble finding jeans!

  48. hilarious post. i needed all that info though as i am quickly approaching mom jean age. maybe even grandma jean age. i need to print this out and take it with me when i shop.

  49. This is fantastic! Hilarious AND helpful. I always wondered why moms seemed to gravitate toward what we call "mom jeans" – the pictures really are worth a thousand words!

  50. Neat post~I feel better already being armed with proper info before I go shopping for a great pair of jeans, THANKS!

  51. great post! i've *so* got to avoid mom-jeans, and was beginning to worry myself. i'm past 40 *and i'm NOT A MOM!* (i am also NOT A GUY.)

    anonymous coward

  52. Oh my goodness! This post was H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S and yet truly informative too. Seriously, good info and not given in a hey I'm hip and you're not kind of way.

  53. This is a great post! So much information and easy to follow instructions.

    If you can help just one woman throw away her mom jeans, then you will have provided a wonderful public service here.

    I'd like to link to this post from my Chick Chosen blog on Monday, if that's okay.

  54. Just thought of another idea for ya! You need to do an expose on mom's who want to be 17 again….they wear nothing but Aero, Hollister and Pink across their boobs and butt. It's crazy!!

  55. Great article- for women with no tummy. I don't know that the pocket placement you describe exists in plus size.

  56. Hillarious! I was pointed here by tidy mom after she tweeted about it.

    It's true, I used to work at a jeans store in my late teens and I would see women come in and just buy what they've always bought thinking that no other kind (other than the mom jeans) would fit their thighs, hips, etc.

    It's all in the pockets and you proved that point. You need to get into a changeroom with a 3-way mirror when trying on jeans. It's worth it to spend a little more and buy a great couple pairs that fit instead of having several pairs of less expensive, unflattering jeans.

    Great post, thanks for sharing!

  57. OMG. Love it. I wonder how much of the economy you've stimulated by having so many women go out and buy new jeans. lol.

  58. So, so funny…and helpful! I'm almost afraid to go look at the back of my jeans in the mirror!

  59. Awesome! I've said for years that pockets are everything when it comes to jeans. Good pockets can make even MY ass look phat.

    Well done!! I really (REALLY) need to take my mom jeans shopping. Sure, she's 61, but even SHE shouldn't be doing the dreaded mom jean. NObody looks good in those things. *shudder*

  60. Awesome post! I'll have to remember this the next time I go shopping for jeans. Also – I LOVELOVELOVE Rachel's shoes! I want them! Where did she get them? :-p

  61. I laughed SO hard at this – especially since my husband insists on screening any pants I buy for proper pocket placement! He keeps me from getting lazy about mom jeans!

  62. Useful stuff! Now do one for true curvy figures. Small waist for the hips (which I prefer to "big hips for the waist). I have a heck of a time finding jeans that really fit. I look for curvy labels, but they either don't have enough variety (ugly colors) or enough sizes or they don't keep them in stock for very long.

  63. That was great, being in my mid 30's finding the right type of jean can be difficult. I don't want to be the old lady with the teen jeans, but I also don't want to be the young 30 something with the mom jeans!! Thanks for your help!

  64. What a great post! I also highly recommended Joe's Jeans and AG jeans, as they both have flattering fits that tend to lift the butt. The downside is that both brands cost $150 upwards, unless you can find your size and style on overstock.com or at Century 21 in NYC or Anthropologie on the sale rack….The main issue I see is that many companies like Lee are selling outdated styles for the boomer generation that grew up with those saggy looks and sometimes now prefers them over more fitted looks….

  65. I did not see my biggest problem addressed – saddlebags! I can find great jeans in the booty department, but the jeans make me look like I am packing lunch on each outer thigh. Any suggestions?

  66. Awesome post! I think you need a guest post on plus sized moms avoiding the mom jeans. :) I had to try on tons of jeans in order to find a good pair, and I'm about to run to the bathroom to be sure my pockets don't point out. :P

  67. hahaha. That was awesome and so true. I have given away jeans after seeing them in a picture of me from behind. LOL!

    I am only 25 with two kids and am paranoid of the mom jean. It helps that tapered jeans were never popular in highschool for me, but they inundate society!

  68. Anonymous, Re: Saddlebags: I have that problem with my hips too. The only things I've found to minimize it are:

    1. Thick denim instead of thin – holds things together better.

    2. Some faded washes with stripes (if that makes sense) can give the appearance of thinner hips.

    Hope that helps!

  69. Very funny post. Don't skip right over the forty year olds. You went from 32 to over 50. What about us 40 year olds? LOL! This was great. Thanks!

  70. 1. The jeans on this page were all totally hideous. Especially the ones with the weird pockets that went down the butt. I read this post to be implying that those were more attractive – but they weren't.
    2. All of this angst could be avoided by not wearing short tops over jeans. Tunics rule. Short tight tops over jeans make everyone who weighs more than 100 pounds look tubby. All of your size 8 models looked tubby, because jean-clad butts look tubby.
    3. I hate, hate, hate boot cut jeans that are so long they almost drag on the floor. Makes people look like they have no feet.

    My solution – I wear tunic tops over skinny jeans. For most women, it is a much more flattering look.

  71. Great post! This helps explain to me why I have two pairs of jeans in the same size and actually the same brand, but one pair makes me look much wider than the other (and thus primarily gets worn when the better pair is in the laundry). It took me a LONG time to realize that having jeans you like, actually matters. And, the sad/funny thing is that I wore "mom jeans" when I was much younger and had no kids and wouldn't be caught in them now that I have kids. Think of all those wasted (flat-stomached) years wearing ugly jeans because they were cheap! ::sob::

  72. GREAT post, love it! I too think you should do a sequel for those of us who are, uh, amply curvacious… hehe.

  73. Wow! I always thought it was about the pockets, but never thought to test the theory! Thanks for the LOL moments…this is a great post! <3

  74. 2 most important words when shopping for jeans as a mom "pocket placement" you just gave the science and visual aids for backing that up!!! hilarious and well done!

  75. Thanks. Very funny. I have struggled with the Mom jeans myself.
    An advance thought on the Mom's over 50 (since I'm there). Two rules: Dress your over 50 body and not the body you imagine you still have (buy the right size even if you cannot tolerate discussing the number). And – don't dress like your teenager (man or woman) it only makes you look old and pathetic.

  76. LOL you guys so nailed it!!! Great job and especially for having the courage to show so much butt to the world. Now if only I could tactfully spread this info around to the mom butts in my office.

  77. I guess I am eternally "uncool" because I think most of the Mom jeans look better than the others. In fact, I think the low pockets look particularly bad — they make the butt look squished and wide. I think jeans that sit at the waist accentuate the natural curves of a woman's body.

  78. I'm off to check all my jeans and make sure they don't give me "elbows"! I'm new to your blog and glad to have found it!

  79. This was great… but as to the non-skinny jean thing… I'd like to point out that the mid-rise flares "we" (anyone from about 23-33) knew as trendy are on their way to being the new "mom jeans".

  80. oh lord!!! this was the funniest thing i've read in weeks… if you're getting a lot of hits from the republic of macedonia today it's because you are entertaining the peace corps community here :)

    i'll be checking your blog regularly– thanks for the laugh!

  81. Wow. This might be the most entertaining AND informative blog post ever written! What a great way to get introduced to your blog!

  82. OMG – what a great lesson! I might now be able to go out and get a pair of jeans that fit.! can't wait to read your next entry!!( i am in the 50+ category).my biggest problem is getting them to stay up. lol

  83. I think this is the first time i have ever fully read an article about clothing. A 26 year old male is now informed and will complain much less when his girlfriend looks for the right pair of jeans.

  84. Ack. Wide-load jeans and the dreaded thick butt.

    No thanks! LOL.

    And my husband, who grew up in the same era I did, with the same fashion focus (to which he probably paid zero attention at the time), is still shaking his head at some of the "good" pictures. He says he doesn't think he ever looked at a girl's jeans and seen pockets…He and every other guy he knows were two layers deeper in their heads.

  85. Sooo funny.
    I am one of those 40 something moms. My daughters sent this to me. Since both of my fashion consultants have moved away to go to college I guess they figured they could "help" me form afar.

  86. Oh my gosh, that was great! I am sitting here laughing so hard I'm crying! Great job with your study! :)

  87. AMAZING post!!! I saw it on Facebook, and am definately posting a link on my blog for ya!!!

  88. Oh my! I just happened upon this from a link and I want you to go jean shopping with me now! LOL. Seriously great info and pictures of things it's sometimes hard to tell on yourself, in a tiny dressing room, under bad lights….very cool! Thank you!

  89. I don't know who you are, but you are an amazing writer. It was a long post, but I was captivated by it the whole way through. It was humerous but serious at the same time. Someone said that you should try to submit that into an actual magazine, and I agree. If I read that in a magazine… I would love it. In fact, if there was a teaser about it (a preview) on the cover of that magazine, I would probably buy the magazine just for this specific article! Keep it up, it's great. Where can I keep reading your blogs?

  90. Fabulous article!!! Thanks for all the tips on pockets. I just have one bone of contention…the woman modeling the skinny jean looks amazing in them! What are you talking about when you use that as a "don't" example? She can totally rock those jeans! Over all, thanks!!!

  91. I find your research to be quite intriguing and factual. However, I believe one fact was omitted, and please forgive me if this is an oversight on my part. Although most of us would like to dismiss or deny the fact, spandex has literally "saved out asses." Jeans with a bit of hug also defines the shape and are also more comfortable. Speaking of spandex, perhaps you should get a grant to expand your research. A possible topic, "Leggings: Take Them OFF! Not Intended for All Body Types." I'll personally fund your research on that one!

  92. Hi Rachel,
    Love your blog especially the mum jeans (however satan the squirrel was really funny to, oh and the flowers for men…) Just thought you might like to know that I live in Australia (hence the spelling of mum, not mom)and your blog is currently doing the rounds of women in the Australian Defence force who also think that it great. Being a mum of twin boys myself, I'm just wondering, now that the long bum thing is sorted what do we do about the muffin tops, side boobs and tuckshop arms?

  93. Hilarious! We helped my mom get rid of her "mom butt" jeans about 10 years ago and she looks better now at age 54 than she did at 34! :)

  94. Absolutely fantastic post.

    I am so happy now…I thought it was me, turns out it's my jeans.

    God bless you for what you've done to this old lady here.

  95. This is great-but is there a reason you didn't name the brands? I LOVE 2 of the pairs pictured, but I don't know where on Earth to find them :(

  96. I hope you don't mind, but I linked to this post over on my blog. It was totally hilarious, and I LOVE the scientific pictures that back up your claim. Perfect post for all women.

  97. Amazing Aedan – I didn't list any brands because the point of the post was to find things that look good on you. But I'll be glad to test my memory and see if I can remember what they were – just email me with which pictures they are!

  98. OMG I don't know how I found my way to your blog and this post, but I can't tell you how much I enjoyed it. Sometimes I laughed so much there was actual tears rolling down my face. One word… BRILLIANT!

  99. I looked at the pics with an open mind, I think. The mom jeans do indeed make the butt longer, but the low-pocket jeans make the butt look W-I-D-E!! Do you not see that? I'd rather be elongated than widened.

  100. What about showing a link or something for those of us who cannot fit into jeans sold by Express.

    I do agree with some that the jeans you say look better, dont look good to me at all. Just looks too tight and uncomfortable.

  101. was very impressed at the in depth and extensive research. A friend's sister sent a link from Sydney, Australia to Darwin who sent it to me in Adelaide. Will wait out for the grandma's over 50's sequel. Said friend and I are grandma's a tad under 50.

  102. Fantastic post! It kept me giggling from the disclaimers through the whole research report :]

    (My friends and I are searching for some good jeans before school kicks back in the fall, and I was pleasantly surprised that you're from Alabama! I live in Shelby Co. and shop at the Galleria whenever I'm home. Guess it's time to try out Express.)

  103. Great blog. Even more dreaded than the Long Butt, in my opinion, is the Square Butt that older ladies often have. The square butt runs rampant in those elastic waist jeans that you so wonderfully captured in pictures.

  104. What's so hip about jeans that are artificially worn and ripped by the factory? Whenever I see someone wearing jeans like that, I think "what else is she faking?"

    Also, I don't want my pockets hanging down the backs of my legs. That's where my father's pants pockets are. A "mom" butt is at least a female butt.

    I'm glad you do recognize the muffin-top/butt-crack issues. If you look lumpish in jeans that sit at your natural, hourglass waistline, then switching to jeans that button under your gut doesn't fix the underlying problem. It just means now you have to wear a huge, shapeless top to cover what's spilling out of your jeans. What's sexy about that?

    Although I have to agree with other commenters…great pictures and presentation!

  105. Thanks so much for extra help in finding the perfect jeans. I have to admit, I think I have some MOM jeans in my closet. I'm definitely going to remember the rules next time I shop for jeans! THX :)

  106. I love mom science. I ran to the mirror and was pleased to see my Levi's 545s passed the test. Phew! I would have died if they didn't!

  107. Soo funny! And instructive! I can personally attest that even very skinny butts look awful in Mom jeans. I've avoided high waisted jeans for quite a while but I had no idea how important pocket placement is! Thank you!!

  108. Thank You! I am 40 years old and would like to read the followup on jeans for (over size 14) moms in their 40's and 50's :-) Thank You!

  109. How to get the look you like? Great topic. Rolling your eyes and gagging at people who like a different look? Not so cool. I honestly prefer the sits-at-waist look, both on my body and in your pictures. This does not qualify me for anyone’s pity or contempt. Let’s not encourage each other to look down on other women; the media does enough of that already.

  110. You made my day – what a funny look at an age-old challenge!! Thanks!! Can’t wait for the next installment with your Mom, lucky girl…. LOL!!

  111. oh no. I think my jeans are mom jeans. I thought they were just standard, not teenager jeans. Alas, I have fallen into that trap. Non-mom jeans in bigger sizes are tough to find, but I will be persistent in my searching.

  112. Saw this post linked on Prudent Baby after an afternoon of shopping for jeans and I nearly peed my pants with laughter. But such truth in the humor! Ha! Thanks for a much needed laugh – especially the watermelon defying gravity.

  113. What a helpful article. Never thought of my Lees and Levi’s as mom jeans, but they sure have all the bad-butt design qualities.

    The earlier poster who said you should go to a magazine is right on. Make a little money and share your useful research with America!

  114. I feel like I need to print this out and carry in my purse as a reminder for the next time I go shopping for jeans!!! Truly a great article!!!!

  115. Okay, I’m not a mom, but I’m still book-marking this. You guys are geniuses. I also live in the Salty Ham and the idea of you ladies flitting all over the Galleria taking photos of each others’ backsides makes me snort my coffee.

  116. OK you totally need to help us bigger gals out with jeans!! Especially us TALL “plus size” moms, It is sooo hard to find a good jean that fits everywhere without making me look like a total fat a$s, lol, or like a hobo with way too short pants, Unfortunately my socks are almost always visible with my jeans cause I am just too tall :( I am in my mid-20s, I NEED good non-mom-jeans!!

    1. That’s tough! I am only 5’4″ But my sister is plus size and 5’11”. She has always had trouble finding a good fit. Good luck!

  117. Some internet friends linked to your post — great article, even though I’m not a mom! Imagine my surprise when, upon scrolling down and paying more attention to the pictures of Lydia, I realize that she’s my best friend’s sister! Heh. The wonders of the internet….

  118. This was a very well-done article! My friends finally took me shopping, and helped me pick out stylish jeans and other items. Truely, you should always bring a stylish friend with you when you shop. You NEED someone who can say ‘Ugh. No way’ without hurting your feelings!
    I’m over 50, and only wear ‘mom-jeans’ around the house for chores…but I’m always ‘aware’ of how they look, and try to avoid wearing them outside!

  119. I got in so much trouble last night for waking my husband out of a dead sleep by laughing too loud while reading your post. I actually had to take my iPad downstairs to finish….I have not laughed this hard for a long time. I was laughing from start to finish. I googled mom jeans and found your post and you too are hilarious!!! Wow, now I know to avoid Lee jeans and for sure Ralph Lauren because they will for sure give me long butt. You wearing the grandma jeans was so funny!! I wish you the best of luck in this blog and you have a fan in me. This was so informative and super super funny. Thanks for the laugh!!

  120. OMG! I’m soooo glad there is a cure for the mom jean look! I’m only 22 with one baby and I was just about convinced that it would happen to me one day. I told my younger sister to slap me if she ever sees me wearing anything that is “mom”. lol. Thanks so much for this very thoroughly researched blog!

  121. Yes! This is the best post ever!
    Thank you, ladies for being brave enough to confront the dreaded Long Butt Mom jeans that have held good moms’ butts hostage for years!

  122. This was an awesome, and very informational post. I am the mom of 7 children, but I HATE mom jeans! This post was so helpful. THANK you for posting!


  123. GREAT post!!!
    I love the ignoring the 80’s coming back when it comes to jeans, I’m in total agreement!

  124. Do not forget one of my favorite rules…Jeans are not supposed to be made completely of spandex! A little stretch is ok but too much makes anyone look terrible! I have always hated shopping for jeans because I am very picky but I have found a favorite! Gap Sexy Boot Cut…they are awesome and affordable!

  125. (i have 3 kids) while reading this, I was reminded of the LAST time that I shopped at old navy for jeans (circa 2008) The cashier asked if I found everything ok, to which I replied ” no I couldn’t find a good pair of jeans, they are all very very low rise even your plus sizes and I don’t want to walk around with my fat hanging out”. Then she said ” thats the style now, and some people are just less self conscious I guess”. Then I said “well I don’t care how much self confidence someone has it’s just plain gross to walk around with THIS ( lifting my shirt and pointing to my wrinkly stretch marked gut) hanging out and NO one wants to see THAT! “. I didn’t seriously think the cashier could do anything about the style of jeans that they carried, but for goodness sake, you don’t engage a customer that way even though I found it completely hysterical that she had the nerve to say that:)

  126. Just have to add… Lane Bryant makes nice jeans in 3
    different shapes. The sales person looks at your butt shape and takes a
    few measurements and tells you which shape would look best on you.
    After finding my shape i and wearing their jeans for several years I
    found that I could sometimes find them at Gabriel brothers for 7.99 each with some slight defects:)

  127. I think this is great. However, I do want to point out that twice you put Levi’s in with the “bad” examples.

    I’m 28, not a mom, not married, and do not wear Mom jeans. But I exclusively wear Levi’s. How? I shop in the juniors’ department. It may sound scary, but Levi’s is a wonderful company and they make SO MANY different styles of jeans. I actually buy style 524 – “Too Superlow”. They are not superlow, but they are, in fact, wonderful. I finally gave up trying on other jeans because these are perfect. Just an FYI.

  128. At work & totally cracking up!! Omg – thank you so much! I now have a Anti-Mom Jean Attack Plan which includes taking my 13 yr old daughter shopping with me to serve as my back viewer!!
    This was outstanding & my closet is getting scrutinized tonight… Looking forward to the next installment since I’m on the cusp ~ turning 50 this summer!!

  129. I’m not sure women over 60 would like the look of “junk in the trunk”. If you want to draw attention to your butt by all means wear the bubble butt pockets. The slimmer butt pictures looked better than the bubblebutt.

  130. I’m with the other ladies who mention a post for curvy women. It would be great if I were once again a size 6 or 8, but I’m not. I’m in between a much larger size, which making jeans VERY diffecult to find, regardless of pocket placement. Maybe even a post about waist placement for “after baby” would be ultra helpful for curvy women and even thinner women because let’s be honest, proper waist placement along with knowing your crack placement makes muffin top disappear altogether regardlessof if you’re a size 2 or a size 22.

  131. Brilliant blog and so, so true – this should be compulsory reading for Moms or “mums’ as we are known in New Zealand. Loved it. :)

  132. Okay, this post and the post about taking your mom to the store just made my day! I need you to take me shopping!!

  133. Good to know. I’m afraid I have one of the Lee pairs shown. Need to go check the mirror.

    Any thoughts on where to find affordable jeans in size 4???? This is why I order from Lee. They carry the size four that my JCPenney doesn’t.

  134. went round Europe for six months with one pair of jeans and came back to 12 pairs., Rediculous…. one good pair can take you anywhere.
    !Thanks for the tips.

  135. This.was.awesome.
    Thank you so much for this great article on how to buy a good pair of jeans. Some of us out there DO NOT want to turn into mom-jean wearers and yet we have no clue how to shop for jeans.
    Thank you.

  136. Uh, I actually prefered the mom jean look in each photo, most of them. I like classic looks, I think the trendy stuff is silly looking. To each their own.

  137. And all this began from a small group meeting? You guys are truly into service projects!! Thanks. Seriously, this is useful information, because I mostly buy clothes as cheap as I can find them and do still want to look good. Because I am just that vain sometimes.

  138. Funniest blog I have ever read. I’m looking forward to the ‘guest’ appearance of your mom.

  139. Am I weird or what ? Actually prefer the no pockets on the grandma jeans. There are few places in Kansas where I can buy pants without pockets.

  140. This is great! It bothered me so much to see people in ill-fitting jeans that I have dedicated my career to helping women find the perfect jean fit no matter what their size. Yes ladies, there IS jean for you no matter what your body type! I host at home Jean parties and they are so much fun! My company also allows us to sell named brand jeans for up to half off the retail price at the parties. So there’s no excuse to wear “Mom jeans” or have the “long butt” syndrome lol.

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