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. FUNNY ARTICLE, but i wish you would have included advice for non short women, iam model tall being 5 10 but iam 32 years old and dont want to wear what 18 year olds are wearing.

    1. Then you’re the perfect height for designer jeans! I know they’re pricey, but if you can find them on sale, they’re SO worth it! Have you tried 7 for all Mankind or Citizens of Humanity? I love them!!

    1. You look so good in the Levi’s. I guess some people are just so stuck on avoiding “mom jeans” that they don’t realize that they are wearing them…its just that low rise are the NEW mom jean. They are the jeans worn by people not paying attention to style changing in the last decade…TO HIGH RISE.

      1. Are you kidding Martine?

        She does not look good in the levi’s. yes, in 2014 the waist has risen, but that doesn’t mean they are that atrocious. Yes, today skinny jeans are in, but none of those straight leg jeans are what we call ‘fashionable’. She clearly looks best in the mid-rise jeans with a boot cut from Express.

        1. no she really does look good in the levis. mom jeans are in style 2k15 all the other jeans are soooo sosososo ugly like i cringed so hard looking at them. the levis look great though

        1. Well, it’s 2019 and high waists are in. Doesn’t make them any less hideous than they were in the 80’s.

          1. Heart shape you get from a higher rise is not ugly. But if you don’t like it; Don’t wear it. Its a free country. And its not the 80’s. What you call high waist is how jeans and pants were worn in 1890, 1920, 1930, 1940, 1950, 1960, 1970( except for a blink or youll miss it hip hugger second)1980, 1990…then in 2000 people decided to cut the tops of their jeans, designers( Alexander McQueen) followed suit and low rise was born. It was a long lived trend. Now its done. But high rise has nothing to do with 1980 specifically. Its just the default way of wearing all pants.

  2. ok, these work for guys, too. I was looking up the term “sits at waist” to decide on getting more 514s, which I already own and love, and…513 “sits at waist”. After looking at your butts in all these jeans…..DUH…def staying with the 514. It also happens that 514s are available in 31X34(513s are not). *Side note-Hey guys, if you’re waist measurement is bigger than your inseam…..you’re FAT!*
    Thanks for sharing your butts, girls. It was very informative and eye-opening…..and, they look great. Also, it is a matter of personal pref, but I despise: pocket flaps, pocket buttons, pocket stitching, pocket bling, pocket bedazzling(i just threw up in my mouth a little)…pretty much any pocket adornments, (other than plain ol’ Levi type stitching) on women’s butts…er, i meant pockets and, I think you’ll find most guys agree. So, keep it simple, girls. Don’t hide that booty with bling.

  3. I stumbled upon this and was wheezing by the end I was laughing so hard at the photos. I’m going to share this will all my 40 something friends. Hilarious and informative!

    1. I remember I had a beautiful girlfriend in high school who looked absolutely fabulous in high wasted jeans…So IM thinking it’s not what U wear, it’s how U wear it…Or not :)

      1. OK, I couldn’t help but read this! This was SO funny and made some truly excellent points, but for the sake of readers, I must respectfully disagree that these rules always apply or that high rise and higher pockets equal mom jeans. :)

        It’s really about “your body” and what you know looks flattering on “you.” However, I do agree the lower pockets look best in these photos! I’m thin, small boned, have long legs, and a small but shapely rear, but even so, if I wear pockets that go below my butt, it makes me look like I don’t have one, and it just “not” a flattering look. I “do” remember the jeans of the 80s that made my butt look long and even big, but that was due to a variety of bad factors common to mom jeans, like super small pockets, badly angled pockets, and an overall baggy, relaxed fit that you just couldn’t avoid! And remember the pleats in the front?! That just “added” to the disaster!! LOL!! The really light washes didn’t help either! I never felt like I looked good in jeans back in the 80s or early 90s!! Did anyone really? Haha!!

        I also have high hip bones, like Kate Upton, so low rise jeans simply will not stay up on me–they creep down to where they are then too tight, and we all know what that creates! High rise (but not super high rise) look great so long as the front is totally flat and fitted of course–no one can tell the rise of my jeans unless I have a shirt tucked in or I’m wearing a super tight shirt. High rise is back in style and looks awesome on certain body types. For me, I’m short-waisted, so I don’t tuck shirts into high rise jeans, but high rise stay in place and create and smooth silhouette with no muffin top in sight and without the need to pull my jeans up whenever I stand (or having to beware they are too “low” in the back when I sit!). Ha!

        A&F and Paige jeans are what I find most flattering on my body. If you look at the website for Paige jeans, which is a popular designer jean, almost all of the pockets sit above the bottom of the rear, and these models look great and so do the movie stars who often wear these jeans–definitely not mom jeans!

        I also like a really dark, sort of vintage denim wash–definitely not the bright blue wash that is common with most mom jeans. That color alone makes them look like mom jeans! Ha!

        Anyway, this post isn’t meant to argue with anyone but just to hopefully help offer another take for anyone out there who these rules don’t seem to apply to! :) For everyone else, definitely listen to these rules!! LOL!!

        1. Thank you for this comment! I have an hourglass figure, but high hip bones with longer legs and a slighter shorter waist. I’ve been so terrified of wearing mom jeans I kept snubbing a higher waist for low-mid rise, which results in my waist band sliding down and digging in. I am definitely going to try on a pair of higher rise now!!

      2. I only wear high rise jeans. In high school EVERYONE wore low rise True Religion jeans with the most disgustingly tacky stitching of a horseshoe on the back. I wore them too, sadly. Now I think they look foolish. High rise is just normal rise. OK….we did the low rise trend, now lets get back to classy. Actually, i wear mom jeans. And I rock them hard. Its just like a higher waisted, more flattering boyfriend jean. Put them, on with a crop top, and go. But yeah..I found a video from the 80’s called “Baby Makes her Blue Jeans Talk” It had a perfect pair of vintage style blue jeans on some girl. However, if EVERYONE starts wearing the high rise look, then maybe they won’t be as fun. So.maybe you guys shouldn’t wear them. Truthfully high rise does look bad if you have a tummy.

  4. You could turn this into a full time job. Accept emailed photos, and give thumbs up or down with explainations. Thanks for this. There are days that I fear I am wearing mom jeans. This tells me I have one pair to examine closer.

  5. OMG sooooooooooooooo true, it’s taken years for me to get to this point where I know my body – but I definitely vote for “Express’s Rerock” bootcut jeans…. seriously they do rock, they are like the sisterhood traveling pants – no matter what body you have they make your butt look good ;-)

    1. I agree!! I just bought some Express Rerock’s a couple of weeks ago! Except that I actually got the skinny jeans to wear with boots. It was a big fashion leap for me, but I really like them! I will not, however, be wearing them without my boots. :)

  6. One of my FB friends linked to this scientific study, and I will be forever grateful! I do, however, need to tell you that I can’t read your blog during my children’s waking hours because I don’t want to waste reading time by answering the dreaded question: “What is so funny?”

    I will use these tips the next time I go shopping!! :)

  7. Levi’s Curve ID are great. No more gapping waist in back, and I’ve got butt cleavage coverage. Also, flat butt syndrome effects Caucasian women more than Black and Latino women. I remember when I was coming up (I’m black), and the dominant image of beauty was Cheryl Tiegs (sp?), Farrah Fawcett, et al, who all had flat backsides. Those of us who didn’t felt not as attractive.

    Enter Sir Mix-a-Lot, Chris Rock’s jokes praising Jennifer Lopez’ butt, and the rise of multi-racialism, and now it’s considered attractive to have a lil’ junk in ya trunk.

    1. You’re right about that! I had a jean party last night, and some of the women were bemoaning their lack of butt. You’re the lucky one now!! :)

    2. Thats very interesting. because I used to think body types like jennifer Lopez were perfect growing up. But now i am looking at vintage photos like Farrah in her youth for inspiration, and really liking that leggy, slim look. I love how sporty thin they looked. However, i have a bubble but, in the right jeans I still look very thin, though,. Long slim legs, modest bust size, and small behind. None of this “I can serve breakfast ion my bottom” type thing. There are lots of sisters that have the smaller sleeker butts too, actually.

  8. I am a Vault Denim Consultant and this is great information to let our customers know!!! No MOM jeans allowed, everyone should have access and understand this information!!

    1. Thank you!!

      This post has been around MUCH longer than I’ve known about Vault, but I’m certainly a Vault believer now!!

      Nice to meet you – I’m pretty new, so it’s really nice to meet some other Vault reps. Where are you located?

    1. I am no expert in plus-size jeans at all Cheryl, but from my experience with friends shopping for jeans I’d say the following factors are important for plus-size jeans: dark colour (without too much fading), boot-leg, mid-rise, good pocket positioning (with limited, if any, designs on the pockets). Dark colours make you look slimmer, boot leg balances your bigger shape up top with a ‘bigger shape’ down the bottom, patterns on the pockets make your butt look bigger so you want to avoid that, mid-rise avoids the muffin-tops you’re likely to get with low-rise and this article tells us all we need to know about pocket positioning ;)

  9. absolutely classic! the pix and your descriptions had me snorting my coffee while reading this morning. it was a proud day for me when i took my mom shopping and forced her to buy a pair of bootcut, mid-rise jeans. she felt like they were “hanging halfway down her butt,” but i carefully explained that she had just never felt the liberation of not having rough denim, buttons and zippers riding up above her belly button. so freeing! now she loves them and gets compliments every time she rocks them. :)

  10. Thank you!!!! You’re now my hero. A very kind and wonderful mom friend (with great jeans), posted this to her FB page. I’m hoping to rope her into a jean shopping date after I finish up my fitness boot camp. I sadly confess that I have mom butt.

  11. Wow! Thank you so much!!! I am a complete clothes nerd, but I enjoy looking nice. Jeans have always alluded me. When I find a pair I like, I buy several pair and wear them out. Now, I know what I’m looking for. You are a genius.

  12. Omgoodness. This was a great article. So funny! Especially the photos of the grandma jeans – front and back – and the danger of not being able to tell the difference between front and back. Hahaha!! I think I knew some of this stuff – but to have it all spelled out – so perfect. All the terms are hilarious!

  13. Found you through Pintrest. I LOVED this! I’ve always hated Mom jeans, and I knew it had something to do with the pockets but could never put it into words, so thank you! Also, I was laughing so hard at the part about not being able to breath when you bend over in Mom jeans! I hated that…you know back when I wore them in…uh…Junior High!!! I would wear Guys jeans, because I hated the high waist SO MUCH! Anyways, just had to let you know how fun your post was, and I totally had to share it on Facebook since everyone should be so educated in the dreaded Mom jean!!!

  14. I think I may be the lone voice here, but in a couple of the “don’t” pictures, the “mom jeans” made the butt look younger and higher and the following “do” pictures made the butt look frumpier and wider.

    The funniest thing will be when the fashion swings back to the high cut jeans and higher pockets and then all of a sudden the above “do” pictures will be out of style. Then there will be a post discussing how to avoid them!

    So far the 90s and 2000s have just been a hodge podge of styles from other decades. Is there something that speaks of the 2000s as a separate decade from the others?

    It seems like everything is a repeat these days–clothes, movies, music, TV shows. It’s time to start something NEW!

    1. Elizabeth, I’m not sure about where you live, but in Australia at any rate, high-waisted jeans are already back in fashion. REALLY high-waisted. I hate them (as I was a teenager in the early 2000s I developed my style with hipster pants and can’t wear anything belly-button height or higher now) but they are all the rage with teenagers. It doesn’t change the fact that some of these guidelines will still help you choose a pair of jeans that look GOOD on your body shape regardless of what the fashion at the time is! I do disagree with a few of the points but for the most part I think they are spot-on regardless of fashion. Especially as women have babies, get older and their body shape changes, and will be more concerned with finding something that just makes them look good rather than what is most fashionable.

      As for your complaints about repeated fashion, it’s been said fashion goes in a 30 year cycle. It will come back, a little different and reinvented to last time, but it still comes back.

    2. I agree with Elizabeth. Some of the “mom” jeans gave a sleeker, elongated line to their legs. The “non-mom” jeans pulled across the butts, and made them seem too tight or ill-fitting. No one over 19 needs to wear skin tight jeans, no matter what your weight. Modesty doesn’t go out of style, and jeans can be modest. Why have a tight jean pulling in the wrong places and looking trampy?

  15. Oh. my. word. I nearly peed myself laughing. You sure hit the nail on the head! THANK YOU!!! And my 14yo daughter is now scarred for life after reading this with me. Bahaha!

  16. Just read this from a link on FB…totally love it. and It has given me a new understanding of how to buy jeans..ill be taking a tape measure w/ me :)
    Ive got junk in my trunk, and wanna make it cute, not HUGE…lol..

  17. I found your blog from Jen on the Edge. I am a 43 year old mom of 2.(one age six and one age 8). I really loved this! I would love to see a jeans post for women in their early 40s. There is a huge difference between 33 and 43. The photos were really great and well the entire post a smile on my face!! Thanks!

  18. You are truly doing the Lord’s work. Thank you for this socially invaluable research, and for — quite possibly — the most important public service message of our generation.

    1. Oh, Jennie! This comment is the one thing that made me cackle! You’ve summed it up for me. All other comments are now irrelevant. lol!

  19. Wow, this was so great. You guys must have had so much fun doing this. Some of the pictures are hilarious, but hey it’s for a very good cause. Kudos to your models.

  20. Another fantastic jean to get for this help alone although these are pricey are Silver jeans. You can get them at most Boston Stores or I live in West Bend, WI and can get them at Maurices. The bonus too is they have ALL different length/waist combinations, leg styles, etc.

  21. While mom jeans do give you the long butt it looks to me like “hip” jeans with lower pockets make your butt look wider.

  22. Have found some of this on my own but love your in depth research. It’s true for men too!!!!! I use to notice boys butts back in the day and now I notice that as they age their butts disappear and some men’s butts look girly – the girly butt syndrome turned out to be much of what you described – pocket placement! My husband is tall and so it’s hard to find the inseam he needs but I refuse to buy him girly butt jeans out of desperation! I’ll wait and find the ones with the right pockets.

  23. I think I”m guilty…and I’m only 29 :( Have you thought to do one of these for Plus size women? or men for that matter? My husband has a pair of jeans that drive me CRAZY because they are DAD jeans – and he can’t tell the difference!

    Thanks for a very clear definition on what mom jeans are/are not – nobody has ever explained it to me quite so well!

  24. Thanks for this post…I read it several times before going jean shopping and I think I still got some momish jeans, though they are a bit more hip. I”m taking them back and will try again. I’m tall with big hips/butt, so I always have the “gap” in the back problem. Today’s low-slung styles do not work well…it’s an exercise in frustration to go shopping for pants. I need LONG length and that’s hard to find. I’ll try Express, though I haven’t set foot in one of those for 15 years.

  25. My husband has been teasing me that I have a pair of mom jeans and after reading this post I definitely agree with him! But now that I’m pregnant I need to go shopping for some maternity pants. Agghh- only because I hate shopping for pants/jeans. I almost always buy mom jeans because otherwise they are falling off me and I’m always pulling them back up. At least now I know what to look for in jeans, and hopefully I can find them. Thank You!!

  26. Thank you! Fantastic, informative post and very helpful for my sewing, believe it or not. I like to design, draft and sew my own jeans and I have been looking for something, anything, written about good and bad back pocket placement. Your post is spot on and very helpful to me. Thanks!

  27. OMG I have not laughed so much with moms for ages. I think I was ROFL at “know your butt crack.” Now I know I”m not alone. Thanks for the chuckles, kicks and giggles~ Jen

  28. While your advice is definitely well thought out, you missed a “control” detail in the pictures of placing the hem of the shirt at the exact same place. Sometimes a higher waist is just fine if it will remain covered by a shirt that sits low enough and still has the lower pockets and other mentionings. I, for, one, cannot handle the low-rise jeans as they are way too uncomfortable to me, and I’ve tried on many occasion. I also, for that reason, mostly avoid too-short shirts, and the combination works pretty well for me. I really do like the thoughts on pocket placement. Makes sense now why some jeans just are not flattering while others are. Will keep it in mind next time I’m jean shopping. I would love to see a follow up post with the shirts all hitting low waist, to fully compare the different looks.

    1. I agree – there were a lot of details that weren’t perfect in this post. I didn’t know at the time I wrote it three years ago that it would still be traveling around the internet, or I would have been more specific! Since then, I have written another post where I tried to keep the control aspects much tighter. It’s not quite the same, but here’s the link: http://www.graspingforobjectivity.com/2012/02/jeans.html

  29. These are great! Can I suggest adding a mark onto the photos that are “no no’s” so when I scroll down I can easily spot the BAD pairs? Like, a red x at the bottom or “MJ” for mom jeans :) The photos are all kind of running together for me.. and I kept thinking, wait, is that a bad pair or a good pair? Due to the order of the captions..

  30. I must disagree with your recommendations. The jeans you liked looked too short in the crotch, causing camel toe (a problem you didn’t notice.) Although the butt looked shorter, it was less about pocket placement than the shorter rise. In my experience, these are jeans that must be yanked up when arising from a chair. I also noticed that while the mom jeans were dated-looking, they also had some spandex that lifted her butt. By contrast, the approved jeans without spandex caused a deep butt crack with overall droop–not a good look. As for fading, even What Not To Wear stylists prefer a dark even wash as more slimming than frosty washes, thigh wiskering and decorated pockets, which only enlarge the wearer. My high waist Paige Premium Denim Hidden Hills jeans (dark wash, high waist flares) makes me look taller and slimmer–despite your experiment. I can’t help but notice that your test models were much shorter waisted than I am, even though we are the same height and size.

  31. My older sister just shared this post and I am so thankful!!!! At 28 and a mother of 3, I had just last week thought about the “mom butt” thing. I was wondering how to keep it from happening! Thanks for your research!! Not only was I laughing my head off, I learned how to keep it from happening!! Thanks!!!!! :o)

  32. I love it! I would only add that pockets that are too far apart or angled two much DEFINITELY give a wide bottom appearance. Not like, baby has back but more like luggage. Great post

  33. You are spot-on with 90% of this but off the mark with a few things. Maybe it’s an age thing, I don’t know. As a mid-20 with no kids I disagree with two main points here.

    First: the socks thing (socks should never show, you say). Skinny jeans will ALWAYS show your sock. Even straight-leg jeans will normally show your sock if you are wearing low-cut shoes. This is fine. I do not personally like skinny jeans, despite being very skinny myself, but some people pull them off well. And there’s definitely nothing wrong with straight-leg jeans (although again you do still need the body shape for them). The only jeans that will cover your sock area as you demonstrated are boot-cut or flares. Some people can actually pull off designs slimmer than these, and the fact they might expose socks are fine. It’s just up to you to make sure you have appropriate socks :)

    Second: Colour. I say it’s fine to have a solid uniform colour. It is preferable that it’s dark (and black is totally fine in my books – go to Europe and you will see black is one of their favoured colours, even in jeans) but it could work in a lighter colour too. It depends on your body shape too. Skinny women can pull off pretty much any colour arrangement they like. Curvier/overweight women do better with dark colours that make them look thinner. Too much of the wash effect will just make you look fat again and destroy the benefit that a dark colour has. And it is very popular these days with teenagers and young women to wear jeans in all sorts of (solid) crazy colours – pink, purple, red, fluoro green. I don’t personally like these, but they don’t ruin the wearer’s body shape.

    Also, and I am not sure if you did this on purpose or not, but in your examples on how pocket positioning affects the appearance of the butt, the ‘bad’ examples also feature a lot of other bad factors which I think affect the appearance more than the pockets do. First being the high waists, second being so loose around the butt that they give no support or shape, third being the mid-light blue colour. That makes your ‘bad’ pocket-positioned jeans look even worse than if the ONLY difference had been pocket positioning.

    Obviously high-waisted jeans will more likely have pockets beginning at a higher point, while lower-waisted jeans (whether mid-rise or low-rise) will have pockets starting at a lower point.

  34. YES YES YES. This was so funny, thank you. I’m showing this to my mother. She wears ridiculously high waisted jeans because apparently her waist “is higher” now that she is older.

  35. I’d really love to see this done on men. My guy is awesomely handsome and I know would look so much better in a pair of awesome jeans that showed off that cute butt only I get to see when the jeans come off. Despairingly, however, than is the only time anyone would even know he indeed does own a “buttocks”. His jeans are Levi’s and they just hang off his derriere. Okay fine I’ll say it. It’s the Dad jeans. Help us please ????

    1. I’ve been meaning to do this for a long time – it’s just a matter of getting my male models together at the mall and forcing them to try on dozens of pairs of jeans all while I photograph their butts. I am assuming you see where the complications are??

      I’ll keep trying, though!

  36. As you can see from the last 2 digits of my email, I am an older mom. My solution for the dreaded long butt…take my 23 year old daughter with me to find the jeans. She will give me her honest and totally blunt opinion of anything I try on.. from that makes you look hot to that makes you look like grandma on Dad’s side…

  37. So, great advise.I am 57 and can wear jeans well still…but your article goes over the “Big butt” effect a lot. What about a person with a small rear???? Plus the low riders just don’t work well for me….At 57 I do look great in jeans…just what do I do about the small looking rear effect….no problem with the long-butt :)

  38. I am a 42 year old mom and would love to follow these rules, but I am also plus-sized so the actual jeans options are limited. Do you have any advice or do you know of a plus-size designer who makes jeans that fit within the best parameters?

  39. I appreciate you trying to rid the world of mom jeans. It is an important job! However, I disagree with the idea that one needs embellishments, worn areas, whiskering, or fading to achieve a non-mom jean look. Those effects can look trashy or d like you’re trying to look like a teenager. A dark-wash jean with a flattering pockets and a flattering fit is much classier and much more appropriate, especially for those past their mid-20s. The jeans with the swoopy pockets in several photos above are about as far as I would recommend anyone over 25 going.

  40. Funny piece, however, the jeans you pick as the “right” ones make your butts look flat and wide, like overweight teenagers crammed into too tight jeans, with a crease under your cheeks, showing that they do not fit you properly. A couple of the ones you pan actually are much better, they lift and give definition to your butt. I think you’re going for trend/fashion over what actually looks good on you.

    Being overweight, I wish I had jeans options, but until I finish losing the pounds (25 down, 65 to go!), mawmaw jeans are the only choice, unless I want to walk around with not so much a muffin top as a bundt cake top…

  41. Thank you. I was just feeling miserable about this yesterday. I thought I was doomed and at some point my butt would just pancake out and look horrifying. Nice to know it’s a wardrobe adjustment and not a body adjustment that’s needed to set things straight. Ahhh. Relief.

  42. This made me laugh outloud! Thank you so much for your refreshing take on such a “sensitive” topic! LOL!!!

  43. Loved this! it’s good that it’s out there for everyone to know lol but i have a problem. im 29 with 4 kids and the skin on my stomach is really really stretched out and gives it an apron appearance. whats your solution for this? a lower cut pant sits under the “apron” leaving it hang over like a beer gut. the mid rise like jeans sit right at the middle creating 2 large lumps of skin instead of 1 and the forbidden “mom jeans” make it look like im packing something huge in my pants. so what’s the solution?

    1. A mid-rise without being too tight around the middle seems to do the best – especially if you can find one with a very stretch waistband (but not elastic!!). Also a wide waistband (think two buttons) tends to help.

  44. You made my day! That was hilarious. And I am thrilled to know that long butt is avoidable. Thank you!!

  45. Thank you so much for making the “mom jeans” thing clear. I knew something was wrong but never could quite get it. Now I understand why my husband wants me to pull down my shirt that constantly rides up in the back – not that my rear side is overly large. It’s the jeans! I am in need of jeans some time in the near future and I am bringing my list of dos and don’ts with me! Thanks again!

  46. Do you know of a brand of maternity jeans that AREN’T mom jeans?? I have looked to no avail, and am stuck with Old Navy mom-jean-butt when I’m already feeling like a seacow!!

    1. Maternity jeans are the WORST!! Unless you want to pay $100-200 for them, and four months isn’t worth that. I rubberbanded my normal jeans until 32 weeks in the attempt of avoiding maternity jeans.

  47. I read this just in time! I had twins 7 months ago and am just about down to my prepregnancy weight (the squishy tummy isn’t gone get though). It’s my birthday next month and I was going to buy myself new jeans in my “back to normal” size 6. I was going to go to Gap or Old Navy, but now I don’t know where to shop? I’ll probably only have a couple hours to shop by myself. What common stores might have the kinds of jeans that won’t have me looking like the frumpy mom I often feel like? Help!

    1. Hmm… your email address looks like you’re in Canada…is that correct? My go-to store is Express – they are the same price as Gap and Old Navy, but a MUCH better cut. However, if you’ve got time to shop, go to the department stores, check out the designer denim, and look for clearance items!! I’ve often gotten great deals on jeans that way. Some to look for are Joe’s Jeans, 7 For all Mankind, Citizens of Humanity, Rock and Republic…

      If they’re too expensive, do you guys have American Eagle?

  48. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed reading this blog and seeing the photos. I was actually laughing out loud so much so that my husband came into the room and asked me what was so funny. I told him he wouldn’t “get it”. As a woman in her mid 50s with two daughters in their early 30s who often comment on my “mom jeans” I found the article also very helpful. I promptly went out and bought new jeans which are not “mom jeans”. For the first time in a long time, I spent time in the dressing room checking out my butt and the pockets. Wore a pair out for the first time yesterday and got lots of compliments. The real test will be when my daughters see me in a pair. I’ll let you know if I passed their test. Thanks again for a fun blog.

  49. Bless you for posting this! I am a mom…but I’m also 28 and in good shape! I don’t want to look buttless! Thanks for showing us all the way :).

  50. hard to read thru tears of laughter. I may never wear jeans again but if I do, I’ll choose wisely. Thanks for doing the hard work of research and for posting the VERY informative photos.

  51. Thanks for this. I LOVE the watermelon stuffed in the pants commet. Now to get my mother to throw those away. Need to go jeans shopping myself. I’ll make sure I have your blog with me on my phone when I try them on.

  52. Loved this article, but I’m 40 and a little old fashioned. I don’t like all the “stuff” on the pockets. Is it possible to find good jeans with plain pockets?

  53. Seriously…not only have all my mom jeans, butt, and crack questions been addressed but I also got an abdominal workout at the same time! Win win. Thank you so very much from the depths of my over sized, wide set pockets. I’m sure my a$$ man hubby would say thanks too. Love it =0)

  54. OK – while I see the problems with most of the “bad” pictures I really don’t agree that there is anything inherently wrong with jeans that fit AT the waist – I think it all depends on the person. I have to agree with another post that if one has flab around the middle moving the waist down which pushes the flab up doesn’t solve anything! Even when I see jeans advertized on very in shape models to me they often look like they have a man like shape – you don’t see a waistline. Different women look good in different things. And I also have to agree with the person that said I’d rather look long than wide! I just don’t think “rules” apply to everyone and I see ads for jeans that I don’t think look all that great and they are low waisted and follow all the rules. I just don’t get this blanket assessment that all jeans that fit at the waist are somehow horrible. And actually I’m not sure the word Mom should be given such a negative connotation anyway! I see young women who are wearing jeans that probably fit all the criteria for not being “mom” jeans and they look horrible because they are trying to go with some dictated “in style” thing that does NOT go with THEIR body! And – if pants fit a ways below the waist they have to be snug or they will fall off – so if you have any flab at all it’s pushed up – a muffin top can be anywhere – not just above the waist – but at least above the waist is a little easier to conceal!

  55. I am having a little trouble reconciling the information listed here and then seeing the preview images on the Vault Denim site, many of which have the offending mom jeans pockets which end well before the natural curvature between the butt and the leg. After a back injury and a bout of major depression, my weight is so not where I would like for it to be; and as I work on getting the weight off, I know that a shopping trip will be in order. I have avoided jeans for years because I didn’t want to get the wrong fit. I’m thrilled to learn you are in the Birmingham area, because I am definitely going to have to contact you for your assistance once I get brave enough to don them once again. Bookmarking your blog now! :)

    1. Oh I completely agree – not all of Vault’s jeans are what I would recommend (especially the plus size ones). Vault has two lines: overstocks from designer brands (which you can’t see online) and their own lines (which you can see online). They are still working on perfecting their own lines, and although they are mostly great in the lower sizes, the plus sizes still need pocket work (as the photos on the site clearly attest!!). They have two lines now, Code Denim and Emerson Edwards, that are really great, and I will be showing those in my upcoming sequel post.

      No worries – I don’t fit people in the horribly wrong-pocketed jeans. :)

      Feel free to email me whenever you’re ready to get fitted!

  56. Hilarious!!! And so true! The elastic waisted polyester pants one typically sees worn by the elder population have the same phenomenon, likely due to lack of pockets. How would one counteract this in the dress pants category? Is it possible, or is Long Butt inevitable unless you have back pockets? I have dreaded Long Butt myself, and would like to avoid it at all costs!! LOL

    1. Dress pants are tricky, but it can be done! I’ve noticed that if the pocket slit is about halfway down the butt rather than above it, it definitely helps counteract Mom Butt. Express does a good job of this.

  57. Thank you SO much for risking life, pride and limb to bring all this info – I have truly learned heaps from this and will now be VERY careful to check my rear view before I leave the changing room with my new jeans – Many thanks from all the Aussies who will now NOT have to watch me walk around in hideously unsuitable jeans !!!

  58. love love love it!! going shopping tomorrow and before I read this, I was heading for the Gap. I will give Express a try! thanks!!! a 38 year old with a toddler!

  59. What great advice! I loved this post and even read the section for older women (also fabulous)!

    Several other jeans ideas to consider:

    1. Many, many jeans stretch 1-2 sizes, even after washing. It’s important to know which brands do this and to size accordingly. For instance, Ann Taylor jeans (those the older Mom felt created a muffin top in the size 8) will DEFINITELY stretch out. In such cases, it’s best to try on the size that fits perfectly and buy the size below it (I may have encouraged Grandma to purchase the size 8; wear it around the house for a week; and then wear it out: it will fit like a size 10 and never go back). Sales people usually know if the jeans will stretch or not and can advise about sizing. I’ve had many frustrating experiences, where I bought jeans that looked great in the store that then *became* mom jeans just by wearing them. I now know what size I am in almost every store/brand, and it varies dramatically).

    2. It helps to know what body type the model has for whom the clothes are cut in the first place. If the model is an “athletic build (i.e., straight up and down), “curvy” women (of any size) will not look good in the stores’ jeans. If the model is curvier, athletic-bodied women will have trouble. Ann Taylor cuts for a woman with hips (that’s why the store’s clothes fit me so nicely… and why they probably fit the older mom). Most junior brands cut for girls who don’t have hips, which is why–in some stores or styles–I could go up 6 sizes, and the jeans *still* would not fit properly. Many stores now have “straight” and “curvy” cuts of the same size, but it still helps to know what body-type the original model has. If she’s already curvy, “curvy” jeans will create mom jeans on a curvy woman (b/c the jeans become “curvy plus”). I cannot wear Ann Taylor curvy clothes for this reason. The store’s “modern” (i.e., “athletic”) pants fit me perfectly.

    3. The researcher does not address tapered legs, which always, always make mom jeans (or “ice cream-cone butt,” as I call it). Some of the pictures she shows have tapered legs, which help destroy the butt–not just the pocket placement.

    Thanks again for such a fun/helpful read!

  60. I would love to see an article like this on skinny jeans/jeggings. I know you said you were ignoring the 80’s were coming back, but are you still 3 years later, since your article is from 2009? I was ignoring it too, but now am seeing so much cute skinny/jeggings in all different colors and I totally want to dive in!

    1. Yes, you make an excellent point.

      Skinny jeans have definitely gotten WAY better over the last three years, and I have slowly crept into them and found ways to make them work. You can see the transition of my taste (and skinny jeans) in these three posts:


      Jeggings are still pretty hard for me to swallow. They’re not my favorite on most people, just because they tend not to be too flattering. But the right skinny jean can be unbelievably flattering.

      Oh – and I got my first pair of colored skinny jeans last month, and I have to say I’m in love. Here they are:


      Hope that helps!

      1. Thank you so much. I studied them all, it is amazing how different the same butt can look. My best friend and I are going to study up and go shopping next weekend, with our cameras so we can really see our butts!

  61. I obviously missed this when it was first published, but so enjoyed reading.
    Just wanted to give you some insight from someone who is old enough to have worn “mom jeans” when they were “in”. The focus at the time was on the waist. The smaller the waist, the better. And if you had a small waist, you were to show it to the world by wearing pants that fit truly at your waist (the smallest part), tuck in a shirt and wear a wide belt. Oh sometimes we were tops over the “mom jeans” and belted the waist, but normally, we tucked them in. I no longer wear those dreaded “mom jeans”, but probably will when they return.
    Oh and be warned! The jeans you now wear? Your kids will despise them!!!
    And of course, what goes around, comes around! (the same goes for your home decor!)

  62. A very important tip – when jean shopping, bring along a small mirror in your purse so that you can get a full straight-on view of your rear end when jean shopping. Trust me, it looks way different straight-on that it does when you have sort of a side or over the shoulder view.

  63. Ugh! I hate this modern jean style…but at 46 and a Mom of 3, I’m not happy with the mom jean look either. A woman’s butt crease cuts those saggy baggy low pockets right in half! Trying to place anything in the back pocket, like a comb (oh yes, I know, a style from the 80s) is impossible.
    And those modern jeans with those loooooooow pockets flatten the butt and make it look smashed and smooshed…like you’re trying to squeeze your butt cheeks into a too small size. It’s just not attractive and doesn’t show any curves at all. This style makes you look more like Sponge Bob Square Pants than a fashionable, feminine woman. Yuk!

    I just don’t get the love of this kind of style. There’s got be something better than the Mom Jean and better than the dropped pocket look. They’re both ugly with a capital U!

  64. It is official. I am star struck. This article had me laughing and questioning my jean choices simultaneously. This must have taken so much of your time and I am so glad that you did. I read your second article a about finding jeans over 50 to my mom while we were visiting. We were sitting at the kitchen table near the laundry room. We laughed so hard that we didn’t even hear the washing machine (which empties into the utility sink) over flow and only noticed that it had when our feet began to feel the dampness of the flood. So funny. So, so funny. Well done. I am for sure sharing this article.

  65. I just LOVE this!!! I laughed so much, and could identify with so much that you so humorously shared with us on your scientific experiment. I enjoyed it so much, and plan to use this information when I go shopping for some new jeans very soon. Thank you!

  66. Wowwww this was an awesome research, I’m totally agree with you I’m 43, 2 girls and wear lots of jeans this pocket thing makes a difference I think that also fashion brands fit right for our target age!

  67. I’d really love to know (even though the pockets are too far apart) what the jeans pictured in #3 are. Secondly, I’m sure your Mom is happy with her Anne Taylor ones but think the lower pocked of the aforementioned #3 would also look good on her.

    1. I’m not sure exactly which pair you’re talking about, but I’m thinking probably one of the Express pairs. And yes, they look great on most people.

  68. I saw the Express jeans picture several times on this page (at the top) at TJ Max today for 19.99. Unfortunately only in size 6 & 14 but the material did seem really thin and stretchy.

    Hoping this means perhaps they are getting a new stock from a new manufacturer which is a little sturdier. Our skin is sagging as we age, we don’t want our jeans to do the same.

  69. Where were you back in the day when I had a butt worth flaunting?!?! I read all your denim posts and was afraid to get dressed. Then I found that I’m 50 and don’t own any Mom denim. Whew! It feels like a real accomplishment! I am feeling really motivated to go out and do some serious shopping for some good jeans and warned my dh that now that I know why I’m doing, I’m willing to lay down some money! (For the record, my $20 Walmart jeans weren’t bad for pocket placement.) Thankfully, you addressed pocket slits on dress pants. Now my concern is khaki pants and shorts. I’m in FL and wear Bermuda or walking shorts and capri pants most of the year. Do we apply the same style rules of denim to these?

  70. I think your mirrors are broken. Those jeans you think make you look younger actually make your butt look WIDE and lumpy.. Only girls of a certain athletic build can pull it off. The dreaded mom jeans actually gave you a waist and took the emphasis off your hips and thighs. Better find yourself a happy medium and mirrors that work while you start deadlifting and squatting.

  71. HIlarious! I really enjoyed reading this! Getting the right fit does make all the difference in the world. Just goes to show, everyone can look good with a good cut!

  72. Thanks to your posts on this subject that I have read at least twice now, I find myself looking at other women’s butts all of the time.

    It can be a bit embarrassing!

    But now I have an idea of what to look for in pants, thank you oh so very much.

  73. I’m not a mom, but my ass still looks like I’m one in the jeans that I buy. This was very useful advice indeed, since I really have bad taste in clothing.

  74. Re: finding #2. I have PCOS, which has mad me retain weight around my middle. I am pretty much biggest right at the waistline (truth be told, I have looked at least 4 months pregnant since I was that far pregnant with my 12.5 year old, which was was about when I developed the condition). Most jeans nip in at the waist, which means I have a terrible time finding a jean that doesn’t cause problem #2. My legs are normal width, and so if I buy to fit my waist, I’m usually swimming in them, and if I buy to fit my legs, the waist nearly cuts me in half, especially when I sit down.

    I haven’t had much luck just trying lower waisted jeans. They cause problems of their own. Mostly scary bad muffin top.

    Also, I’m tall. It makes it hard to find all kinds of clothing, and for some reason, clothing marketed to tall people is not the same styles as those sold to other people, just sized up… no… instead, it’s all grandma clothing (really… people have gotten taller as nutrition has gotten better… most grandmas are shorter, not taller).

    Any recommendations? I’m stumped.

    1. Try William Rast jeans – they have a much bigger waist, and the jeans go in at the legs, helping people who have bigger middles.

  75. There actually IS a “long” butt, but I call it sonething else …..I call it the rectangular butt. If u don’t think the long butt does not exist, then u are probably in horribly amazing shape or still to young to Really understand the curse of what u call the long butt…and what I call the rectangular butt. When woman get to a certain age… Not to sure what age, but I think I got mine around 44 yrs of age. It’s this extra fat that women (for some reason ) get just above the butt. It ruins the gentle upper butt slope and leaves the hapless woman with something that looks akin to a garment box stuck on their old shapely butt. It’s awful. And yes, the right jeans can help to hide it , but just tell the truth to a new man BEFORE u get physical. It’s like wearing one of those foam booty shapers and then discarding it when it’s time to bear all. Guys understand about push up bras , thou they continue hope for the best when it’s time to remove the bra, but one never expects a gift box booty after disrobing… So just warn yr new guy! Hope this helps!!

  76. Low-waisted jeans with pockets that end under the butt are fine on slim women, but the same low rise, low pocket style that makes small butts look curvy also makes your waist look larger, emphasizes a middle-age pot-belly, and makes an already curvy butt look enormous.

  77. Low-waisted jeans with pockets that end under the butt are fine on slim women, but the same low rise, low pocket style that makes small butts look curvy also makes your waist look larger, emphasizes a middle-age pot-belly and muffin top, and makes an already curvy butt look enormous.

  78. I am so glad you put words on this as it has been bothering me for ages and I didn’t know exactly why. Now I know: this is the long butt effect! Very instructive, well written and so funny, thanks for your post.

  79. I think the pockets being below the curve of the butt make it look like your butt is so heavy that it is pushing your jeans down. They make the butt look like it is sagging. I agree that they shouldn’t be big or angled out or far apart or start up your back, however, when they are too low, the look is not flattering either. Also, I think the lighter wash on the middle of the thigh makes the thigh look a lot larger. It draws attention to the size of your thigh. Most low cut jeans either cause muffin top or show the crack on large women. I looked at your blog for plus sized women and I didn’t see where there was much improvement with your choices. The skinnier the jeans are, the bigger the women look from the waist up.

  80. I agree that wearing trendy jeans looks younger, but you can’t rely on jeans alone to save your look from aging. You must change the other aspects of your appearance too. No disrespect to these ladies, but the tops, jewelry, shoes and hairstyles they’re wearing make them look older than me, and I’m 54! I can’t believe these women are 20 yars younger than me. Even I don’t have these things in my closet:: orthopedic gum sole Mary Janes; suede loafers with contrast top stitching from the 1990s; librarian style bobs; long messy hair left over from high school; Lands’ End style baggy cable knit sweaters; tinny faux gold bracelets. I don’t believe it when they claimed to be size 6 or 8. Looks more like 16 or 18. Either that, or the clothes don’t flatter the figure. No offense. I recommend analyzing your figure proportions to determine what shapes best suit you. If you’re an hourglass or pear, don’t wear bulky fabrics that hide your figure. Google Oprah’s denim advice and check out those before-and-after makeovers.

    1. I agree. That doesn’t look younger. It just looks suburban mommy all the way. And at 27 years someone should be in great shape.

  81. I love your writing style, and how you are educating the masses about the abomination of mom jeans. However, I have to say that I’m not a big fan of the super embellished denim look….all that fussy stitching and rhinestone is looking dated. I see that you posted this in 2009, so I’m hoping that you do an update with less tricked out jeans.
    Thanks for the giggles!

  82. What a great post! I know this is a couple years old now, but the points are still relevant. Thanks for the fun read. :)

  83. Thank you!!! I have had this problem no matter how old I was! I have a short waist and I seem to always pick the wrong jeans. Now I know what to look for!!! I love you!!!

  84. OK, so I’m in my 50s and from a different era, and I have never liked the low waist, low pocket look on any woman. Especially white women, who have the problem of not much in the rear anyway. As a person whose best feature is back there, I want it to be flattered. I guess it might be what you get used to looking at or thinking is cool, but to me the “modern” style looks horrible.

  85. It took me a long time to come around to agreeing with this post, but you’re right. I tried on a bunch of jeans meant for curvy middle age women like me, size 8, W30L32, 5’5″ tall. I tried Levs, Wrangler, Lauren RL, Denim & Supply, NYDJ, Tommy Hilfiger, Macy’s INC, DKNY. All failed. The only ones that worked were True Religion and Miss Me. I haven’t tried Silver yet but I may if I can find them in mid-rise. Low rise jeans do not do me any favors and neither do high rise jeans. Another problem is that jeans have become as thin as tights, and they no longer look and feel like jeans anymore.

  86. Thank you for doing so much field research! I went shopping immediately after reading this post. I am 32, 2 kids, and a size 4 with “mummy tummy.” I found some great jeans that I think would meet with your hearty thumbs up! You helped clarify in pictures what I couldn’t say in words. I demand so much from a simple jeans and fitted t shirt. Thank you for the laughs and information!!!!
    With love from Texas, Stephanie

  87. I would love to know what store you were at for test subjects A and B ‘s “dos” . Those were such cute jeans!!! Thanks!

  88. I seem to have a LOT of trouble finding jeans that doesnt have extra material or baggyness right below my butt. Everywhere else the jeans are perfect but every single pair of jeans I try on has the same problem and it is extremely frustrating. How do I avoid this?

  89. I miss Bill Blass jeans. True they sat at the waistline-but they had room in the but and thigh. Always felt sexy in those even at a size 12.

  90. I am 53 and in a state of pitch-black and unforgivable off-the-deep-end Grandma-jeans-wearing sin. I don’t much care what people think if I go out in a pair of Alfred Dunner all-elastic-waist monotone baggy ‘jeans’ (more properly, denim pants, though I’m not quite ready to put Depends under them – and when I do, they probably won’t be the skinny sort) and a checked $2 oversized men’s shirt. Whatever is comfortable, I just wear that. I have happily ditched 3 husbands for being too tight on me. I recently upcycled a pair of uncomfortable blue granny underwear into a scrunchie for my hair (with which I also do nothing). I like canvas rubber-bottomed shoes – preferably already stretched out for me, from the thrift store. I was looking for a blog that would tell me all of that was okay. I will wipe a tear and keep looking.

  91. For the record, I thought the Levi’s looked AMAZING. There is nothing wrong with a classic. Entertaining post!

  92. I’ve been reading the comments on this post and I think it is really sad that we allow the media, entertainment industry, and others to dictate what we wear. I have always hated SNL for making fun of high waisted jeans and I despise the term, “Mom Jeans.

    It seems if some of us decide to wear what you consider to be “Mom Jeans” we get made fun of or put down because that is what society tells us to do. I personally think most of today’s low rise jeans are ugly and unflattering. Sad that many of you other ladies allow society to tell you what to wear.

    1. @ Mandy. Don’t listen, and don’t get upset. All the fashionable jeans right now are in one way or another mom jeans. These ladies are simply stuck in a rut and unwilling to change. Honey? Bootylicious? Whatever. Low rise jeans are ugly. They mess up a human’s natural proportions. You know what to wear. Put on your “mom” jeans, a cool pair of tennis shoes, or a cute ankle bootie, a white t shirt, or a nice stripped top, or maybe tuck in a crisp white button up. Show them how a classy lady looks. Not wearing bedazzling on their back pockets, and their pants hanging low.

  93. I am a guy, so this comes from a mans perspective. I personally love a lady with a longer waist it is just a real thing that happens as a lady gets older. Truly though with some ladies it is there in their teens but they are ashamed of it for some reason. I live for that kind of beautiful figure – if I were a judge in a beauty contest I would be truly hard pressed to find a better backside than this type. I do think finding the right fit for jeans is important but also finding a fit to panties is very important for than fine finished look. If you have the high waist wear panties that go with it or you are cutting the beauty in half or more. I would love to hear feedback from any lady about this truly it is a fantastic thing to see such a natural trait being enhanced.

  94. This was a fun read! I appreciate all the tireless investigating and the posting of the results! Thanks for explaining ‘Long butt’ and ‘Mom Jeans’, and ‘Grandma Jeans’. All of it is true! :D

  95. Can you please do one with wide leg vs boot cut vs skinny jeans and what it does for people’s shape?

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