I wrote my first jeans post in 2009 – more as a humor piece than fashion statement, but it did have some valid advice. I readily admit that some of the information in that post is outdated, no longer accurately expresses my opinion about certain items (such as skinny jeans), and that certain items have actually gotten much more stylishly cut since the publishing of that article (again, such as skinny jeans.) Even my more popular 2012 post, which is still traveling circles around the internet, has some outdated information that I sometimes have to apologize for.


I hereby swear to you with one virtual hand on Bible Gateway that there is one issue I will never waiver on, regardless of the winds of change, regardless of the pressures of society.

Long Butt is NOT okay. Nor is it ever necessary.

I spent over 2,000 words proving that Long Butt is a side effect of bad jeans, not actually of a literal long butt. And now fashion is trying to convince us that Mom Jeans and therefore Long Butts are “coming back in style” – I get sent at least one article a week stating this, always shared with me from some horrified soul.

Mom Jeans Are Back In Sadness

Do not believe the hype.

Do not fall victim to the advertisements.

We must stand.

We must fight.

We must not falter.

Our butts are depending on us. And our daughter’s butts after us. And their daughter’s butts after them.

But sometimes, the attacks are so ridiculous they’re fantastic. Which is what I bring you today.

A high-end New York-based store, going by the name “What Goes Around Comes Around,” is taking vintage Levi’s (of the old-style Mom-Jeans variety), dyeing them, sometimes cutting them off, and then selling them. for over two hundred dollars.


I mean at least pull out the model’s wedgie before taking the photo.

I became aware of this line through my go-to jeans app, HauteLook, who desperately tried to accessorize-up these frightening creations to help the sale-job they were trying to make.


Three-foot zipper…check.

Leg openings big enough for four…check.

Fringe that looks like you might have been involved in a heavy machinery accident…check.

Photo-shopping the model’s belly-button up a foot or two…check.


Sometimes they didn’t even bother to dye the material a cool color. This pair came straight out of my brother’s 1988 closet. AND ONE LEG IS SIGNIFICANTLY LONGER THAN THE OTHER.


Two hundred dollars, people.

Two. Hundred. Dollars.

You can tell the above tortured denim was originally a male pair of jeans because it doesn’t have the horrific elbow-pocket that Levi’s always felt the need to add to ladies’ jeans – you know, because we do love a good, wide hipline. Like this jewel.


And there’s nothing that says “I lost my butt in a fight with the neighbor’s dog” like wearing your Dad’s jeans from 1995.



Or 1984.


So clearly this is an exaggerated example. And no, not all Levi’s (or even men’s jeans on women) are bad.

All I ask that you take away from this is:

1. Not every trend is a good one – don’t believe all fashion hype, and especially not name brand designers and stores – sometimes they smoke crack.
2. Avoid elbow-pocket. And airport-hangar leg openings.
3. If you want them, you can have high-waisted jeans without Long Butt. They are out there. Find them. 4. There is no way that a zipper as long as your thigh could possibly be necessary on any body or in any pant.


That is all.

30 thoughts on “The Emperor’s New Mom Jeans.

  1. The reappearance of high-waisted jeans is, in my opinion, a fashion tragedy of epic proportions. I had never had a pair of jeans that fit my epically pear-shaped body well IN MY LIFE until I discovered low-rise. It looks like I’m going to have to up my sewing game and learn how to make jeans, because I will never, evereverever go back to wearing high waists, and I need to be prepared for the day when stores stop selling my favorites.

    1. Why? Why do you all want to wear four mile shirts and jeans that make your but look short and wide? I don’t get it. I really don’t. This is the most confusing site. Fashion does NOT stand still. the whole point of “mom jeans” is being stuck in one look and afraid to take a risk. Isn’t that what you’re doing?

  2. THANK YOU!!!! I have been fussing about this supposed, “Return of the Mom Jeans,” as it’s only encouraging my teenage friends to WEAR THEM! EW. An eighteen year old definitely does not need to be in mom jeans. *sigh* I’m so disappointed in Topshop. and WGACA.

    I really seriously love your fashion posts. They are so fantastic.

  3. Wow, I must be out of the fashion loop because I had no idea mom jeans were trying to rise from the ashes of their long butt demise. I DID see overall shorts in the women’s department at Target the other day! Whoa. I admit I was a huge fan of overalls in my younger years, but I never expected them to come back.

  4. Sometimes it’s nice to be out of the loop. I wonder what will be popular by the time I’m out of maternity clothes again? =)

  5. I love medium or high waisted jeans. I am very hourglass shaped and low-cut jeans do nothing for me., and I have a long torso which also doesn’t help. Most of my shirts come past my jeans anyway so you can’t tell how high cut they are. I will have to send you some pics of some of my faves to see if I have long-butt, lol. That said, they should FIT and not be baggy, like those horrifying pictures. That’s why they invented spandex, people!

    1. You don’t need spandex. Thats a jegging not a jean,. I just bought the reissued Levi 701, aka the Marilyn Monroe jeans. I actually had to fight with a lady to get my pair, but I got them, so in honor of the fact i thought I would red read this funny post! They are gorgeous, very, very high rise, selvage jeans with 100 percent cotton and no stretch. They shape to the body as you wear them, and they are a looser straight leg. They are so flattering that even short legged people trying them on looked leggy. They have a perfectly flattering pocket rise, what you people mysteriously call elbow pockets (although how the upper hip can possibly look like an elbow is beyond me). My waist looksTINY!!! So perfect with a crop top or a tucked in blouse. Can’t wait to wear them to after work drinks with a navy silk halter top. Its the summer I can get away with a naked back. I’ll wear a cropped short white jacket in the office, and nude heels. Thank you for the smiles short butt lovers.

  6. This explains why, at the high school I work in I have seen several girls wearing mom jeans, some with elastic waists and no pockets!! Also, the 80’s stone washed jeans are back as I have seen that look quite a bit.

  7. My OCD is objecting in a fierce way to those cut-off jeans not being the same length. Just looking at those pictures makes me twitch. Don’t even get me started on the “fringe”….

  8. Yay another denim post! I was slightly horrified when I saw Mom jeans in Topshop. The fashion world has tried to make them a thing but I’ve yet to see anyone wearing them (except older people who never stopped wearing them of course).
    PS. Do you get the Eurovision Song Contest in the US? (I know it’s shown in Australia which isn’t in Europe.).i feel like you would like it…

  9. Teenager girls are wearing them all over my hometown. It is so weird to me. They look ridiculous.

  10. The super high waists were terrible. But then they went to the polar opposite and for a while you could find nothing but extreme low-rise. I hated seeing butt crack on every girl I passed. Why can’t they realize the happy medium that prevents long butt without showing crack? Some stores carry them, but it should be obvious that they flatter women and should be the only style made.

    1. Wearing jeans that come up to the regular waist is what flatters best. What is this “long but” ? I honestly don’t get it. Is short but good?

  11. I will always and forever maintain that once a year the fashion gods of the world gather in a secret penthouse in New York, Paris, or Milan and scheme about ways they can convince the world to wear ridiculous clothing so they can have another year of laughs at our expense.

    And my take on returning trends is if it looked bad then, it looks bad now. Pretty cut and dried.

  12. LOLOL!!! High Rise jeans are simply NORMAL JEANS. This is what people wore in the 1930’s 1940’s 1950’s 1960’s 1970’s( a blink where the did hip huggers was short) 1980’s 1990′;s then in the mid 90’s people decided to wear FUGLY LOW RISE. I KNOW I was in high school when there was nothing but low rise to wear. I wore a three inch ride jean from the Gap in my middle school. Blergh. NOW LOW RISE IS DONE. OVER. FINISHED. Do you realize how dated low rise dark wash jeans look even now? Its not a high rise trend. Its the end of a low rise trend. Its very very simple. I may not be a mom. But I will be wearing a high rise jean for life. What makes you think they are so awful anyhow? Just because I wasn’t around when they were popular before, doesn’t mean I don’t know a good thing. NOW HELP ME MAKE MY MOM SEE THE LIGHT! I HATE low rise jeans as much as you all like them, and I am NOT alone.

  13. Sigh. Can you at least tell me where the high waisted bermudas came from? I don’t much care for cheeky cut shorts. those look awesome. And things go on sale. i can probably catch them for 30 to 40 bucks. The first pictured ones aqua color. Store?

  14. I have a serious question; I remember when I was a young teen, in the early 90’s, bootcut low rise jeans came into fashion. Everyone laughed and said that it was a passing trend, and that no one looked good in them, and maybe, just maybe supermodels could wear them. I loved them immediately because they were sexy. I especially loved super flared low low rise jeans.
    Then they became the regular thing. Then skinny jeans showed up. And women were fuming, saying they looked terrible, that they made their asses look terrible, and that only supermodels could wear them. There was an actual article in the Chicago Tribune saying that no women would wear skinny jeans, because they looked bad. I immediately loved them too, because they were so elegant. Of course now everyone wears them.
    And now high rise jeans are back. Everyone is saying how awful they are, and how the “trend” will never last, and how only supermodels can wear them. Of course, I absolutely love them, because they are authentic and sophisticated, and show off the figure instead of having to cover up with a long, long shirt. It also makes the proportions look right. I don’t like the look of a too long upper body and short legs.
    What i want to know is why this keeps happening? I would think most people would love something new and fresh. Things never come back exactly the same way, even if an item is vintage its never worn exactly the same way as originally.

  15. I’m just so GRATEFUL these are coming back. As I am old enough to have worn them the first time, I can tell you they are SO MUCH more comfortable than anything that has been in style for the past 15 years.

  16. I remember thinking the ugly fashions of the 80’s looked good at the time, then seeing pictures. I imagine the teenagers wearing these things will cringe when they look at pictures in 10 years. The pants and shorts pictured would just be unflattering on most people. On the upside, maybe I should start a business and buy 80’s and 90’s Levi’s from thrift stores, dye them and sell them for a lot of money. I think too low jeans are ugly too, but love midrise jeans. I have a tiny waist and saddlebags and high waisted jeans really highlight that.

    1. @ Kathy; I look at the pictures of Jane Birkin, Lauren Hutton, Brook Shields, Farah Fawcett, Audrey Hepburn, and Katherine Hepburn looking gorgeous and sophisticated in their high rise jeans and slacks. I look at pictures of Britney Spears in Slave4u video, Paris Hilton, Christina Aguilerra, and other 90’s starlets looking both slutty, and unflattering in their absurd low rise jeans with their baby t shirt, and layered tank tops, and I do indeed cringe. I think maybe you have it backwards. I have no idea how you can look at pictures of the 80’s, seeing Princess Diana, and Dabbie Harry and think that it looked bad, yet you can look at people in their low rise glory from the 2000’s and think it looks good. I am sure you have noticed that in the fashion world not too many people are still sporting low rise anything, except as a occasional throw back.

  17. Wrong; high waisted is sexy. Brooke Shields did it best. Your so-called natural waist is ugly with your muffin tops showing Oh, and high waisted is not empire waisted either, dummies!

  18. Hey, Rachel-first time reader of your Denim
    Blog; you are hysterical dry-humored. I need to check in mire often for a good chuckle!! Thnx!!
    Now to at hand: I did & still hate & never ever saw the attraxrionod low-rise jeans (aka in my jr high days as
    hip-huggers (any one remember the curved patent leather belts?! UGH)
    Never wore low-rise & never will-why? Obvious-if uve had a baby, uve a small pooch & what does the low rise do? Nothing but sit below, expose & emphasize it!! Not on me-no thanks! I wore a certain Levi jean for decaaades-fit me perfect! Sad sad day when they quit making. I did find one pair in a thrift store! I have a small waist compared to my caboose or vc vs…so eternally difficult to find the right jean for me.
    Last word-I’m all with ya, Martine!!!!

  19. Hi! Do you still recomend jeans? I saw a wonderful post with pictures through Pinterest but it was from 2012!!! I love this post! Greetings from Barcelona (Spain)

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