The Quest for Mom Jeans: Top Tips from a Denim Expert

Mom Jeans hanging to dry
Subtitle: How to find jeans that make you feel like Cindy Crawford and not Pat from SNL Photo: Bruno Nascimento/Unsplash

These days shopping for jeans as a mom in her late 30s is almost as torturous as bikini shopping as an insecure 18 year old. I used to own tonnes of jeans, I loved jeans. I wore denim as much as possible. As a 29 year old I owned exactly two pairs of stretchy pants and at two dozen pairs of jeans. Now that number is reverse: I have more yoga pants and tights than I have denim duds.

But now that I’m a mom, my financial and physical reality are different, and so must be my jeans.


The Quest for Mom Jeans: Buy for fit first
The Quest for Mom Jeans

So my quest for well-fitting denim and a price tag that didn’t break the bank. Pre-motherhood, I didn’t blink at dropping $100-$200 on a pair of shapely size 31 or 32s that made my butt feel like it was was part of a back up dance troupe in a Flo Rida video in stead of an Saturday Night Live skit about mom jeans.


My body has curves where I didn’t think was possible and a belly that’s hung around like Matthew McConaughey in Failure to Launch. Last month my favourite pair of maternity yoga pants from Target finally disintegrated (yes, Canadian Target, that’s what a relic they were). It was a turning point. A little voice in my head said, go ahead, wear more jeans. So I decided to start squeezing myself back into denim more often. Now is the time for me to get serious about getting back into jeans. Besides curbing the late night carb loading, I’ve been trying to get healthier. More sleep, more exercise, more veggies, blah blah blah.

But in the mean time, I owe it to my-tired-strong-hardworking-style-loving-self to have more than two pairs of jeans that fit. Because as my Instagram crush and style coach Stasia Savasuk says, “It’s not your body, girl, it’s your clothes.”

Or, as Mark’s denim buyer and mom, Deneatra Ford says, “try jeans that are built for your body type, use the style guides that stores or brands provide. If you know what your body type is, it’s easiest way to buy jeans that fit.”

Each year, Deneatra goes on a bit of a crusade to help gals of all sizes and style choose jeans that not only feel good, but look great too. And, being a rep from Mark’s, the style she recommends aren’t too expensive. Earlier this fall, I interviewed Deneatra for advice on the best jeans to buy and the styles that are gracing everything from runways, to sidewalks to daycares.

Tip 1: Figure out your body type

Like me, Ford is a fan of high waisted mom jeans. “As you age or have kids, low rises tend to disappear from your denim repertoire and mid/high rises become a better choice. You have to figure out what the relationship is between your waist to hips to thighs,” she explained.

So for example, if your waist to hip to thigh ration is the same, then steer clear of curvy jeans. But, if your waist is smaller than your hips and thighs, then usually straight waisted jeans will gape a bit so you want to try curvy styles. Again, just head to Mark’s website or even chat with one of their helpful, trained customer service folks in store to help you figure out what your body type is.

Everyone who works at Mark’s is trained in how to best help their customers find those perfect night time or day time jeans. In my case, this means sticking to mid and high rise jeans because of my hour-glass-pear-shape. Yay #momjeans.

Tip 2: Buy your jeans for fit, first

Find what fits – it won’t matter if your jeans are the right wash or have super cute embroidery if they don’t fit. What happens to jeans that don’t fit? They sit in your closet, starring down at you, taunting you that you bought them but never wear them. “Always buy for fit first, style next,” advices Ford.

The Quest for Mom Jeans: Tlell is the perfect place for a photo shoot
Tip 3. Figure out what denim wash you feel best in

It’s a tried and true style tip, says Ford, that dark washes are generally more slimming. But if you are looking for something other than dark indigo that’s fine too. Just choose something that’s in the realm of dark to medium blue, as colours come and go like the wind, says Ford. “Indigo will never go away.”

Tip 4.  Choose what jean length works best

“There are a lot of ankle or cropped jeans out there right now,” explains Ford. More and more ankle length jeans can go with anything: flats, boots or heels. There are a lot of open or dropped hems this season too, noted Ford. This adds a bit of texture to your outfit. Jeans are too long? Cuff it up for that informal look.

Bomber jacket: perfect pairing with your mom jeans
This bomber is perfect for misty Tlell days.

Thanks to Marks for your help advice on what kinds of jeans to buy. In these misty Tlell photos I’m wearing their in-house brand DH3 Mia skinny jeans with a super cute, rain resistant DH3 bomber. I wanted to try something that wasn’t my standard long Goretex (because: rain) and a darker pair of jeans than I’ve owned for a while. I love how super soft and slimming the Mia’s are and how I can dress them up with my Poppy Barley flats, wear them with my black suede high tops for brunch in Tlell or our for a girls weekend in Vancouver with some black dress boots.

Wearing these jeans were slightly out of my comfort zone because I’ve never worn ripped denim, and so was this edgy black bomber. But hey, it’s time to say peace out yoga pants and hello hot mom jeans. Afterall, buying jeans is definitely not as scary as a toddler with a tummy bug.

Do you have any jean buying tips? I’d love to hear your sage advice below.

** Photos taken by my girl Tamara in beautiful Tlell, a tiny hamlet on Haida Gwaii. Want to learn more? More info on my island home here and here.**

Mark’s provided me with the jacket and jacket. All opinions are my own. Thanks for checking out the brands that support my little happy corner of the inter web.

The Quest for the Perfect Mom Jeans





One response to “The Quest for Mom Jeans: Top Tips from a Denim Expert”

  1. Amber Haase Avatar

    Hahaha love this Miranda! The best thing about the new jeans is all that lycra they weave in there feels like yoga pants but with a little more flattering silhouette for us Moms! PS I recently bought a pair of jeans which I realized after the fact had pre made rips in them…After my initial “oh god what have I done” moment, I have to say, I feel pretty cool. 😉 Hooray for the new Mom Jeans!

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