Mom jeans is a humorously pejorative term for a type of women's jeans worn in the '80s considered to be unfashionable and unflattering to the wearer's figure.
This style usually consists of a high waist (rising above the belly button), making the buttocks appear disproportionately longer, larger, and flatter than they otherwise might. It also tends to have excess space in the zipper/crotch and leg areas. The jeans are usually in a solid, light-blue color, with no form of stone washing or fading.
Other attributes of the style often seen are pleats, tapered legs, and elastic waistbands. The style is often accompanied by a blouse or shirt that is tucked into the jeans. This style of jeans was popular with women in the United States until the early 2000s, when lower rise jeans started to become fashionable.
Mom jeans became popular with young fashionable women once again in the early 2010s.
Saturday Night Live
The term gained greater prominence after a May 2003 Saturday Night Live skit for a fake brand of jeans called Mom Jeans, which used the tagline "For this Mother's Day, don't give Mom that bottle of perfume. Give her something that says, 'I'm not a woman anymore...I'm a mom!' "
A corresponding term, dad jeans, has been coined in popular media to refer to an unflattering, high-waisted and shapeless style of jeans often worn by middle-aged U.S. men. This term has been used occasionally since 2009, when President Barack Obama was depicted as wearing such jeans to a baseball game. In March 2015, Obama appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! for the "Mean Tweets" segment, in which he read a Tweet mocking him over the jeans. Jimmy Kimmel comes out, wearing high-waisted jeans, and attempts to defend them.
- Hudson Neal, Jill (2006-09-26), "Mom Jeans Flatter No Body", Washingtonpost.com, retrieved 2007-10-03
- Associated Press, AP (2009-07-21), "Obama: No apologies for 'dad jeans'", Chicago Sun Times, archived from the original on 2010-03-02, retrieved 2013-02-05
- "Obama: Health care shouldn't be political". Today.msnbc.msn.com. NBC News. 2009-07-21. Retrieved 2014-03-07.
Finally, the president responded good-naturedly to criticism of the bleached and baggy “Dad jeans” or “nerd jeans” that he wore to throw out the first pitch at last week’s All-Star Game in St. Louis.
“You are married to one of the most fashionable women in the world,” Vieira observed. “Do you want to defend the pants?”
“Michelle, she looks fabulous,” he laughed. “I am a little frumpy. Up until a few years ago, I only had four suits. She used to tease me because they would get really shiny. I hate to shop. Those jeans are comfortable, and for those of you who want your president to look great in his tight jeans, I’m sorry — I’m not the guy. It just doesn’t fit me. I’m not 20.”
- CNN Political Unit, CNN. "Obama wants people to quit bashing his jeans". CNN Political Ticker. CNN. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
- Simpson, Connor. "Obama's Mom Jeans: A Wire Investigation". The Wire. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
- Vokes-Dudgeon, Sophie (March 13, 2015). "President Obama Reads Mean Tweets, Jimmy Kimmel Wears Obama's Jeans!". US Weekly. Retrieved April 16, 2015.
- Saturday Night Live Mom Jeans skit (May 10, 2003), retrieved 2013-02-07
- Deb Acord (June 11, 2006), Wearer beware of "mom jeans", The Seattle Times, retrieved 2008-05-08
- Carol Band, A Household Word: Mom Jeans, parenthood.com, retrieved 2008-05-08
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