Many, many years ago, when I was young(er) and foolish(er), I use to observe Women of a Certain Age and their apparent total oblivion to the current styles in denim wear. ‘How sad’, I’d think to my teenaged self, dressed in safety-pinned acid wash, ‘They don’t even realize how terrible that looks’. Ahh, young self, if I told you the secret behind the uniform of the middle-aged mom you’d be even sadder. Because I’ve learned that those women just really, really don’t care. They know. Believe me, they know. Those pants are pulled over sore feet and bruised calves and fat knees, up past lumpy thighs and ever-widening hips and over a saggy c-section gut, and there is no way anyone can pretend they’re fashionable or sexy or a trendy color.
The Mom Jean, found in many cultures, is a rite of passage for those who are past the New Mom Pants phase. The New Mom can still get away with wearing maternity jeans for quite some time, and can blame her inexplicably ever-shifting weight patterns on the baby. That lasts for approximately one year, max. Anyone trying to do this longer is in the denial phase. The denial phase can last anywhere from 1-25 years. This is the time when a mother tries panels, pleats, lycra-blends, and long sweaters, to no avail. Many, many women over 40 can be immediately recognized as being in jeans denial by sporting skinny jeans, ripped jeans, or having a massive ‘chef’s hat’ or ‘muffin top’ lapping over a low-rise waist band.
At some point, every woman who weighs more than 80 lbs must accept the Mom Jean. You will know a pair of pants are Mom Jeans if the following are true;
- The legs are too wide to be fashionably skinny, but too narrow to be fashionably boot-legged
- Your friends look at them, then look away in embarrassment, and can’t even mock you
- They are either a little bit longer or shorter than a normal pair of jeans
- The dye color is even and consistent, and is either too light or too dark to be trendy
- Your butt looks like a cement mixer was overloaded with oatmeal
- The waist falls somewhere above the belly button and just below the bra line
- You can fit a sippy cup in the front pocket
- The zipper is a solid 8 inches
- None of your trendy tees look right with them, and you are forced to wear either a ¾ sleeve cotton blouse in a pastel color, a sweatshirt with a rustic snowman, or something that has been bedazzled. Or has a picture of a kitty on it.
- People start calling you ma'am a lot more
I just bought my second pair. I both hate myself, and rejoice in the unrestricted comfort and lack of back fat that shows when I lean over.
Next stop – elastic-waist rayon. Grandma Pants.