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Then-Second Lady of the United States Tipper Gore (center) wears a pair of "mom jeans" at the Million Mom March protest

Mom jeans is a slang term for high-waisted women's jeans that were originally fashionable in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In the late 1990s and 2000s they were mainly worn by middle-aged American women and considered unhip by trendy younger women.[1][2] Mom jeans then came back in style amongst hipsters and fashionably aware young women in the 2010s.[3]

Originally a pejorative and derogatory term, mom jeans gained prominence from a May 2003 Saturday Night Live skit written by Tina Fey 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!' "[4]



This style usually consists of a high waist rising above the navel, making the buttocks appear disproportionately longer, larger, and flatter. Mom jeans 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.[citation needed]

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 trendy young women in the United States until the mid '90s, when lower rise jeans started to become fashionable.[citation needed]

Mom jeans came back into fashion in the 2010s.[3]

Dad jeansEdit

Barack Obama practices pitching wearing "dad jeans" in advance of throwing the ceremonial first pitch at the 2009 MLB All-Star Game

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 American men. The term gained popularity in 2009 when President Barack Obama wore dad jeans during the 2009 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.[5][6][7][8] 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 then appeared on stage wearing high-waisted jeans, and attempted to defend them.[9]


  1. ^ "mom jeans | Definition of mom jeans in English". Oxford Dictionaries. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  2. ^ "mom jeans Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary". Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  3. ^ a b Abraham, Tamara (25 April 2013). "Are you ready for the return of 'mom jeans'? Topshop revives much-derided baggy, high-waist cut - and the style set love it!". Daily Mail. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  4. ^ Hudson Neal, Jill (2006-09-26), "Mom Jeans Flatter No Body",, retrieved 2007-10-03
  5. ^ 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
  6. ^ "Obama: Health care shouldn't be political". 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.”
  7. ^ CNN Political Unit, CNN. "Obama wants people to quit bashing his jeans". CNN Political Ticker. CNN. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
  8. ^ Simpson, Connor. "Obama's Mom Jeans: A Wire Investigation". The Wire. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
  9. ^ Vokes-Dudgeon, Sophie (March 13, 2015). "President Obama Reads Mean Tweets, Jimmy Kimmel Wears Obama's Jeans!". US Weekly. Retrieved April 16, 2015.

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