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Mom jeans are not just a silhouette, they are a lifestyle. They’re the kind of pants worn by a person obsessed with oat milk, mid-century dressers, fig trees, and are currently thinking about joining a pottery studio. Any denim aficionado knows there are three things that make the best mom jean: 1) a high-waist that elongates your legs; 2) a straight-leg fit through the thigh with a delicate taper at the ankle, and 3) a heavy-weight fabrication that holds you in, but allows for a full range of movement. Mom jeans have come a long way from actively representing ‘90s moms—that SNL sketch is 15 years old—and since their induction into high fashion, now they’re pretty much just…the most basic pair of jeans, in the best way possible, and an absolute closet staple.
To help you identify the very best brands, we rounded up 17 of our favorites, including the return of a certain 2000s-loved designer, customer-backed Amazon finds, and some pairs that defy the FUPA, below.
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Petites Cynthia High Rise Straight Jeans
Sometimes it’s difficult to find jeans that fit length-wise—shorties can relate. Enter Reformation, which offers some of its top styles in a range of sizes with varying inseams to help you channel your inner influencer.
The Perfect Vintage Straight Jean in Hoye Wash
“I’m not a regular mom jean, I’m a cool mom jean.” That’s what these ultra-popular Madewell jeans would say if they could talk.
Ribcage Straight Ankle Jeans
Levi’s recently upgraded—or backdated—its iconic 501 jeans with this baggier iteration inspired by the ‘90s. With a looser leg that sits a little lower on your waist, they are a favorite style of Hailey Bieber, queen of laid-back denim.
H&M is our top budget pick. From its $30 price to its universally flattering fit, what’s not to love about this pair?
Everlane’s denim uses less water than your average pair of jeans, which thereby contributes to less toxic waste water and makes it our go-to pick for sustainable denim. The environmentally-conscious brand took its eco-friendly approach one step further when it launched its technicolor denim collection, made with dyes that are less harmful to the planet.
Agolde is one of our favorite denim brands, and the 90s Pinch Waist is quickly becoming an industry contender for the best pair ever. They look legitimately plucked from the pre-millennial decade, except they will not give you a FUPA, a tragic side-effect of most thrifted mom jeans.
Embroidered High-Rise Tapered Jeans
If Barbie were a hot mom, she’d wear these.
Commemorate the return of indie sleaze with American Apparel’s OG mom jeans.
Don’t sleep on Zara’s denim. We love the thicker fabrication of this jean, which is stiff but with a little stretch so you can go about your day freely.
Leah Lace-Back Upcycled Jeans
This style is business in the front, party in the back. Samiria Leah makes jeans from upcycled denim—this cut features a statement lace-up detail at the tush.
Emery Crop Relaxed Straight
Are you looking for a more relaxed fit? Look no further than Citizens of Humanity, our go-to brand for perfect jeans you’ll own for life.
Dakota Rigid High-Rise Relaxed Tapered Jeans
With a flattering fit and a versatile light wash, SLVRLAKE is the name to know. What else would you expect from a brand named after the hipster capital of California?
Good American jeans are talked about endlessly. They’re more known for their high-waisted skinny fit—much to the dismay of Gen Z—so here’s a mom jean to please all.
1994 09C16 Straight Jeans
Ever since Glenn Martens was named creative director in 2020, Diesel has been making a serious comeback. We’re currently eyeing all of the 2000s goods the brand has been dropping—take a look at this future It bag—but buying its jeans is a great entry point back to the divisive era.
Distressed Peg Top High-Rise Jeans
Uniqlo is our sleeper affordable hit. This 100 percent cotton pair is for the no-stretch club, aka those looking for raw denim rigidity at a fraction of the price.
Frame jeans is a top designer choice. Test out the Le Jane, an effortless take on the mom jean style.
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