Mom jeans are, without a doubt, one of the most iconic (if not the most iconic) denim styles fashion has ever seen. The term "mom jeans" first started out as a joke on a "Saturday Night Live" sketch—but there is no joking about how much we love this jean style, which refers to a popular type of denim donned by moms in the '90s. With favorite '90s fashion trends in constant circulation recently, everyone and their mothers are rocking mom jeans.
"They are comfy and allow for simple combinations that will have you instantly ready for whatever the day takes you," says celebrity stylist Tanya Tamburin.
Byrdie Researched & Approved
It's probably no surprise our best overall pick is none other than Levi's 501 Original Fit Jeans—the iconic original mom jean. They are a great price for the quality and will only get better with wear. If you're looking for something a bit different (and are willing to splurge), we love Maison Margiela's Cut-Out High-Rise Wide-Leg Jeans.
With their great popularity comes many—and we're talking many—mom jean options to choose from, including ones that are more of a nod to the waistline silhouette with different cuts like wide leg or baggy. So, we set out to narrow down the best mom jeans.
From the OG jean to modern twists on the comfy style, keep reading for Byrdie’s top picks for mom jeans.
Levi's 501 Original Fit Jeans
The iconic 501 Original jeans from Levi's also happens to be one of the original mom jean styles—like, the same style worn by moms in the '90s. For that reason, plus others we will get to in a minute, this legendary jean style is our best overall pick. In addition to being the original mom jean, we love this Levi's style because it features a tailored yet relaxed fit and is made to fit the body like a glove, molding over time to curves the more you wear it. It's also available in a ton of great washes and you can even find some 501s in different colors and patterns, too.
Material: 100% cotton | Size Range: 23-34 | Inseam: 30 inches | Rise: 11.125 inches
Price at time of publish: $108
Wild Fable Super-High Rise Mom Taper Jeans
Mom jeans are all about being comfortable, and these under-$25 jeans from Target turn up the volume on comfort. Designed from a blend of cotton and spandex, the affordable mom jeans are durable and soft with a little bit of stretch. We love these jeans because they feature the classic mom jean silhouette with a tapered cut and straight fit and come in a range of inclusive sizing.
Material: 99% cotton, 1% spandex | Size Range: 00-26W | Inseam: 27 inches | Rise: Super high
Price at time of publish: $22
Maison Margiela Cut-Out High-Rise Wide-Leg Jeans
Despite how comfortable they are, this pair by Maison Margiela makes mom jeans look effortlessly cool. Available in a faded blue medium wash, the relaxed mom jeans with stylish cutouts are made from 100 percent rigid cotton denim, which means they take some time to break in. But, once they do, they will stretch and mold over your body and quickly become your most comfortable, go-to pair of jeans—with personality.
Material: 100% cotton | Size Range: 0-12 | Inseam: 32 inches | Rise: High rise
Price at time of publish: $695
Best on Amazon
Levi's Wedgie Icon Fit Jeans
If you’re shopping for mom jeans on Amazon, you can find some great options, including ones from iconic brands like Levi’s. Case in point: These Wedgie Icon Fit Jeans from Levi’s are available on Amazon. Available in 13 different washes (our favorite being the tango light) and made from durable 100 percent cotton, these high-rise mom jeans are the epitome of the trend with the comfort, effortlessly cool style, and versatility to match.
Material: 100% cotton | Size Range: 23-32 | Inseam: 28 inches | Rise: 10.875 inches
Price at time of publish: $695
Good American Good Mom
For a mom jean that will withstand the test of time and be that one pair you reach for over and over again, we turn to Good American’s Good Mom jeans. The high-rise style has a looser fit, which adds to their comfort level and makes them easier to move in on the regular. They are also incredibly versatile with their clean hem and tapered cut, so you can pair them with everything from heels and a blouse to sneakers and a grungy old band tee.
Material: 72% cotton, 1% elastane, 2% elasterell-p | Size Range: 00-26 | Inseam: 27.5 inches | Rise: 12.5 inches
Price at time of publish: $149
Lucky Brand Drew High Waist Mom Jeans
If you’re looking for a classic pair of mom jeans, the Drew High Waist Mom Jeans from Lucky Brand are it. The high-waisted silhouette has a touch of distressing, which gives them a lived-in feel; a '90s-worthy light wash; and a flattering yet relaxed fit. The traditional mom jeans were made from 100 percent rigid cotton, but this pair has a small bit of spandex in them, which makes them a tad more comfortable and will be faster to break in.
Material: 99% cotton, 1% elastane | Size Range: 25-29 | Inseam: 28 or 30 inches | Rise: 11.5 inches
Price at time of publish: $119
Everlane The Way-High Jean
The beauty of mom jeans is their high rise, so we love an option that takes things a little higher. The Way-High Jean from Everlane comes in nine different washes (including some darker washes, which we love), and both regular and long sizing. In addition to the amazing waist length, the jeans are made with 2 percent elastane, which gives them some incredible stretch.
Material: 98% cotton, 2% elastane | Size Range: 23-35 | Inseam: 27.5 or 29.5 inches | Rise: Ultra-high
Price at time of publish: $98
Mott & Bow Mom Hubert Jeans
For a pair of mom jeans that stretch a little more—and fit a little tighter—we are obsessed with these Mott & Bow jeans. Made from an ultra-stretchy blend of cotton, polyester, and elastane, the high-waisted jeans have 23 percent elasticity with a flattering hip-hugging fit.
Material: 96% cotton; 3% polyester; 1% elastane | Size Range: 24-32 | Inseam: 28 inches | Rise: 10.25 inches
Price at time of publish: $118
Madewell The Petite Perfect Vintage Jean
Our favorite pair of petite mom jeans is the Perfect Vintage Jean from Madewell. The light-blue washed denim gives the petite-fitting jeans a worn-in vintage feel that is truly unmatched. The blend of cotton and elastane gives them a low but comfortable stretch. Plus, they’re made from certifiable recycled cotton, which, according to the brand, "helps keep waste out of landfills and requires less H2O and energy than conventional cotton.”
Material: 99% cotton, 1% elastane | Size Range: 23-33 | Inseam: 25.5 inches | Rise: 10 inches
Price at time of publish: $128
Old Navy Extra High-Waisted Button Fly Sky-Hi Straight Ripped Jeans
Because mom jeans typically end at the ankles, those on the taller side of the height spectrum might benefit from purchasing a pair made with height in mind. Our top choice for this category is the Extra High-Waisted Button-Fly Sky-Hi Straight Ripped Jeans from Old Navy. The jeans are available in regular, tall, and petite sizing, and are made from a comfortable blend of cotton and recycled cotton with a little bit of spandex for extra stretch.
Material: 94% cotton, 5% recycled cotton, 1% spandex | Size Range: 00-30 (regular), 2-18 (tall and petite) | Inseam: 28 inches (regular), 26 inches (petite), 32 inches (tall) | Rise: Extra high
Price at time of publish: $55
Best Extended Sizing
Eloquii Classic Fit Stretch Denim Mom Jean
Leave it to Eloquii to make the perfect pair of mom jeans. These come in a darker wash as well as a light wash with distressed detailing, so you can find a pair that truly matches your styling needs. The high-rise denim also features a contour waistband and a silhouette that is straighter in the hip and thigh area with a tapered leg. And, although they have that classic denim look, the jeans are made with a little bit of spandex, giving them some nice stretch, too.
Material: 99% cotton, 1% spandex | Size Range: 14-32 | Inseam: 25.5 inches | Rise: High
Price at time of publish: $90
Mango High Waist Tapered Mom Jeans
Traditionally, mom jeans have a lighter wash as a nod to the trends of the '90s. But today, that has all changed and many of us opt for a pair of black mom jeans, instead. If that's you—or if you're looking for a darker wash to try out—these Tapered Mom Jeans from Mango are the perfect pair. The retro silhouette is high-waisted with ankle-gazing tapered legs in an ultra-dark denim made from 100 percent cotton.
Material: 100% cotton | Size Range: 1-20W | Inseam: Not listed | Rise: High
Price at time of publish: $50
American Eagle Stretch Ripped Curvy Mom Jean
Most mom jean styles are straight at the hip and thigh, which makes curvy and stretchy silhouettes a great choice for those with curves. Our top pick for the best curvy mom jean is the AE Stretch Ripped Curvy Mom Jean. The high-waisted light-wash denim comes with a lived-in feel with ultra-soft and stretchy mid-weight fabrication and a limitless waistband.
Material: 81% cotton, 13% modal, 5% polyester, 1% elastane | Size Range: 000-20 (in X-Short, Short, Regular, Long) | Inseam: Not listed | Rise: 13 inches
Price at time of publish: $50
Nichole Lynel Jean Jam
Baggy jeans are one of the most popular trends of the year, so we love to see the combination of a classic mom jean and baggy jean silhouette. The Jean Jam Denim Jeans from Nichole Lynel are made of cotton denim and fit the waist at a high rise while boasting that baggy silhouette we all can’t get enough of.
Material: Not listed | Size Range: 28-38 | Inseam: Not listed | Rise: High
Price at time of publish: $99
Levi's High Loose Shorts
It’s hard to talk about mom jeans without also drawing attention to mom shorts. If you love this classic silhouette but are looking for something to rock during the warmer seasons (without taking a pair of scissors to your beloved mom jeans!), these high-rise mom shorts from Levi's are our top pick for a pair of denim shorts due to their more A-line silhouette and longer inseam that look identical to the very shorts our moms wore in the '90s.
Material: 79% cotton, 21% TENCEL™ lyocell | Size Range: 23-34 | Inseam: 3.5 inches | Rise: 13.25 inches
Price at time of publish: $70
Meet the Expert
Tanya Tamburin is a wardrobe stylist who has worked with celebrities including Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. Tanya’s work has been featured in Harper’s Bazaar, Rolling Stone, and on "Saturday Night Live."
What to Look For When Buying Mom Jeans
The most important thing to look for when shopping for mom jeans is fit. Your jeans should fit you well at the waist—not too tight or too loose—and have a little more room in the legs. The length depends on the style, but the traditional mom jeans should have a hem that meets the ankles or can be rolled to the ankles.
Mom jeans are the ultimate comfy jean, so comfort is non-negotiable. Comfort can come down to fit, but it can also depend on the fabrication, amount of stretch, and how the style fits to your body.
What are mom jeans?
“Look at a photo of a mom in the '90s and you’ll likely see her in jeans that are relaxed, high-waisted, and cut to have a baggy fit,” says Tamburin. “They are loose around the thighs, then they taper down around the ankle so they create a silhouette that doesn’t look as baggy overall.”
How do I style mom jeans?
Tamburin says the key to styling mom jeans is to tuck in your top and roll up the hems. “For a casual day look, a crisp white shirt or white T-shirt with sneakers or a flat looks effortlessly cool,” she explains. “The tapered cut around the ankle makes mom jeans easy to pair with really almost any shoe, from sneaker and ankle boots to flats and heels.” For more shape, Tamburin recommends adding some definition with a belt to “create more of an hourglass silhouette.”
Why Trust Byrdie
Contributing writer Jessie Quinn has a bachelor’s degree in fashion journalism. From working in the fashion closet and interviewing designers at NYLON Magazine to now writing about the best style trends for various publications, Jessie researches and sources the best fashion finds. Jessie’s signature look is jeans and a T-shirt, with mom jeans being her all-time favorite denim style. She has spent countless hours sourcing the best options for her personal wardrobe, and she used the knowledge and experience she gained from doing so to inform her research while sourcing the best mom jeans for this piece.