Can These Mom Jeans be Saved?

Can These Mom Jeans be Saved?

These blue jeans came into my life quite innocently. They seemed like a good idea in the store. I knew they were comfy and thought they looked flattering so I bought them for our camping trip to Montana. They quickly became an orphan in my wardrobe and relegated to at-home wear… only.

I put them on last week and discovered why. They remind me of “mom jeans”, which is described as unfashionable and unflattering. In a word, frumpy. These jeans are fine, they’re just not stylish which I attempted to change.

In an effort to make them hipper, I changed into a white shirt, velvet jacket and peep-toe booties. The jacket is a classic “jean jacket” shape but upgraded in a stretch velvet.Jennifer Connolly of A Well Styled Life wearing velvet Pilcro jacket from Anthropologie

I switched the earrings and added a chunky bracelet to up the drama. I like rolling my sleeves and a jacket is no exception. I rolled the jacket sleeves first, then the shirt cuff over it.

Jennifer Connolly of A Well Styled Life wearing French Kande and Pilcro velvet jacket

I added an animal print bag to boost the “cool” factor which may not have worked.

Part of the problem with these jeans is the light wash and the lack of shading. It’s a straight fit which looks boxy on me. The lycra count is only 2% which means they bag out quickly and do not recover. No amount of accessories can change that.Jennifer Connolly of A Well Styled Life wearing Pilcro velvet jacket and French Kande

Jennifer Connolly of A Well Styled Life wearing French kande and Pilcro velvet jacket

So did I save these mom jeans from frumpy land? I don’t think so.


These are a national brand that I’m not linking to them because my goal is not to bash the brand but share why they didn’t work for me.Jennifer Connolly of A Well Styled Life wearing French Kande and Pilcro velvet jacket I prefer jeans with at least 3% lycra which gives the fabric more memory. I also prefer shading and/or shaping which looks more modern. These jeans are a better option because they have 6% lycra and better shading. This pair has elastane plus lycra and much better shading.

Have you bought jeans and found they don’t perform the way you hoped?

Thanks for reading and have a great day!


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  1. beth byrd
    December 13, 2017 / 4:16 am

    I actually like those jeans on you!! In my opinion, they’d work better with a different pair of shoes (flats?). I love them with the jacket and white shirt! You always look stylish — I really enjoy your blog!

    • Jennifer
      December 13, 2017 / 7:40 am

      Thanks Beth. They look better first thing in the morning, then get baggier as the day progresses. I agree they look better with my flats 🙂 Thanks for reading!

  2. Ramona
    December 13, 2017 / 4:44 am

    Finding perfect jeans is an ongoing quest! I prefer dark wash, slim to skinny leg, slightly higher than mid rise, 33″ inseam. Not easy, and my closet is full of almost but not quite!
    I think the color is what is not quite right with these jeans you are wearing, cause they look like a nice fit. But, everyone needs those jeans that can go into the garden/campsite/hiking trail and no tears are shed if something happens to them!

    • Jennifer
      December 13, 2017 / 7:42 am

      That’s exactly how I feel about them Ramona! Garage cleaning, gardening or camping in the wilderness is perfect for them. In fact, I may leaving in my trailer;)

  3. Janet
    December 13, 2017 / 4:54 am

    You definitely tried to save them and while not bad, they aren’t very flattering. You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear! I know, I’ve tried. ????

    • Jennifer
      December 13, 2017 / 7:44 am

      I think we’ve all tried Janet at one time or another. Time to throw in the towel????

  4. jodie filogomo
    December 13, 2017 / 6:07 am

    I like that you tried to up the modern factor with what you wore with them, Jennifer.
    But maybe if you distress them, they would seem more in style??
    I absolutely love the jacket—it’s definitely so fabulous!!

    • Jennifer
      December 13, 2017 / 8:09 am

      I love, love this jacket! It’s already in heavy rotation in my wardrobe. It’s so versatile and comfy.

  5. Evelyn
    December 13, 2017 / 6:35 am

    I really enjoyed this post. It is good to know what doesn’t work and why.
    Jeans are a problem for most people. Leg opening width is something I always check. Rise measurements should also be on every online site as they were for your suggested jeans.
    Thanks, Jennifer!

    • Jennifer
      December 13, 2017 / 8:18 am

      I agree Evelyn! Rise is so critical to fit. Thankfully super low rise has fallen by the wayside!

  6. Deede
    December 13, 2017 / 6:38 am

    You can do waaaayyyyy better…Those sweeties are not salvageable….

  7. Annie
    December 13, 2017 / 7:44 am

    I think I have seen this type of boxier jeans worn with the cuffs rolled up and worn with sneakers. Boyfriend jeans? Don’t know if this might work with these but they are definitely for casual wear. Dressing them up doesn’t work because of the baggy fit.

  8. Cheryl Ann
    December 13, 2017 / 8:08 am

    Jennifer, my thought is that a jean jacket with jeans is tough to wear and still look feminine. I love my jean jackets with dresses, but feel like a guy with jeans. Not sure if you might feel similar…maybe it’s not the jeans. Actually, you look cute in the jeans…

    • Jennifer
      December 13, 2017 / 12:03 pm

      Thanks Cheryl Ann…I do like denim with denim but these feel too boxy for me.

  9. Joanna
    December 13, 2017 / 8:14 am

    They look a little loose and I find the light wash reminds me of the 80s. I like my jeans to be a dark wash or black, slim or skinny leg with a touch of stretch so they don’t bag. I’m rather particular about the fit of my jeans. I would donate these jeans if they were in my closet.
    I did think they looked less matronly when you added the cuffed jacket & shirt and the booties uplifted them somewhat. But, I’m afraid it’s time to cut your loses.

    • Jennifer
      December 13, 2017 / 12:04 pm

      I agree Joanna! They’re becoming camping jeans for days in the woods:)

  10. Debi
    December 13, 2017 / 8:40 am

    You could try rolling up the legs little, try cute little flats with rolled legs, or maybe add a fun little little embellishment on one of the legs but definitely give them a little roll up – even could wear booties with rolled up legs. That way they will look more like boyfriend pants. Personally I prefer skinny but I do have boyfriend ones that I work with 🙂

    • Jennifer
      December 13, 2017 / 12:05 pm

      I can try those ideas, I’m just afraid my legs will look even shorter. I’ll check it out, thanks!

  11. Judy
    December 13, 2017 / 10:53 am

    I think you could save them by wearing them with thick ragg or wool socks, lug sole hiking boots, a plaid flannel shirt with shirt tail out, and a bright wool crew neck sweater. Have a buffalo check back pack or tote and you will be all set for a weekend at the cabin! Don’t forget the vintage Thermos.

    • Jennifer
      December 13, 2017 / 12:06 pm

      That would be a totally new look for me Judy:) Thanks for the idea. I think I need a cabin now.

      • December 14, 2017 / 4:40 am

        Ha Ha!! Buying a cabin is good. This reminds me of how remodeling projects can morph into something much bigger nthan the original one! Even if this was a less successful makeover than your first one a couple weeks ago, this is still a format that I think lots of is would enjoy, seeing how different additions to a basic outfit can take it from drab to fab!

        • Jennifer
          December 14, 2017 / 9:16 am

          This was a fail to me but fun to try. I like this concept too. Being creative usually rewards me with pleasant surprises. I’ll keep you posted on the cabin 😉

  12. Julie from Melbourne,Australia
    December 13, 2017 / 2:44 pm

    Hmmmm……. I would relegate those jeans to gardening activities.They’re definitely too baggy on you and I had a pair like this that felt good when I put them on in the morning and as the day went on the crutch got lower,etc.:not very comfortable. You are so right about jean material needing to have good memory.I’ve learnt my lesson, and check the lycra and elastane content religiously.Next time I find really good fitting jeans I’m going to buy 2 pairs.
    Thanks for showing us options on trying to remedy a questionable item of clothing.
    PS I love that jacket!

    • Jennifer
      December 13, 2017 / 7:15 pm

      I will or camping:) I like to look at things honestly and share my thinking process with my readers so we all learn together.

  13. December 13, 2017 / 3:13 pm

    I agree with you, Jennnifer. Though they look somewhat better once you dressed them up, those jeans really aren’t very flattering.

  14. Valorie
    December 13, 2017 / 7:55 pm

    Well done and thanks for the lesson, Jennifer. I’ll be paying attention to the Lycra and elastane content of future purchases. You brought up several good points and it was interesting following the discussion.

    • Jennifer
      December 14, 2017 / 9:08 am

      Thanks Valorie. It’s often the little things that matter and can make or break a garment.

  15. Allison
    December 13, 2017 / 9:28 pm

    Yup, you have a nice pair of kicken’ around the garden jeans. Those are way too baggy for your petite frame. Everything else looks great so the whole effect is “I dropped my coffee on my other pants and these jeans are all I had!” Jeans are a struggle for petites, the rise, the leg width. Those dreadful ‘mom jeans’ are making a comeback they were a curse for the short waisted back in the day and still aren’t flattering. Black/dark wash skinnies that sit slightly below the waist always look chic. If above the ankle I wear only with flats because when that length is worn with booties all I can think of are ‘flood pants’ another unflattering image from the past.
    Good for you to recognize when something isn’t working and move on.

    • Jennifer
      December 14, 2017 / 9:14 am

      Hysterical Alison!! Your analogy is perfect!! I’m also a fan of the dark wash skinnies. These are going in the RV for deep woods camping.

  16. Cathy D.
    December 14, 2017 / 3:36 pm

    Hi Jennifer,
    I have 3 pairs of jeans that fit exactly like yours. I’ve tried everything to make them look better, but nothing worked. They are now my “around the house jeans” since I live in the city and have no opportunity to garden. The problem is I have not been able to find jeans that are both comfortable and stylish. Skinny jeans look great on me, but when I wear them I can’t wait to get home and take them off. When I sit they ride up, and when I stand up they don’t slide down without help. I feel foolish bending over to pull them down.

    Since I cannot find jeans that are both comfortable and stylish, I’ve given up. For some reason I don’t have the same issues with ponte slim pants and leggings, so that’s mainly what I wear. I love them but they don’t look like jeans.

    • Jennifer
      December 15, 2017 / 11:47 am

      The struggle to find the perfect jean is real. As my body changes the hunt continues. I hate that about skinny jeans too and I don’t have large calves! I think a narrow straight leg is the most comfortable…the trick is finding the right ones. I’m with you on the Ponte knits, they are my go to most days because they seem perfect!

  17. Sandra Sallin-Apart From My Art
    December 15, 2017 / 7:56 am

    Those jeans are great for camping, climbing and eating in. We all have those jeans to be worn but not seen by discerning eyes. Love the jacket.

    • Jennifer
      December 15, 2017 / 11:44 am

      My thoughts exactly:)

  18. Karen in VT
    January 7, 2018 / 4:41 am

    As I watched you try to save them by changing the outfit, I felt you reached a point where the outfit was great – except would be better if you switched out the jeans! Love the idea of going the other way with a flannel shirt, ragg wool socks, boots with red laces, maybe a cabled chunky sweater – comfortable when throwing a log on the fire! Have you imagined how they’d look with an ankle-length hem? Might still be for just around home, but showing a bit of ankle works for my “girlfriend” cut jeans. At work I can wear a skinny ankle boot and a cashmere sweater with them. I also like my Everlane “Boss” boots with them. They’re pointed toes so elongate the leg. They’re super comfy too, but I bought size 11 for my size 10 feet.

    • Jennifer
      January 7, 2018 / 9:32 am

      I frequently have to go up a size with pointed toes too because I have wide feet. I can picture that outfit beautifully…and the fireplace! Great ideas Karen, especially during the weather the east coast is having. I may need to up my boot repertoire.

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