It’s fitting that for Mother’s Day I bought my self a pair of genuine mom jeans. You know the kind I’m talking about. Dark rinse, high-rise, lotta give in the seat, relaxed through the hip and thigh. These are the jeans I used to scoff at and toss aside when shuffling through jeans in my size at the mall.
But then I had a baby. (Side note: he is awesome.) And though I had every intention of getting back into my pre-baby jeans, I’m sorry to say that 11 months since his birth, virtually none of the jeans in my closet fit. This despite the fact that I have stacks of jeans I’ve accumulated over the years in almost every cut and size from a 2 to a 10. If you think it’s disheartening to not be able to fit into your size two boyfriend capris imagine how ego-busting it is to not fit into your size 10 stretch skinny jeans. Yikes.
During pregnancy, hormones like relaxin cause ligaments to loosen and expand so that your pelvis can accommodate your baby and eventually pass through the birth canal. Relaxin stays in your system for up to six months postpartum and for many women the hips never return to their pre-pregnancy width. In addition to a wider pelvis, the body stores fat necessary for breastmilk production around the hips, thighs, and buttocks.
Which brings me to my recent purchase of matronly denim. But before you pity me let me tell you this — they are actually cute. I have embraced them the way they have embraced me — without creating a heinous muffin top or cutting off the circulation in my thighs.
How did I come to love mom jeans? It hasn’t been an easy pill to swallow. But here is my advice to fellow mamas out there who are furiously trying to pull on jeans that used to fit and wallowing in self loathing.
First, get over the size number on the tag. As a matter fact just go ahead and rip out the size tag all together. No one cares what size you are and neither should you. The most important thing is how you look and feel in your clothes. If they barely fit and are uncomfortable who really cares if they’re a size 2 versus a size 6? It’s been a challenge to get over my ego and embrace clothes that fit and make me look great even if the number on the tag is larger than I would like it to be. Recently, I’ve been getting the most compliments when I’m wearing a larger size and I FEEL BETTER in what I’m wearing.
The second piece of advice I almost hesitate to utter because it may seem self-defeating. Look — getting back into your pre-baby clothes is a worthy goal but sometimes you just gotta let $hit go. This is the case with my size 2 boyfriend capri jeans. They were my favorite. Do you know why they call boyfriend jeans boyfriend jeans? Because if you’re a tiny chica with narrow hips you can slip into your boyfriend’s jeans and have them look baggy and effortlessly chic. Get it? But those days are over. Just like those days when you used to sleep in and then wake up and meander around your apartment before heading out to boozy brunch are over. Fast forward to mommy hood. Now you wake up when your baby wakes up (which is hopefully not before 7 AM) and you have wider hips that demand a more accommodating seat. What does this all mean?!? It means it’s time to break up with the size 2 boyfriend jeans. Look, I’m not trying to demotivate you or say that you should resign yourself to a lifetime of mom-friendly yoga pants. But clinging to clothing items that do not fit or flatter your new shape is about as unhealthy as hanging onto that loser boyfriend you had back in college. Let. It. Go.
I wish I had specific advice on a bunch of different brands and types of jeans to recommend at various price points. But let’s get real — I’m a working mom to an 11-month-old and I barely have time to do laundry let alone shop for new clothes. But here’s what I can tell you in terms of what to look for when buying jeans:
1) “Curvy fit”
2) “Relaxed through hip and thigh”
3) “Mid-rise” or “High waist” (*These are actually in right now! Yay for being fashion forward and flattering your hourglass shape! I’m actually really interested in trying Khloe Kardashian’s Good American brand which features high waists and hip slimming.)
So happy Mother’s Day and happy shopping mamas! And who knows, maybe six months from now I’ll write a new post about finally getting cozy in a pair of slim fit skinny jeans. In the meantime I’m going to embrace my new shape and learn how to dress it well.