Ending Mom Jeans Once and for All
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
The fashion blog scene isn’t just for 20-somethings anymore. A new wave of mom bloggers has joined the party, with sippy cups and better jeans.
By Leanne Shimabukuro
There is possibly no more maligned term in the denim world than Mom Jeans. The words conjure up images of the most unflattering, desexualized pants of a woman whose entire identity has been sucked into the vortex of her children. “Easy fit,” “hides stains” and “can be worn seven days in a row” may be their most desirable features. But have Mom Jeans gone the way of the dinosaur?
A wave of mom fashion bloggers is out to confirm that Mom Jeans — and the absence of style post-childbirth — are dead. While the established fashion blogging world is dominated by young women in their 20s, like Leandra Medine of Man Repeller, their edgy, fashion-forward looks are more suited for catwalking on city streets than for dogwalking in the suburbs. It’s for pickups at bars, not play dates.
Real-world moms are stepping into the breach. Their blogs blend fashion photos, styling tips and quick links to purchase outfits geared toward realistic budgets and kid-friendly activities (sorry, Goop). They also target a desirable demographic: stay-at-home, working and single moms ranging from their mid-20s to their 50s, who are interested in keeping their sense of style while managing household expenditures.
Big businesses and corporations are taking notice and investing in the trend. Names like Nordstrom and Crocs are sponsoring mom bloggers, and newer companies like RewardStyle are paying them for clothing purchases made by their readers.
While the blogs range in styles from the casual, necklace-friendly looks of the popular Pleated Poppy to the J.Crew-meets-H&M preppy stylings of The Good Life for Less, here are a few to check out. Kids and husbands make their way into blog posts, too. Watch out, Dad Jeans — your frumpy sagginess may be up next.
The Style Look: Downtown Hipster Mom.
The Mom: Based in the Philadelphia-area, Shana Draugelis, 37, is a mother of two boys and launched the blog in 2008. She shared her breast cancer odyssey with her supportive followers — down to how she styled her thinning hair and her new wig. She’s been to New York Fashion Week twice, first as an observer and more recently as an invitee.
Best At: Channeling a cool city-mom vibe that’s comfortable, stylish and washable. Outfits aim to work at lunch or on the playground. Expect a lot of denim skinnies, ankle booties and slouchy tops with the occasional hat. And the blog is dead serious about getting moms out of a jeans rut: It has 12 categories on denim styles alone.
Mom Style Mantra: Instead of taking the dressy route of fashion magazines and blogs, Draugelis shoots for the opposite: “Here’s my favorite T-shirt and Converse sneakers and how I’m trying to make that outfit interesting.”
Fashion Forecast: Watch for the younger fashion blog set — now getting married and having kids — to evolve their own style sense and broaden the mom style blog milieu.
The Look: SoCal mom ready for girls’ night out.
The Mom: Jenn Rager, 38 and mom to a 3-year-old son, is based in San Diego. Had a career in the financial services industry before becoming a stay-at-home mom and launching her blog in 2010. Besides appearing in Crocs videos, the photo-friendly blond blogger has partnered with brands like Ann Taylor, Loft and Ross Dress for Less.
Best At: Lots of “outfits of the day” photo shots for moms looking for a shot of trendy glamour and aren’t afraid of heels. Offers “shop my closet” feature in which readers can buy the items she featured and wore on the blog (if you’re lucky enough to be her size, which is small).
Mom Style Mantra: “With fashion, every day I get to be whoever I want to be — anything from boho chic to classically preppy.”
Fashion Forecast: Look out fashion print establishment — bloggers are partnering with other bloggers to create magazine-style online layouts for better reader variety.
The Look: The Classic Mom looking for a dash of trendy.
The Mom: Janise Burrafato, 44, working mother of 2.5-year-old twin boys, bases her Chinese-Italian family in Las Vegas. Sold a software business and kept fashion as a hobby, including owning a clothing boutique, before launching her blog in 2012.
Best At: Showcasing pieces that can be worn year to year (with an eye toward cost per wear) and sprucing them up with cheaper, of-the-moment accessories. Puts the big picture of family into center focus: fashion is fun, but a balanced budget and spending on healthy foods for kids are the priorities.
Mom Style Mantra: “You don’t need to spend a lot of money to look and feel good.”
Fashion Forecast: “I don’t have a crystal ball,” says Burrafato, whose short-term future is fixed on figuring out her next outfit while multitasking for her twins.
- Leanne Shimabukuro, OZY Author Contact Leanne Shimabukuro