What’s the Difference Between Mom and Boyfriend Jeans? Update 06/2022

Do you ever have trouble deciding which type of pants to buy when you want both comfort and style? Mom jeans and boyfriend jeans are both popular right now, yet they have very distinct appearances. What exactly is the difference between mom jeans and boyfriend jeans?

Mom jeans have a high waist, whereas boyfriend jeans have a low, loose waist and seat. Mom jeans have tapered legs, but boyfriend jeans have a looser fit all around. Mom jeans normally feature full-length legs, while boyfriend jeans have cropped or cuffed legs.

In this post, you’ll learn how to distinguish between mom jeans and boyfriend jeans. You’ll discover the key distinctions between these two contemporary approaches. Finally, you’ll learn how to match your body type to the proper style!

What Are Mom Jeans?

What Are Mom Jeans

Mom jeans have a relaxed fit through the seat and thighs for added comfort and movement. Extremely high-waisted women’s jeans became popular in the 1980s. Originally, this fashion had a negative connotation–it was basically a female version of frumpy, baggy dad jeans!

Blue Age Women's High Rise Mom Jeans Straight Leg Solid Denim Cuffed Hem (JP1132H,MD,5)

Back in the day, no one wanted to see their mother in these looser, more casual denim styles. However, once the fashion world realized that this style combined comfort with a unique aesthetic, the rest is history. Mom jeans have grown in popularity dramatically over the last few decades, to the point where they are now considered a fashion staple.

One of the reasons mom jeans are so popular is that they flatter a wide range of body types, particularly those with more curves. Like so many tight and low-cut denim styles, the high waist smooths over any pooch in the belly area and doesn’t squish you into an unsightly muffin top.

Keep in mind, however, that “mom jeans” and “high-waisted jeans” are not always synonymous. Mom jeans are designed to be worn loosely. Other types of jeans can have a high waist yet be skin-tight in the seat and legs!

If you want to try on a pair of mom jeans, keep in mind that most major labels do not market this style as “mom jeans.” Look for terms like “high-waisted taper fit” or “high loose fit” instead.

Unlike slender or straight jeans, “mom jeans” refers to a loose-fitting pair of jeans with a very high waist. As a result, the exact details of the cut may differ from one brand to the next.

Mom jeans often include an extremely high waist, a loosely fitted seat, wide thighs, and tapering, full-length legs. You may also come across brands that sell mom jeans with cuffed or shorter legs.

What Are Boyfriend Jeans?

What Are Boyfriend Jeans

Boyfriend jeans are a loose, baggy style of jeans for women first popularized by Marylin Monroe way back in the 1960s. Marylin made the slouchy style into a symbol of carefree coolness, and they have remained popular for teens and adults ever since!

Eddie Bauer Women's Boyfriend Jeans - Slim Leg, Heritage Wash 12 Regular

Boyfriend jeans often have a low waistband that hangs freely above your hip bones. They always have a wide seat, plenty of leg room, and straight, nontapered legs. All of this gives the impression that the baggy denim is dangling off your body.

The term “boyfriend jeans” originated from the practice of young ladies borrowing men’s jeans from their significant others. Because men’s pants are often shaped differently than women’s pants, the idea of loose jeans that drape off a woman’s hips was born.

These jeans are frequently seen in fashion shots today, especially when a celebrity is spotted in a Starbucks or at Target on a day off. Furthermore, this denim style is still quite popular among teenagers, who frequently wear it with a tight or cropped top.

Because of the loose fit, bf jeans provide a lot of comfort and mobility, but they don’t fit all body shapes as well as mom jeans. The issue about boyfriend jeans is that they have to appear loose. Your curves will appear stretched out instead of hanging effortlessly down from your hips if they fill up the excess space inside the denim.

Bf jeans normally have straight legs that do not taper into a narrower leg opening, but they frequently have a short leg that stops above your ankle. In some circumstances, there may be cut-offs with a ragged edge, while in others, the legs will have a folded cuff.

Some well-known brands refer to their products as boyfriend jeans, but you’ll usually find a more accurate description. Levi’s, for example, sells a cropped version of their classic 501 for women, which is the brand’s version of bf jeans.

Mom Jeans vs Boyfriend Jeans: Key Points

Take a look at this quick comparison chart to see the main differences between mom jeans and boyfriend jeans.

Mom JeansBoyfriend Jeans
CutHigh cinched waist, but roomy seat and thighs. Tapered legs.Low waist, relaxed seat, loose or baggy legs
FitClose at the waist, but loose through the seat and legs.Very loose
TopClose-fitting waistband but loose top overall.Loose-fitting
WaistAlways high, sometimes several inches above the natural waist.Usually low-rise waist
Leg OpeningSlightly tapered. Can come in full length or cuffed or shortened length.Wider, with a cropped leg that ends 3” above ankle
How to WearPair with tucked-in tops. FLowing blouses, fluffy sweaters, and loose tees all look great with these high-waisted pants.Pair with tight blouses or tees, or crop tops.
Body TypeWorks well for people with rounded, tall, or short bodies. The only exception is people with pear-shaped bodies.Best for petite or tall and slender bodies

What Is the Difference Between Mom Jeans and Boyfriend Jeans?

Difference Between Mom Jeans and Boyfriend Jeans

The height of the waist and the leg cut are the key differences between mom jeans and boyfriend jeans. Mom jeans are normally high waisted, whilst boyfriend jeans are usually low waisted. Mom jeans have tapered legs that narrow in below the knee, whereas boyfriend jeans have straight legs that do not narrow in below the knee.


Although both mom and boyfriend jeans have a looser fit than many other denim types, there are some significant variances between them. First and foremost, mom jeans have a more precisely fitted waist than bf jeans, which in most cases have a loose, low-slung waist. Second, mom jeans are typically tapered below the knee, whereas boyfriend jeans are straight all the way down.

Traditionally, boyfriend jeans featured a looser crotch than mom jeans, though this has changed dramatically in recent years.

Mom and boyfriend jeans, on the other hand, always have a wide seat and thighs.


Despite the fact that both mom and boyfriend jeans feature a lot of extra room in critical areas, the fits are vastly different.

Mom jeans have a snug fit at the high waist, but they relax up in the seat and thigh area, making them quite comfortable.

Boyfriend jeans have a slack, low waist and straight, baggy legs. This fit provides the impression of slouchy, too-big pants.

Neither sort of jeans, however, should cling to your body as tightly as slim jeans do. One of the most distinguishing features of both mom and boyfriend jeans is their loose, comfy fit.


The top half of boyfriend and mom jeans has a distinct appearance. Boyfriend jeans have a low waist and a crotch and seat area that is very loose, almost baggy. (At least, that’s how they look most of the time–these days, slim-fitting boyfriend jeans with a tighter cut are also available.)

In contrast, the top of mom jeans has a high waist that is significantly narrower than the hip area of the top. This is due to the fact that women’s bodies naturally curve in at the waist and out at the hips, and this style mimics that figure. Mom jeans, on the other hand, frequently have more room in the hips, as well as a roomy seat and thigh area.


One of the distinctive elements of the mom jean, as you’ve probably observed, is its extremely high waist. This high waist skirt may include elastic in the back to help it fit snugly at the waist and then curve out more generously over the hips.

Boyfriend jeans have a straight, low-cut waist that sits just above or at the top of your hip bones. However, the exact rise (the distance between the center of the crotch and the top of the waistband) varies from one manufacturer to the next. To add to the overall baggy aspect of the pants, some boyfriend jeans have a looser crotch area.

Leg Opening

The leg opening measurement for mom jeans and boyfriend jeans is never the same from one brand to the next. Each style, however, will have various distinguishing characteristics.

Instead of straight legs, mom jeans nearly always have slightly tapered legs. This means that the leg opening at or above the ankle will be narrower than the leg opening at the knee. Mom jeans can also be cropped, cuffed, or have full-length legs.

Straight, loose legs with a wider leg opening characterize boyfriend jeans. The current fashion is for the leg to finish around 3 inches above the ankle, however full-length boyfriend jeans with a loose, baggy leg opening at the ankle are also popular.

Best for What Body Type

Both mom jeans and boyfriend jeans are loose and comfortable, but they flatter various body types.

Tall and thin or small and slender persons look best in boyfriend jeans. The loose fit can draw attention to a more curved figure, which is unflattering. Even persons with a straight body shape who can easily wear boyfriend jeans should be aware that this style does not accentuate your natural body form as well as many other denim types.

Is it true that Mom jeans are suitable for everyone? Well, not quite. If you have a pear-shaped physique, you might want to avoid mom jeans because the tapering legs will draw attention to it more than you want.

Mom jeans, on the other hand, feature a high waist that may nip in a rounded tummy and smooth over curved hips, which is why so many individuals with additional curves love them! Mom jeans are also suitable for persons of various heights. Shorter women may find that the high waist lengthens their legs, especially when paired with heels.

Mom Jeans vs Straight Jeans

Levi's Women's Classic Straight Jeans Pants, -Maui waterfall, 29 (US 8) R

Straight jeans and mom jeans have differing leg cuts, with mom jeans having slightly tapered legs. Regardless, both popular denim types have a looser overall fit, which has helped them become more popular in recent years.

From the hip to the ankle, straight-leg jeans have the same width in the leg. As you may expect, this entails a quite large leg opening all the way down to your ankle! This flexible fit makes it easy to move around. The leg of women’s jeans frequently finishes at or just above the ankle.

Straight-leg jeans come in a variety of waist designs, including high and low-cut waists. Mom jeans, on the other hand, are always very high waisted.

In addition, mom jeans are usually baggier in the seat and thighs than straight jeans. Because straight jeans do not nip in or out like mom jeans, which contour to accommodate curved bodies, they have a lovely rectangular, boxy appearance.

How Are Mom Jeans Supposed to Fit?

Mom jeans should fit comfortably across your waist without clinging like skinny jeans. You should have a half-inch or perhaps an inch of leeway in the seat and thighs due to the looser cut of this model. This allows you to move about freely, sit and stand, and even breathe easily!

Is it true that mom jeans hide belly fat? Yes, because they often feature a high, close-fitting waist and then looser hips to accommodate curves. This high waisted skirt includes a long zipper and a flat front to hide a stomach.

One aspect of mom jeans’ fit that you may find hard is that they have a slack seat, which means the fabric may hang more loosely about your behind than you prefer. In fact, in the worst-case situation, this sagging seat could make your back appear flat rather than rounded. However, if you prefer a really low-key aesthetic, this may be a benefit!

You should also look for mom jeans with tapered legs to help you appear taller and slimmer. Vintage versions with saggy or bootcut legs are available, however they may not fit as well.

Mom Jeans vs Skinny Jeans

Mom Jeans vs Skinny Jeans

Mom jeans are fairly loose fitting, whereas skinny jeans fit like a glove. Mom jeans and thin jeans both made their debut in the fashion industry around the same time, but slim jeans had a more edgy, trendier vibe at the time, whilst mom jeans had a frumpy reputation.

Both designs are highly popular nowadays, but they produce completely diverse fashions!

Most brands offer skinny jeans, which are the most form-fitting kind. These trousers are always made with a lot of elastic fibers to keep the fabric clinging to your body. Skinny jeans will draw attention to your body’s contour.

The disadvantage is that, in most situations, the tight fit makes this style highly confining and constricting.

Mom jeans, of course, have a super loose fit in the seat and thighs, making them comfortable to walk around in. Except for the cinched-in waist, they don’t fit snugly anywhere. They have saggy thighs and legs, giving them a considerably baggier appearance.

In general, only slender or small people feel comfortable wearing narrow jeans, despite their enormous appeal in the fashion industry. Mom jeans, on the other hand, are suitable for practically everyone!

How to Wear Mom Jeans

Tucking in your shirt, at least at the front of the waistband, is the ideal way to wear mom jeans! This may appear basic, yet it draws attention to the nipped-in high waist. Folding up the lower leg into a cuff, leaving about three inches of your ankle visible, is another wonderful method to make mom jeans look more trendy.

Beyond that, you can create a number of outfits by pairing your jeans with a range of tops and accessories:

  • Wear a black top with stonewashed or light-colored mom jeans. You can wear a skin-tight top to contrast with the looser cut of the bottoms or a baggy tee tucked in in the front!
  • If you prefer dark wash or black denim, you can simply make this look more edgy by wearing black ankle boots or a leather jacket.
  • Try wearing your mom jeans with a roomy blouse, oversized tee, or large blazer if you like a looser silhouette in all of your attire. Just be sure you tuck the shirt in the front so you don’t lose the waist-cinching effect!
  • Try wearing your jeans with a baggy, fuzzy sweater and high heels for a casual but elegant look. To complete the look, tuck the front of the sweater hem in.
  • Mom jeans look great with heels, ankle boots, or heeled sandals, especially if your legs are cuffed or cropped. This draws attention to your height while also balancing out the baggier style of the jeans.

How to Wear Boyfriend Jeans

Depending on how you wear them, boyfriend jeans can seem edgy, laid-back, or even sophisticated! Though it’s not a hard-and-fast rule, these loose pants are frequently matched with a tighter-fitting top, particularly in teen fashion. However, one smart exception to this rule is to create a tastefully slouchy look all over by pairing these baggy pants with a loose, off-the-shoulder shirt or sweater.

  • Wear your baggy pants with a crop top or a tight-fitting tee. Do you want to appear taller? To contrast the cuffed above-the-ankle legs, wear heeled sandals.
  • Pair a long and baggy blazer with a silky shirt and boyfriend jeans for a dressier but still slouchy appearance. With heels, you may go all out or keep it simple with flats or Keds.
  • Try lace-up boots with no heels, a roomy jacket, and a vintage tee for an on-the-go appearance. With so much loose clothing, you’ll wind up with a rectangle shape, but with the proper jacket, you may make it look rather fashionable!
  • Pair your jeans with bright heels and a slim-fitting silky top for a classic, casually sophisticated look.
  • Pair your jeans with a long, baggy cardigan for the mom-around-town or college student look that is so fashionable right now. To finish the look, tuck in a cropped shirt or a baggy tee at the front.

Dad Jeans vs Mom Jeans

Levi's Women's Dad Jeans, Charlie Boy, Blue, 30

Dad jeans have the same relaxed, comfortable feel as mom jeans, but they’re more straight and have less curves.

Dad jeans are similar to boyfriend jeans, however they are typically worn higher on the hips. They normally have straight legs and don’t draw attention to your hips, seat, or curves. Instead, they have a rather boxy shape to them, as if they’re designed to be worn casually.

To complete the relaxed, at-home vibe, you might prefer to match dad jeans with loose sweaters or hoodies.

Consider the last time you saw your father in jeans–if his belt was the only thing keeping his sagging, boxy-looking denim in place, that’s exactly how dad jeans should appear on you!

Should I Get Mom Jeans or Boyfriend Jeans?

How do you know if you should choose mom jeans or boyfriend jeans, given that both have a loose, casual fit? If you want to stay current with fashion, there are a few basic rules to follow to assist you pick between these two popular denim designs.

If you have a curvier body shape, are short and want your legs to appear longer, or are tall and want your torso to appear shorter, mom jeans are for you. Because of the high tightened waist, mom jeans can camouflage a little belly pooch. Mom jeans, on the other hand, can make your posterior look rather flat, and the tapering legs will make anyone with a pear-shaped body look even more pear-shaped.

If you have a narrow, straight body type or are really petite and skinny, you should get boyfriend jeans because the low waist might make your torso appear longer. Boyfriend jeans have a super loose fit and flow over your hips, making them ideal for pairing with more casual styles like crop tops or tight shirts.

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