Mom Jeans vs Boyfriend Jeans, The Classic Styles Difference in Fit

What is the difference between mom jeans and boyfriend jeans? Mom jeans vs boyfriend jeans? Have you ever wondered what are the differences in these styles and whether the jeans styles would flatter your figure? Well read on because this post will answer those questions for you! A picture is worth a thousand words and I’ve put together images with a side-by-side comparison of mom jeans vs boyfriend jeans to see the difference in fit. Pictures are indeed great but words are still handy so I will describe the features that make mom jeans and boyfriend jeans that particular jeans style and add a few stye tips for some body types.

What are Boyfriend Jeans and Mom Jeans?

First a quick rundown on what mom jeans and boyfriend jeans are – the cut and construction for each jeans style. You get a clue from the name of the jeans style. Classic mom jeans are a high-waist, tapered leg jean style usually made from a lighter wash, rigid denim without detailing such as whiskers and fading. They are also roomier in the torso region, sometimes with a longer zipper. Wearing mom jeans can be challenging if you are pear shaped since the tapered leg style can emphasize a pear shape. If you have a round tummy trying to zip the high-rise, rigid denim jeans can be difficult and in the end will probably be uncomfortable and emphasize a round stomach. Mom jeans also tend to flatten and elongate your rear.

mom jeans vs bf jeans, boyfriend and mom jeans
BDG Urban Outfitters Mom Jeans

Though they were considered fashionable in the late 1980’s to early 1990’s, by the early 2000’s they were mostly worn by middle-aged women. Fast forward about 10-15 years and by 2014 and you find mom jeans were offered by retailers as an on-trend option for your denim wardrobe. You can still find stylish mom jeans (high-waist, tapered leg jeans) , sometimes with modern touches like a cropped length, stretch denim, distressing and fading.

The classic boyfriend jean would look like jeans you borrowed from your boyfriend’s closet. The classic boyfriend jean has a slouchy, loose fit and sits lower on the hips. They are less fitted than mom jeans and the leg is more a straight cut than tapered. You can find boyfriend jeans in a baggier, loose fitting cut or in a slim-downed version. The more slimmed down, fitted version may be labeled slim boyfriend jeans or girlfriend jeans.

mom jeans vs bf jeans, boyfriend and mom jeans
Rag & Bone Rosa Boyfriend Jeans

Mom Jeans vs Boyfriend Jeans: The Images

In the strictest sense of the terms the images show typical fit for the mom jeans and boyfriend jeans styles. The jean styles placed side-by-side can help you see what is the difference between mom jeans and boyfriend jeans. Boyfriend jeans can be low-rise or high-rise but are typically mid-rise. Mom jeans are by definition, high-rise jeans. The main difference in mom jeans vs boyfriend jeans is in the zipper area. The crotch to waist length is rather elongated and the zipper area is roomier in mom jeans. But mom jeans have a fitted cut at the side-waist that tapers inward. In contrast, classic boyfriend jeans have a straighter cut in the waist, since they are mimicking jeans cut for a more angular, male figure.

mom jeans vs boyfriend jeans, what is the difference between mom jeans and boyfriend jeans
Mom Jeans vs Boyfriend Jeans

The jeans in the pictures are left to right, are BDG Urban Outfitters Mom Jeans, Lee 90s Vintage Mom Jeans and Rag & Bone Rosa Boyfriend Jeans. These are older styles and may no longer be available. But Scroll to the end of this post for similar jeans

Another area that can differ is the cut of the leg. Classic mom jeans typically have a tapered leg though some have a straight-leg style. Classic boyfriend jeans have a straight-leg cut. The last area of comparison is the denim used to make the jeans. Classic mom jeans are made from a rigid, light wash denim without details such as fading and distressing. Boyfriend jeans on the other hand often feature details such as distressing and fading to imitate much-loved and worn jeans.

In this mom jeans vs boyfriend jeans back view image, you can see how mom jeans can elongate your rear.

difference between mom jeans and boyfriend jeans, mom jeans vs boyfriend jeans
Mom Jeans vs Boyfriend Jeans (back view)

Mom Jeans vs Boyfriend Jeans: variations in boyfriend and mom jeans

The most mom-like mom jeans and distressed, baggy boyfriend jeans can be the trend-of-the-moment and you may find the more classic versions of these styles at your favorite retailer. But some jean brands tend to hone both styles towards a similar, aesthetic.

Consequently their can be less contrast in mom jeans vs boyfriend jeans and it is harder to see what is the difference between mom jeans and boyfriend jeans. The mom jeans aren’t so “mom-like” and baggy at the zipper and many boyfriend jeans are slimmed down versions of the baggier jeans that do look more like you borrowed them from your boyfriend. Mom jeans can be made from a variety of denim washes and have added fading and distressing for a new spin on mom style jeans. And both boyfriend and mom jeans can be made in a crop style for a sporty aesthetic.

Mom Jeans vs Boyfriend Jeans: Synopsis

Before I get to style tips about boyfriend jeans and mom jeans on different body types, here is the cliff notes version of what is the difference between mom jeans and boyfriend jeans.

Classic Mom Jeans
  • Roomy in the zipper area and high-rise cut
  • More fitted
  • Tapered leg style, can be straight leg as well
Variations: Updated Mom Jeans Style Elements
  • Fading and distressing
  • Can be made with stretch denim
  • Cropped style jeans
  • Different washes of denim
Classic Boyfriend Jeans
  • Slouchy fit, sits lower on the hips
  • Cut straighter
  • Straight leg style
Variations: Slim Boyfriend / Girlfriend Jeans
  • More fitted cut
  • Different rises (low, mid or high rise)
  • Cropped style jeans
  • Can be made with stretch denim

Style tips for wearing mom jeans and boyfriend jeans

Mom jeans can be among the hardest jeans styles to wear if you have a tummy pooch, a flatter bottom or are pear shaped. The taper in the leg can accentuate a pear shape and the rigid denim can make it hard to zip the pants over your stomach. Mom jeans also tend to flatten and elongate your rear. Below are a selection of styles that are good alternatives to mom jeans if you have a muffin top or tummy pooch. If you are pear shaped, a better option than a tapered leg jean would be a straight leg or wider hem jean such as bootcut jeans or trouser jeans to balance your curves.

Alternatives to classic mom jeans

There are many brands that incorporate slimming panels in their jeans to banish tummy pooches and give the wearer a sleek silhouette. Below are just a few of the brands that offer tummy slimming jeans. And as a bonus these same jeans often give your rear a lift too!

Classic mom jeans

If you are average build, rectangular or hourglass shaped or tall and slim, you can probably easily pull off any jeans style. For you, mom jeans vs boyfriend jeans is just an opportunity to add variety to your denim wardrobe. Shop these classic mom jeans styles.

Boyfriend jeans

The options for boyfriend jeans are such that you can find a pair to suit your figure and add this jean style to your closet. A good rule of thumb is that if you are plus size or have large hips and thighs wearing your clothes too loosely can make you appear bigger. You don’t have to wear jeans that are super tight but consider a pair of girlfriend or boyfriend jeans that are more fitted. You can even find the same slimming construction in boyfriend jeans that you find in the above jean styles. (Of the jeans listed below only the Democracy jeans have a slimming panel)

It is easy to see the contrast in mom jeans vs boyfriend jeans when it comes to the classic versions of these styles. Now that you know what’s the difference between mom jeans and boyfriend jeans and are armed with a few style tips, shop the perfect mom or boyfriend jeans.

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