Archive for Monday, July 16, 2012


Lawrence Laundry: High-waisted shorts can be flattering

July 16, 2012


Gaby Otero, a 20-year-old student from Lawrence, shows high-waisted jean shorts — aka mom-jean shorts — can work on some body types.

Gaby Otero, a 20-year-old student from Lawrence, shows high-waisted jean shorts — aka mom-jean shorts — can work on some body types.

Mom jeans.

You know what I’m talking about: The term coined on “Saturday Night Live” for those high-waisted, light denim, tapered-ankle jeans that somehow flatten the curvature of every woman’s body into ill-defined lumps and crevices.

They’re unmistakable in American society, made popular in the early 1990s by — you got it — moms.

Designers have introduced a vast variety of jean styles throughout the last 70 years that continue coming into and going out of style, but of all the styles I thought would resurge, mom jeans were at the bottom of the list.

However, as with many things that are fashion “forward,” mom jeans fit into the category of “so out they’re in.” Someone had to wear them as a statement piece, and then naturally, others followed.

This summer, Mass. Street is buzzing with young, fashion-conscious women in high-waisted, mom-jean shorts. And oddly enough, I have no qualms with it.

Now, to be sure, there’s a big difference between mom jeans and mom-jean shorts. For example, the tapered legs of mom jeans create an awful illusion of disproportionately big hips and butt versus really small calves and ankles. Mom-jean shorts, on the other hand, allow a woman’s legs and hips to speak for themselves.

It also makes a difference in who is wearing the shorts. Depending on body type, mom-jean shorts can flatter the body of a younger woman in her teens or 20s because she is most likely at her curviest. However, the natural flattening of curves on women over the age of 40 intensifies the flattening illusion of this style of shorts. Additionally, mom-jean shorts are usually pretty short — not an appropriate look for middle-aged women.

Style writers and online bloggers have taken to bashing any celebrity (or any woman, for that matter) caught in mom-jean shorts over the past couple months. I’m not trying to stick up for mom-jean shorts as much as I’m trying to say that they’re not that bad. In fact, they can look cute if the other pieces in the outfit stay modest and up-to-date. I don’t own a pair, and I don’t plan on buying any, but the unflattering silhouette that mom jeans create just doesn’t carry over into mom-jean shorts.

Mom-jean shorts are bringing back the ‘90s in a new way. Whether this new way is good or bad, I’ll let you decide, but I don’t think ‘90s fashion could get a whole lot worse. Mom jeans, on the other hand, can stay as far away from 2012 and beyond as possible — nobody should wear them.

If you’re a woman in her 20s, and you like wearing high-waisted shorts, then by all means, do it. When the weather cools off, though, please don’t let this trend carry into mom jeans. It’s all I ask.

— Ali Edwards can be reached at


number3of5 5 years, 10 months ago

Age has nothing to do with fashion. Women over forty can still wear shorts and look good in them. I know I did until I was 55.

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