anne_mikolay_120I heard it again last night...that phrase commonly tossed around by so-called fashion experts: mom jeans.

“Mom jeans!” The television style guru said with exaggerated condescension. “Never wear mom jeans!”

Mom jeans. Exactly who coined that term in the first place, and who deemed it a bad thing? Designers intent on shaming women into buying high priced skinny jeans? Cereal companies that lure you into eating their cardboard flakes twice a day with the promise of shrinking two jeans sizes in a week? Skinny gals who want to feel good about themselves at the expense of others?

For those of you unfamiliar with this highly touted fashion don't, mom jeans commonly refer to any high waisted, sometimes with elastic, stretchy jeans worn by women well past their disco days. In other words, a so-called denim fashion faux pas.

Hold on a second! What's wrong with mom jeans? Mom jeans serve a purpose. They may not be welcome on the runway, but mom jeans certainly have a place at the PTO meeting. Mom jeans are worn by sensible women who value function (and breathing) over high style, women who want to enjoy their food without popping a zipper, women who shop sans stilettos, and women who laugh at impractical clothing, like neon green, skin hugging shorts modeled on Heidi Klum's Project Runway. Mom jeans are real jeans for real people.

I have plenty of jeans in my closet in varying sizes and colors, and yes, a few are mom jeans. So what? I'm admittedly long past the days when nothing came between me and my Calvins, so why would I squeeze myself into designer jeans? But give me a little credit. I know when mom jeans are appropriate and when they are not. My black jeans and my leather boots are reserved for special occasions; my mom jeans are my “day wear.” And since I'm not a super model goose-stepping down the runway, or a Real Housewife of New Jersey who can drop a hundred dollars or more on a pair of jeans, my mom jeans suit me just fine.

To fashionistas opposed to mom jeans, or those who are loath to admit ownership, I ask: what's the alternative for women of a certain age? We've all seen middle-aged ladies, firmly in denial, who stuff their post-menopausal figures into skin tight jeans in a fruitless effort to look ten years younger. That's a far greater eye-popping fashion faux pas than wearing jeans with an elastic waist. Style watchers, cut us moms a break. We like our mom jeans, and until designers meet the real needs of real women, we'll keep them.