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August 26, 2013 / ginavoskov2013

Did I buy mom jeans?

In all of my excitement about this new thing I found called Stitch Fix*, I think I may have purchased a pair of mom jeans. So Stitch Fix is this styling/personal shopping service online. You tell them your style, your price points, your color and print preferences, special clothing needs (such as tops that work for breastfeeding) and so on, and they send you five pieces of clothing or accessories. You then have three days to try on the pieces with all of your own clothes, in the comfort of your own home. You pay for what you keep, and send back what you don’t. You have no idea what they’re going to send, so it’s an awesome surprise. Plus, it’s just great for me now considering the last thing I have the ability to do is go shopping in stores. (You may think it’d be easy to get around NYC with a baby, but it’s not. I usually use the Ergo when I take the subway, so how am I going to try clothes on when Edie’s in the Ergo? Not possible. And I’m not putting her down on a dressing room floor.) In any case, a couple of weeks ago, I got my first “Fix” and was very excited about keeping a top they sent. I asked my very stylish friends how they’d dress up the shirt and they both said “skinny jeans.”

I can’t tell you how wrong skinny jeans are on me. I have one pair that are actually okay because they’re so stretchy, and they feel more like leggings than jeans. I ended up wearing these through most of my pregnancy, actually, if that tells you anything. I have two other pairs of skinny jeans and there is NO fitting into them now. Just no chance whatsoever. Not that I’m enormous, but it’s just totally all wrong. My body is just a bit softer in weirder places these days and I think you gotta be a hard body to rock skinny jeans. Or a harder body, anyway.

So I looked online for some “high waisted” skinny jeans because they’re all the rage, and the high waist might serve the purpose of hiding some of that soft bod. I scored a last minute auction on Ebay for a pair of grey, high waisted skinny jeans that were already hemmed to my length. (I’m short–and curvy–two additional reasons why skinny jeans aren’t okay. And also? I’m in my mid-30s. And also? on maternity leave–who am I dressing up for? And also? Since when did wearing skinny jeans mean I was “dressing up?”) Two days later, the jeans arrived in the mail. I put them on. They fit perfectly! Perfect length, perfect amount of stretch, perfect high waist–even a little big so I can take them in. Yay! I tried them on with flats because, who am I kidding, I can’t bother with heels ever.

And then, somewhere in the back of my mind, a terrible thought was born. Maybe the jeans were a bit too stretchy. Maybe a bit too high waisted. And I’m pretty sure I looked exactly like my mother from the knee down. She always hemmed her tapered leg jeans a fraction of an inch too short so that when she sat down they hiked up to mid-calf. And she wore them with flats or walking sneakers. And holy shit, I’M MY MOTHER.

You have to understand that my mother’s sense of fashion came directly from L.L. Bean. Every single one of her turtlenecks was from L.L. Bean, every single one of her jeans (in light blue wash) was from L.L. Bean, all of her sweaters, all of her jackets, everything. She’d be the first to admit that her “fancy” clothes came from Lands End and, on the extremely rare occasion that she had to dress up, she would go to the consignment store in Essex Junction to look for a cheap dress. She had nine pairs of shoes, nearly all of them the same style just different colors. Those eleven pairs also included her lawn-mowing sneakers that used to be mine, enormous winter boots, a bunch of solid flats in the same style, and two pairs of wool clogs, and leather slippers. She clung onto clothes that she had in college, namely two kilts that I’m pretty sure she wore during her field hockey games but somehow thought that 25 years later they’d be work appropriate and paired them with penny loafers–with actual pennies in them. In the summer, she’d wear gym shorts and t-shirts. The same t-shirts every year: the Camp Arcadia 90th anniversary shirt, the “Jamaican Me Crazy” one, and the navy blue Iceland shirt with all the sheep on it. She was a beautiful woman, but her clothing did absolutely nothing for her.  (Oddly enough, this was true until she got sick, and then she let other people pick out clothes for her and she looked pretty stylish.) She never plucked her eyebrows, bothered with her nails, or did anything more than run a plastic comb through her hair after she showered. And dye her hair? She wouldn’t stoop to that level. She had fabulously grey hair–it was fluorescent silver, if that’s even possible. She reveled in her hair color. My mother was the definition of no-nonsense EVERYTHING. She just didn’t give a fuck.

Eleven weeks postpartum and I am all of the above. No time to dry my now silver-streaked hair after a shower, I run a purple plastic comb through it and sprint to the other room to check on Edith. The most I do to my face is slap lotion on it, and I haven’t seen the inside of a nail salon since May. And worst of all, the very worst, is that the jeans I’ve just purchased for dirt cheap that once belonged to someone else look as though I’ve pulled them directly from my mother’s drawers. They fit my body exactly as my mom’s jeans fit her: just slightly too loose in just slightly the wrong places.

When Dennis came home, I asked him to please tell me if I was wearing Mom Jeans. I slid into them and stood in the hallway. He looked closely, silently.

“Well,” I said, hastily, “let me try them on with a different top.” And a minute or so later, when he was still quiet, I said, “Different shoes, maybe. Be right back.”

But even as I was trading the nude flats for the black ones, I knew it. They were Mom Jeans. They could have been my mom’s jeans. When I returned, Dennis simply said, “There’s too much fabric in weird places.”

I can’t even post a picture of them here because I know he’s completely right. There’s too much fabric in weird places. That’s the definition of Mom Jeans. Which is why they are so fucking comfortable. All of the weird softness I’ve got now fits perfectly into th extra fabric in weird places.

I’m not going to lie and tell you I’ll never wear them. I probably will. I even brought them on our weekend trip. I didn’t wear them, but I had them with me. Instead I opted for shorts and a t-shirt, just like my mom. I didn’t care how I looked–why did I need to? But they might someday. If I find the right pair of shoes, and definitely the right top. Maybe a loose cardigan, a flouncy shirt, long earrings? I’ll keep trying. But honestly, as soon as I can get a couple of free hours and someone I trust to watch Edie, I’m getting my hair cut and colored, my nails done, and my face resurfaced. After all that, I bet the jeans will look better.



If you’re interested in Stitch Fix, use this link here because then I get $25 to spend on clothes that are anything but Mom Jeans.



Leave a Comment
  1. Jennie / Aug 26 2013 5:01 pm

    You will be so happy you are making the time to write here. And I am so happy to read your words again. SO happy.

    • ginavoskov2013 / Aug 26 2013 10:15 pm

      🙂 Thank you! Kind of feels like old times, no? Finding the time to write is hard but worth it, I agree.

  2. Rach / Aug 27 2013 1:15 pm

    When we’re back from Israel, I’d be happy to watch Edie for the afternoon if you’d like and you can do all of the above. OR we can find someone else and I’ll be your beauty buddy. 🙂

  3. Melinda / Sep 9 2013 2:06 pm

    This made me laugh. I think being like your Mom is a good thing. What a beautiful heart she had.
    But I understand about all of a sudden liking bigger pants and it being a scary evolution! I realized that my handbag never got smaller than a diaper bag after I became a mom. I felt the need to bring it all with me. My shoulder felt much better when I finally ‘down-sized 10 years later’!
    Wear your baggy pants while you are breast feeding. Breast feeding women will store extra needed padding there but you will lose it when you stop breast feeding. You can ditch your baggy trousers then! Be comfy at home, I say.
    I am enjoying your motherhood blog very much. Not much has changed since I became a mother 28 years ago. Same worries, same joys!
    I Wish I lived nearer to you so I could come in and give you a bathroom break and to get to know Edith. x

    • ginavoskov2013 / Sep 9 2013 2:19 pm

      Ah, Melinda, I’d love to have you here to meet Edith! And trust me, I am *rocking* the baggy pants right now. Haven’t gotten out of my pj’s today yet.

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