"But you don't want to wear MOM jeans, do you?"
Said my mom, to me, after a frustrating hour-long jeans try-on-a-thon at our local Old Navy. I had just rejected yet another pair of "classic-rise" jeans that weren't even making a serious attempt at approaching my belly button (or covering the stretch marks), and I was about to cry.
My sole pair of halfway-decently-fitting jeans are falling down and falling apart, and I had searched high and low for a pair--just ONE pair--of jeans that might replace them, even if that meant trying out the skinny jeans trend.
Well, maybe I do want "Mom jeans" (minus the stonewashing and pleating, anyway). Because I'm sick of jeans labeled "high" or "mid-rise" resting five inches below my natural waist. What conspiracy decided that "modern" jeans should sit barely above the hips, requiring tunic-length shirts to awkwardly hide exposed bellies, and belted tops to emphasize a natural waist that could just as easily be emphasized by a well, waistband?
I am perfectly fine with my post-baby belly--stretch-marks and squish and all--because I couldn't begrudge anything having to do with the birth of my amazing wonderful little girl. But that doesn't mean I covet the muffin-top look, and I would much rather the emphasis be on my waist than my belly, thank you very much.
And as a vintage lover, I reject the idea that a low-waisted jean is inherently superior (though it certainly works awesomely for many, of course). Seriously, when and how DID this happen? If you look at any pants or skirt sewing patterns from the WHENEVER up to the 1980s, they pretty much rest on the so-called "natural" waist:
Yeah, there you have it--the hip-hugger jean (and that pattern envelope girl is even striking a pose worthy of Tanit-Isis, queen of the low-rise jean!). Perhaps we can blame the 1970s? The natural waisted jean had a brief revival in the 1980s:
And then somehow, somewhen--in the 90s?--someone permanently decided that it was more modern to ignore the laws of logic and gravity and figure flattery and decree that natural waists were not only outdated, but UGLY, PASSE, and FRUMPY, retraining the eyes of millions over time until we could not but be horrified and terrified by so-called "Mom jeans." This (admittedly hilarious, thank you Tina Fey) Saturday Night Live video didn't help:
So where does this leave me? Frustrated and jeansless, pretty much. (And that Craftsy Jean-ius class wouldn't work for me, as I have no jeans I'd even want to copy). I even went to American Apparel, but their high-waisted jeans did NOT work for me, and seemed quite a bit more 80s than 40s or 50s:
And speaking of natural waists--what's a girl supposed to wear with her high-waisted jeans, pencil skirts and so on? It's almost IMPOSSIBLE to find cute, reasonably priced high-waisted underthings... in fact, most of these are actually retro swimwear bottoms from Modcloth:
So, readers, some questions for you:
- How do you feel about natural-waisted women's trousers and panties? Do you think they can be sexy, or do they automatically scream "FRUMP-VILLE" or "80s" to you?
- Do you have any favorite sources for high-er waisted jeans and panties--or do you prefer to make them yourself?
- Have you ever been accused of wearing "Mom jeans"?
- If you DO prefer low-waisted jeans--tell me why?
Update May 2013: Thank you for all the awesome comments on this post. I went to many stores and tried on a number of jeans, and the ones that ended up working best for me were the Not Your Daughter's Jeans Marilyn Straight Leg—they don't hit EXACTLY at my waist, but they are close enough. I did buy one pair full-price, but have bought a few others at deep discount from 6pm.com.
I also ordered a huge variety of different "high cut panties" styles from HerRoom and ended up really liking the Naomi & Nicole Light Control Lace Brief Panty 724, the Rago Shaper Panty Brief With Lace 919 (Made in USA) and the Warner's All Day Fit No Pinching Hi-Cut Brief Panty 5138. The Warner's are the most casual and low-cut of the hi-cut bunch, the Naomi and Nicole are close to the natural waist, the Rago is a bit above the natural waist. All are awesome in their own way!
Thanks again readers!
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