I don't know what's worse, shopping for bathing suits, or shopping for jeans. Both experiences are right up there with pap-smears and cleaning up vomit on my list of "ugh-worthy" activities. Shopping for bathing suits and jeans leave you frustrated and deflated, shimmying into too-tight or slithering into too-loose fabrics, discovering new areas of your body that have either drooped downwards or disappeared completely off the face of the earth (i.e. my waist and confidence). Ultimately, both have you fleeing the dressing room empty-handed and heading straight for the nearest fro-yo shop for a double-scoop of frozen therapy.  

Let's face it, after kids, our bodies just aren't the same as they were pre-kids. As each of my three boys descended down the birth canal, other body parts followed suit: boobs, bum, waist...they all bought a one-way ticket south from Taut-ville to Mom-ville. But just because your body is different, doesn't mean that you can't look great and feel great - especially in the ultimate uniform of Moms everywhere in North-America - jeans! You just need to know how to shop for your body and Houdini yourself. It's about illusion my friends. Jeans are now day-wear to evening-wear. Dress them up, dress them down, take them anywhere - your wardrobe's best-friend can also be your foe if you don't own the right ones.

Let me show you what I mean. The right pair of jeans, will bring out the best in you- elongate the limbs, lift the touche and cinch the waist - price does not matter, designer label does not matter. It either works on you, or it doesn't. The wrong pair of jeans will be bad, so bad...  

To prove my point, I recently grabbed 9 pairs of jeans in my size off the rack at a local shop that had an extensive denim collection, in prices varying from $40-$250. Then I took to taking a ton of belfies (butt selfies).  As you will see, the exact same body can look REALLY different, depending on the style and wash, placement of pockets, seaming, etc...  Take note:
I arrived in these Lola Jeans (Cdn. brand $70): these are the right fit for me: perfect pocket placement,
4-way stretch on legs, dark wash, mid-rise...

Wow - not good: my bum looks enormous because the pockets are too long and large.  2-way stretch so they pinch my upper legs and give the dreaded stuffed-sausage effect - wash makes rump and legs look larger. Ugh.

Although very comfy, these tapered jeggings feature ZERO flattering features: my arse looks enormous (review pic 1 to compare) and the acid-washing effect makes me look either crazy, craving the 80's or both. I purchased these flat-out so as to take them out of circulation - then burnt them.

Here's a case of pockets that are wayyy tooo small, way too high and wayyy tooo wide, so it spreads my butt east and west like my cheeks are on a scavenger hunt... Even my Mom's Mom wouldn't wear these! Plus the wash, is still too light so it adds pounds - nobody wants to add pounds.

Issues can arise in the front too. Here the fabric bunches to create a vortex of pleating - camel toe in the works - run, very fast from jeans that do this....

By this point, I was really starting to think that I had an unflattering rear-end...and maybe I do. But certainly, the jeans make all the difference. These are getting better but they flatten the rear - we want lift! The right distressing and fade patterns create that illusion... these do not, but the stitching on the pockets does help define the cheeks...

Anyone craving I.H.O.P? Enough said.

Aha! The darker wash slims, the pockets are the right size, but the legs are bunching - not the right stretch to them..and they are lower rise which leads to....(below)

Muffin top.  If you've got a butt or hips or belly, or all of the above, don't even look at a low-rise jean. Mid-rise or higher rise will keep all that fleshy-fun contained in the pants and slim the silhouette.

Perhaps the saddest bum ever...and note the legs.  These jeans scream "I give up",  "I have zero sex appeal"
"I dine and work at the I.H.O.P"


Although light wash, these jeans are vastly better than the others I tried on. They lift and minimize the same bum that looked so sad, droopy and hopeless up above. Nice fit on the upper leg and cute flare at bottom for that Martini glass effect.


The jeans on the left were all wrong, whereas the ones on the right worked.  Look at the pockets: the smaller, narrower pockets on the first pair, enlarged my butt - notice how long the seam on the derriere of the first pair is...that gave my cheeks ample room to just hang-out and hang low...  The ones on the right hugged my bum and visually lifted.  

Again, my Lola jeans. Note that V-seam (kind of like Lululemons) which cuts the length of the rear visually and the pockets help to round the cheeks out - suddenly, my butt looks lifted, younger. The darker wash slims too.  These Mom jeans have....a 3" elastic waist! No buttons - pull-ons!!  Yep, these are my Mom jeans.

So, now that we've all spent way too much time analysing my arse, it's time for you to grab a three-way mirror and check out your assets.  The butt makes the jeans - there's no dispute.  Bottom-line (pun intended), there's no perfect pair for everyone, it takes some trial and error but here's what you can automatically gravitate towards next time you're shopping for Mom-worthy denim:

  • Mid to high rise for the cut
  • Bootleg or Slim fit
  • 4-way stretch (to avoid bunching or pinching in weird places)
  • Darker wash (slimming)
  • Perfectly placed pockets - more square shaped, angled out, not too small or high
  • Detailed stitching on pockets - adds interest, lifts and adds that little bubble-bum effect
  • Size down - if they feel just a bit tight in the store, they will be perfect once broken in.

You'll find Kasie Savage's blog (almost) Mom of the Year by clicking here