Revisit Shelby Scudder’s closet.
Norman Bates once famously informed Marion Crane (and the world) that “a boy’s best friend is his mother.” Obviously, this was spoken before the advent of “mom jeans,” the catalyst for the downfall of any notion of style, or sex appeal for that matter, for those who have bore children. Mom jeans are something that is probably familiar to all of us who have had, well, a mother (except me. See: www.stylelikeu.com). Just to recap, mom jeans are a very special cut of denim that somehow manages to situate a mother’s waistline right below her breasts, creating the appearance of lengthy, flat buttocks measuring about three feet from top to bottom. This look – let’s call it “pancake butt” – became a major point of ridicule and the source of numerous jokes (most famously, the infamous SNL parody) throughout the ’90s and early 2000s, a time where it was fashionable to wear one’s jeans as low as humanly possible (Lets face it. We all got way too comfortable with butt crack exposure in the age of Britney Spears). In this time period, mom jeans became increasingly marginalized, something exclusively (and shamefully) worn by middle aged women to hold in their growing bellies while looking as sexually undesirable as humanly possible as they shuttled their brood to soccer practice and wiped baby vomit off their oversized, over-laundered t-shirts. Sigmund Freud once hypothesized that the first woman to whom a man is physically attracted is his mother. Freud clearly never experienced mom jeans.
BUT WAIT! In the late 2000s, something very curious happened. Maybe it was the rise of irony in fashion, or maybe it was just because Britney shaved her head and went cuckoo (or became a mother herself), but suddenly wearing mom jeans went from being one of fashion’s most taken-for-granted no no’s and became something (gasp!) hip. In 2011, the situation has reversed to such an extent that when you see a chick walking around in low-rise jeans, you’re probably thinking she’s a suburban mother, while Zooey Deschanel traipses around in mom jeans, her rather petite butt made to look many, many extra inches in diameter. And actually, this looks really cool on her for some reason. SLU muse Shelby Scudder says wearing mom jeans makes her feel sexy and lo and behold, she actually does look really sexy in them. It’s the same way Ms. Fitz looks fabulous and bold in the same technicolor, oversized windbreaker that made Bea Arthur look like a circus sideshow on “Golden Girls.” It has everything to do with ownership over the clothes we put on everyday. Putting on mom jeans as an act of resignation looks completely different then putting on mom jeans as a bold style choice. Heck, I’m a dude and I’ve got my fair share of mom jeans in my closet. (Side note: I will say that men in mom jeans poses a lot of its own unique problems. Moose knuckle, anyone?)
But I digress! So what have we learned today? Mom jeans are in fact not the uniform of menopause anymore, and can be really sexy (equal ratio of square feet to human desire?). Norman Bates and Sigmund Freud probably would have thought way differently about life if they knew about mom jeans, and people should probably keep their butt cracks under wraps for the rest of time, both from a fashion perspective and, frankly, just as a courtesy to other humans. And finally, things that were once universally considered the end of female sexuality and the scourge of style as we know it can sometimes end up being the height “chic”-ness (chic-ity?) depending on your intention when you put them on. If you are in fact a mother who is looking to hide their sexuality in unflattering, yet comfortably fitting denim, you will appear that way. However, If you are an adorable, confident girl like Shelby, wearing the same jeans makes you look, well, adorable and confident. It’s all about how you feel inside and also all about the “why” when you put your clothes on in the morning. So, you go fashion innovators of 2011. Reclaim that pancake butt from the dowdy suburban mothers of yore! Pancakes are fucking delicious, after all. – Louis Mandelbaum