Gen Z has made it clear that they don’t approve of our “out of style” skinny jeans, we get it. But they haven’t said anything about our mom jeans—and we hope it stays that way. Despite the not-so-flattering name, this denim style has become a staple in all of our wardrobes, thanks to a waist-cinching high-rise fit and the roomy slouch through the hips. Honestly, we’re fans of any pair of pants that are comfortable to sit in. Here, seven mom jean outfits you should definitely wear in 2021—and two you should retire ASAP.

RELATED: Wondering How to Wear Ankle Boots With Skinny Jeans? Just Follow These Style Rules and You’ll Be Good to Go

mom jean outfits neutral jackets
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1. Neutral Jacket + Grey Jeans + Loafers

The easiest way to dress up a pair of looser mom jeans? Just toss a blazer over a T-shirt and slip on some loafers. It’s an easy, go-to spring outfit that feels pulled together but never fussy. The key for keeping things modern is to show a little ankle, so go with a cropped pair of jeans or simply roll the cuff a few times.

Get the look: M.M. LaFleur jardigan ($225); Free People T-shirt ($38); Levi’s jeans ($98); Vagabond loafers ($160); COS clutch ($190)

mom jean outfits black trench
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2. Black Trench + Black Turtleneck + Faded Jeans + Chunky Boots

The easiest way to look like a cool girl? Just slip on a black leather trench. And make sure the rest of your accessories—including a pair of spring-friendly leather boots—are in the same shade of noir. The only thing that should add color to this ‘fit are those faded blue jeans.

Get the look: Ray-Ban aviators ($154); BlankNYC trench coat ($148; $104); Everlane turtleneck ($30); Agolde jeans ($168); Ganni boots ($445); J.W. Pei bag ($89; $83)

mom jean outfits white button down
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3. White Button-Down + Blue Jeans + Tall Leather Boots

Tall boots are having something of a moment—and we bet you haven’t tried tucking your mom jeans into tall kicks yet this year. The tip is to go with a slimmer-cut denim. While a bit of bunching above the knee isn’t totally passé, do opt for less fabric around your calf and ankle area. (And we’ll let you in on a styling secret: No one will know if you pair your boots with cropped jeans!)

Get the look: Anine Bing jacket ($399); Raen sunglasses ($150); Citizens of Humanity button-down ($248); Calvin Klein jeans ($80); Schultz boots ($298)

mom jean outfits colorful cardigan
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4. Colorful Cardi + Ankle-Length Jeans + Barely-There Sandals

We honestly can’t wait to try this look out once spring weather rolls around...if only for the opportunity to wear strappy sandals without freezing our toes off. We love the shocking—but not overwhelming—color combo of a lavender cardi and yellow accessories, which feels so fresh when juxtaposed with the faded jeans we pull on once a week. Just make sure your sweater-as-a-top hits right at the waistline of your high-rise jean, for the most slimming silhouette possible.

Get the look: Urban Outfitters sunglasses ($16); Mango cardigan ($50); Everlane jeans ($78); By Far sandals ($183); Simon Miller bag ($290)

mom jean outfits statement top
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5. Statement Top + Wide-Leg Jeans + Pointy-Toe Heels

We don’t go out often these days, but when we do, it’s way more casual than in “before times.” Which is why we’re all about dressing up some straight-leg mom jeans and calling it a full-on lewk. Simply reach for a black top with a voluminous shoulder (these are huge for spring 2021) and some slingback shoes with a low heel, add on a mask and you’re ready to head out.

Get the look: Clare V mask ($25); Sea blouse ($365); Boyy bag ($690; $655); Madewell jeans ($128); Mansur Gavriel slingbacks ($545; $250)

mom jean outfits leopard top
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6. Leopard Top + Cropped Jeans + Neutral Booties

Bored of your full-length mom jeans? Swap them for a faded grey pair that hit two inches above your ankle bone. Not only do they feel a bit fresher, and more modern, but they allow your pointy-toe suede boots to step into the spotlight. Top it all off with everyone’s fave neutral—leopard print—and you have a new springtime uniform.

Get the look: Banana Republic hoops ($48; $28); Alice + Olivia blouse ($295; $177); Totême jeans ($300); Tory Burch bag ($278); M. Gemi boots ($298)

mom jean outfits leopard jacket
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7. Leather Jacket + Striped Top + Distressed Jeans + Booties

The saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” absolutely applies to this timeless combo. We’re not going to go out on a limb and say that a striped shirt and a leather jacket with jeans is trendy, but we did want to applaud this reliable standby for getting us through years and years of wear. Upgrade that striped top to one with puff sleeves for a tiny 2021-approved update.

Get the look: Lapcos face mask ($15); ASOS jacket ($269; $172); Loft top ($54); Mother jeans ($228); Gu_De bag ($320); Stuart Weitzman boots ($495)

mom jean outfits french tuck
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SKIP: French Tuck + Clunky Sneakers

Listen, it’s time the clunky dad sneaker and the faded mom jean get divorced. This pairing looks especially dated (we’re talking all the way back to 2019) when there’s a half-French tuck involved, so this is one outfit to retire from head-to-toe. Well, save for the denim.

mom jean outfits detailed jeans
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SKIP: Overly Detailed Jeans

Sure, mom jeans have been around forever. But they’re so good as they are, whether you opt for a dark wash, a faded finish, a grey tone or a cropped cut. In other words, keep it simple, sister, and avoid trendy acid wash details or dip-dye patterns. When you look back at pictures of yourself in a few years, you’ll thank us.

RELATED: I Asked a Fashion Editor to Clean Out My Closet & Here Are 3 Things I Learned

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