Batting 500

It all started when I read my friend Swistle’s post about behaviours that are “mom-ish” and behaviours that are “old lady-ish”.  For example, referring to youth as “young people today”, fumbling for change while the grocery store lineup expands behind, and so forth.  Swistle said, and I quote:

Have you noticed that each generation thinks they’ll manage to avoid seeming “old,” as long as they avoid the exact thing their own parents/grandparents did? A woman my age will say she doesn’t want Mom Hair or Mom Jeans—but what she’s thinking of are the current GRANDMOTHER hair/jeans: she’s filed her OWN mom’s style under “mom,” but a generational shift has occurred since then. Angled stacked bobs and cute-messy twisted-up hair with side-swept bangs ARE the Mom Hair! Cute dark-wash boot-cut jeans ARE the Mom Jeans! BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT THE CURRENT MOMS ARE DOING. Our daughters will speak of such styles with distaste, and will specifically avoid them. “Don’t give me Mom Hair,” they’ll tell the stylist, meaning OUR CUTE HAIR.
An idea sprouted in my brain, my brain that was underneath my “cute-messy twisted-up hair with side-swept bangs”, and that idea was that I am now part of this generational shift.  I am no longer “young people” – which is not news, really – but I am part of the Mom Generation that will be dismissed as lame by our daughters (collectively speaking).  That idea started as a small, uncomfortable kernel and then exploded, like a piece of popcorn. 
It exploded when I started flipping through fashion magazines, as one does when one is at the hairstylist getting one’s grey/white roots touched up.  I realized as I looked through that there was not a single pair of boot cut jeans on any of the pages.  I picked up another magazine; same thing.  I picked up an article on back-to-school shopping and saw that all the hottest outfits – worn by young people today –  involve clothing that I wore during my teenage years, distressingly enough.  But it was really the lack of boot-cut jeans on style pages that had me thinking; then I realized that boot-cut jeans are not worn by anyone on popular television shows anymore. 
I understand now, perfectly, how certain women who came of age in the seventies could still, twenty years later, be wearing blue eyeshadow that had long gone out of style because they believed that the shadow brought out the blue in their eyes or what have you.  I understand now, perfectly, how a person can cling to something – a bad haircut, a low-fat or low-carb diet – because that was the style during their formative years.  I understand but I am in deep, deep mourning that dark-wash boot-cut jeans have become this to the current young generation:
Do you see what I’m saying here, people?  OUR JEANS have become MOM JEANS.  And, sadly, they are fast becoming passe.  I mourn this piece of knowledge and wish I could go back to not knowing it because really, dark-wash boot-cut jeans are the most universally flattering cut that there is.  It’s true.  There is just no way on earth that this
is more flattering to the female body than this:
And yet I will concede that skinny jeans are better for wearing boots, which I love, and that skinny jeans do look pretty good with a longer top, which is nice in order to hide the muffin-top.  And this is how I found myself in the mall last week, shopping for skinny jeans.
I was helped by a very sweet young thing named Ashley, who never once helpfully told me which jeans her mother preferred.  Ashley, I realized, is not a name I hear on little girls very often anymore.  Most Ashleys that I know are in their late teens or twenties.  There is a very strong trend right now to give little girls old-fashioned names, lovely names that until recently were reserved for our grandmother’s generation: Grace, Isabelle, Ava, Emma, Lily, Abigail.  These do not include my own grandmother’s names, which have yet – if ever – to come back into fashion. 

I had a St. Paul on the road to Damascus kind of realization that, if those names that reflect our grandmothers’ generation are in style now, then in twenty years the names that will be in style are what I consider “Mom names” – meaning my own mother’s generation.  In other words, in twenty years, we will see a rash of Barbaras, Beverlys, Donnas, Corrines, Carols, and Lindas.  Can you imagine?  Our granddaughters may be named Barbara and Beverly.  Or maybe Susan.  This is mind blowing enough, but then twenty, thirty years or so after that, we can expect to see our own names come back in fashion as WE become the grandmother generation!  In 2062, top baby names may well be Jennifer, Julie, Michelle, Melissa, Heather, and MAYBE EVEN NICOLE. 

My mind is officially blown by this.

After Ashley helped me pick out a couple pairs of skinny jeans, I went to Sport Chek to find, apparently, the only pair of size three boys’ shoes in the entire mall.  In front of me in line was this girl:


 Is this the fashion on “young people today”?  Backless sweatshirt revealing not a bra strap, but an actual bra band, worn with orange skinny jeans?  Is this what is sweeping the fashion nation?

It made me feel that maybe, just maybe, my becoming-passe boot cut jeans are not that bad.  After all, they are flattering, right?  Not like this:


Right?  RIGHT?  Although I did notice that high-waisted shorty shorts were being worn by the young crowd this summer, which makes me wonder what is happening.  What is happening in the world today?


And what do I mean by “Batting 500”?  It’s my 500th post!  I can’t believe I have had so much to say!  And I am so very, very grateful to you, dear readers, for reading and commenting and being supportive.  Thank you.  Stay real.  Let’s wear our boot cut jeans with pride!  xoxo



    Because I *am* a mom, and if those jeans are now ‘mom jeans’, well, too bad. There is no such thing as a skinny jean that looks good on a short, roundish mother of three. Does not compute.

    I love you to bits so enjoy your skinny jeans. But if you buy a pair of jeggings, or start wearing a saggy-backed sweatshirt, I may have to gently take you aside. 🙂

    Congrats on your 500th post!

    • I’m totally with ya! With a 27 inch inseam (that’s not a misprint 27 inch in seam) there ain’t no way in H-E-L-L I’d even be able to squeeze my butt and hips into skinny jeans! Lol

  2. There’s almost too much awesome in this post for me to comment coherently. I think I’m pretty happy wearing “mom clothes” right now because if I need to wear a backless sweatshirt in order to be in with the young folks now there’s no hope. And why backless? What does that mean for my daughter? Will she be wearing frontless sweaters? God I hope grunge comes back soon.

  3. Skinny jeans ONLY look good on very skinny people and only with the right clothes to go with them. Skinny jeans are EVIL.

    As to grandmother names? Mine take the cake: Walter Sue and Thomas Louisa. Seriously.

  4. Seriously? Both grandmothers had mens’ names? That is so…awesome, and weird.

    I have to agree with Hannah and Marilynn (big shock). I’m comfortable in my Mom clothes. I’m glad my Mom jeans are more flattering than those other Mom jeans. And that they have lycra in them. Moms who try to dress like their daughters are so much worse than Moms who dress in mockable Mom clothes. On the other hand, I’m totally on board with you rocking the skinny jeans. Do it for all of us, Nicole!

  5. That Swistle post really got to me, too. I comfort myself knowing that I am not nor will ever be the inappropriate mom trying to dress like her daughter and her daughter’s friends. I will not be hip but I will be age appropriate!

    Also, that St. Paul line is CLASSIC.

  6. The name thing is so, so shocking. I was a little scornful of my mom’s generation for thinking the name Henry was “old-mannish” when it was so OBVIOUSLY fresh and adorable! But all I have to do is think about how I feel about my grandparents’ generation’s names on my precious grandchildren and suddenly I have a whole new appreciation for that point of view.

    I’ve been getting baby name requests from parents who have names I think of as “too new to be out of elementary school.” It’s weird to have to keep making that shift: the first Caitlyn I ever encountered is now in her THIRTIES. The first Madisons and Mackenzies I babysat for are now in their EARLY TWENTIES. UNBELIEVABLE.

  7. The prime minister of the UK has young daughters named Florence and Nancy. These names are so far out they are in. As a Nancy, I just don’t know what to think.

    All I want is for “mom” to not be seen as an insulting adjective. For anything.

  8. At least no one wears styrup pants anymore..and God lets pray they don’t come back..Yay to the boot cut! Long- Dark wash for me 🙂

  9. I know I’ve probably expressed this sentiment here (there and everywhere) but I refuse to go back to high- waisted pants or shorts. Or acid-washed anything. I will happily be accused of wearing mom jeans in perpituity if the alternative is high-waisted pants or acid washed clothing. The 80s ruined them for me. I will never go back.

  10. Jennifer (ponderosa) says

    I read your post this morning and have been thinking about it all day. You know, it’s true that our daughters think we’re dowdy, like we thought our mothers were dowdy; but it’s also true that we think teenagers are shockingly vulgar (exposing bra straps? really? I’ve been noticing that trend and EWW), just like our mothers thought of us! So it’s OK if my daughter thinks boot-cut jeans are unflattering and old because she’s WRONG! lol

  11. Most of the moms I know at school are wearing skinny hope is that boot cut comes back ‘in’ while I am still wearing mine. Also explains why my new pair of boot cut jeans were so durn cheap! But I can never go back to high waisted pants. Never ever ever even when I am 80 and don’t give a fig.

    Happy 500th post, lady!

  12. Rachelradiostar says

    I am still wearing the very same floaty gypsy skirts I was wearing at 18. I’m still wearing the same make up. I am the mom in your post! Happy 500! Xx

  13. The idea of having a grandchild named Bob or Peggy or Barb is FREAKING ME OUT. Possibly nothing else has made me feel so incredibly old.

    As for the jeans, did you actually buy some skinny jeans? If so, you are a much braver mom than I. I think the key is just to keep buying new clothes at least every five years or so. I keep seeing ladies in their 60s at Walmart wearing clothes that are clearly from 1982, because they’re “still good and have plenty of wear left in them,” but flowered elastic-waist pants paired with blouses with ruffled necks and crocheted vests are just…NO. If only they went to the The Bay and bought a couple pairs of pants a few tops – they’d look so much more updated. So as much as I despise shopping for clothes, I’ve come to see it as a necessary evil as I age. GAH.

    • What about Bev? That’s the one that gets me.

      I DID buy some skinny jeans. And I do agree; we have to update the wardrobe every so often because NO. We can’t wear the same things in 20 years, even if they are “good quality”.

  14. I completely agree with you! It is really tough. I love the old dark jeans I think they look nice and unless you look like a 12 year old boy with boobs. Skinny jeans are not for you!
    Funny Post!

  15. The thing is, “mom-jeans” is code for a wardrobe that is not only out of fashion, it sacrifices fashion for comfort. Just like white leather “sneakers” for daily wear. And specifically mom-jeans had some very unflattering proportions. Boot-cut do not. The classic Chanel suit has been “always appropriate” since it was created, even if sometimes it wasn’t the height of fashion. Things that are cut well, well tailored, and flattering to one’s figure are always good.

  16. I think I’ll stick with my boot cut jeans. They are my favorite and honestly, I’m not into the 80s neon skinny jeans. Those were so 30 years ago. 😉

  17. You have been nominated for the versatile blogger award by Happy Little Feet.

  18. I try to wear jeans that are flattering. I don’t like the high waisted ones at all. But at the same time, some other jeans that are “in” are just blah to me as well.

  19. Congrats on the 500th post! As for the “Mom Jean” thing, my life was made a whole heckavulot easier with those Lululemon black pants. Those things will make anyone’s ass look like it’s up where it belongs. I haven’t worn jeans in probably 6 years. I have no idea if I’d need the waist on my hips, my waist? Where does the waistband go nowadays. I’ll stick to sweatpants, thank you very much.
    But very thought provoking post. I read every word, and was all, “I bet my name will never be in style!” It wasn’t in style when I was named back in ’68, and it’s never been. Boo.

  20. OK I know you posted this several days ago, but just today this tweet popped up in my twitter feed – all may not be lost! Skinny jeans may not be here to stay. Cautiously optimistic…

    “Is it curtains for skinny jeans? Designer @RebeccaMinkoff tells us how to style her flared denim at Fashion Week.


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