Today I found my size zero floral Daisy Dukes, those short shorts made famous by actress Catherine Bach on the Dukes of Hazard. When did I ever fit into those?
In a way I’m proud of myself, because I can admit that I’ll never wear them again. They don’t fit me, and the floral pattern begs the question, what was I thinking?! The floral pattern isn’t busy enough to distract from the fact that I’m a mother in a new body, in all its post-pregnancy glory.
What is the alternative? Look no further than “Mom Jeans,” made famous by the brilliant Saturday Night Live skit, which, in a parody of the easy-fit jeans favored by moms the world over, advertises high-waisted blue jeans with an elastic waist and a “nine-inch zipper and casual front pleats.” They are “cut generously to fit a mom’s body.” They are light blue or navy and tapered at the ankle.
The skit, for better or worse, is dead-on. We moms frankly need a roomier fit after giving birth. I for one don’t want to be the one caught unzipping her jeans under the table after overindulging at the Cheesecake Factory. Mom Jeans solve this problem too. Mom Jeans have gotten a bad rap, perhaps unfairly so. What today’s harried moms prize over all else when it comes to fashion is comfort, and Mom Jeans understand this.
Unfortunately, the downside to the Mom Jeans is that they are utterly lacking in style. The skit’s conclusion is that wearing Mom Jeans robs women of all femininity. According to the skit, the jeans make the statement that by wearing them “I’m not a woman anymore, I’m a mom!” The skit overstates the case because Mom Jeans aren’t THAT bad. Nevertheless, the message of the skit contains a kernel of truth. The subtext is that as moms we let ourselves go. When it comes to what we wear, we settle because, like a reliable economy car, we just need something that will get us from here to there. Style just has to take a back seat.
Unfortunately on me, I find that Mom Jeans are as unflattering as the Daisy Dukes. While effectively corseting the muffin top, the jeans accentuate the saddle bags. The jeans unfortunately make my posterior look huge because they laterally compress what god gave me, practically turning me into a walking billboard for what can happen to one’s body after giving birth. “Don’t let this happen to you,” my billboard might read. Yes, I’m desperate for comfort, but at what price?
And so, Daisy Dukes, I bid you farewell. I can’t seem to remember a time when I could wear a size zero. These days there’s more of me to love, but I don’t want to show that “more” to the world. You leave absolutely nothing to the imagination.
And, Mom Jeans, it may be time to bid you adieu as well. I’ll miss you most of all. With your generous cut and relaxed fit, you are the sweat pants of jeans, and for that you’ll take your place in the pantheon of truly comfortable mom clothing: the mu mu, the housecoat, and the bathrobe. And, just for the record, I never felt like less than a woman for wearing you.