How I learned to stop stressing about the length of my in-seam and embrace a longer, higher buttocks.
Several years ago when I was a teenager, (OK, several decades ago) my second cousin once removed witnessed me curling my eyelashes. Long before the discovery of the inimitable Shu Uemura model, my tool was the poor man’s version, Primark or Constance Carroll being the go-to brands of the day. Having been born on a farm, he thought this to be the most ridiculous thing he had ever seen. He also couldn’t tell if my sister was male or female (‘Is that a boy or a girl, Mammy?’) but that’s beside the point. However, once I did the big reveal, he could but concede to the fact that my lashes were in fact, fabulous. My point is there are certain trends at which we balk. We consider them so hideous ‘twould be a heinous sartorial crime to succumb to such fads. Mom jeans was one of those trends. The style that seemed to scream I’ve given up on life and my husband’s getting my tubes tied for my fortieth (‘What a treat! Todd’s a real gem.) was one I simply could not get my bleach blonde head around.
Death to skinny jeans
When it was discovered earlier in the year that skinnies were in fact damaging my health, I searched for an alternative. All the cool girls were wearing Mom jeans; Chloe Sevigny, Miroslava Duma, Leandra Medine and Pandora Sykes. They were pulling them off with aplomb. What was once the purview of middle-American soccer Moms from the land of Slipknot and Korn (I love you Iowa) was now the pièce de résistance of the fash-pack it-girl. Could I ,would I, should I (thanks Beverley Knight)? Was I too basic to pull it off? Would it induce a mild case of candida from the sheer highness of the waist? Was my arse going to go on for miles as if it were the subject of a Right Said Fred smash hit? There was only one way to test my theories. Mom jeans deserved a chance. And I was going to give them a go. I was going to get into bed with a pair of Mom jeans and hope for something more meaningful than a one-night stand.
Underbutt is the new sideboob
Remember when Nicole Richie was not the waifish bohemian earth mother she is now? Think back to The Simple Life. A simpler time when Irish girls wore clear mascara thinking it made a blind bit of difference, Juicy Couture tracksuits were worn in a non-ironic way with thongs creeping half way up the back and sideboob was the body part du jour for trend-setters. Then, slowly but surely, the hipster began surreptitiously infiltrating modern society. Being a dickhead was cool, journalling was no longer a sure-fire way to be bullied and Tom (Paxton and Selleck) was the style icon of every twenty/thirty something inside The Pale. Accentuating the right parts of the butt was now considered ‘basic’, brows were bigger, bolder, browner than ever before and it was kosher to wear cycling gear without having ever learned how to ride a bike. There was never a better time to ditch the skinnies and embrace sartorial Mom-dom.
The new normcore
The 90s were heralded as the era of individualism where blue eyeshadow, black lipstick and floral leggings were worn by middle-aged women with pride. Then came a decade of normcore. Jaded by the aftermath of the Celtic Tiger, the Irish fashionista wanted to reclaim her sartorial dignity, choosing nautical stripes, Breton tees and indigo wash skinny jeans. Ballet flats, camel wool coats and block colour wool/cashmeres were the uniform of the street style aficionado. Then came Vetements. 90s fashion was back with a bang. Oversized hoodies, leather leggings and scuzzy piercings crept into the office and the HR department was sent into overdrive. As if from divine intervention, a beautiful man came into our lives. A sex symbol with an acute sense of justice and a mean sense of style, the most unlikely honey of them all, Dean Strang. And while no-one can deny that Steven Avery‘s Dad was the most under-rated style icon of the whole series (hello distressed denim dungarees and lumberjack checks), one man emerged triumphantly to inspire a new movement. I’m talking about Strangcore. It was OK to be a bit normal again because Dean Strang was such a hearthrob and nothing, NOTHING gets us more hot than justice. So, to quote the strangest crush of the naughties, ‘Let’s turn out the lights and redefine the phrase tragic lack of humility.’ Because wearing Mom jeans can humble even the hottest of us. If you can offer up your arse, only for Lent, then Mom jeans are your new go-to item and you might just nab yourself a date with the award-winning artisan barista in Sister Sadie. An absolute win for pogonophiles like you and me.
Metallic jacket: Manley (this particular colour is sold out but there’s loads of similar styles available)
Mom jeans: Topshop
Boots: Public Desire
Off-the-shoulder top: Uh la la land on Etsy (I found this brand on Instagram and it’s made to your exact measurements)
Leather braclet: Tory Burch