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Asking for a Friend: How to Style Mom Jeans

“Asking for a Friend” is our advice series that seeks to solve all manner of fashion predicaments with the help of our smart and stylish Nordstrom colleagues. 

Ribicca Mamuye, mom jeans shoot

Mom was our original style icon. Thoughtful children that we are, we decided to mark this Mother’s Day by exploring some very nonmaternal ways to rock the high-waist denim styles (aka “mom jeans”) that are seeing a resurgence right now. To successfully do so, we tapped our friend and Nordstrom stylist Keara Matthiesen, as well as our gorgeous coworker Ribicca Mamuye, a full-time Nordstrom merchandising analyst and part-time blogger/model. Ribicca put Keara’s advice into practice in front of the camera, and this team effort produced spring outfits that would make our matriarchs proud.

The question: how to wear the mom-jean style without looking like you’re on carpool duty or carrying baggies of Cheerios?

The advice giver: Nordstrom Stylist Keara Matthiesen.

The solution: streamline your outfit with tucked-in shirts or flowing dresses (yes, dresses), then add a funky flourish.

Kind of Blue

Ribicca Mamuye, mom jeans shoot

By sticking to a simple palette, you let the silhouette of the jeans define the outfit—plus it makes these waist-cinching pants even more slimming. Keara added a white loafer and purse for a springy contrast and to accentuate the sweetly dotted blouse.

Ribicca Mamuye, mom jean shoot

FRAME polka dot print crop silk blouse | rag & bone/JEAN Dive high waist capri jeans | Topshop Karpenter bit loafer | BP. minimal faux leather crossbody bag

Dress Them Up

Ribicca Mamuye, mom jeans shoot

A feminine frock—especially a floral one—over jeans is the look of the season right now. Mom jeans are great as a base layer because their waistline follows that of many dresses. Adding a block heel adds height to carry off the layered look, while keeping things casual enough for denim.

Ribicca Mamuye, mom jeans shoot

Topshop moto corduroy jacket | floral midi dresses | Topshop Orson slim fit jeans 

Ribicca Mamuye, mom jeans shoot

Jeffrey Campbell Viola sandals

Go Indigo

Ribicca Mamuye, mom jeans shoot

The denim tuxedo has broadened beyond its rural roots to become an urban uniform. The key here is to mix shades—this outfit varies from whitewashed to indigo. Keara gave these bleached PAIGE jeans a loose cuff to create a laid-back summer-in-the-city vibe.

Ribicca Mamuye, mom jeans shoot

Ribicca Mamuye, mom jeans shoot

PAIGE Sarah high waist crop jeans | Shellys London Dacey sandal 

Back-to-Back Black

Ribicca Mamuye, mom jeans shoot

The sweetly embroidered roses on these Topshop pants add the perfect pop to this rocker kit. A relaxed tee and sneaker with the florid jeans keeps things casual for a perfect afternoon-barbecue or festival look.

Ribicca Mamuye, mom jean shoot

MOTHER Itty Bitty Goodie Goodie destroyed cotton teeTopshop mom rose embroidered jeans 

Ribicca Mamuye, mom jeans shoot

PUMA suede platform core sneaker

Photographer and art director: Elizabeth Podlesnik
Stylist: Keara Matthiesen
Hair and makeup artist: Sarah Stanton
Model: Ribicca Mamuye
Copy and production: Britt Burritt