As a mom, you truly do it all. On an average day, you’re bandaging scraped knees, preparing healthy meals, helping with homework, cleaning the house, making time for your significant other—and not to mention making time for yourself.
All of this hard work requires some durable pants, but that doesn’t have to mean run-of-the-mill women's jeans that hide your best assets. There are plenty of mom pant styles you’ll find comfortable, flattering, and tough enough to last through errands and playtime with your kids. Just a few different types of pants are all you need to ensure you have outfits for any situation, whether you’re heading to a school event, date night, or doing chores around the house.
Here are the best kinds of mom pants to have in your wardrobe for any event or activity throughout the year.
In between the chores and errands, you’ll get the occasional moment to relax, so make sure you have some elastic waist sweatpants on hand. Choose a pair with a stylish slim fit or pleating detail, and they’ll look just as cute as your favorite mom jeans (and nothing like the ratty sweats your son wears on the weekend).
While they can be worn with a matching sweatshirt or easy zip-up hoodie, they also look cute with a tucked-in cotton sweater and your favorite sneakers, an ideal outfit for running errands or going out and about.
The key to surviving an office dress code is finding pieces that feel as good as they look—no stifling dresses or blouses that have you adjusting your outfit all day. Dark wool pants work in almost any professional setting and always look classy, but make sure they have some stretch; you’ll appreciate it after putting in a long day. And if they’re machine washable, all the better! You probably don’t have time to visit the dry cleaner each week, so convenience is key.
If your office is a spot where a business casual dress code is allowed, you can also opt for a pair of classic corduroy pants. They’re dressier than jeans but still a comfortable pants option, especially if you choose a pair of corduroy pants with stretch. Pair your corduroy pants with low leather booties, a white button-down top, and a blazer, and you’ll be set to take on any meeting that comes your way.
Black jeans are a wardrobe staple you can wear almost anywhere, from a cute little Italian place to an elegant cocktail bar. Wear them on your next date night with a silk blouse or cashmere top or a black sweater and matching heels for a dramatic one-color look that’s sure to turn heads. A mid or high-waisted pair will even provide a little tummy control, and a touch of Lycra ensures they’ll hug your curves in all the right ways.
Plus, your black skinny jeans can easily be worn from day to night, which eliminates the need to stop home and change if you’re running out to an impromptu date with your partner.
Making time for yourself is extra-important when you’re a mom— it helps you reduce stress and stay healthy. So the next time you’re going for a walk, practicing some Hatha poses, or working out to your favorite aerobics video, try some women’s yoga pants. They’re super stretchy and easy to move in, so they won’t get in your way when you’re working up a sweat. If you like to run, look for some with a hidden pocket for your keys, driver’s license, and credit card.
Yoga pants come in a range of colors, including classic black and reliable navy, but are also available in fun prints and bright colors that add some fun to your workout. You can wear your go-to yoga pants on colder workout days with a women’s fleece jacket to ensure you’re as warm as you are stylish.
Cropped straight-leg jeans are perfect for the next gathering on your calendar, whether it’s a birthday party, christening, or backyard barbecue. Go for some in a bright pastel shade or opt for white jeans to mix things up a bit and add some wedges, espadrilles or ballet flats.
Finally, put on a striped top or a crisp cotton tee before accessorizing with a necklace and earrings. Everyone at the party will envy your impeccable sense of style!
Every woman should have black leggings in her closet for a casual lunch date. They feel like pajamas but always look chic. You can wear them with almost any top (including a tunic, a women's sweater or button-up), but make sure it reaches past your derriere so as not to break the “leggings aren’t pants” rule. Leggings also look like an instant outfit when you pair a jean jacket with your outfit.
And since they’re cute with sandals, ankle boots, flats, and pretty much any other kind of shoe, you can wear whatever makes you feel best.
Whether you’re attending parent-teacher conferences, a band performance, or an assembly, you’ll want to make a good impression at your child’s school. Leave the mom jeans at home and reach for some classic women’s chino pants, but make sure they have an elastic waist to keep you nice and comfy if things go into overtime. Add a sweater or blouse and even a blazer if you want to look extra smart, and you’ll be ready to go.
As far as shoes, chinos work with all kinds of footwear. For a dressier outfit, wear a pair of low-heeled shoes. For a casual look, wear some fashion sneakers.
When you’re cleaning out the garage, doing work on the house, or raking the lawn, you need some tough carpenter pants. Look for a pair with a water-repellent finish to keep you dry and reinforced knees that won’t give out. Extra pockets and a hammer loop let you keep your tools close at hand, while a gusseted crotch means they won’t chafe or rub when you’re adding that second coat of paint or climbing up the ladder.
Wear your carpenter pants with women’s duck boots in the winter, and you’ll be all set for the cold, too.
Every woman needs some timeless blue jeans she can wear in almost any situation, and a classic straight leg cut will do the trick nicely – toss on a pretty top, and you can wear them to a party or a cute café. And they’re also good for crazy weekends when you’re hitting up garage sales, buying groceries, and ferrying the kids around. And if you get them in a darker hue, they’re easy to dress up, too.