Mom Jeans? Never.

“Tennis shoes?” she asked, disgusted and horrified. “But I feel so old when I wear tennis shoes with shorts. Sneakers look so much cuter with flared jeans.”

“Or bootcut… Bootcut’s OK…” I countered anxiously while trying to reassure the both of us. “… just so long as they’re NOT mom jeans! The key at our age is knowing how to wear tennis shoes, shorts and a trendy fitted tee without looking like we’re trying to be 22 OR one of those hapless, hopeless middle-aged women who wear white Reebok hi-tops and mom jeans with their shirts tucked in!” 

How do we do that?

And that, my friends, is the million-dollar, 30-something question. As the number of candles on our cake creeps ever upward… how do we look attractive and stylish while at the same time age appropriate? And better yet… what the hell IS age appropriate for a woman in her mid-thirties? You know, that time in your life where you’re still in decent shape and you feel young enough to wear the latest trends yet there is this growing awareness that you are no longer 22.

It’s a real dilemma.

My best friend Jan and I are getting together this weekend for the first Ohio State football game of the season. And we are really excited about it. In case you don’t already know, OSU football is a big damn deal around here. However, as someone who works on a college campus—surrounded by young, attractive co-eds whose wrinkle-free parts are still squarely north of the equator—I know what we’re in for at the game this weekend…

… Lots and LOTS of tan, tight, smooth, lean, I-haven’t-a-care-in-the-world 18 to 22 year old girls strutting around in miniature-everything clothing like they’re all auditioning to become the next Football Wives or future Housewives of Franklin County. And then there will be Jan and me… trying desperately to look young and attractive in our (hopefully) adorable-but-age-appropriate attire, firmly in denial about the fact that not that long ago… We were those girls.

Not that she or I need to know this now—because she’s married and I’m in a relationship—but just out of curiosity… Where exactly are you on the meat-market-food-chain when you’re between a rockin-hot college bod and middle-age mom jeans?

God help me if I ever wind up in a pair of acid-washed, high-waisted, tapered-leg denim dungarees! I will NEVER be that woman… the one in the mom jeans… NEVER!! In fact, if you ever see me sporting a pair of them, I give you full permission to rip them from my body during a full-fledged fashion intervention. And Jan does too.

Go Bucks.