You can only buy these jeans online—and it's completely worth it
Mott and Bow denim has won me over.
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When some people fall in love, their brain releases so much of the love hormone oxytocin that they become fervently obsessed with their object of affection. I am convinced that when I find the perfect pair of jeans, this same neurological phenomenon takes place. I think about the next time I can see them displayed in my closet, what it’ll feel like to have them on my skin, what my friends will think of them (I’m talking about the jeans, not the crush).
I’m a purist when it comes to shopping because I prefer to see and feel the garments before investing. Because I would do anything for love, I went through the daunting process of ordering jeans online from Mott and Bow last season without the comforts of helpful salespeople and strategically-lit fitting rooms. Here’s exactly what I thought of the process—the good, the bad, and the so-good-I-had-to-tell-my-mom.
What is Mott and Bow?
Nowadays, most brands manage to weasel their way into the conversation (and our pockets) by flooding our Instagram and Facebook feeds through targeted ads. And given that consumers are more likely to trust a message if they’ve heard it at least three times—be it a brand, product or a concept—according to a study from the Journal of Targeting, Measurement and Analysis for Marketing, it makes complete sense that I had to try Mott & Bow, the NYC-based direct-to-consumer brand after seeing ad after ad after ad. They claim that you’ll want to live in their jeans forever (i.e. while working or chilling at home). Jeans that feel like leggings, but that aren’t branded as jeggings, which haven’t been relevant since 2012? Count. Me In.
Are Mott and Bow jeans good?
Ever go to an Italian restaurant that specializes in pasta, so you know exactly what you’re going to order, thus saving you time and energy studying the menu? I love a brand that specializes in one thing and one thing only so I’m not glued to my screen suffering from hours of consumer confusion. I can’t be certain, but to me, it often seems like specialty retailers like Mott and Bow employ the highest quality craftsmanship and attention to detail. The stretchy, durable denim that arrived in the mail confirmed my hopes.
Now onto what I appreciate about their interface, starting with the fact that their online store is easy to navigate. Because I didn’t have a specific sense of what I was looking for, I relied heavily on their explainer page, which walks you through how each of their styles will sit on your body, from high-rise skinny to slim boyfriend.
When shopping, I recommend hitting “available for at-home try-on” when searching for jeans. This way you can benefit from their home try-on program, where you’re able to choose a second waist size for free, keep the one you want, and ship the other pair back using a free pre-paid label. This is a super handy offering because you have every right to be as picky and particular as you’d like when it comes to shopping for jeans even when you don’t have a salesperson or entire wall of options at your immediate disposal. I found the jean sizes tended to run a little big (I ended up getting jeans two inches smaller on the waist than my usual size), so it’s great to have that backup.
There’s something that a brand does to me psychologically when they spotlight one particular garment item and quietly introduce new types to help you round out your outfit, like dresses, sweaters and jackets. Because I was on the hunt for jeans, I popped over to their modest yet practical tees section under the assumption (or maybe it was faith) that they’d pair perfectly with my new pair. I couldn’t have been more pleased with the Marcy Fitted Crew and the Willow Cashmere Turtleneck. They’re minimalist, well-made tops I can wear on rotation with those tailored mom jeans, creating the illusion of an entirely different outfit each time. To revisit the Italian restaurant metaphor, think of how you always want breadsticks with your pasta. Those shirts were my bread basket.
What I don’t like about Mott and Bow
I was worried that the rail-thin influencer in their ad I first saw was emblematic of a larger inclusivity issue within their brand, but I gave them the benefit of the doubt. I’ve been pleasantly surprised before. For example, knowing how the Kardashian/Jenner clan have been criticized for promoting harmful body stereotypes made me that much more pleased to see Khloe Kardashian’s Good American jean brand released sizes up to 44. When I noticed Mott and Bow similarly offers sizes up to 40, I knew we were off to a good start. However, you have to toggle to a separate section called Curvy to access the higher sizes. I would consider this an alienating micro-aggression towards all bodies. Seeing this didn’t sour my experience entirely, but it might be something to take note of if you’re super particular about where you spend your money.
I’ve mentioned in one of my previous denim articles that I have a pretty unusual body type: long torso, wide-ish hips, a decently narrow waist, and very short legs. When ordering my jeans I was disappointed to see they only had 27 and 28 inseam options for the mom-style ankle jeans I ordered, and so they came down to the arches of my feet. I really wanted to look like a cool mom, and instead I looked like a regular mom (which is fine, my mom is a fox, but still!). I initially selected the High-Rise Skinny Jane, and while they were far too long on me with a 28 inseam, I plan to cut them with scissors since they already have raw hems and are next-level comfy.
As a short person, I'm always envious of folks who can wear tailored pants that come in their exact inseam, so the brand also pointed me towards the Mom Ridge Jeans that came with the option of a 26 inseam. While they looked and felt phenomenal around the waist, I would have needed at least a 24 inseam for the jeans to sit on me the way they should (or at least the way the model on their website suggested they should). They do claim they are working on releasing smaller inseam sizes, so I’ll definitely keep my eyes peeled.
Are Mott and Bow jeans worth buying?
If your goal in life is to feel like you’re constantly wearing leggings while not actually looking like you’re wearing leggings (I have a pair of horrendous H&M leggings that, six years later, are hanging on by a thread), you’ll appreciate this tailored alternative. If you’re looking for refined wardrobe basics that you can wear every day, Mott and Bow is a great place to start.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.