Holigay Gift Guide: Mommi and Me

When Erin and I created the concept/lifestyle/identity of “Mommi” back in summer of 2017, little did we know how much it would take off. I have had to explain what a Mommi is to a hairstylist, coworkers, a flight attendant, and actual Mommis. Some people understand instantly. Some people need a diagram, which I am happy to provide. I field questions about what and who is and is not Mommi on a semi-weekly basis. Mommi has become my part-time job. So, naturally, I am here to tell you what to gift the Mommis in your life. Or, if you are a Mommi yourself, here are the things you should write on your holiday wishlist, handwritten on personalized stationery I assume (also, call me!).

Mommi Looks

1 / Autostraddle Mommi Tee ($15)
2 / Gold cuff bracelet ($16)
3 / Long Cardigan ($40)
4 / Cropped Jeans ($64)
5 / Kate Spade Satchel ($298)
6 / Leather Slides ($89)

This is a staple Mommi Casual look that can be worn to brunch, book club, the wine bar, a beach. The satchel is big enough to hold at least one of the Neapolitan Novels. The gold cuff can clink gently against your glass of pinot grigio. And, of course, our official Mommi t-shirt assuages any doubts about your Mommi status, meaning no one will have to text ME to ask if YOU are a Mommi so thank you for doing the work for me.

Mommi Toys

Every Mommi’s home must have the three C’s: candles, crystals, ceramics. I have also decided that Mommis have random sea-inspired watercolor works in their homes, because it feels right. When in doubt: MONOGRAM.

Mommi Treats

Think “picnic on the beach” or “cozy night by a fireplace” or “wine for dinner” — these are all acceptable meal concepts for Mommis.

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Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya is the managing editor of Autostraddle and a lesbian writer of essays, short stories, and pop culture criticism living in Orlando. She is the assistant managing editor of TriQuarterly, and her short stories appear or are forthcoming in McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Joyland, Catapult, The Offing, and more. Some of her pop culture writing can be found at The A.V. Club, Vulture, The Cut, and others. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram and learn more about her work on her website.

Kayla has written 837 articles for us.


  1. my dad sends me one of those pear and cheese sets for christmas every year and i just got it in the mail 15 mins ago! i don’t know exactly what they do to those pears but they are the most amazing, sweetest, and most delicious pears in the whole world.

  2. The title of the article plus THIS detail -“The satchel is big enough to hold at least one of the Neapolitan Novels”- has ended my life. Incredible journalism.

  3. Despite your extended research on this topic – I just went back to read Kayla and Erin’s g-chat conception of it – I am still not sure I know what mommi is. I feel like Sanra Oh would love all these gifts, but is she mommi? (Not Cristina Yang or Eve, but the actual person giving thoughtful interviews that inspire me to become a beter person). She is not really in my inner circle right now but I feel like I should find the answer to this before Christmas just in case, please help.

    • I still don’t quite get mommi either :/
      Is there a Buzzfeed-style test to tell if you’re mommi? Like I like enormous sunglasses and wine (and also gin, lots of gin drinks) and being in control but not blazers or looking like a fashionable skinny suburban lady?

    • A mommi has a dominant feminine energy, I’d describe the look understated, modern, causal but queenly. It’s like a prep got smoothed into a river stone by queerness. There’s something chill and almost sly about her however you can see she could go iciest ice queen if crossed. Cristina Yang doesn’t have the chill.

      To me it’s def a mature woman well past 30 with those traits, but younger women can sometimes pull it off.

    • the best way i understand mommi as a concept is by the type of people who typically gravitate towards her which is like,,, bratty disaster gays, typically younger, typically majored in something artistic if they went to college……. mommi is the partner the maniac pixie dream girl truly deserves. someone who is mommi might not actually have their shit together, but standing next to them makes you want to buy a planner and start sleeping in actual pajamas, not oversized camp tshirts from 5th grade. mommis are tea drinkers

  4. How do I find a mommi to guide me into better life decisions? I feel mommis would have it together, along with being effortlessly stylish

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