Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Beloved Jean

1A9B4908 “Jeans represent freedom; they signify democracy in fashion.” Giorgio Armani

Is there any greater fashion joy than finding the perfect pair of jeans?  The right pair can make you feel taller, sexier and yes, even happier.  I think every woman struggles with finding the right pair for her body or in determining if new trends will work for her.  Research shows that the number of jeans most women own is ten and the number they actually wear is 3.  Proof that we aren’t buying the RIGHT jeans.  A little advance research and an awareness of your body type can save you lots of time and frustration in the fitting room. 

genetic denim - shopbop

I read somewhere once that jeans are like friends: Choose them wisely and they’ll cover your ass, make you look good, and last a lifetime.  

My next several posts will focus on jeans – covering trends, where to shop, how to care for them and more.  Today, let’s talk fit.

How do you find the perfect pair of jeans?  How do you know what’s “right” for you?  Well, you’ve got to start with knowing your body.  Understand your problem areas (duh, who doesn’t?) and know what areas you want to emphasize. (sometimes having a booty isn’t a bad thing).  Once you find a brand that works for loyal to them.  They will likely always be your friend.

Joes shopbop skinny


JOE’s Jeans (featured here) work great for the girl with a fuller bottom or curvier hips.  They have a contoured waistband so they won’t gap in the back and they fit well in the hips, thighs and butt. 

butt shopbop joesAlso try DL1961, Henry & Belle, Lauren Ralph Lauren and Cj by Cookie Johnson, a line that was made for curves. 



Littleinthe middlePear shape:

Little in the Middle jeans are great for wide hips.   The waist is one size smaller than the hips, so they’re good for curvy and pear shapes.  Lucky Brand Jeans also makes a few styles that fit this figure type.  They balance wide hips and a generous backside with boot-cut legs.

  1. Styles to consider - A relaxed boot-cut is very flattering as is the 70’s cut for graceful proportions.
  2. Remember, faded patterns distract the eye, while dark washes put the spotlight up top.

JBrand mid rise straight leg - shopbop



Most skinny cuts will work on the boyish figure (no curves), but I really like J Brand.  They run extra-slim through the leg and have a soft comfortable feel.  Another favorite is James Jeans.  They may be the most flattering jeans I’ve ever owned and are always my go-to staple. 

Other brands to try: Paige Denim and  American Eagle Outfitters.




AG - shopbop petite



Jeans are so long these days that I often think about the petite gals and their struggles to not only find a pair that works…but then to find a good seamstress to tailor them.  Ugh. 

Several designers have come to the rescue by making versions of their best sellers with shorter inseams.  James Jeans “Twiggy” skinnies come in a 29” inseam and AG Adriano Goldschmied also makes great petites.  Retailers like the Gap and Ann Taylor also cover the shorter gals.



Hudson shopbopTall:

I’m an average tall girl, with long legs…so I’m often searching for the perfect length.  One of my favorite jeans in the world is Hudson for that reason.  They are GREAT for the tall girl AND they have a great backside (see right).  For the super tall lady, Hudson’s Signature Supermodel jean has an extra-long 36” inseam.  J Brand also has a longer inseam style.  Retailers like Express and the Gap make a 34” inseam too.  Note:  Tall girls should not wear capris!  Long legs are the center of attention in structured, trouser-style blues. 



Jag Jeans - NordstromPlus-size:

As with petites, many designers have embraced “special” sizes and have finally started offering styles for the normal sized girl. 

DKNY Jeans are on-trend and come in a wide range of sizes.  Old Navy also has a special plus size section.  Plus size gals should look for clean lines and a straight fit through the leg.  A darker rinse is very flattering. 



Levi's slight curve skinny

Levi’s Curve ID:

The jean experts at Levi came up with a genius idea to getting the perfect fit.  They introduced Curve ID, designed according to shape, not size. 

Have hips or a butt?  Get an instant lift with the Demi Curve.  If you’re straight-figured, the Slight Curve creates a feminine silhouette.  Bold Curve hugs without gaping for the girl with wider hips and a smaller waist. 


 Demi straight curve Bold curve boot cut

So, what if you’re not sure what your “body type” is?  Here are a few tips to remember when you’re in the fitting room: 

  1. Waist: Check that the waistband sits comfortably and that your stomach doesn't spill over.   Then bend and reach for your toes.  If you're showing too much skin in the back, look for a higher waistband.
  2. Rise – A mid rise works for most figures, lower works on short torsos, and higher is great on long legs. 
  3. Butt – Try on a pair that feels like it fits, then walk, sit down, stand back up, and take a second look.  There shouldn't be any bunching or sagging.  If there is, this jean will look terrible after a few hours of wear. 
  4. Inseam – Jeans you plan to wear with flats should break anywhere between just below the ankle and right above the ground.  Jeans you wear with heels should be long enough to cover the back of shoes.

What’s in a pocket?  The way a jean pocket falls on your behind may be THE MOST IMPORTANT thing you look for in a jean.  Let’s face it, a friend once told me that when a guy say’s “Nice Jeans,” he doesn't mean he likes your jeans.  Nothing accentuates the bottom on a jean like the pockets.  Most brands have a signature pocket, like Hudson, 7 for All Mankind and True Religion.  Find the one that makes your rear view shine and you’ve got your forever jean.  For me….it’s Hudson and James Jeans.  They have never failed me and I will never fail them.  Here are a few pocket tips:

  • Flap pockets: The extra fabric adds volume, which amps up small backsides
  • High pockets: Placed closer to the yoke, they draw the eye up
  • Far apart: Wide-set pockets create curves by giving the illusion of fuller hips.
  • Low pockets: Pockets that sit low draw the eye down, which can make your butt look bigger.
  • No pockets: A blank back highlights imperfections and leads to a wider-looking behind.  Avoid at all costs. 

Hudson 7  True relision

Look for more information on jeans in my next few posts.  Ultimately, the best way to look great in your blues is to feel confident.  A good fit will help create that confidence, so don't be afraid to spend time finding the right style for you.  Jeans are worth the time.


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