Is It Time to Update Your Jeans?
One thing we can count on from one fashion season to the next is a report on the latest trend in jeans. Why is there such a fascination with this iconic clothing item?
I’ve dipped into the vault of comments made by designers, celebrities, and models on the subject of jeans and here’s what I’ve discovered.
Designer Yves Saint Laurent shares, “I wish I had invented blue jeans. They have expression, modesty, sex appeal, simplicity—all I hope for in my clothes.” My client, Donna, proves how true that is!
As fashion has evolved, the jean has gone from work uniform to casual outfits and finally to dressy occasions as evidenced by its recent appearances on the runway as eveningwear. Who knew? Well, maybe designer Phillip Lim who says, “You can make jeans and a t-shirt super stylish. It’s what you make of it, you know?”
It’s not just celebrities who love jeans. My client Andrea Volpe shared, “I wanted to say thank you because this transformation has been a long time in the works and is all that I hoped it would be. And those jeans: life changing!!”
Model Twiggy shares her jean formula. She says, “Tailored jackets with jeans is a great look for all ages. Dress up with a heel and pretty shirt, or just wear a smart T-shirt under the jacket.”
You could follow her formula as this fashion season is exploding with jackets or exciting blouses that can be worn with jeans. A gentle suggestion…resist wrinkling your nose at the thought of wearing a jacket with your jeans. These days jackets do not have to feel restrictive and uncomfortable and can add a whole new level of sophistication, personality and warmth depending on your choices.
Sue looks great in her colored jeans and soft faux leather jacket (and you can see other photos of Sue on the makeover page on my website). She can go almost anywhere wearing this outfit:
Looking back, we can all remember a jean style that we had trouble wearing. Remember low-rise jeans from the not too distant past (although back in the 70’s they were known as hip huggers and had the same issues) and muffin tops that often went with them?
TV host and comedian, Ellen DeGeneres reminds us, “You’re never too old to play. You’re only too old for low-rise jeans.” Well, I know a few women who would disagree and they rock low-rise jeans, but, true to form, fashion is constantly evolving and rises have risen! (For which many of us are thankful.)
Alexa Chung, writer, and fashion designer brings up an excellent point about spending money on the things you wear the most. She says, “I tend to splurge on fancy dresses because I always think I’ll get a lot of wear out of them, but it’s false logic. You should really spend more money on the things you wear every day, like jeans.”
If you plan to update your jeans, here are a few shopping tips for you.
- If you wear jeans on a regular basis and for many different occasions, be sure you can distinguish your dressy ones from your sporty ones from your casual ones. Yes, there is a difference! One jean style or color will not suit every occasion.
- If you try on jeans and they’re too big in the waist, ask to have an alterations person take a look at them. Women with smaller waists often need to have the waistband nipped in. It’s a common alteration, but it needs to be done well or they look frumpy.
- As low-rise jeans are waning, the high-rise jean is getting more attention. The high-rise jean comes up over the hips and belly and settles at the waist. There is a third option. For women with a thicker waist, the mid-rise jean could be the most comfortable. It rides high in the back, but in front, it ends just under the belly button. Expect to try on a dozen or more pairs/brands of jeans to find your perfect fit. The time you invest in this fit project is worth it in the long run!
- The width of the leg opening at the bottom of the jeans is another factor for finding a great fit in your next pair of jeans.
- Skinny jeans put emphasis on your bottom and many skinny jeans are worn with tunics for this reason.
- Bootcut jeans taper in slightly at the knee and then flare out at the bottom to about the width of the thigh. They’re great for wearing with boots or heels and help to balance a fuller hip.
- Flared jeans are more exaggerated than bootcut jeans. They hug your bottom and thighs and then go wide at the bottom. It can be a great style for balancing the hip and thigh area as long as the length is balanced properly with the top you wear and your shoes.
- Ankle jeans ideally end close to the ankle bone. Because ankle length (and skinny jeans) end shorter than other styles and more of your shoe shows, you’ll need to take extra care in choosing a shoe style and color that flatters the look and your body. Some shoes can make your legs look shorter and hips look wider.
Kate shows how important it is to find the right style of jeans for your body. She goes from wearing a fuller trouser-style jean to a skinny jean and the transformation is big (and you can see other photos of Kate on the makeover page on my website).
- If typical denim isn’t your thing, take a look at jean styles that come in colors. From spicy to deep to bright, you can have a wardrobe of jeans that are in your favorite colors. Another option is to shop for knit pants that have jean details. This is a great alternative for an easy to wear, comfortable casual pant.
Many women (you?) can identify with what actress Cameron Diaz says, “I’m like every other woman: a closet full of clothes, but nothing to wear. So I wear jeans.”
If jeans are your universal default, I’d love to help you maximize their usefulness. I’m here to help whether it’s styling jean outfits for you or helping you purchase some new denim. Give me a call and we can get started creating a fabulous jean wardrobe that can take you almost anywhere! As Marie shares, “Ginger, you are a Fairy Godmother who makes all of us Cinderella’s look spectacular, whether it’s wearing designer, couture or just plain jeans!
Need more help with choosing the perfect jeans for you? Do you get stuck trying to figure out which cut is best for your body and aren’t sure where to look for the perfect brands? Check out the Styled by Ginger program where I’ll be going more in-depth on this topic. When you sign up for the ‘Styled by Ginger’ program just ask me for this expanded article and I’ll be happy to send it to you as a special bonus!