Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Part 3, Jeans.

My Mom has this pair of jeans that I just love. They're dark, have the best cut at the ankle, and are just so flattering. She hates them. They're too tight in places she doesn't want them to be tight, etc. etc.. So, over Christmas, as my sister, mom and I were standing in my moms closet, talking clothes (wine in hand - this routine happens a lot!) & the jeans came up, and my mom shared again why she didn't like them. My sister tries them on, they look great on her, sit perfectly on the ankle where they should (damn her long legs!!), and are just fab. So I try them on, thinking if she hates them so much I can scoop up some great new jeans; and of course they are a solid 2 1/2 - 3 inches too long. My point of this odd little anecdote? We 3 are all within the same size range, and relatively the same height ( except for Shorty McShortstuff over here.). But the same pair of jeans fit us all exponentially differently!

Jeans can be tricky little devils, why else does going jean shopping require a reeeally good feeling day (you know the one, no bloat, you feel "thin", and you just feel good), coffee (because let's be honest, most of you will be trying on 10-15-20 pairs and you will need some energy) and a serious pep talk in the car? Because jeans are hard! Even when you think you find a brand that works with your body, you find out their other styles fit you completely differently. You may already know the basics of what silhouette works with your body type, but it goes much farther than that. What pockets will help you mimic a j.lo bum? What kind of stitching will accentuate your curves, without getting them lost in bulk? On the flip side, which jeans will help create the illusion of a more feminine shape? Like I said, jeans are not an easy feat. Heck, I have one pair of jeans that really fit me, on all days. When they finally disintegrate it will be a sad day.

Now, I'm sorry to burst this bubble for you (possibly), but that movie, "The Sisterhoods of the Travelling Pants"? While yes, it is a lovely movie and story about friends staying together forever across the planet blah blah blah; it is a crock. There is not ONE single pair of pants that will fit each different body shape the exact same way. It just will not happen. So, stop looking at the girl with legs for days rocking those skinny jeans like it is her day job,(if you're looking in a magazine, it probably is ;) ) let's try and find your supermodel pair of jeans, shall we?

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(picture: Self magazine)

 

Features We Want:

Apple

  • Trouser cuts - especially if the have funky flap pockets or welt pockets in back ( the pockets that look like an upside down house). Clean front styles are best, and a great wide leg will balance things out. Bonus if you can find some with a side zipper instead of your general front zip.

  • Either a slightly high or very low rise, depending on how you feel about your tummy. Higher rises will hold things in, but if you're a slender Apple, a super-low rise will add curves to your butt and add length to your short waist. Anything cut in the mid-range will put a crease/shorten right in the middle of your problem area, and you will not feel comfortable.

  • Skinnies - especially with a flowy peasant top! If you are on the shorter side however, ensure the length is cut properly (no longer than your ankle bone)

  • Cropped styles, as long as the weather cooperates - your long and thin legs should be shown off!


Pear

  • High rises - they'll do double duty in balancing out your figure, both lengthening your legs and covering your behind!

  • Cuts that run small in the waist compared to the fit of the hips and thighs - nobody likes a gap waist. Luckily, your stretched-out torso makes your waist slightly more proportionate to your hips.

  • Trouser cuts - as long as they don't have those annoying angled slash pockets in front, which don't get along with larger thighs. (Actually, you could probably just stitch down those pockets and avoid the problem.) Clean front trousers are best.

  • Wider legs in general - bootcuts, flares, etc. Straights are about as narrow as you should go, and skinnies should be worn with boots only.

  • Thicker, stretch denim will make your life much easier! (I believe this is universal for every body)

  • Large pockets - preferably without too much detail, if you'd like to minimize your butt. You could always draw attention to your best asset with some pocket bling, though. If you must (can you tell it's not my favorite?)


Hourglass/Curvy

  • A moderate rise - too low and your belly may be emphasized; too high, and we'll all be looking at your..."eyes"

  • Not too much detail around the upper front of the jeans - front patch pockets may draw the eye to the belly

  • Most leg cuts will flatter you, but super flares may swallow you up, since your legs aren't particularly long. Pair wide legs with heels.

  • A lower rise in front with a contoured waist - this will add length to your torso and balance you out, while the higher back rise will prevent you from flashing people.

  • Cuts that run a size or two bigger in the hips than in the waist - this will prevent the dreaded "gap waist," when the fabric fits your thighs and gaps out at the waist.

  • Looooong inseams! Create the illusion of the mile long legs, rather than shorten them.


Rectangle/Straight

  • A flared leg, fitted above the knee, with a lowish rise.

  • Funky stitching, flap pockets, embellishments, distressing, unique pocket placement - all will add shape.

  • Skinnies, if you're not especially tall (say, below 5'9). Putting skinnies on super-tall, short-waisted girls can sometimes give the giraffe effect.

  • Cuffed boyfriend jeans for casual occasions - but not too baggy, or you'll come close to the bag-lady look. Perhaps size down from your normal size when shopping for these.

  • Higher rise, especially if you really have no curve or hips, this creates a more defined, curvy silhouette. Especially in a dark wash, with lighter colored thread used for the stitching.


Just a few more general rules of thumb:

If you are going to wear heels with flared/bootcut/wide jeans, they should be a little long when wearing flats. The jeans should be about 1 cm above the ground with heels on. Otherwise the effect you get looks messy and not put together. If your jeans cover the heel it looks more sophisticated and elongates the leg.

Small bum pockets will create the illusion of a larger bottom, too big of pockets will swallow it right up. Look for jeans with pockets right in the middle of the bum, (too low will make it look saggier than you want) that are a correct ratio, as well as straight. slanted pockets can also give the bum a bit more sizing than you'd like. Remember, you want it to look perky, not flat or saggy.

 

Now, with all of this being said and done, you may just not be a jeans person. I know a few, including: (surprise!) my mom. Some people just do not like the way jeans fit, and as a result buy ones that are too baggy and not flattering, because that is the only type they feel comfortable in. If you find yourself to be one of these people, don't sweat it! There are so many companies that make really great trousers (the GAP and H&M are my all time favorites), and leggings come in every single variation you could possibly dream of. I would much rather feel comfortable and confident in my clothes as opposed to only wearing them because I think they "have" to be a staple for me.

And, just for fun, what types of shoes to wear with what jean, and how!

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Until next time,

Xo, B

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