By Marie Frankson
Jeans. Everyone has a pair… or two… or twenty. Jeans are a closet staple; they can be styled a million ways. In this article, I’ll highlight some tips for buying and styling that perfect pair of jeans.
Tip #1: Consider jeans the way you would a pair of dress slacks — THEY ARE ALTERABLE. No item of clothing fits perfectly right off the rack.
Tip #2: Jeans can work on all women, no matter what age, size, etc.; however, not all styles work for all women. Wear a style because it’s flattering, not just because it’s trendy. Also, always bring a friend when you go shopping for jeans to give you an honest opinion on how you look.
Tip #3: If you find a great-fitting pair, always buy two — one to hem and wear with flats and one to wear with heels.
Tip #4: Jeans are a great blank canvas. You can try out trends by pairing them with jeans rather than trying to do a whole trend “look,” HOWEVER, jeans are also good to experiment with. There are so many cool jean styles and colors now. Sure, the go-to blue jean will always be in style, but now we have jeans in a variety of colors such as black, khaki, pink, purple, green, orange, red, yellow and a hundred others. Don’t even get me started on printed jeans!
Tip #5: What is a jegging and how can you wear it? Jeggings are jeans that fit like leggings. Mind you, not everyone can pull them off. However, since they’re skinnier than skinny jeans, they can be worn in a variety of ways. Converse low-tops and a plaid shirt can be worn with jeggings for a laid back look, or you could wear a solid print top, a scarf, and knee-high boots for a classic Equestrian/fall look.
Tip #6: The darker the jean, the better. It’s easier to dress up or down a dark jean than a light jean; and a dark, 5-pocket, boot cut jean looks good on every woman. My favorite thing about jeans, in fact, is how they can be dressed up and down. Obviously, I wouldn’t recommend jeans for a semi-formal or formal occasion, but perhaps a dark, tailored pair to work with a blazer or cardigan and a blouse. When I go to my weekly internship at a state museum, I usually wear black slacks or a black pencil skirt. Lately, I figured that if the State Historian can wear jeans on a Wednesday, then so can I! I like to pair my jeans up with a pair of black peep-toe pumps, a black, white, or gray blouse, and a statement necklace (usually one given to me by my fiancé or one I made myself). It’s comfortable, yet still looks professional.
Tip #7: Accentuate your assets. If you have a great butt, don’t be afraid to show it off by wearing jeans with high, or no, back pockets. If you have a flat butt, go with pockets that slightly sit under your butt crease to go for a little lift or go for a jean that has a design on the back pockets.
Tip #8: Sexy is an attitude; don’t be afraid to flaunt what you got!
HOWEVER, I know that not all women out there reading this are tall and statuesque (I’m only 4 feet and 10 inches tall!), so here are some tips especially for those petite women.
Tip #1: Select jeans by your hip size, rather than your waist size. In some cases, the waist will then need to be altered. Whether you do it yourself or have your jeans professionally altered, it’s relatively easy to take in the waist, but it’s difficult to let out side seams on jeans because the seam allowance is usually scant. I may be small, but I have some curves, and buying jeans is harder than the calculus class I had to take this past spring. I know that I’m a size 0 at Old Navy, but am a size 1 at Pacsun and sometimes a size 2 at American Eagle. Each manufacturer is different, so it’s also important to try on every pair you pick out before you buy it.
Tip #2: When shopping for petite jeans, inseam can be your worst enemy or your best friend. Because there’s no standard for inseam length in petite jeans, there’s a lot of variation, all the way from 25” in some extra-short styles for petites to 32” in some others. Like I already mentioned, JEANS ARE ALTERABLE! They can be hemmed to fit perfectly.
Tip #3: With so many jeans styles on the market and more manufacturers offering petite jeans, it’s becoming a little easier to find a style of jeans that flatters. For petite women, straight-leg and boot-cut fit best, but it also depends on your body type. However, try to avoid cuffs, pleats, bell-bottoms, high-rises, and pockets with flaps or embellishment on areas you prefer to de-emphasize. Also avoid rolling up jeans at the hem if you want a longer, leaner look.
Remember everyone, jeans will never go out of style, so keep these tips in mind while you’re at the mall with some friends and have a longing for those new jeans on the mannequin in the store window.