FIRST PUBLISHED 20TH JANUARY 2014. UPDATED 3RD OCTOBER 2014
I've republished this post at the request of a few ladies who have emailed me recently about finding the right jeans. The basic rules are of course the same but my style must have evolved as I've since tried jeans/styles that I said I wouldn't. Find out for yourself below....
Jeans are probably the biggest wardrobe staple for men and women and yet when I worked with ladies to achieve their perfect look, it seemed to me that little thought was put into this item of clothing. It was always about the top or the jacket or the shoes. The jeans were always an after-thought.
I'm a people watcher (nay stalker) and I can often be found looking at ladies' bottom halves to check that their jeans are working for them, yes sad I know. It's amazing how many get it wrong!
There's so much choice on the High Street, you don't have to spend oodles of pounds to get a great pair. In fact, I popped into John Lewis the other day to try on a couple of tops and grabbed a pair of skinnies from Warehouse as I had a dress on. I think they were £40. OMG, they were the softest, comfiest jeans I had come across in ages. The tops were ditched, the jeans were bought.
So what should you be looking for? A few tricks up your sleeve and it's really not that difficult....
Wow, where do we begin? Well let's start with a definition...
According to the Oxford dictionary a pocket is
a small bag sewn into or on clothing so as to form part of it, used for carrying small articles
Oh but it's so much more. Let's take flat bottoms for example. Back pockets on jeans can create an illusion of the derrière being so much perkier. As long as they actually sit right on the butt. Lots of contrast stitching (double loops for example) also helps build up this area as do pocket flaps.
Mid Wash Matilda Skinny Jeans £40
Take these River Island jeans. The curve of the busy contrast stitching really helps to create an illusion of a bigger bottom.
Now larger bottoms should avoid all of the above. We need to work on minimising this area. Tone on tone stitching is a must and absolutely no detail whatsoever. Pockets spaced wide apart will make the bum look even wider. Too low down and the bottom will look longer. Gosh it's complicated! Get someone to take a photo of your behind and check where the pockets are. Ideally they should sit medium-high. Oh and ensure they aren't over-sized. A nice, neat pocket is perfect.
I've seen these jeans in Next and to be honest I think they give the top end designer jeans a run for their money. Love how Next have used a model with a shapely derrière in their photos - go take a look. A lot of thought has been put into these, no contrast stitching, no detail...perfecto!
Lift Slim & Shape Slim Jeans £45
So that's back pockets, you're aiming to minimise larger bums and maximise smaller or flatter bums.
Front pockets next. It's pretty much the same. If you have large hips, you probably won't want to draw attention to them so lose the detail. Actually, lose the pockets altogether if you can. Find jeans that don't have pockets at the front to give a nice clean line. The eye won't be drawn down to that area - result.
These warehouse jeans do have a pocket but other than the stud, they are pretty plain so I would say acceptable. I continue to be impressed with Warehouse jeans, the fit is great and the denim is soft and comfortable.
Supersoft Skinny Jeans £40
Skinny Minnie's who need to 'create' curves can use detail in this area. The Mint Velvet zip jeans are ideal for building up curves, and this season they have brought the double zip back and.....£10 cheaper than the single zip ones last season. One good thing about writing a blog, it becomes a reference book for past season!
Phoenix Washed Black Jeans £69
TO TURN UP OR NOT TO TURN UP
Personally I love to roll up the bottom of my jeans especially when wearing ankle boots, pumps, converse and flat sandals.
With boots, this model looks gorgeous...I want to be her! (Oct 2014....I still want to be her)
The problem with a turn up is it shortens the leg, I guess I'm lucky in that I have quite long legs. I would advise against this trend if you are short-legged or short waisted. It will take inches off you and make your frame look unbalanced. If you really want to embrace it, always wear with a heel, make sure your denim is a dark-wash and wear a deep colour above the waist to create a column. I would also go for a higher cut as a lower one will reduce the leg length so you have a double whammy effect. Have a play around and see what you come up with.
The cuffed leg is often associated with boyfriend jeans, not my favourite cut on me (being thicker around the waist) but don't just keep for the bf. Try cuffing straight legs and even skinnies but not boot cut (jokes)! Nb. fast forward a few months and I now love the boyfriend cut but it has to be a skinny boyfriend.
Nb. I loved reading the leaked information last year from Abercrombie advising staff how to roll their jeans....their attention to detail appeals to my OCD. The link to the article is here if you're interested.
We all know by now that darker colours are most slimming. So it figures that this rule applies to jeans as well. A lighter version will definitely add pounds. I'm not saying, don't go out and buy light stone-wash denim (actually don't go out and buy light stone-wash denim) but the lighter 'dirty-denim' needs a lot more thought as to how to style it. I made the mistake of wearing (and posting) a lighter pair of bf jeans earlier in a post, one not to be repeated. And yes, feel free to trawl the blog but I'm not reposting it here! If your aim is to shave pounds off your frame then I personally would suggest you invest in darker denim.
This is probably my favourite dark denim. It's not so deep that they look like chinos, they still look like jeans. Again, Mint Velvet and again I think they could well be cheaper than last year.
Houston Indigo Jeans £59
I wonder though, have you ever considered shading? We're all familiar with the illusion dress by now. Well it stands to reason that clever shading of jeans will also give you a slimming effect. Actually, no! I disagree. I think shading on jeans draws the eye down to the thighs and knees - not what you want! Unless you can find a pair that has the shading on the outside edges of the jeans. They're quite hard to come by. It's interesting isn't it how it works so well on a dress and yet on jeans can be a total disaster.
Hope you have found this useful.