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.
Take these Medici Boutique jeans. The pockets are at a slight angle and the busy contrast stitching helps to create an illusion of a bigger bottom.
FDJ BOOT CUT ZIG ZAG POCKET JEANS reduced to £55
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. A lot of thought has been put into these, look, no contrast stitching....perfecto! Personally I would have made the pockets a tad smaller and set closer together but to be honest, they are great jeans.
Lift, Slim and Shape Slim Leg 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 can't actually find them online so here is a photo I took in the shop. They are £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, in fact last season, they had double zips (oooh errrr)
Black Coated Zip Jeans £79
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. I've yet to venture into the territory of turn ups with a court shoe but hey never say never. I think if you do wear with courts, a slightly deeper roll looks better, to avoid looking like Pepsi and Shirley of the Wham years.
With boots, this model looks gorgeous...I 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. 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.
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! It's interesting isn't it how it works so well on a dress and yet on jeans can be a total disaster.
Well, we'll leave it there for today. There's so much more to discuss about jeans, I'll pick up on this in the next few weeks.
Thank you so much for the lovely comments on the blog, Twitter and emails that I received about my daughter's post last time. She's thrilled but has now decided that she needs a whole new wardrobe for school and as we speak she is on the ASOS website. Help!
I'll leave you with a photo of what I wore earlier for a day's shopping at The Trafford Centre. It started off badly when my car wouldn't start but thanks to Mr Green Flag, all turned out well in the end. The dress is the one I wore on Christmas Day from ASOS (link here) worn with my positively vintage Mint Velvet green leather jacket which I still love, clay Ash Genials (link here) and Zara necklace. I do have thick tights on by the way - the legs aren't bare!!!
Next time, I'll report back on recent purchases (some successful, others not). Oh and we need to look at the pastel trend!
I'll be back