All right ladies, you know the scene far to well: You're standing knee-deep in denim in your local department store, selectively scanning the slightly sloppy piles of jeans you've place around your feet. You glance at the "maybe" stack draped over the door, and suddenly your thoughts are interrupted by the poor sales associate who has worked up a small sweat telling you about a few more styles and brands ambitiously hung over worn-out arms.
You sigh at a wasted hour and proceed to debate upon which pair to settle. You know that, regardless of which pair of jeans you choose, this dreaded process and the $80 you spend today will be repeated a number of times this year. And you know that you will dish out $80 on jeans that will be worn to rags far before this year's fad even goes out of style.
The solution is simple: designer jeans. The first time I slipped on a pair of designer jeans, I slipped into nirvana. The high-quality material was so comfortable, and I could actually move around and sit down without having to cover the back of my pants. I tried on Citizens; they were so soft to the touch they didn't feel like jeans at all.
As all of you know, the final test is that first glimpse at the behind. So, very hopefully, I slowly turned, grinned and said, "I'll take 'em!" I bought those particular jeans about two years ago and I still have them. They are still hot, and they are still my favorite jeans.
It's wild to think that a multimillion-dollar business once started out as a small niche product for the workingman.
Jeans have evolved on a steady timeline starting in the late 1800s for working miners, on to the cowboy's getup in the 1930s, and the soldier's uniform in the '40s. Jeans took even bigger strides forward to the '50s with the rockabilly rebel statement, on into the '60s and '70s hippie movement, and ripping right through the '80s.
They have since transformed from a '90s baggy style complete with a tight role, to today's more focused fit that shapes, accentuates, and radiates glamour. They have now cross-integrated not only into the work uniform, casual wear, nightlife, but also semi-formal attire. You can pretty much wear jeans anywhere at anytime! The key is finding the right jean.
With the stigma of Oklahoma being a little behind the times, I am happy about the recent opening of fashion-fabulous, locally-owned boutiques all over Tulsa. Shops such as Azur couture, Chrome, Flirt, Miss Jackson's, Bliss, and Envy opened their doors and welcomed us in. Each store carries designer lines that emigrate here from the runways of L.A. and the closets of our most intriguing celebrities.
While on my hunt for the perfect jean, I inquired into the mind of fashion expert Brian Kidd, co-owner of Chrome Clothing at 18th and Boston. Kidd briefed me on the designers they carry, such as Citizens (of Humanity), 7 for all Mankind, Diesel, Hudson, Chip and Pepper, Tag, Rock & Republic, True Religion, Joe's Jeans, Jet Lag and Monarchy.
Each label offered cuts and styles made for every shape and size, complete with colors, embellishments, and stitching for each individual taste. Being the "overtly concerned with uniqueness" shopper that I am, Brian noticed my penchant and informed me that Chrome only carries a select number a particular styles, thus keeping Tulsans from parading downtown in droves of matching zombies.
With so many options and decisions to make about what jeans might look good on you, you should ask your sales associates at our local boutiques. They are like fashion-fitting encyclopedias! It also always helps to have a few tips to get you shopping savvy.
Long-Legged Beauties and Tall, Handsome Men
More and more jean companies are making jeans with a 36" inseam to accommodate those longer legs. Rock & Republic is a perfect example of your complementing jean. For once, ladies can wear a pair of heals without jeans flaring out above the ankle. Finally, guys can wear a pair of jeans without looking like Steve Urkel, with white socks peeking between shoes and cuffs. If you happen to run across a great jean that fits perfectly but unfortunately does not come in your length, try letting out the hem. Just be sure the hem falls at the bottom of your heel to avoid high waters.
The hardest part of fitting a precious petite is finding jeans that don't drag the floor. There are some designers who do offer a shorter inseam, but if you're having a hard time finding them, don't be afraid of taking up the hem.
Make sure you only do this with straight-leg jeans, not boot-cut; otherwise, you'll destroy the shape of the jean. That said, anyone under 5'4" should stay away from boot-cut jeans altogether. Boot-cut jeans hug at the knees, thus making your legs look shorter and your hips heavier.
If your midsection is your problem area, jeans like 7, Citizens, and Page Premium can bide you some time till you finally see results from all those days at the gym. Women and men with a tummy typically have thinner legs, and boot-cut jeans look best on thinner limbs, while also creating a more balanced bodyline.
If you have larger hips, try on AG, Diesel, or Joe's Jeans. These designers carry a mid-rise jean that is slightly on the lower side, allowing for a better fit around the widest part of the hip without creating love handles.
You should also look for a straight-leg or trouser-style leg. This particular cut will fall straight down the hips to create a longer looking leg. Try to avoid boot-cut styles because they will only highlight the thickness of your thigh.
The trick to buying jeans for this body type is finding a jean that fits properly in the rise. Designers have solved this problem by making jeans that have a lower rise in the front and a high rise in the back. Another key in down-playing a bigger booty is to stay away from flap pockets or pockets with a lot of embellishment or embroidery. Choose a jean with a smaller, angled pocket to take the focus of your fanny.
Just the opposite of the above, to add some curve to the tush, indulge in all the flap-pocket, heavily embellished and embroidered jeans you want. Quality brands such as True Religion, Joe's, and Hudson, are fabulous for a flat fanny. Also, look for jeans with slightly higher pockets to give your booty a boost.
The solution to balance the top-heavy body style can be found in any brand of jeans. Choose a jean that has a lighter wash, bleaching on the legs, or whiskering. Any distressing on denim will help add volume to your lower half without adding any bulk.
Mirror, Mirror . . .
According to Oprah's experts, nine out of 10 people are wearing the wrong jeans. So before slipping into your favorite pair of pants and running out the door, stop and take a long look in a mirror.
Is your waistband too low or too high, causing you to have a muffin top? (You know, where your belly hangs over the top or your jeans like the blueberry muffin you ate for breakfast.) If so, no worries; the ultra-low rise fad is fading and mid-rise jeans are coming to the rescue, to keep your belly from bulging.
Another "denim don't" to look out for is the obscene offense of plumber's crack. Unless you're planning to take over the family plumbing company there is no excuse for the 25-cent show.
I know summer is just around spring corner, but my favorite "denim don't" is looking like the ice cream cones you will be slurping down to keep cool. This fashion faux pas is caused by tapered-leg jeans, ew! Please go for flair, not flavors.
Lastly, if you're sporting the "mom jean" (where waistband meets bra and the tush is as flat as the Midwest plains), then you are committing the biggest fashion sin of all!
Trash the evidence and start anew! Just be careful not to over-indulge in looking too trendy and hip and find yourself a stage-one fashion victim. Skinny jeans tucked in high boots or rocker jeans with rhinestone crosses might look good on Kate Moss, but that does not mean they necessarily look good on the rest of us.
Getting Your Money's Worth
If purchasing designer jeans is new for you and you're already catching yourself justifying reasons not to buy them, such as price, just go try a pair on. The quality, perfection in cut, handmade detail in every pair, flawless finished seams and the feeling of splendor you get from slipping on a designer jean just might make you change your mind. Purchasing designer jeans is most definitely a smart investment (even for an inveterate thrift store shopper such as myself).
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