Fashion Intelligence: Finding the Perfect Jeans
by ATFDC Contributor Susan Stipanovich
Now that the temperatures have dropped and we can cozy up in cashmere, Fashiontonians are shifting their wardrobes over from dresses and sandals to jackets and boots. A staple of any closet is a pair of great-fitting jeans. Unfortunately finding the perfect pair is much easier said than done. Jeans can be skinny. Jeans can be slouchy. There is even such a thing as “skinny slouchy jeans.” One thing is for sure: There is no one perfect Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants pair that looks great on anyone who tries them on.
One could argue that jeans are the most challenging pieces of clothing to purchase; with that in mind, go shopping for a pair when you are feeling relaxed and have a lot of time. Rushing through the process only increases the risk of frustration and poor purchases. When trying on a pair of jeans, take the time to move around in order gauge your comfort level and see how they look from all angles. Darker washes tend to be more slimming and also a bit more polished, making them more versatile. There’s no need to limit yourself to one pair though, several washes hemmed to both flat and heel lengths will serve you well from fall through spring.
If you’re tall with long legs (and congratulations to you!) then you have many options for styles that will be flattering to your figure. Finding a long inseam can be a challenge, however more companies are catering to their long-legged clients. Brands such as Rock & Republic and J.Brand offer longer inseams that will have you looking fabulous. If you’re more on the petite side, this presents its own set of challenges. Cuffed or cropped jeans are to be avoided, as they tend to make petite women look shorter. Banana Republic offers some great cuts for those who are vertically challenged, look for a boot cut or skinny jeans if you have slender hips. If you’re trying to balance a tummy or wider hips then the fit is particularly important. Make sure that the jeans rest against your body and don’t pull or gap as this will only emphasize what you are trying to conceal. Boot cut jeans are flattering because the balance out your body and tend to make wide hips or a tummy seem smaller in proportion to the rest of you. Skinny jeans will only serve to create an ‘upside down triangle’ effect that may not be flattering. Brands that offer great cuts for this include Citizens of Humanity (look for these at the District’s own Wink and Urban Chic), Seven, and of course legendary brand Levi’s.
If your beloved pair need a bit of tailoring, it’s worth investing in the perfect hemline and keep in mind that stores such as Banana Republic and Nordstrom offer free alterations with your purchase. Also keep in mind that washing your jeans inside out in cold water will keep them looking crisp and prevent fading for years to come. Once you find a pair that you look and feel comfortable in, take a moment to revel in your accomplishment- you now own a garment that you can wear almost anywhere and will make you look amazing for years.
Photo Credit: Tug Jeans
Susan Stipanovich is a stylist and writer who lives and works in Washington D.C. She researches counter terrorism methods and international security sector reform in Africa and the Middle East by day as a Department of Defense associate and spends her free time curating a fashionable lifestyle through her blog Hepburn Loves Givenchy.