Saturday, July 3, 2010

Jeans Can Be Distressing (The 10 Tip Fix)

I've had a love affair with jeans my entire life. Even when they were banned in my strict all-girls High School, I found a way. Ever the rebel.

Why was I ready to put up the good fight?

Well, jeans are a crucial asset to any woman’s wardrobe! You can use them for almost anything. And believe me, I've probably tried. I cannot live without jeans. In a perfect world, I could wear jeans all the time. Jeans and a t-shirt... with a piƱa colada... hanging out on the beach every night... and looking like a model in a Guess ad... ok, I digress. 

Buying jeans can be a defeating process – I’ll try on ten different jeans my size only to find out some sizes run small, some too big, others have pocket placement that do not flatter, then I’m lucky if after all of that I end up with one good pair. 
After many agonizing hours at countless stores and several internal (and sometimes external) self-directed pep talks that my ass is not too big, I've assembled ten tips that I consider to be bible when I buy jeans:

1- Don't Buy Online! 
I never buy online unless I’ve tried them on first. Trying on a pair of jeans that don't fit can give your self-esteem a kick in the face, so its best to drag yourself to the store with the mind set that not all jeans are made the same, and your body is beautiful the way it is. Rather than buy one promising pair online that lets you down, and which you thereafter have to return… or that you crazily keep because you decide to mold your body to it “one day.”

2- Get A Good Stretch
LYCRA! Lycra! lycra! A little stretch is always a good thing. Jeans that have a little give, let the curves curve, and tucks what needs to be tucked. If diamonds are a girls best friend, then jeans with lycra are the type of friend you bring out clubbing with you when all the other chicks are with their boyfriends. You can't have a good time without it.

3- Pocket Problems
Most jeans have pockets, and I have only bought one pair in my whole life that didn't have any (but that was in my unfortunate Shakira phase) and that won't happen again. So don't avoid pockets - just watch for pocket placement. Pouty pockets in the back or pockets with buttons in the back are good if you need more oomph in your toosh. However, if you are bootylicious avoid them. If you have wide hips, avoid pockets in the front-hip area (these are usually pockets that are almost hidden) because they may cause an unflattering these-jeans-don't-fit look around the hips.

4- Distressed jeans  
If you have bountiful thighs do not buy jeans that are distressed in the thigh area. They just highlight your thighs, rather than create a uniform look. You can also find distressed jeans that are uniform in color but have the rips and tears in strategically placed areas. Warning: do not distress them yourself unless you know exactly what you are doing! If you have very narrow legs and want to fill out your thighs, you should have no problem with buying distressed jeans with a washed out color - however, try to stick to color that is  asclose to uniform as possible. A very obvious two-tone is just, bleh.

5- Be Versatile
Jeans are versatile, so why can't you be? Don't be afraid to buy two of the same style of jean, in the same exact color. One you will tailor to pair with flats and the other will remain long to pair with heels. If you love the style of jean, why not? 

6- The Rules
Always dress for your body type. Depending on your form, there are many must-have styles of jeans. These are a few I recommend keeping in your closet at all times (again, only if it looks good on you):  

Wide leg jeans- a sailor pant button is so cute, but make sure the top you choose balances you out - you don't want to look bottom heavy.  

Skinny-jeans- These can be dressed up with heels or tucked in knee-high boots, but the top should be long and fitted or long and flouncy. No crop tops. 

Classic straight leg (I prefer a slight boot cut)- These never go out of style and can go from day to night in no time. How? Pair with a black tank. Cuff them during the day and wear sandals. For night, un-cuff, pair it with a cardigan, some accessories and a sexy pair of heels. 

7- Shake It Up
A dark wash is always ideal because they can be dressed up or down. But don't be afraid to think out of the box (no pun intended). A good black jean is also a staple, as is a white jean for the summer. But white-jean-beware! They must be thick enough that you do not see through them or be prepared to wear spanx. It is not classy to show your panties or your ass to the world. So if you’re feeling wild, instead, go for some color! We are reliving the 80's after all.

8- Buy what fits
The "tighter the better" was a rhyme invented about sweaters and boobs. Not Jeans. Whether they're low-rise or waist high, if it's too tight its' going to create a “muffin top,” “chichos,” emphasize  a "spare tire," or create a term I hate that relates to camels. That isn’t pretty at all. When it comes to size, don't worry about numbers. No one sees the tag in your jeans but you. 

9- Hardware
You can choose zippers or buttons or both. Whatever style of jeans you choose, there should be no over-stretching where the zipper or buttons meet the jean. If there is, and you see gaps or need pliers to close them up, then they’re too small for you. Remember - jeans are not corsets. Putting them on should not be a team effort.

10- Get it Tailored
If you find a perfect pair of jeans but there’s a huge gap on the top between your derrier and the small of your back, or they're too long for your legs, buy them and get them tailored. to suit your body. Never the other way around. You cannot be punished for having a teeny weeny waist or short legs. Material is very easy to take away when they're too big. It's adding material that causes the dilemma. 

As you can see, I'm very passionate about jeans. If you share in that passion, please feel free to pass by and share your "deep thoughts" on the topic!

This post was originally a comment I posted on the site of one of my favorite bloggers, who then made it into a guest-post: The link to the guest-post is on the left column, under "Articles & Guest Posts."