This guest post is brought to you by Ashley at Lifevesting!
I am very excited to have this chance to guest post on your blog Leah! I truly admire your blog – you always give me the inspiration to start a new project and your food posts have a tendency to make me drool on my computer! Thank you!
Wardrobe Essentials: The Dark-Wash Jean
Posted on January 10, 2012
J Brand Cigarette Leg Jeans
Jeans have been a staple in wardrobes for the last century. Originally named after sailors from Genoa in Italy who wore the durable fabric, jeans gained wide acceptance during the 19th-century gold rush to California when men needed a durable and difficult-to-tear fabric for their work. Levi Strauss came to California selling wholesale clothing and eventually started producing jeans with deep pockets and belt loops for his utilitarian clientele. When western films became popular in the 1930s, jeans began their transition into mainstream fashion as people across the country admired the hearty and rustic clothing the cowboys wore.
Since the 1930s, jeans have enjoyed a popular place in almost every cultural revolution since. In the 1950s they were an integral part of the rock rebellion and in the 60s, flared jeans were a staple for the hippie counter-culture. Loved for their versatility, durability and practicality, jeans were a natural addition to the fashion scene. Once the fashion world took over, jeans were bleached, blended with spandex, torn, shredded, dyed and decorated a la mode as the world became addicted to this garment.
Today, jeans come in every color imaginable and in almost every cut. They are in everyone’s wardrobe and are the most common wardrobe essential. When looking to invest in a pair of jeans, the choices can be endless. The most universally flattering and timeless jeans however, are indigo colored dark-washed jeans which create a slimming effect similar to black.
What to Look for When Investing in a Pair of Jeans
1. Cut. The two most classic cuts are boot-cut and pencil-leg, both of which work on most body types. Recently the ‘skinny’ jean has made a come-back as well. Be sure to try on different cuts and styles to see which compliments you body and wardrobe the best.
2. Details. Jeans, despite being such a staple, have a surprisingly wide variety of details. When investing in a good pair, be sure to examine all the elements. How many pockets are there? Are the pockets use-able or are they ‘illusion’ pockets, stitched on for the effect? Is the front fly a zip or is it buttons? On a whole, most people (myself included) prefer zip flys so be sure you are comfortable with what you are purchasing. Also, an often forgotten detail is to check whether the fly is made for the right-hand or the left-hand. I learned this lesson the hard way once when I (a right-hander) bought a pair of left-handed jeans.
3. Spandex content. This aspect is as important as cut when considering what will fit your body the best. Having some spandex in your jeans can give them some stretch and will help them conform to your body shape more. However if you want a more tailored jean, spandex content may actually make the cut limper so be sure to try on a pair before purchasing.
4. Length. Jeans come in many lengths and when assessing which you should invest in, first think of the type of use you will wear your jeans for. Will you always be wearing them with heels? Then go for a longer hem. Will you always be wearing them with flats? An ankle hem can be very flattering and Audrey Hepburn-esque. Whatever you do, be sure that your jeans are the length you want. As a petite, I have fallen into the trap of buying regular length jeans and never getting them hemmed. Don’t! No matter how expensive the jeans, you will look cheap if the length is off.
5. Quality. This is the one aspect I always put on my wardrobe essentials “buy” list because it is the most important thing to look for when investing in a staple. Quality means the piece will last longer and look better. Before purchasing jeans, examine them closely. Is the seaming strong and straight? Is the fly correctly centered? Are the pockets well sewn? Does the jean dye come off on your hands if you rub vigorously? No one ever regrets buying quality and jeans are something that will last you forever if you take a little time when buying them.
6. Fit. I’ve said this already but always ALWAYS try an essential on before purchasing it. I can’t tell you how many times I have ignored this rule and come home only to be broken-hearted when I realize the fit doesn’t flatter me or that the back pockets bulge out.
7. The “wow” factor. Jeans are one of the few pieces of clothing that can make you feel like a million, regardless of what you pair with them. Be sure when you are investing in jeans that you feel absolutely fabulous and confident the moment you put them on. I mean, let’s face it, you’ll likely be wearing them more times than anything else in your closet so make sure you smile every time you pull them on.
8. Tailoring. This goes hand-in-hand with fit and length. If you adore a pair of jeans but the fit isn’t right a good tailor can likely re-fashion them for you. If the top of the jeans in the back gaps away from your lower-back, have a tailor sew in darts so they mold closer to your frame.
How to Wear Jeans
Jeans are one of the most practical and versatile pieces in anyone’s wardrobe. They go with virtually everything and can be dressed up or down as necessary. An easy weekend look with jeans is a classic striped top with simple flats. Jeans can look polished with a simple black blazer as well (another important wardrobe essential).
What’s your favorite way to wear jeans?