The Denim Update (Part 2)
Welcome to Part 2 of the Denim Style Post. It is obvious from your recent responses that jean shopping is a pain, takes forever and often results in settling on a pair that “will do for now”. Well, not on my watch! I am on a mission to ensure you own a beautiful pair of jeans that will feel comfortable, look cool and create the illusion you may sometimes need to feel confident with your figure.
I enlisted the help of a ‘denim expert’ who will remain nameless as he works for a particular brand and cannot be seen to recommend any other brands alongside his own. He generously shared his knowledge on cuts, shapes, brands worth investing in and ones to avoid. I am so grateful to him and now feel equipped to offer the Ultimate Jean Shopping Experience – and boy am I excited. This service will ensure you own the perfect jeans that you will love for years to come. Click here to find out more about how the service works.
Now onto your questions:
What is the best way to wash jeans?
Since denim is heavy and holds water, avoid washing more than two pairs of jeans together. Set your washing machine to the delicate cycle and choose the coldest water option. Wash jeans inside out with a mild detergent. Woolite Dark is best for jeans to avoid fading, stretching, and shrinking. All experts agree that the less you wash your jeans, the better. If there is no visible dirt, they recommend washing after every 10 wears. Use a damp cloth or old toothbrush with mild soap to remove small stains instead of washing them.
What wash of jean should I go for?
Denim washes are key to finding the perfect pair of jeans. Be clever when it comes to choosing your wash. Jeans that are lighter in the centre of the leg give the illusion of a long, slender figure. Avoid pairs with fading only on the bottom or thighs if you’re looking for a slimming effect — they act like a spotlight. If you love distressed features, keep them at the knees and ankles for the most flattering look.
What style of jean is in fashion – I’ve heard skinny jeans now look dated?
Each season, a new style of jean will take centre stage (this year it’s high waisted, flares in a dark wash). However, I never consider jean styles as being ‘in or out of fashion’. If you look great in skinny jeans – wear them. By all means experiment but don’t feel you need to always buy the latest ‘trend’ or you’ll never find your true style. Every style is available in most stores (bootcut to flared, skinny to slim, boyfriend to girlfriend, barrel to cropped kick flare) which is often the reason we dread shopping for jeans - too much choice! Jeans shouldn't be an impulse purchase, give yourself time and try on different styles and cuts (with me obviously). It will be time well spent.
What waistline is the most flattering?
The most universally flattering waistline is mid-rise. This will keep you looking long and lean as it will hit your waistline at the perfect spot to avoid muffin top. A low rise can enhance a muffin top and shorten the look of your leg line, while high-waisted can make your midsection seem broader due to all the fabric.
What style suits my shape?
I’m reluctant to be too prescriptive when it comes to body shapes. We don’t always fit into a specific category (but that’s a whole other style post). However – here is an ‘at a glance’ guide to steer you in the right direction.
Should you always size down in jeans?
Jeans should fit snug when new. If stretch jeans fit like a glove when you first try them on, always try the next size down. Even the relaxed styles should never have a baggy waistband. Don’t pay too much attention to the number - how your jeans fit isn’t just about size—it’s also about the way they are cut.
Where do pockets need to sit to be really flattering?
The pockets should be placed fairly widely, and sit lower on your bottom, for the most flattering effect. When you turn your back to the mirror when trying on jeans, look for back pockets to start mid-way down your bottom, and end around the tops of thighs. Larger pockets will make your bottom look smaller and vice versa.
Do white jeans look a bit ‘trashy’?
Absolutely not. Don’t be afraid to wear them. I would go for a more relaxed fit or a wide-leg style, as opposed to fitted and pair them with black, tan, grey or red – super cool and chic.
Top 3 Investment Jean Brands (recommended by “the expert” and loved by me)
Think about how often you wear jeans before you dismiss more expensive brands. One of my clients has a pair of Paige jeans that are 5 years old and still look incredible. She wears them at least 3 times a week and they cost £200. Think price per wear - I’ll leave you to do the maths!
From skinny to wide leg fits, Paige offers the best fitting, most comfortable jeans on the market. No matter the trend, the silhouette, the look, they have endless combinations including : extra long, petite, and curvy. All are comfortable, flattering, high quality and will stand the test of time. Just ask my client.
Citizens Jeans offer great traditional, authentic styles. They are known for jeans that offer just the right amount of stretch, depending on the look you love. There are stretch, comfort stretch and non-stretch options. Comfort stretch is amazing – it gives high recovery of shape and a super-comfortable fit. Again this is an investment brand – but for good reason.
Frame is a cool, American brand that has grown from strength to strength since it launched in 2012. They offer a wide range of styles and washes but are particularly strong when it comes to boyfriend styles (Le Garcon Azure is one of my favourites) – not too baggy and a super-flattering mid-rise.
Top 3 High Street Brands (recommended by “the expert” and loved by me)
With so many high-street stores offering denim it’s difficult to know where to shop for great jeans at a reasonable price, without forgoing quality. After much discussion and research, here are 3 of the most impressive.
Who hasn’t owned a pair of Levi’s? It’s a jean brand steeped in history. It remains true to its classic 501 style, whilst continuing to reinvent by offering new cuts. If you are into more rigid denim (with little or no stretch) Levi’s is the brand for you. A popular favourite is the 312 Shaping Slim Jean which is made to contour curves, lengthen legs and celebrate your form (what’s not to love?).
Arket is a favourite of mine for cool, effortless tailoring and now the brand is creating contemporary classic jeans that are a superb quality and cut. Many styles come in rigid denim so will take some getting used to if you usually opt for stretch jeans, but they look incredibly cool and edgy so definitely worth trying. These timeless, Nordic style jeans are excellent value at £59.
Gap was my ‘go to’ high-street store for jeans back in the day so I was delighted when my expert told me they remain a brand offering excellent denim. Sadly, they are now only on-line (or can be found at outlet stores). I always suggest sizing down in Gap (or ordering a couple of sizes at a time on-line). Gap is constantly offering discounted denim so well worth stocking up on your favourite style.
I hope this Style Post inspires you to re-think the jeans you wear. Finding the perfect pair will do wonders for your body confidence, and your wardrobe. If you opt for my Jean Shop Service, I guarantee you will return home with a pair of jeans (or maybe more!) that make you look and feel incredible. I cannot wait to help you. Click here to get in touch.
You’re very welcome
Have a great week-end and feel free to share this post.