May 20, 1873 marked an historic day: the birth of the blue jean. It was on that day that Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis obtained a U.S. patent on the process of putting rivets in men’s work pants for the very first time.
The history of blue jeans is a quintessentially American story, with working class origins, entrepreneurial spirit and an egalitarian attitude towards fashion which we have embraced and loved.
If you could take the hand of an angel and fly back to your own best day (the day you felt your most comfortable, free and full of energy), it’s doubtful you would be wearing a suit. The chances are you would be wearing a pair of jeans – trousers that gain comfort and character with age.
At my capsule wardrobe workshop I ask the question of the ladies attending – how many pairs of jeans do you have – the answer is usually at least 5 pairs each. Even when they don’t fit any more or look dated, we are loath to part with them as ‘they were so comfortable’.
The three main designs in the shops are:
Everybody looks good in classic, fitted bootcuts, especially if you are a triangle. It is your go-to style for balancing your curvy hips. Dress them up or down – there’s nothing these won’t go with.
If you have curves then always buy denim jeans with stretch, this will help banish gaping waistbands if your waistline is smaller than your hips.
Comfy but far from boyish, these are meant to look a bit loose and worn. The shape is relaxed at the leg, so suits ladies with straighter body shapes. Roll up hems to show off slim ankles – jean-ius! They should be loose around your legs but not so baggy that your figure is lost in them and be sure to tuck in your blouse to avoid looking shapeless.
A fashion staple now for years – but they are on their way out, so be warned, ladies. One of the reasons they have been so popular is that you don’t have to be skinny to wear skinnies. Team with long-line tees, tunics and oversized jumpers to hide wobbly upper legs. The darker the wash, the more versatile to transform from day to evening wear.
My top tips for today are:
When shopping for jeans try on loads of pairs to get the perfect fit and when you find them, buy two pairs.
If you are no longer wearing skinnies then the tops you had to go with them will have to go too. It’s all in the silhouette and the proportions. Wider leg jeans = shorter and tighter tops. The longer and fuller tops you used to wear will definitely not work anymore, alas.