I bought skinny jeans the other day. Two pairs. How daring of me. Especially considering that the fashion media has been predicting the death of skinny jeans for at least two years now.
An article in BuzzFeed
declared the skinny jeans trend “officially over” in July 2015. And in January the following year, Julia Hobbs in Vogue.com
said she was “calling time on skinny jeans,” announcing a return to vintage inspired, “firm, dude-ranch denim.” Like Betty Grable wore in the forties. Hobbs says that we’re going back to “that lived-in and locked-in feeling you get from proper jeans.” The kind with no stretch in them. “Rigid” jeans, they’re called, which apparently “hold their shape” and “guarantee an irresistible old-fashioned anti-fit.”
Really? Rigid, locked-in, anti-fit? Does that sound appealing to you? The “anti-fit” is what I wore all through high school, when I couldn’t find a pair of jeans that fit no matter how hard I tried. And as for non-stretch jeans, that apparently hold their shape. That’s not what I remember. In university, I loved my old Levis, which were “proper jeans,” but after one or two wears the knees and the butt bagged from sitting in them, and they had to be washed and put in the dryer to regain their shape. And of course they shrank, requiring one to lay down on the bed to zip them up, a difficult and sometimes painful technique I learned from my roommate Debbie. I do agree that the stiff fabric, at least when freshly washed, will hold one’s middle in better than the lighter weight stretch jeans. But jeans as shape wear? I’m not going there, folks.
|Jennifer Lawrence wearing Dior jeans, Harper’s Bazaar, May 2017
I think that Jennifer Lawrence looks adorable in her Dior “rigid,” vintage inspired, frayed-hem, no-stretch, non-skinny jeans. But then, Jennifer Lawrence looks adorable in everything. While I, on the other hand, do not. Ha. I tried these distressed, cropped, vintage inspired, boyfriend jeans the other day at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. In the first shot, the selfie on the left, I’m trying to hold my phone steady as I snort with laughter. Then I made my buddy Liz take the other shot so I could show the “anti-fit.” Oh yeah. Not flattering. Liz and I laughed that I looked like an escapee from “Hee Haw.” You know, that campy comedy show from the seventies, like “Laugh-In,” except with country singers and pitchforks. And characters wearing jeans that looked a lot like these.
So to all those trend spotters, all those fashion prognosticators, who would have me chuck my skinny jeans, I’d like to misquote the frequently misquoted
Mark Twain, and say that reports of the death of skinny jeans have been greatly exaggerated. At least in my closet. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy that all those women who hate skinny jeans now have other options. Hell, I’m ecstatic that low-rise skinny jeans have virtually disappeared. But I’ll be hanging onto my high-rise skinny jeans for a while yet.
Partly that’s because I like how skinny jeans fit me. And I like stretch in my jeans. The knees don’t bag for one thing. And the waist and rear end of non-stretch jeans never fit me properly, and are too bulky for my body type. Extra bulk around my middle I do not need. I can’t get away with tucking in shirts and tees like I used to, and jeans that are bulky and loose around the middle need a top tucked in… in my opinion.
Here are the Paige, cropped, high-rise, skinny, ankle jeans I bought. They’re comfortable to sit in, don’t bag when you get up, and don’t look like you slept in them after two hours of sitting in a restaurant. I’m wearing them with my now ubiquitous Rag and Bone layered tank, my Helmut Lang jacket, and my Paul Green suede flats.
I considered going bolder with the accessories. But that just wouldn’t be me. Because the tank is quite “fluffy” with its filmy layers, and the shoes have ankle laces, I thought everything else should be pretty pared down. So I just wore simple pearl stud earrings, my Anne-Marie Chagnon bracelet, and the matching ring that I got at Frock Exchange, my friend Fiona’s consignment store. I might carry a bag in a bright colour… but… you know… somehow I doubt I will.
My friend Liz and I had a discussion about the reputed death of skinny jeans when I was at Nordstrom the other day. Liz says that as opposed to getting rid of any one style, we should build a “wardrobe of jeans.” I’m all for that. As long as we build that wardrobe to meet our own needs, and not just to acquire the most recent trend, flattering or not.
And if vintage inspired, high-rise, rigid, non-stretch, anti-fit, dude-ranch denim jeans are not your thing either, there are other options. Thank goodness.
Besides my new ankle jeans, I bought a new pair of high-rise full length skinny jeans the other day. I also own a couple of pairs of cropped straight-leg jeans, and a couple of pairs of full length straight-leg jeans. Then there are my recently crafted kick-flares with the DIY frayed
hem. I made them from an old pair of Hudson white, boot-cut jeans. I look dreadful in the wide-leg, cropped kick-flare, but the narrow kick-flare suits me fine. And these are my Current Elliot boot-cut jeans, below. I love these with my brown Paul Green ankle boots, and a tweed jacket in the fall. Or with these strappy Stuart Weitzman wedge-heel sandals. I guess the theme here is that I prefer a narrow leg. It doesn’t have to be skinny, and can be flared, but you won’t find baggy, wide-leg jeans in my jeans wardrobe. Obviously, that doesn’t mean that they won’t look fabulous on you, or that they wouldn’t be a great addition to your jeans wardrobe. After all you gotta be you, just as I gotta be me. Right?
As you may have guessed, I’ve been doing a bit of reading about denim trends this week. I sometimes despair at all the shouty, click bait headlines, or the dictatorial ones like “8 Must-Have Statement Denim Trends.” I laughed at one “denim expert” who claimed that “the overall trend is still individuality,” but went on in the next paragraph to say that “every It girl is wearing the high-low hem right now.” Sigh.
That comment reminds me of the DIY “high-low hems” we created back in the seventies when our flared jeans were so long that we walked on them, effectively chewing off an inch or two in the back. Except that I think the updated version has the chunk cut out in the front instead of the back. So maybe ours were low-high, instead of high-low? Whatever, I loved them back in the day, and I’d not be caught dead in them now. Does that make me hypocritical, or just more evolved?
Don’t get me started. I sound like a fashion curmudgeon. These young people today… what will ever become of them?
Hmmm. Maybe they’ll grow up, work for while, retire, and start writing a blog about what they got up to when they were young.
|Fashion curmudgeon relaxes on her deck in the chairs that Hubby repainted.
You can check out the Pinterest board I created for my jeans wardrobe
if you’re interested. Generally I pin something because I like some element of the shot, sometimes because I lust after the whole darned outfit. And it helps to pass the time when I’m on my exercise bike. Win, win, I think.
How about you folks? Do you have a favourite jeans style? Or one you’d not be caught dead in, ever? Or how about one that went from the former to the latter or vice versa? After all, we’re all evolving.