I’ve been wanting to write a post on jeans for a while. On how I’m evolving away from skinny jeans. Ha. I guess that would qualify as wishful thinking. You see, it all started a few weeks ago when I saw the shot below, part of the “Fabulous At Every Age” series in Harper’s Bazaar. “I’ve been a skinny jean devotee for way too long,” I thought. “I must try harder to expand my horizons… with respect to jeans.”
Most of my jeans are skinny. Skinny cropped or skinny full-length. I have one pair of bootcut. And a pair of white, straight-leg jeans. Most of the time, when I’m in pants, they’re jeans. And when I’m in jeans, they’re usually skinny. But every so often I try to shoe-horn myself out of the skinny jean rut.
In 2014 I read an article on how jeans were going out of style and wrote a post called The End of Jeans. In that post, I declared I was moving away from skinny jeans and hopefully away from low-rise. I envisioned myself, after a brief shopping interval, slouching around in a pair of high-rise, loose-fit, distressed jeans. Ha. Instead, I shopped until I nearly dropped. Found that high-rise jeans were indeed making a comeback; let’s all praise the denim gods on that one. And I went home with a new pair of high-rise skinny jeans.
In 2017, I read that numerous fashion prognosticators had been pronouncing for a couple of years that the skinny jean was dead. So I again attempted to expand my horizons, with respect to jeans. And look for a looser fit, maybe a cropped loose-fit. Ha. Ha. I wrote a post about that quest as well. But to sum up for you, I went looking for something like these, see below.
Liz and I fell over laughing when we saw me in these. Laughter, guffaws, and not a few expletives. The expletives were from me; Liz doesn’t swear like I do. Yep, I went shopping for a loose-fit, possibly cropped, distressed jean and came home with the dark-wash, full-length, skinny jeans below. Even when you shop with a list unexpected things happen.
Then last year out of jean boredom, I tried to update my old Current Elliot bootcut jeans. I usually wear them with a short jacket and boots. But I tried them with my old Max Mara navy suit jacket, a white shirt, and my Stan Smith sneakers. Plus a silk scarf that I bought in Montreal in the early 2000s. I like this look. It updates the bootcut jeans a little, and gives me a chance to wear my MM jacket, and that sweet little scarf. And then, for a while, I confined my horizon expanding to looking for wide-leg, plaid, cropped pants. That didn’t pan out like I hoped either.
Which brings me to this year, to last week, and my ongoing quest to broaden my jean horizons. I spent an afternoon with Liz at Nordstrom to make a start on my spring shopping. I didn’t have a list. Instead, I just wanted to see what I could see, browse, and keep my options open. I thought I might find a bright suit, or a bright top or sweater (orange or red, maybe), or a jacket, and maybe something to expand my horizons with respect to jeans. I am nothing if not persistent, folks.
When I spied these Frame army-green, cropped pants on a mannequin, I loved them. But, sigh, they did not love me back.
First of all, as I have experienced in the past, they were much shorter on me than on the model above. Too short. And my ankles are much skinnier than the model shown here. See my Elly May look above.
I carry all of my extra weight above my hips; in fact, I don’t really even have hips. When a pair of these pants fits me in the waist, they are too baggy in the butt, and in the hip. They make me look even bigger around the middle than I am. In short, they draw attention to my weak point. Namely that middle-aged middle. They are simply the wrong proportion for my body.
Liz and I were disappointed with them. And she expostulated, “If you, as tall as you are, can’t wear these. And me, as short as I am, can’t wear them. Then who can?” “Good question,” I said.
But I think I have the answer. Besides all those tiny twenty-year-olds, I think anyone who has a trim waist can wear these. I don’t think you have to be skinny, just not apple-shaped like me. And not short-waisted with all of your weight above your hips and long skinny legs. Ha. That’s because these pants need a slim-fitting, tucked-in top, just like the model is wearing. You don’t want to wear a long, untucked top with them. The pockets will be hidden for one thing, and a loose top will add too much bulk to your upper half. And if you don’t have long legs, a long top over the cropped pant will make your legs look shorter. Really, a high-waisted pant with a top tucked in always lengthens the leg. Unless you’re me. In which case you want to avoid the tucked-in thing. At all costs.
You know, we all have our style challenges. And when we dress to suit our bodies, we minimize them. I try to wear narrow, but not tight, tops out over my jeans. Not long tops, just long enough to make my middle-age middle look like it’s not there. A few years ago I found a Rag and Bone tank that skimmed my hips and fell away from my body in the front. It was perfect for me. I rarely wear a top that is tucked in. Mostly because, as I said, I carry all my weight above my hips, and I am VERY short-waisted. 95% leg, as Hubby says. Tucked-in tops make me look like a ball on a stick. Seriously.
Let’s go back to that shot from Harper’s Bazaar, shall we? And the “anti-skinny jeans” as they call them. Most of those looks I’d never wear. Except for the straight cut jeans on the left. Sofia Coppola looks lovely too, in her blazer, straight, cropped jeans, and cross-body bag. But then again, she always looks chic and polished. But the others look silly to me. Especially Gigi Hadid in her slouchy, faux “I’m just regular people” look. Especially since she has on bejewelled pumps, and I’m pretty sure that checked shirt is Burberry.
So, I’ve been foiled for now, my friends. But I’m sure that my quest for broader jean horizons will continue. Mostly because I’m getting tired of my skinny jean look, as much as I like it. I saw lots of different styles of jeans in Aritzia the other day, some high-waist, loose-fit Levis that I may go back and try. I’m a great believer in trying and trying and trying on. But I have to be in the right frame of mind. When I’m cranky I never buy anything. And our ongoing non-spring has definitely made me cranky.
Still, the writing is on the wall with respect to my search for wide-leg cropped pants that suit me. I’ve tried many, many pairs, and come to the conclusion that since I can’t change my body type I’ll have to abandon that quest. Similar to my search a few years ago to find boyfriend jeans that would stay up, and not slide down over my hips. Or where my hips would be if I had any. Ha.
You may have had very a different experience with expanding your jean horizons, and finding suitable wide-leg cropped jeans, or boyfriend jeans. This is just my experience, and my very non-expert opinion. The only thing I am an expert on is fitting my own body.
And as you can see, sometimes I’m a slow learner even then.
Let’s hear from you, my friends. Any jean conundrums in your life lately?