Friday, November 22, 2013

Fashion Fix ::: Denim Trends and Thoughts

Denim is definitely a staple in my wardrobe, and really just about everyone else's. There are so many cuts and washes, and so many changing's hard sometimes to know what's best for your style and your body in the change sea of style.  

A reader recently sent me a few questions, specifically regarding denim trends. The questions she had, and I get asked similar questions very frequently, were about most flattering cuts and what works best for the most bodies, and then, the question I kinda dread answering on paper: how do I feel about "skinnies."  I have also been asked about the trendy colored and patterned jeans, as well as coated denim. 

Photo of a Wit and Wisdom "Itty Bitty Bootcut" from

First question first...I tend to think the most universally flattering cut is a dark rinse, mid-rise boot cut, especially a "baby boot cut" option. It works on the slimmest to the most voluptuous bodies, and looks chic and put together on everyone. They're not calling any extra attention to things anyone wishes to hide, and so many lines have so many varied rises and features to work with just about any perceived or "real flaw" we have. 

Image indicating rises from Joy of Clothing.

Find the rise that works best for your build first and foremost.  I posted a while back about seeing Clinton at Macy's and he had the perfect words for how to handle rises, specific to those of us with more in the middle. When dealing with a belly, keep the waistline around the belly button, if you have just a smaller muffin, two finger widths below the belly button. If you were in the whole-cake zone, right at the belly button. 

Onto the subject of  this "skinnies" trend.  While many sites and "fashion experts" say skinny jeans are for everyone, I am inclined to vehemently disagree. This is a subject I have probably a very unpopular opinion on, because I personally reserve them for only the leanest and most bangin' of bodies. I have spent the majority of my adult life cartwheeling along on the line between plus size and straight size, and after a long stint in the plus size department trying to fit my "apple on sticks" body shape, I feel pretty qualified to share this advice and opinion with the world. 

*deep breath*

Skinny jeans are not for every body.  "Skinnies" bring an apple, or in general any fuller figured woman's body, into what I call an "ice cream cone" shape. Your legs are tapered to a pointed cone, and your butt, hips, stomach and boobs are the scoops of ice cream placed on top. NOT a flattering look. So why do you want to do that to yourself? 

Listen, I am not fat-shaming anyone, because I have no room to talk. I am already built like an ice cream cone on my own.  I am simply explaining that if you want to make yourself look your absolute best, and why would you not, why would you select something that calls attention to a part of your body that is not your best asset when there are cuts out there that balance the fuller parts of your body with your less full parts?  Feel free to have dissenting opinions on that, but I really do feel that women who are not in peak form wearing skinny jeans are doing themselves a serious disservice. 


Speaking of trends, some of the biggest trends out right now are colored denim, patterned denim and coated denim. I would LOVE to try these out. Sadly, it seems brands only cater trends to the super slender women, as tends to be the case with all designers, because these trendy denim takes seem to only be available in skinny cuts and I guess plus size women or women who don't want to wear only skinny cuts are not allowed to be trendy. 


One of the VERY few brands not doing ONLY skinny for trendy styles is Not Your Daughter's Jeans.  They have sueded denim in a few really pretty fall shades in both bootcut AND straight leg styles, and most come in plus sizing as well.  Their "skinny" isn't really a true skinny, at least not from what I can tell based on leg openings, so the coated and printed options may work as well for most bodies.   Ann Taylor has a couple options as well for colored denim.

Those looking for skinnies in a ton of colors and options can check out Old Navy and Gap, for starters, as they seem to nail so many denim trends out right now pretty well, colored, printed, coated and even dip-dyed.  Forever21 is another one to check out as well. 

The ultimate decider on all of this is not me, not any "fashion expert", not any's your threshold for comfort and your confidence. If you can rock it, rock it. 

What are your favorite trends? And thoughts on "skinnies"? 

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