The 5…. Jeans

I’m going to level with you here – yes this is a “fashion” blog post but truth be told I’m not very fashion forward, to be honest I really don’t consider myself fashionable AT ALL, but, I thought I would start a new fashion series aimed at moms like me who get intimidated by trendy fashion blogs, model magazine layouts and the racks and racks of clothing at their local mall…

Yes, a fashion series for those of us who need practical tips on a few key pieces that will make getting dressed in the morning a whole lot easier and to help identify what basic items you need to look out for the next time you hit the shops – be it for a shopping spree or a once off item!

I’ve decided to call this series THE 5 and each month I will share with you THE 5 items you need in your wardrobe following a particular theme. And yes, you guessed it, this month I’ll be starting with the go-to item for moms everywhere – Jeans!

jeans every woman needs

Before we start here are my Top 5 Tips for Buying Jeans

1. Prepare Positively

When shopping for jeans be prepared – in body AND mind. Plan a few hours of uninterrupted time to shop, don’t have anywhere else you need to rush to. Take along a friend who gives you honest feedback NOT someone who says you look great in everything! Stay positive – remember bodies change over the course of a lifetime (did someone say kids???) and you are not likely going to fit into the size of jeans you wore in high school (and if you do still please don’t tell me) Accept it and know that there is a style that WILL fit you. Practically it’s a good idea to wear a skirt and a top you would usually wear with jeans plus a pair of pumps. That way you don’t have to keep unzipping boots and tight jeans or leggings as you try on hundreds of pairs in the changing rooms!

2. Focus on Fit

There is no universal sizing chart that denim designers stick to which means you can be a size 28 in one brand and a size 38 in another!! Don’t stress about it! Always choose the denims that fit you best and ignore the size in the label! When trying on a pair you like take three different sizes to the dressing room!

3. Aim for Age Appropriate

Don’t buy anything with a teenager in the advert. You are not their market. Too much trendy distressing or detail will leave you looking like mutton dressed as lamb as wearing jeans meant for younger girls always makes you look older!

4. Classic Cuts and Colours

Dark denims are usually the best bet when it comes to colour as they are flattering and easily can transition from day to night. Avoid distressed jeans as any sort of bleaching or tears will emphasize those particular parts of your body (eg. a faded spot on the thighs will make your thighs the focus of attention!) Also always avoid a low waistband – you’re not longer a teenager with a flat 6-pack – and this will just emphasize your muffin top. NOT a good look!

5. Think Sleek and Sophisticated.

Contain curves, don’t call attention to them! Don’t be afraid to try on hundreds of pairs until you find ones that fit perfectly. Time and energy invested in searching for jeans that fit well definitely pays off

 

So today I’m sharing with you The 5…. Jeans every woman needs to have in her wardrobe… As a busy mom one of my favourite fashion staples are jeans – and I know I’m not alone here! This versatile fashion item is invaluable in helping you throw together an outfit in less than a minute e.g. most mornings when that is all the time you have to get dressed! I’m sure once you go through my list you might find you already have 1 or 2 of these pairs already which is great, at least you’re off to a good start.

The Classic

classicjeans

A classic cut pair of denim jeans in a dark wash blue is your starting point for building a great denim wardrobe. Buying the perfect pair of jeans can actually be one of the hardest purchases you make as you need these to work overtime in your wardrobe so when buying jeans prepare to spend a few hours trying on a multitude of pairs before you find the right ones. Also as this is your classic pair of jeans it’s worth spending a little bit more here on a pair that are made from a really great quality denim as you’ll be wearing these loads and want them to last the distance. Choose a pair that fit you well, actually perfectly, especially from behind – your bum should look great!

My favourite classic pair are super soft denim from Lucky Brand. They are a classic length but also look really great cuffed (as shown above) I love the dark wash as it’s really flattering over lumpy thighs but it also has the perfect amount of fade – not too much as super faded “white” areas on the thigh or bum area can make these look larger than they are! What’s great about a pair of dark wash denims is that they can be worn day and night – just pair them with some of your heels and a pretty top and blazer for a great date night look! These are the Cate Stacked Skinny from Lucky Brand at Edgars

The Skinny

skinnyjeans1

Now I know the Skinny shaped jean is not for everyone – it totally depends on your figure, but this silouhette has really worked for me as my legs are one of the features I actually like about myself and want to draw attention to. If you have a good pair of pins I can recommend you try this shape. It can be really flattering if you don’t go too tight! My favourite pair are from Sissy Boy available at Edgars, Foschini and Stuttafords.

The Jegging

jeggings

Jeggings are very similar in style to skinnies but slightly different in that they don’t have a zip and button at the waistband rather a stretchy elasticised waistband similar to leggings (let me explain!) I recently got my very first pair and I can honestly say they are one of the most comfortable pairs of jeans I own – no tight waist band cutting into you when you sit down. A common problem esp if you wear skinny jeans and have a bit of tummy! Anyway I love this style as it’s also perfect for hiding any tummy rolls you may have and gives the illusion of a flat stomach with not bumps around the middle – basically a mom’s best friend! My pair are from FDJ (French Dressing Jeans) at Stuttafords.

Top Tip: Jeans too tight in the waist? Let them air dry and then tug the damp waistband by hand or go over the waistband with a super-hot, steam iron while they are still damp.

The Boyfriend

boyfriendjeans1

Now the idea behind boyfriend jeans are that they should give the appearance that you have borrowed your boyfriends jeans but they fit you a little bit better than he’s would! Boyfriend jeans are supposed to be a bit baggy, but in a good way! A “relaxed, cool, nonchalant” kinda way! Not in a “wearing 2 sizes too big for me” way! These are the perfect weekend jeans but be careful to pair them with the right tops and shoes – nothing too big and baggy on top or you will look like a bag lady.

These jeans are meant to be quite masculine so work really well with more feminine accessories and details like a pretty top, floaty jersey. Also remember to always wear them cuffed at the bottom and pair them with some pumps or heels! My pair are so soft they feel like tracksuit pants and I love the contrast of wearing this style after wearing my skinny jeans a bit too often! My pair of boyfriend jeans are the Sienna Cigarette style from Lucky Brand at Edgars

The Coloured

blackjeans1

This is where you can have some fun with your denim – blue be gone!! A great starting point to depart from blue denim jeans is to get a pair of black jeans – a great option for evenings out. I know faded black or grey is also quite a trendy way to wear denim but when I tried to “rock” the Kate Moss look my husband was less than complementary so I’ve stuck with solid black – far more flattering! My pair are from One Green Elephant at Edgars – an innovative German/ Japanese denim brand that really know how to bring fun to fashion. They also have a great range of double dyed denims with really funky colours and embellishments. I’ve got my eye on a pair of blue/ pink ones!!

One of the fun trends that I’ve been embracing are coloured jeans – I now own a pair in mint, cerise, royal blue and these coral ones. I find these are a great way to introduce more colour into your wardrobe especially if you’re scared of wearing it too close to your face for fear of looking like a clown (or is that just me??) Anyway I love finding a new colour to add to my collection and my favourite spot for this is Pick n Pay clothing – fortunately the are very reasonably priced so I can hide a pair amongst the groceries every now and again!

colouredjeans1

Now a big point I need to make here is that once you have invested in a pair of fairly expensive denim’s you need to know how to look after them and keep them looking good and lasting for years! The key to making your jeans last is how you wash them! Here are a few tips on how to wash denim jeans well…

Top 5 Tips for  Washing Jeans

1. Don’t wash them after every wash… try to wear them at least 3 times between washes!

2. Always wash jeans inside out to preserve their colour, especially darker washes.
3. Wash with similar coloured items or better yet only other jeans to help prevent unwanted friction on the denim fabric, which can lead to thinning and tears. Don’t overload the washing machine – four pairs should be the max in one load.
3. Wash your denim on a delicate cycle which uses a lower speed of agitation and a shorter washing cycle so your jeans are less at risk of stretching or tearing. To prevent shrinking, always use cold or warm water or setting and NEVER the hot water setting to wash your jeans.
4. Before you wash a new pair of jeans for the first time, always check the manufacturer’s tag for any special laundry instructions. The first time you wash your jeans, add 1/2 cup of white vinegar and a pinch of baking soda to the machine to help set the colour so it doesn’t bleed and fade.
5. Don’t tumble dry jeans if you want to avoid fading and shrinking. , rather let them air dry on the line pegged by the legs and still inside out of course! Hanging them on a pants hanger in the bathroom would also work. If you want to tighten the jeans back up then pop them in the tumble dryer for 10 – 15 minutes on the lowest heat setting once they are almost dry. Regularly using the tumble dryer will degrade the fabric and your jeans will wear out faster.

Some exciting news for denim lovers and those of you looking to do some jean shopping this weekend… Edgars are currently running a denim promotion with some great specials including 50% off any pair of Lucky Brand Jeans purchased if you bring in an old pair of jeans… Find out more here: Edgars #DoDenim promotion (14 – 24 August 2014)

And just in case you were wondering my top is Maiorca from Salsa at Edgars (R499,95) and my grey leather pumps are from Jean Kelly at Poetry (R499,00)

Images: Kathryn Rossiter
Disclosure: 0 & 1

 

 

Kathryn Rossiter

Kathryn is a South African lifestyle blogger and mom of 2 who has been blogging daily for over 9 years! She writes about travel, health, beauty, fashion, decor and family... but not food (unless it's food she's eaten made by someone else) as she is a hopeless cook. She only wakes up early for 2 things... a red-eye flight to somewhere exotic and early morning game drives. She has just finished an extensive home renovation and would prefer to never see another box again. She's never met a chocolate or glass of bubbles that she didn't like!

7 Comments
    1. Hi Lisa! Thanks – it’s from a range called Salsa available at Edgars. I bought mine at the Canal Walk branch.

  1. Hi Kath – Just Googled this post because I remember you wrote an article about jeans. I don’t suppose you know anywhere that has jeans for tall, hippy women. I tried Truworths, Old Khaki, Sissy Boy, Foschini, Woolworths and then decided SA is useless when catering for the “tall” market.

    I come to you out of desperation….Levis, Tom Ford? HELP this DESPERATE tall person.

    Thanks !
    Caro

    1. Hi Carolynne!

      Rats, my last message didn’t post. Let me try again 🙂 You are definitely alone if your struggle to find long enough clothing. I own a local clothing company called Love Long Length that caters solely to women who are between 5ft10 and approx 6ft3. While we don’t have jeans yet, we have a stunning range of structured linen trousers that we launched in October. This year we have Palazzo paints on the horizon and HOPEFULLY jeans will feature in soon.

      In the meantime, I’d go to your nearest Stuttafords and search through the International brands. My mom and I have often found Gap Long jeans and other brands here and there. If they have their 50% annual sale on, the price is do-able. Lucky Brand Jeans also typically stock at least one style of long jeans. They are unfortunately not long enough for me – I need at least a 37″ inseam, but my mom did manage to find a pair that worked well for her with a 36″ inseam. They are pricey, but worth it if they are a good fit. Lastly, Edgars does have a tall section that includes inexpensive jeans. I have not heard great feedback on these as far as them lasting very long, but it might be worth checking them out.

      I hope this helps point you in the right direction. If there are ever any other items you are struggling to find, you are welcome to email me on contact@lovelonglength.co.za and I can check if we have it in stock.

      Have a great day x
      Kristi

  2. Hi Caro – thanks so much for remembering this post and asking the question… I’m pretty sure you’re not alone and although I can’t quite help (being an “average” girl myself) I’ve asked on of my blogging friends and super tall person, Kristi, to step in… Will let you know what she advises… or maybe she’ll reply here too to help everyone else with this plight!

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