Timeless Blues

By Chelle Cordero

July 17, 2009 5 min read


Slip on the perfect pair for day or night

Chelle Cordero

Creators News Service

The weekend is here and you just want to kick back and relax in some informal, comfortable clothes. What could be more comfortable than jeans?

Those denim blues have a lot of history. They used to mean work clothing. In 1873 Levi Strauss and his partner Jacob Davis created copper-riveted denim "waist overalls" for men. In 1934 Levi Strauss and Company created "Lady Levi's," the first blue jeans made for women.

Since the late 1950s, when Levi's were shown off at Moscow's "American Industries Fashion Presentation," there have been a lot of styling innovations and changes, such as stitching, colors, pockets, flare legs, boot cuts and straight legs.

Today's jeans are manufactured with brand names from Levi's and other companies such as Guess, Gap and Edi, as well as private store labels. The rise of the waist and the cut of the legs make this piece a staple in almost every fashion-savvy hipster's wardrobe.

Jeans are suitable almost anywhere. Pair proper-fitting jeans in a dark color with a dressy top and nice shoes (flat or heels) and you have an outfit that can go almost anywhere nice slacks could be worn. Meanwhile, those worn-in blues are perfect for a laid-back affair.

But before you pick your pair, you need to look at washes, rises and styles. There is a huge selection, and while many women look great in jeans, not every pair of jeans looks great on every woman.

Washes refer to the color, brilliance and look of the fabric. One very popular look is stone washed, which shows off some un-dyed fabric threads. Dark washes, which are usually dyed twice to deepen the color and dye the threads to match, also have a strong following. To keep that new look, launder your jeans inside out in cold water or on gentle cycles. Hanging them to air dry will keep jeans from shrinking.

The rise of jeans refers to where the waistline of the pants sits on your body. They can range from high-rise (above your natural waistline/navel) to super low-rise (four to five inches below your navel). Depending on the rise that you choose, you can either elongate or shorten your torso.

The size of you derriere has to be considered when it comes to big back pockets and fancy stitching or gems. The larger it is, the less fancy artwork should be displayed, whereas smaller rears will be enhanced with fancier scenery. The placement of pockets will also change how your beautiful backside looks.

There are five basic style options:

* Skinny -- snug in the seat, thigh and leg.

* Straight -- same width at thigh, knee and leg opening.

* Boot cut -- slightly flared to fit over boots.

* Flare -- narrower at knee with wider leg opening.

* Trouser -- fuller leg from hip down with a wider hem.

Consider your natural curves, the footwear you want to wear and the destination you plan to wear your jeans. Trouser cuts paired with a blazer tend to work best in a more formal setting such as an office, while flared generally does best when you are out for a night on the town.

One of the latest additions to jean styles is the "boyfriend cut," which are loose fitting, have a low rise and usually have the hems cuffed. These are jeans made for a woman but look like they are stolen from your guy's closet, and are being seen on everyone from middle-school teens to top-notch celebrities.

The petite woman should choose jeans that accentuate her "womanly curves," or she will wind up looking too young or cutesy to be taken seriously. Paired with a blazer, skinny may work better for the office than trousers.

Plus size women will usually do best with medium rise, medium width, straight or slightly boot cut leg jeans. Pay special attention to the cut over the buttocks and thighs. If it is too snug, choose the next size up. Also darker, more even colors tend to slim you.

Many mature women are keeping themselves in better shape, but wearing jeans that are too tight or adorned with pronounced stitching or glittery embroidery still comes off as age-inappropriate. In this case, less is certainly more.

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