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All-Hail - The Jean Junkie!

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Forever Chic Style fashionista's annual spring closet purging has arrived!!  When the weather warms up, the sun is shining and the birds are chirping -  the time has come to store heavy sweaters, turtlenecks, wool coats and other heat oriented apparel.   It is time try on everything in the closet and decide like Heidi Klum from the television show Project Runway - "You are either "in" or you are out!" or in this case "This apparel piece is either in or out and off to charity"

First on the agenda is to explore is the sky-high jean pile stacked and overflowing. Most likely, jeans are either stored in folded piles on shelves or hung in the closet taking up lots of space.  Jeans are the essential staple in a classic Forever Chic Style wardrobe.  Why?  Jeans are comfortable, great for outings, ideal for movie night, gardening and basically all around weekend activities. Jeans are as symbolic to Americans as apple pie and baseball.   However, keeping up with all the various styles, hues, fits along with slick marketing and advertising is enough to cause an all out panic attack.  The average woman collects  a vast array of styles including skinny, cigarette, leggings, straight leg, boyfriend, stilt, wide leg to low waist, mid waist, high waist in dark blue, light blue, black, grey and every color in the rainbow in an array of fabric, often in different sizes and all with variable costs from expensive to inexpensive.  The jean collection may include 12 pairs of jeans or truth be known many many more.  Perhaps 30 pairs and up!

    Jean Evolution History:
  Levi Strauss (1829-1901):  An early American clothing success story, Levi Strauss was born in Germany in 1829, and came to America in 1847 to work for his brothers' dry goods business. In 1853, Strauss company began making heavy-duty work pants, now known as jeans, in 1870s, and it continues to operate to this day. Little did Strauss know in 2013, 143 years since creation, Jeans are a staple in every closet and worn more often than any other piece of clothing.
  • 74% of American consumers love denim.
  • 450M pairs of jeans are sold each year.
  • Denim is the most extensively produced and used apparel in the U.S.
  • Global jean market to exceed $65B by 2015.

Spring Cleaning - Winter to Spring/Summer
The closet awaits. Attack the pile of jeans and slip on one by one.  It is funny how only a few have been worn consistently, while others remain untouched.  Or perhaps this is a light bulb moment and the fashion maven realizes - only one particular style looks the best!!  The  "try on all of the jeans" is similar to the annual bathing suit fitting, which is always stressful with the harsh lights and a reminder to work out and put down the extra cookie! 

         Let's begin with Low Rise jeans, which were very popular. In 2013, low rise jeans (7" to 8 1/2")  are simply out and are not flattering though many have them piled in the closet.  And, yes, these low riders were worn with flair though the curse of the dreaded muffin top became a topic of concern. Ask anyone where the "muffin top" phrase come from? Easy answer - the invention of low rise jeans. Low rise jeans are for the super thin with no stomach, do not want to sit down or even eat. Basically, low rise jeans are unflattering jeans and fit only on Kate Moss body types.   Forever Chic Style ladies chose flattering styles to flaunt curves. Gorgeous female curves need to be enhanced rather than resemble a sausage roll or provide a straight up and down line similar to a piece of plywood. Stack in a pile and give away to charity or a teen going through puberty.  And, vow to never again spend money on a trendy pair of jeans! 

Did you know that a pair of 1880 Levi's on EBay sold for $46K?
Forever Chic Style Rises:
  • Mid-Rise (8 1/2" - 10"):  Fasten button an inch below the navel.  Popular.
  • High-Rise (10"):  Sits on the waist.  Have one pair in closet.  Avoid pleats in front for fear of "mom" jeans.
  • Fabric mix Must Have:  5% lycra or other elastic material.

Forever Chic Style Hues: 
  • Dark Blue:  Sleek and elegant and figure flattering.
  • Black:  Is a must for a sophisticated look.
  • White:  Spring and summer sunshine appears and the thermometer is rising slip on white though not after Labor Day.  The after Labor Day is a old rule, yet even today seems to apply.  If raining, sleeting out or just plain cold - white jeans in the fall are not appropriate.  Also, check to see if the white jeans are see-thru.  Avoid.
  • Colors or Flowers:  Trendy and fun though here today and off to charity tomorrow.  If a must spend very little and buy a favorite color. Or choose light blue denim for sun filled days.

    Forever Chic Style Different Styles in Order of Snugness:

I.  The Skinny Jean 10"-11" : The skinny, called the pencil, peg leg or stovepipe, has a circumference at the hem of approximately 10" to 11".   The fit is tight from the waist to the hem, stretchy and silhouette defining.  Tight skinny's are ravishing on a thin frame when worn with tall heeled boots, a pair of pointy toed flats, kitten heels and pumps for event events.

7 for All Mankind - Ankle Skinny Jeans (Luxe Night Blue) $189

    II.  The Cigarette Jean 12" - The Happy Medium between Skinny & Straight:  The cigarette leg is a classic style that elongates the leg from waist to feet. The circumference at the bottom of the pant leg of the jean is about 12".  Cigarette jeans are form fitting though not tapered tightly at the ankles.   Works well with pointy toe heels and less fitted knee high boots.  Cigarette jeans are the most popular for women with gradual overall design and cut for both tall or shorter women.  Additionally, if have a larger calf - The Cigarette jean is a nice solution.

AG 'The Prima' Cigarette Leg Jean - Nordstrom $198


III.  The Straight Jean 16":  Straight and narrow leg from waist to hem.  The fit is loose and hang without any taper or flare at the bottom.  Hem ends 1 to 2 inches below the ankle. A clean line from top to bottom.  Usually for larger thighs.

Paige Denim - 'Hidden Hills' Straight Leg Stretch Jeans (Fountain)

    IV.   The Boot Cut Jean: Tight fitting through the waist, hips, and thighs gradually tapering outward with a flare at the hem. Longer than straight jeans with the hem skimming the floor and the front hem cover the shoe.  Exceptional for the curvy shaped woman.

AG - Stilt Crop
V.  The Stilt Crop Skinny: Superb solution to the  cropped 1950's style boyfriend jean.  Boyfriend jeans are baggy and super comfortable but not flattering especially to a significant other.   When someone says, "You look like a painter!"  there is a major problem.  The solution is the Stilt Cut which is a mid-rise, cut wider in the thighs though tapers to the mid-calf. Pair with pointy toe flats and sandals for summer chic.   Think Audrey Hepburn.  AG has a fabulous pair - yes - at Nordstrom.

VILeggings:  Must have in the winter with long sweaters.  Fit similar to nylons - clings from waist to the ankle. Avoid white leggings.

Top Forever Chic Style Jean Favorites:  Paige, Tory Burch, Rag & Bone; AG, Rich & Skinny; Soft (inexpensive brand of Rich & Skinny found in boutique shop's) and Doncaster.  
Forever Chic Style Golden Rules: 

  • Important:  Try the listed styles on at a major department store with a trusted sales person.  Nordstrom is exceptional in this area.  The expertise on the latest brands and styles is simply the best.   Personal shoppers are also excellent in finding the appropriate jean for an individual.
  • Home Lux: Save faded blue jeans, frayed or super worn or boyfriend cut for the weekends at home or working in the garden.
  • Definite NO to MOM Jeans:  The jeans with high waists and tapered ankles from the 80’s, known as “big mommas” - just say no anytime and anywhere!


  • Less is More – Clean Lines: Minimal and embellishments on the back pockets.  Detailing will attract the eye.  Keep the look simple. 
  • Accessorize:  Belts and colorful scarves.
  • Business: Refrain from wearing jeans to work.  Even if the motto is "everyone else is wearing them".  The goal is to stand out in business, to appear polished and sophisticated.  Jeans are for fun and not business.  Even if you work in the software industry.
  • Just say No:  Do not wear tennis shoes or have holes and rips in the jeans. 
Chic Note: When do French Women wear Jeans? - Only the weekend and only during the day.
Chic Note:  When do Forever Chic Style - American Women wear Jeans?  - Wear jeans with a divine jacket, white blouse, tee shirt or winter turtleneck during the day and early evening events.  Never slip on for weddings, formal parties, bridal showers, baby showers or evening soirees unless the host and hostess are thus attired. Check and arrive in style.  
Chic Note: Snug not Tight:  Purchase skinny jeans that are snug on you as they will stretch.   Be able to sit down in your jeans.  Chip & Pepper, jeans designers, in The Wall Street Journal, Saturday, October 8, 2006 recommends squatting three times to see how much the pants will stretch out after one wear.
"I think they all went too far. Their jeans got too low, their tops too see-through.   Personally, I think that sexy is keeping yourself mysterious.   I am really an old-fashioned girl, and I think I am, totally sexy."  Stevie Nicks
"I am like every other woman; a closet full of clothes, but nothing to wear:  So, I wear jeans." Cameron Diaz

Next Blog: Forever Chic Style Fashion Fit Guide.  


  1. Narrow Jeans and shirt with a check pattern will make you look young and trendy.


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