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By Lauren Deloach, Editor of Category5Style.com
Of all the areas a woman can struggle with when it comes to clothing, purchasing a fabulous pair of jeans consistently ranks high on the list. Whether it’s issues with high waist versus low waist, the actual wash (color) of the jeans, the fit of the jeans in relation to one’s “moon,” stretch versus no-stretch, or your age in relation to chosen style…the list is long and cumbersome for many. I recently received a question from a reader regarding her struggles with purchasing jeans with stretch, and it got my wheels turning on this seemingly complicated topic. Before diving in, it’s important to acknowledge whether purchasing jeans should in fact be a complicated matter. Honestly, the answer would have to be “no.” The key is knowing exactly what you’re looking for when searching. Once you have a vision in your mind and a real plan in place, you’ll find the options are endless!
No sense in delaying the most complicated part of buying jeans: age in relation to style. So many women get hung up on finding jeans because they are searching for jeans based on age. They are skipping the contemporary department, convinced that what is sold for a 25-year-old couldn’t possibly be appropriate for a 55-year-old. The truth is that that the real life 25-year-old chick couldn’t afford many of those jeans even if she wanted to. While they don’t put the 40 and 50-year-old women in the ads (FYI- THEY SHOULD, as it would clearly alleviate the confusion), these contemporary jeans have your best interest at heart. Right now it really is about mid-to high-waist jeans, which is a cut that “sits well” with many women, as life has potentially thrown their body some curves such as child-bearing or menopause, and with those changes the belly and bottom are often affected. Mid-to high-waist jeans will suck everything in, and offer some FAB shape to your waist and moon in the process. When wondering where to begin, if you have zero jeans that work, start with dark wash high-waist jeans when looking for a more fitted look to enhance your shape. Lines by Hudson Jeans and Kut From The Kloth are always winners.
In addition to age, I have found that so many women miss the boat on jeans because they are sold on the notion that jeans must indeed be fitted. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, the easiest jeans you’ll ever wear (and get a million compliments on in the process) are loose fit jeans. They always come off super-chic, can be dressed up or down, work for all shapes, and camouflage issues such as muffin and “moon rocks” (cottage cheese on your lower half if you’re just tuning in to Category5 lingo). By a landslide, the best example I can give you is to check out Current/Elliott’s Boyfriend Jeans. If you’re ready to push the style envelope, then try their Destroyed Boyfriend Jeans!
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Finally, we come to stretch. Don’t you just love it when you purchase a pair of fitted jeans with stretch, and after wearing for no more than a couple of hours they begin to sag and slowly make their way to your ankles? I know I do! Nothing like spending money on junk to learn a style lesson. For those that haven’t had this annoying experience thanks to cheaply made jeans, let me save you some money: Do not buy fitted jeans that have more than 2% stretch. Take note of the word fitted, and remember that this does not apply to boyfriend jeans where adding a skinny metallic belt only leverages the chic factor. To address the specific reader who was concerned that she can no longer find jeans without stretch, it’s important to note that there was a time when something was in existence that shamed backsides all across the country. It was called “The Mom Jean,” and it ruined so many women’s style lives that they have essentially been banned from production by any self-respecting designer. While in an effort to turn a wrong to right, designers went too far and added too much stretch, which offered shame in the form of having to pull your pants up every five minutes, as you look left to right to see who sees you…purely mortified. The answer is not to go backwards, but to remember that as long as you follow the stretch rule of 2% for fitted jeans (and focus on mid to high rise), you will find great success in the realm of jeans, and stretch will cease to be of concern.
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.