April 11, 2008
She She Me Sponsor: Donna Ricco
Jeans for Your Genes: the best denim for your derrière!
The venerable pantheon of modern information, Wikipedia, tells us that the word "denim" comes from the name of a sturdy fabric called serge, originally made in Nîmes, France, by the Andre family. Originally called serge de Nîmes, the name was soon shortened to denim. Denim was traditionally colored blue with indigo dye to make blue ‘jeans,’ though ‘jean’ then denoted a different, lighter cotton textile; the contemporary use of jean comes from the French word for Genoa, Italy (Gênes), where the first denim trousers were made.” Worn in the U.S. since the California gold rush of the 1840’s, blue jeans have now become the go-to garment for the haut monde as well as the hangers-on. Be honest: aside from a formal wedding or your first dinner with your significant other’s parents—and every fashionista knows that those occasions call for the most gorgeous of dresses!—is there really any occasion that cannot be dressed for appropriately with the right pair of denims? The key to getting it just right has nothing whatever to do with budget, and everything to do with knowing your body. There’s a pair for everybody and every body, if you know what to look for. And we’re all so lucky, because finally, the range of “in” jeans includes a cut that works for YOU!
Apple-shape: Look for a higher-waist cut to help hold in a fuller tummy. One fabulous new style out there is the Tummy Tuck jean, with crisscross panels inside to slim the tummy and shape the rear. Choose a boot-cut or straight-leg style to help balance out a fuller midsection with width at the ankle. A spectacular choice for apples, an empire-waist top or trapeze jacket is right on trend, and a fresh color will liven up your favorite pair for any daytime adventure. Add a bright wedge or patent flat, and you’re off.
Curvy hips: So many companies make jeans for curvy figures now! No longer do we have to suffer with pants that fit at the hips and gap at the waist. Steer clear of skinnies, and choose a wide-leg or a boot-cut that balances fullness at the top of the leg. Look for a cut that falls straight to the hem from the widest part of the hip for a lean, extended leg line. Add further length by forgoing the flats and choosing a gorgeous heel or an espadrille. Highlight your curves on top with a great cardigan topped by a bright belt, or a nipped-waist blazer with a floaty blouse. If the wide-leg is a dark wash and a sophisticated trouser cut, you can wear them to work on casual Friday and still impress the boss, maybe with a graphic tunic on top (just make sure it’s not so long it reaches the top of your leg—those gams need to look as loooong as you can get them!).
Boyish hips: The only shape that can pull off skinny-leg jeans with any success, these girls need to steer clear of flares or exaggerated boot-cuts. Stick with straight, boyfriend, or a wide-leg style that doesn’t overwhelm narrow thighs and straight hips; too much curve or fullness at the hem will drown you. A perfect combination of the slim hip and full leg is the sailor-cut, which is sleek and fitted at the hip, with a gentle expansion all the way down. These look fantastic with a delicate fitted top or a peplum jacket and a platform peep-toe or espadrille. They’re also very useful for all occasions, especially in a dark wash or a crisp white or pinstripe.
Petite: Here’s where proportion really reaches critical status. You should definitely shop in the petites section, because just hemming a longer pair of pants only works with straight legs. Losing two or three inches at the hemline would ruin the look of a boot-cut or wide-leg pair. And flares are right out: you’d look like you were standing in a bucket, even in heels. Stick with an even wash— any horizontal action, like whiskering, will chop up the long line we’re trying to create. Another no-no: long shirts or sweaters that end at the top of the leg—they’ll make a petite look like she’s playing dress-up in her mommy’s clothes. Add even more length with a platform shoe, but if you’re wearing a skinny or straight-leg, you can go with a ballet flat. Just remember that monochromatic looks (even if you’re wearing all blues, not necessarily all navy) will extend your legs even further.
Tall: Lucky girls: you can try any leg style you want. Flares, straight, boot-cut, wide-leg…but unless you really want to emphasize your height, I’d recommend steering clear of the skinny. Work this season’s hottest trend in a wide-leg or sailor jean in bright white, with a sassy springy top and metallic gladiator sandals. Or divide your gorgeous gams with the slick Bermuda-length denims that have hit the scene this year. WARNING: avoid crops at all costs! They won’t make anyone wonder where you scored that terrific outfit, but they will prompt speculation about impending flooding. There are many retailers that have a special selection of tall jeans, with inseams of 37”; do your homework and you will be rewarded. Flats will ground you, and let you walk all day in comfort. For evening, pop a metallic cropped jacket over a long, hip-length cami or sparkly top and an embellished peep-toe—dynamite!
Just Because It's Spring: (a little segue here girls!) I've always said that the best way to usher in spring is in a gorgeous girly dress. I've got my eye on this adorable embellished halter dress (perfect for Sunday brunch). It would look spectacular with a pair of sassy little skyscrapers. And since every fashionista knows that accessories make the outfit, I'd better snap up an absolutely perfect little handbag and perhaps a nifty silver ring. (Don't you just love being a girl?)You know it's true what Donna Ricco says—life feels different in a dress!
Remember: no matter what the hottest style is, if it doesn’t work on your body, you’ll look dumpy at best and un-chic at worst (gasp!). The most stylish women wear what works for them, and look fantastic all the time. Which is really what we’re going for here, right? Start today and shine all spring long—just be prepared to attract a following (check your rear view in the mirror before leaving the house, too!).
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She She Me Sponsor:
With your social calendar filling in, were sure you are daydreaming
From your Mother's Day Brunch,
that Birthday Celebration
or a Night on the Town,
there's a dress
for every occasion
Because life feels different in a dress!
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