Making Jeans Chic

{by Rachel Coker}


I’m going to go ahead and make a confession to you right now. Up until about a year ago, I did not own a pair of jeans. I am a full blooded shopaholic and fashion lover, to the core, but I never really thought they had a place in my wardrobe. I am a skirts person, okay? I feel nothing but confident and stylish in a swingy, vintage skirt, complete with heels and a little sweater. That is me. That is my style, and that is who I am.
But then, one day, I had an epiphany. I was sitting in my dentist office, flipping through a copy of People magazine (don’t judge!), when I came across a photograph of then to-be princess, Kate Middleton. She was running down the sidewalk, hair in a simple ponytail, and she was wearing jeans. But not just any jeans. No, these were amazingly trim and tailored, tucked into a pair of boots. Everything about her outfit was so simple and chic. And then, suddenly, I realized—I can wear jeans, too, and still be stylish!
This may be a no-brainer for a lot of you that always look amazingly chic in jeans. But until then, I thought of jeans as what you threw on when working in the garden or running to the grocery store at 10 PM. It meant settling for comfort, not style. And that was something I refused to do. But in the weeks to follow, I started finding photos of all kinds of stylish women making jeans look anything but dumpy.
So I bought a few pairs. And I don’t think I’ve been sloppy yet, which I take as a good sign. But I’m still experimenting and finding new ways to make jeans work. Here are a few outfits that have inspired me to go out and try the same!

Dark Skinny Jeans
        Oh, the photo that started it all! Kate Middleton looking photo-shoot worthy while running errands in London. Thus began my quest for the perfect pair of dark skinny jeans. For tucking into boots, for paring with ballet flats, for dressing down glittery heels. It took me several weeks of searching, but I finally found the perfect pair at J. Crew. They’re not too tight and not too loose, and perfect for absolutely everything. I honestly believe I could wear them every day and not grow tired or bored.

High-Waisted, Wide Leg Jeans

        For some reason, this style of jeans gets a lot of hate. I think maybe because they’re so hard to wear if you have a bit of a tummy or wide hips. But I personally can’t rave enough about the virtues of high-waisted jeans. They just make your legs go on forever. Whether done casual with a faded concert tee and aviators, or dressed up with a frilly blouse and hat, this is a style I keep coming back to. However, there is one thing these jeans require: Heels. Or at least wedges. If not, prepare to take home enough water in your hem to fill a glass, especially on a rainy or muddy day.
Distressed Jeans
        I’ll admit, these were the hardest for me to accept. I mean how on earth are ripped up, faded jeans supposed to be chic? And then I ran across this photo online and suddenly—I got it. Done right, there’s almost an irony in the messy holes and frays. When a confident, stylish girl wears ratty jeans, she’s saying to the world, “I don’t care how I look but I’m fabulous just the same.” It’s just that simple.
Colored Jeans
        Oh, fun! I’ll take that pair in yellow, red, orange, green, and blue. I really want to say that to one of those annoying sales clerks that always nags you about what you want to try on. Maybe someday I’ll find the perfect fit for me, and I’ll be able to buy jeans in every spectrum of the rainbow. Until then, I’ll admire every random person I pass on the street who makes florescent yellow jeans work.

If anyone else has ideas about making jeans chic, please share! I know I would appreciate it, if no one else. J

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