Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Marianne's Exhaustive (and Exhausting!) Fun Denim Recs

For a while Adrien has been sweetly complimenting me on taking fashion risks, especially when it comes to denim. Now, I take that as she likely means it, which is as a compliment, but I know some people look at my jean choices with a wary eye. What can I say? Nothing edges up a basic jeans and a top outfit like those jeans being Fashion. And no, I don't mean like those clear plastic window jeans.

Sometime in the last year and change I got really tired of skinny jeans. I still have two pairs I wear sometimes, and my fave Target moto pants are a very skinny cut, but for the most part I'm just not feeling it. So I asked Adrien if she would like me to do a post on some fun jeans and she said duh, so here we are!

My absolute favorite jeans for over a year now are from H & M and man, I wish I could go back in time and buy a second pair of them in my size, instead of what I actually did which was buy a second pair in a size smaller which is JUST MEAN PAST ME.

Anyway! H & M is a good place to have some fun with denim. When I'm looking at cuts, here's what works best for me: I have a big butt and wide hips but skinny calves, so often times when things fit my butt they are naturally looser in the calf. So for me, straight styles look looser/more flared in the calf. I know for some of you straight styles fit closer to skinny jeans so take these recs with a grain of salt, etc. I like the look of these distressed jeans:

(I love these WITH that floral top and I also love her hair so maybe I just want to be her.)

(A lot going on here I know but these are outfit makers. I'd wear with a simple white top and slides on the weekend like some goddess of the farmers market.)

That said I continue to try and find a wide leg jean that works on my particular body. I feel like I'm getting closer! I need them to fit very snugly in the hip and the crop is key--in general if I'm not using a skinny jean to highlight the skinniest part of my leg (calves/ankles) then I need a crop to show a good 2-3 inches of ankle estate. These aren't exactly super wide legged, but they are the Conscious line and look like good quality:

Now let's talk white jeans! White jeans are not exactly groundbreaking, I know, but my favorite pair are again--not super skinny, have some distressing, and the perfect crop. They are from the Gap and yes I wish I had bought more than one pair. And I wear them allll the time without spilling all over myself, including when I'm traveling. I like to live dangerously (and I keep Tide pens on me, they work). I'd like a backup pair, so I'm currently eyeing:

(These look the most similar to my current pair, down to the raw cropped hem.)

(These are challenging for sure and not likely to work, but if they DO work they will be amazing.)

Can't do distressing? I personally am fine with distressing and obviously still wear distressed jeans, as evidenced from the above. However, there are times that I want to wear cool jeans to work but don't want them to literally have holes in them, because while my workplace is creative and casual there are times when you don't want holes in your jeans! This is a good time to consider patches. They give your jeans a little something without that something being your leg skin showing. My current fave are these:

which I got for cheap after Christmas. They have a lot going on and NO stretch so they are a challenge to get on and move and have organ function in...but they are COOOOOOL and I feel cool in them. These are an easy way to try this trend:

And these aren't from H & M, but Pilcro just fits me so well and I think they are fun without being CRAZY. I might have to buy these:

WOWWWEEE That was a lot of denim talk and I didn't even get very far. But I want to know--where are you guys on denim these days? Are you clinging to your skinnies? Did you never give up bootcut? Are you full-on normcore mom jeans? I am not lying when I say I really want you to tell me. I love talking about jeans.


  1. I’ve been sticking with my skinnies for dates and other going out occasions, boyfriend jeans for anything & everything, and a dark wash straighr leg or flair for work. I like having options- colors, washes, and even prints. Today’s jeans are my Current/Elliot The Fling in a check print.

  2. I'm 5'0" and every time I try anything other than skinnies, they look funny on me. I would be open to girlfriend jeans if I could find a pair that didn't sag after five minutes. My two current favorite pairs of jeans are the Madewell Roadtripper jeans and these Pilcro ones

  3. I hold on to my jeans 4eva so still have 10 year old high heel flares from jcrew that rock it. Along with not-quite straight leg that I call skinny fit. Late adopter of those so still relevant in my fashion-backwards town. And I just bought my first pair of stepped hem jeans! Are those still a thing?? Obv I also love talking about jeans...

  4. I am currently wearing high rise straights, LONG dark wash boot cuts, and several pair of girlfriend styles, some with rolled cuffs, and others with released cuffs. I am so OVER skinny jeans that are too skinny for my (admittedly athletic) calves. The closest I now go are curvy cut dark straights from two years ago (that were trying to be skinny, so they aren't all that straight).

  5. I'm still in the skinny jean phase. I've tried boyfriend/girlfriend jeans a few times over the years but haven't found anything that suits me. I live in Hawaii and pretty much live in slippers (aka flip-flops) when I'm not at work so skinny jeans work well because they don't drag on the ground. :) one of these days I'm sure I'll venture into other denim styles but for now, I'm just too lazy to get out of my comfort zone.

  6. It's like y'all are reading my mind. I am definitely feeling over skinny jeans. I loved the sexy boyfriend jean at Gap, but then of course, they changed it to the girlfriend, which sort of (but not really) works for me if I size up one. I really wanted something with a raw edge, so I ordered these: but I think my calves are just big enough that it makes the bottoms look too tapered and they look like mom jeans! (Not in a intentional/good way) I am really interested in those H&M jeans, but wondering if I might need to try something with more of a cropped flare? This feels hard. Thanks for all the options :)

  7. I like all kinds of jeans! I have bigger hips, a small waist, and big calves so they're sometimes challenging. I am a thrifter, so I have A LOT. For work, I mostly wear a straight leg dark wash pair I got at LOFT for like $5 and one of two pairs of skinny Madewell jeans (one dark + one black). But I really really like Levi 501s (are these mom jeans?), and I have three pairs: two thick 100% cotton ones and one pair thinner holey ones. I also like to thrift men's Levi's 511s, which are this perfect vintage-y straight leg. I have one pair of J Crew raw edged holey crops but they are not tight enough in the waist so I just Posh-ed a pair of J Crew Billies for $10, we'll see. I have more black jeans, too: I mostly wear a skinny-ish (thrifted) Pilcro pair, but I also have some straight leg Levi's and J Crew matchstick I throw in. Now I kind of want white jeans, thanks to this post. Jeans are the best!

    1. Maybe try mid-Rise released hem boyfriend jeans in white from Universal Thread at Target -- we have a similar build, and I really like them; not thrifted, but the price is good.

  8. Oh, man. I can't quite quit skinnies yet, even though I have a few girlfriend pairs that I really enjoy -- I think because a better part of a decade in skinny jean-land means that I know what I'm shopping for, and I can't wrap my brain around flares or mom jeans yet. BUT regardless of style I am holding out for high waists. No more awkwardly yanking jeans up by the beltloops to avoid plumber's crack when sitting down! No more waistband wiggling its way down to give me primo muffintop! High waist only!

  9. ohhhhh denim...

    Earlier this year I bought what I've vowed will be my last skinnies: for the end of winter, one pair no-fade black (we shall see about that) and one pair in blue (simple, everyday, no distressing, slightly cropped). Both are Madewell 9" high-rise skinnies. I'm ready to be done with skinnies but have become very used to the skinny-pants-flowy-top formula and need to remember how to wear other shapes. It's time! For more fun denim to be worn into spring, with slightly cropped or half tucked or otherwise waisted tops, I have an older pair of distressed, patched, rolled-cuff cropped Old Navy light blue boyfriend jeans, and a pair of faded black Madewell Slim Straights with let-down hems, and a pair of faded light blue American Eagle cropped flares. Spring Denim: a season of transitions!

    I want to try more straight-leg high-waist jeans but find that many are too high-waisted. I'm slightly short-waisted and only 5'4" so an 11" rise is not happening.


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