There is so much talk right now about skinny jeans “going out of fashion”. We’re not fond of that saying. Fashion is forever changing and re-circling so it makes sense that a look that is popular for several months or years loses its appeal for a period time and then pops back up again right at the top of our favourites list. Most things don’t “go out of fashion”, they just take a break and come back in a slightly different guise.
As a ‘curvy-thighed’ 30-something, I never thought I could wear a skinny jean. Way too unflattering, they didn’t work with my footwear collection and I was convinced I’d look like Max Wall! (Google him any youngsters reading this.) Did I think I’d ever wear them when they hit the fashion scene big time in 2005? NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS! Fast-forward a few months and that’s all I had in my wardrobe. Boot-cuts be gone! F-Off flares! And as for my standard straight legs? I packed them off to the dress agency.
So how come our die-hard-staple, can’t-live-without, jean-of-the- noughties (and beyond) is finally being outpaced with shapes we simply can’t remember ever wearing before?
At $73 billion, it’s no surprise that the denim industry has to keep moving to keep growing. How many pairs of jeans do we truly need if the brands don’t invent new fabrications, fits and washes on a regular basis? Change is in their DNA. Innovation is even more critical now given the pandemic has all but killed denim sales for well over a year as we all stayed home snuggled up in our Ragdoll sweat pants and hoodies rather than wriggling in to jeans that, thanks to those mysterious Covid-kilos, no longer fit.
The new shapes that we’re looking to embrace at BWD are post-pandemic friendly. While rigid denim is making a comeback, the fits are looser and kinder and give an air of retro nonchalance that we haven’t seen since the late nineties.
We’re backing 3 key shapes for the season ahead
- Relaxed tapered leg
- High-rise wide leg
- Straight leg crop
Relaxed tapered leg jeans are akin to the ‘carrot’ shaped pant you may be familiar with. Think fitted (but not tight) around the waist, neat on the tummy and hips; loose (not baggy) on the leg and tapered towards the ankle. They are especially kind to pear-shapes and those who are ‘straight up and down’; emphasising the curves of the former and creating curves that don’t naturally exist for the latter. Finding the perfect top to go with your relaxed tapered leg jeans is easy: the trick it to keep it simple. Reach for a button-through blouse, a simple top you can tuck in or a cropped (read waist length) sweater. The trick is to balance the proportion above the waist with the proportion below. Going too oversized on top will make you look bigger than you are: not our objective! Footwear options are aplenty: Uma stomper boots, Golden Goose running soles, Veja hi-tops, Birkenstocks, flip-flops, Arizona Love trekky sandals, Samsoe mules and Shoebiz Ninis. EVERYTHING works so you won’t be left scratching your head as you look in your shoe closet.
High-rise wide leg jeans like the Charley from Boyish are a blast from the past. A fashion style loved by early adopters, this shape originated in the 1930s but is better known as the ‘flare’ in the 1970s and the ‘baggy’ in the 1990s. They are not for the faint hearted and are a rather large step to take away from your favourite skinny from J Brand or Paige. We’re confident there’s lot of wearability to be had from this style when teamed with the right pieces to create the optimum look. The rules are (a) Grab a fitted top. The Eva tank or the Clare top from Anine Bing both work a treat. Your top can be cropped (showing a slither of mid-riff) or simply tucked in. If you can’t do fitted, think slim-fit instead and tuck your top it into the waist of your jeans. A simple tee from Colorful Standard works brilliantly (b) Throw over a tailored blazer or shacket. Choose a style with length that covers your bum and keeps your top half looking neat and narrow. The Madeleine blazer from Anine Bing is awesome, as is the Ragdoll wool shacket or Set Fashion vintage suede overshirt (c) Add flats for day or heels for night. If you get a pair of high-rise wide leg jeans that are long enough, you can wear them softly folded at the hem over a pair of Veja trainers or grazing the floor with a kitten or stiletto heel from Samsoe or Shoebiz Copenhagen.
The straight-leg crop can best be described as a slim-fit boyfriend jean. Sitting mid to high on the rise (that’s the measurement from centre crotch to the waist button fastening) depending on the brand, these look as if you’re borrowed them from your BF or brother’s closet and pulled them on with ease. Relaxed on the waist, loose across your hips and gliding down the thigh, this style is possibly the most comfortable, classic and cool from our new denim wish-list.
Frame have an excellent fit called Le Original: it’s rigid denim (so take one size up from your normal stretch-skinny size), and it finishes a touch above the ankle with just enough distressing to look fashionable without trying too hard. The button fly adds a vintage feel and the rear pockets sit perfectly on the bum cheeks to give a peachy uplift. They get better with wear so should be washed as rarely as possible. Boyish do a brilliant style too called The Tommy – a firm favourite of the team at BWD, with most staff members owning a pair. The styling opportunities for the straight-leg crop are endless. Wear them with a Rails LA shirt, an Equipment silk blouse, a Les Girls Les Boys hoodie, the Bow & Bow Gia sweater and practically anything you already have in your wardrobe. Footwear? Again, literally ANYTHING and EVERYTHING works. Boots, sandals, trainers, hi-tops, heels: the world is your oyster, honestly!
Tempted to step away from the skinny now? If you do, don’t take them to dress agency just yet. We are 100% sure they’ll be back on the top of your denim favourites list in a few years’ time.
Happy shopping X