Be a Jean Genie

September 16th, 2010

Did you know that trade laborers and plantation workers in the 18th century once donned denim for its hardiness? It wasn’t until the late 19th century that the first pair of riveted jeans were patented and marketed by Levi Strauss. Phew. Less hard work, more fashion.

The world of denim has certainly changed. Today’s jean genie is pairing the perfect pair with high-heeled booties or ballet flats, while still new styles like the jegging (jeans that fit like leggings) flood the runways.

Confused on cut? A quick hint: Lay a pair of jeans down and fold one of the legs in half on top of itself. If the bottom of the leg is wider than the half point, it’s flared or boot-cut (depending on by how much). If it’s the same width, it’s a straight leg jean. A little bit smaller can mean skinny, pegged or cigarette.

Jeans are for every body, so here’s a little help choosing the right fit for yours:

Larger Butt

Always buy a low to mid-rise pair of jeans. High-waist styles just create a wall of fabric behind you (mom jeans, anyone?). Styles with a relaxed fit are just perfect. Avoid small pockets or design detail on your backside, as they can make your butt look bigger.

Short Legs

To lengthen legs, choose darker colored jeans in a straight leg or boot-cut style. To add even more inches, make sure the hem of your jeans reaches mid-heel.

Boyish figure

Buy button-front hip-huggers to accentuate your femininity. Play up curves with contrast topstitching and high-set pockets in the back.

Pear-shaped

You may be tempted to wear baggy jeans to hide your thighs, but you should wear fitted jeans to streamline that figure. Things to avoid: washed out color in the front, and skinny or pegged jeans. Choose generously cut styles, as they won’t call attention to your hip area. Try a slightly flared bottom (and I do mean slightly…big flares are a no-no) to even out proportions.

Full-figured

Chose jeans that follow the shape of your body without hugging every curve. A pair of relaxed, medium-waisted jeans with straight legs is your safest bet.

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