Reader Angeline popped this ‘un into the Suggestion Box:
I need to talk about skinny jeans. They are everywhere. To top it off, I just read a blog that said boot cuts are so totally out. I’m beyond perplexed. Should and do people wear skinnies regardless of their size and shape and it’s okay? Skinnies aren’t particular flattering to me but I feel lost. I guess perhaps I’m looking for a post about following die hard fashion trends and how to make them work for you. Sigh.
So, let’s start with the skinnies: I whipped up an abbreviated guide to jeans back in 2009, and some of what I wrote back then still holds true now. I talked about how the denim standard gradually shifted to a slim silhouette, and that initially many folks declared that skinnies ONLY looked good on slim women. But the market eventually adjusted to encompass more body types, and more sizes and styles of skinny jeans are now available. If you are inclined to explore slim denim, you should be aware that there are options for everyone out there. Skinnies can be purchased with lots of stretch, the gamut of sizes is available, jeggings are a great option, and straight legs can work for women with curves who don’t want a super-tight fit. Before you dismiss these styles out-of-hand, slip on a pair at your local department store. There’s no one in that dressing room but you, and it doesn’t hurt to try.
Furthermore, you can style your skinnies however you’d like! Slim-fitting denim not only comes in a wide variety of styles, but it can be worn in wide variety of ways. If you aren’t comfortable wearing skinny jeans as they’re worn by celebs, then don’t. Find your own way, and embrace it.
As for bootcuts being “totally out,” to that I say BAH. HUMBUG! OK, maybe humbug is going a bit far but honestly, friends, let’s talk turkey. Very, very few items of clothing are going to go “out” the way they used to. Even celebrities – those walking barometers of fashion – have worn “hot” items long after the initial hubbub has died down, and even after the rest of the fashion world has moved on. My observation of the market over the past five or six years has led me to believe that trends have much longer shelf lives than they once did, and that there is far more leeway for wearing something after its peak popularity. And I absolutely love that because it means that our purchases will steadily lower their cost per use.
Additionally, my guess is that skinny jeans have been inducted into “classic” status by now. Maybe 15 years down the line skinnies will have vanished entirely, but I doubt it. They’ve been manufactured and worn for such a very long time and adapted to fit with such an enormous variety of styles and sizes that I believe they’re here to stay. Bootcuts, to my knowledge, have been deemed classic by just about every style expert worth her salt. They’re widely believed to be almost universally flattering, and were made by the premium companies and worn by the masses all through the height of the skinny craze, and now beyond.
I encourage you all to play with and explore trends because they are a FABULOUS way to expand your stylistic horizons and keep your look current. But do not let them rule your life, or dictate the items you purchase and wear. Anyone who declares that what you’re wearing is “out” – especially if it has just gone “out” – wants to sell you something new. And while it’s a good idea to be aware of market changes, new shapes and styles, and what the cool kids are wearing, it’s a bad idea to let the fluctuations of trends make you feel inferior or excluded. Just about any garment can look current and fashionable if styled well, so, in a sense, everything is always in style.
Image courtesy Gap
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