Denim Review: Madewell Cali Demi Boot Jeans

by Kristen Philipkoski

Brand: Madewell

Cut: Cali demi boot

Wash: Donovan

Rating: 4.5

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Hey denim lovers! Boy has it been foggy and damp and cold in the San Francisco area lately. So I was happy for this brief appearance of the sun for our photoshoot the other day.

These Madewell Cali demi boot cut jeans are a new style for me: they have just a hint of flare at the ankle, and are super-high waisted. Most of my high-waisted jeans are either skinny or bell-bottoms, so this is a refreshing silhouette. They are also kind of the ultimate mom jeans. Read More >

Denim Everything, Even Shoes

by Kristen Philipkoski

chloe denim espadrilles

Chloe frayed denim espadrilles, $695

Double denim has been clear trend in recent years and months. Why not take it a step further (see what I did there?) wth triple denim? There are plenty of ways to add denim to your footwear game these days, with pretty much every shoe brand working the fabric into designs. Here are some beauties I’ve come across in recent, obsessive online shopping sessions.

ferragamo denim shoes

Salvator Ferragamo, $595

swear denim oxfords

Swear denim oxfords, $136 (40% off)

rachel comey denim florey mules

Rachel Comey denim floral mules, $449

Fryle denim sandals

Fry Brielle denim sandals, $248

 

Never Too Much Basic

by Kristen Philipkoski

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New denim brand Never Too Much Basic—which is not basic at all—has grabbed the attention of the elite fashion world following its collaboration with Christophe Decarnin’s Faith Connexion. You may recognize the designer’s name from his previous affiliation with Balmain.

After departing the French fashion house in 2011, Decarnin went on to revive Faith Connexion, a brand comprised of edgy, casual luxury pieces that originally launched in 2000. Faith Connexion’s rebirth began with a winter 2015 collection, which quickly became a fashion set favorite.

Never Too Much Basic created a denim-heavy resort 2017 collection with Faith Connexion. NTMB sources its denim from flea markets and the like. Says Vogue:

NTMB’s m.o. is to upcycle and embellish salvaged materials, using De Vivo’s handwork—he employs techniques like appliqué, slashing, and lettering—to give the one-off pieces “an identity.” Having launched with denim sourced in local markets, the team is slowly extending its repertoire of materials.


NTMB was founded in 2015 by Matteo PaloniVeronica Massa, and creative head Davide De Vivo, and it’s so new that you can’t even buy it yet. The first pieces will be available when Faith Connexion’s resort 2017 collection hits the market later this year.

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The Beauty of No-Stretch Denim (and Where to Buy It)

by Kristen Philipkoski

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When I was in middle school, rollerskating was the thing to do on the weekends. I have strong associations between the skating rink, white skates loaded up with oversized pom poms, and my Levi’s. I wore the ones made for boys, and I loved what they did for my butt. It’s one of my few memories of self-confidence at that age and I relish it.

The jeans had no stretch (I don’t think any jeans did in the ’80s) and they came to a point mid-butt. Randy Brewer, proprietor at Convert an SF Bay Area mini-chain of three retail stores, explains that in today’s industry parlance this is known as “dino butt,” holding up his hand in the shape of a sideways “V.” A euphemism of sorts, but I found the profile quite appealing in my rollerskating days. And it’s an effect that’s impossible with tight, stretch denim.

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While there’s no dino-butt happening here, exactly, the rigidity of the fabric and the way it frames the butt is reminiscent of those middle school jeans. That’s what drew me to this particular pair by Strom (the Noll style in Electric from the spring 2016 collection), spotted at the Hayes Valley Convert—which recently added women’s clothing to its previously all-men’s selection.

Randy is a denim (and clothing in general) aficionado who’s retail experience spans nearly 25 years. He was general manager and head buyer for a dozen years at Villains, the iconic mini chain of three Haight Street shops that was one of the first to carry high-end denim brands including Diesel and G-Star. Previous to that, Randy was the buyer at Rolo in SOMA. The man knows his denim.

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So I was excited to partner with him on a post about the hard-to-find women’s denim he carries at his three SF Bay Area stores, all of which focus on sustainability and “made in America” brands. Convert on Hayes is the only place on the (extremely stylish) block that sells Frame Denim and J Brand for both men and women. Coming up in the fall, the Hayes Valley store as well as the new Convert Collection shop (1844 4th Street, Berkeley, CA) will also carry Kato, a cult Japanese brand by Hiroshi Kato.

Convert Collection opened in March as a sister store to the original Convert shop across the street (1809 4th Street) and features high-end brands including Citizens of Humanity, Premium Vintage, Barracuda, Max & Chester, JW Brine, Suzie Winkle, Apolis, Graf & Lantz, Stateside, Raleigh Denim, Velvet, Fidelity Denim and more. In the fall, Convert Collection will also carry S.M.N. denim.

It’s not often you find women’s jeans that don’t have some amount of elastane, and sometimes when you do, getting them past female hips can be a challenge. I suppose this is why designers introduced stretch materials to jeans. These Strom specimens, however, fit comfortably over my hips and hang loosely with an almost geometric fit. I love the crisp silhouette the pure denim creates.

And of course, like most jeans, they look great with casual sneakers or heels.

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Check out denim brands like Strom, as well as other sustainable and made-in-America designers at any of Convert’s three Bay Area stores:

Convert
556 Hayes Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone: 415-252-7991
Hours: 11am to 7pm M-Sat; 11am to 6pm Sun

Convert
1809 4th St.
Berkeley, CA 94710
Phone: 510-649-9759
Hours: 10am to 7pm M-Sat; 10am to 6pm Sun

Convert Collection
1844 4th Street
Berkeley, CA 94710
Phone: 510.984.0142
Hours: 10am to 7pm M-Sat; 10am to 6pm Sun

Camille Over the Rainbow on How to Choose and Wear Jeans, and Why She Loves Them

by Kristen Philipkoski

This is a guest post from Katherine Ormerod, editorial director at Lyst. Her interview with Camille Carriere of Camille Over the Rainbow first appeared here on the Lyst blog, and we’re excited to share it again here at Eat Sleep Denim. We had no idea that Camille is such a denim aficionado—read and learn from her expertise!

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Denim Beginnings

I was born in the French Pyrenees and then moved to Paris where I grew up. As a teenager I really wasn’t into fashion at all. I was actually super dorky and very focused on my studies—I definitely didn’t hang out with the cool kids. I come from a pretty conservative, intellectual family and began my career in the very traditional law world so it was about as far away from chic as you could get.

My love affair with fashion began with denim. I spent a summer in England during my degree program and came back wearing skinny jeans. Back then when social media didn’t exist, French fashion was always a step behind London—no matter what Parisians may have you believe.

When I got home no one understood my skinnies at all. People would comment (always negatively—Paris is a pretty judgmental city) on the street. Of course,two years later skinny jeans became part of the French girl uniform. That experience made me realize the power of fashion to make you feel like an individual and how what you can wear can make you step outside the norm. It also made me realize that London was where I wanted to make my life.

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Denim As a Uniform

Denim is my failsafe. It’s what I wear when I don’t know what to wear. It’s what I wear when I want to look hot for a night out, but also what I wear when I really want to stand out by dressing down and not playing up to the fashion scene. A girl that knows how to wear denim in an interesting way will always be in style. At the moment my favorite pair of jeans is by Vetements. They have a really provocative construction with a patchwork bum and are made from contrasting denim colors. While they might not be the sexiest style in my closet, ever since my skinny jean summer, I’ve always looked for jeans that stand aside from the crowd.

I like to play up to my French genes even though I’ve been living in London for four years and I’d never move back to Paris. But ultimately I think that I’ve got more of a Scandinavian vibe going on style-wise as I’m far more experimental with my fashion than the average Parisian.

I always think that I look better in jeans. During fashion week you have to play up your style and pay homage to the incredible designers but personally I wouldn’t dress like that all the time—I’m much more casual.

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How To Find The Perfect Jeans

  • Finding the perfect fit isn’t an exact science, but there are a few key things to consider. I have a lot of denim at home, but if I’m not wearing a pair of jeans at least once a month I either sell or give them away. If jeans aren’t your best friend style-wise, they’re probably not right for you or your closet.
  • Spend time and effort looking for your jeans. You can’t expect to find the perfect pair of vintage Levi’s immediately. If I buy jeans online I always buy two sizes because you can never tell how they might fit. Sometimes I’ll decide I actually like the baggier fit and I always try jean with both sneakers and heels—they have to work with both. The message is: try, try, try.
  • Just because a pair of jeans looks good on a friend or someone you see on Instagram really doesn’t mean they will look good on you. With jeans you really have to learn your own shape and be guided by what flatters your frame.
  • I know that boyfriend jeans look good on me because I’m tall and slim-hipped, so they pretty much always work. Not that I haven’t tried on styles that look atrocious—everyone, no matter what their shape goes through that experience.
  • Skinny jeans are the easiest for me. They go with everything—but you do have to be careful. I hate styles that fit like socks and are so painfully tight you feel like your legs are sausages. Or the ones that are made from such thin material you look like you’re wearing leggings—I don’t think that is chic. You have to find a style which is made from thick material which has enough elastic to stop them from going baggy at the knees.
  • When you buy jeans online, wear them around the house for a little while to get a sense of how they will hold their shape. If after 5 minutes they’ve already gaped at the knee or bottom, send them back.
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How To Wear Jeans

  • I love double denim or denim with navy. Head-to-toe blue is always incredibly chic and I have a good selection of blue bags (one in pale blue denim by Chanel is a standout) because they always look great with blue denim of all shades.
  • I also love gray skinny jeans. They have to be a deep charcoal (my favorites are by Calvin Klein) rather than anything too pale, but I always think they look cooler than plain black skinnies.
  • I don’t believe that you should only wear high-end denim. While I’ve spent a huge amount on expensive jeans over the years I would never write-off high street styles. While they might not last forever, if you find a great fit, they can look just as good as designer jeans. My go-to affordable brands are H&M and Monki—they are both great for inexpensive denim.
  • Right now I wouldn’t wear destroyed jeans or ripped styles. For me that look reads too teenage and a little outdated. I don’t like anything too straight as it really doesn’t suit my body shape—personally it’s all about boyfriend jeans and skinnies. I also don’t like anything with a yellow tone to the wash or anything too faded.
  • On the other hand I’m really into frayed hems that look mis-cut and fringes at the bottom of the jeans. I like a lot of detailing with interesting stitching— basically anything that make your jeans look more couture.
  • For me there are endless ways to wear denim. The easiest way is with a simple, casual white T-shirt, but anything from a gray turtleneck to a classic tank top is great. I also wear a lot of cotton shirts and silk blouses with my denim—it’s a no-brainer look which works for dinner with heels but also for business meetings with flats.
  • I would also wear denim with ‘proper fashion’ pieces—sculptural tops, designed knits and silk evening tops. For me it’s the versatility and untouchable cool factor that denim offers—that’s why I’ll always, always be a jeans girl.

[Photos via Camille Over the Rainbow]

Luka Sabbat and Lottie Moss for PacSun’s Latest Denim Campaign

by Kristen Philipkoski

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Despite filing for bankruptcy in April, looks like PacSun has plunked down some serious dollars to sign teens-of-the-moment Luka Sabbat and Lottie Moss as the faces of their denim campaign. No one in these photos could care any less about bankruptcy, or anything else for that matter—and it’s a safe bet that will resonate nicely with the teenage customers the company is targeting.

Lottie Moss recently graced the cover of Vogue Paris, and Sabbat is an Instagram phenom who has been called “The Internet’s coolest teenager” and modeled in the first Yeezy presentation.

And so how’s the denim? Remember the ads are for PacSun denim? That short-sleeved jacket is calling my name, actually.

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Extreme Denim Proportions on the Resort 2017 Runways

by Kristen Philipkoski

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Ellery is known for playing with extreme proportions, and I love when Australian designer Kym Ellery brings those silhouettes to denim, which she did in the jeans above and the jacket below for her resort 2017 collection. They are both on-trend and would be lifers in my closet. I also need those shoes!

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This duster from Tome’s 2017 resort collection is another sure lifer, and the story behind the collection is moving. I also love that designers Ramon Martin and Ryan Lobo are dedicated to sustainability.

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With Off-White’s resort 2017 collection, we’re entering JNCO territory! It was only a matter of time, I suppose, before this silhouette once again didn’t look entirely crazy (or does it?). Also is this a new way to wear a trench, or trench/denim jacket hybrid? Either way, I’m on board.

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Selena Gomez’ Denim Bikini: not as Uncomfortable as You Might Think

by Kristen Philipkoski

denim bikinisSo this is unprecedented: back to back Selena Gomez posts! But it had to be done: first she single handedly put Wrangler on the radar of millennials everywhere, and now she has donned a denim swimsuit on her Instagram feed.

A photo posted by Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) on

It’s unclear what brand she’s wearing, but it looks a bit similar to the one on the right above by Karla Collette (the one on the left is by L-Space).

They’re not as uncomfortable as you might think because—drumroll—they’re not actually denim. They’re made of stretchy fabric made to look like denim, as I suspect is the case with Selena’s bikini.

And also this, just because it’s the cutest thing I’ve seen this year:

Finally got to meet this sweetheart -she owned it fully

A video posted by Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) on

Wrangler Is Finally Getting Acquainted With Millennials

by Kristen Philipkoski

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Wrangler has come out with a super-cute high-waisted flared denim, and the brand hit the jackpot by selling (or, more likely, gifting) a pair to Selena Gomez who wore them at a Chicago meet and greet. Selena could probably wear any old Wranglers and millions of young women would be dying to get their hands on them. But the Marfa high-rise cropped flares look particularly amazing on the actress and singer, and they also happen to be very on trend.

I wrote last year about Wrangler’s efforts to get beyond nostalgia in the wake of skinny jeans’ apparent demise (which turned out to be false), but I wasn’t sure that the brand intended to appeal to the trendy crowd. Checking the Wrangler website, I saw no evidence of Selena’s trendy jeans.

As it turns out, Wrangler has teamed up with Urban Outfitters to officially get the cowboy brand on millennials’ radar. The Marfa high-rise cropped flare jeans retail for $110 exclusively at UO, about three-times more expensive than Wrangler’s typical price tag.

The style is quite a departure from anything I could find for sale on the brand’s website, with these being the closest match, so I wonder if they are having a bit of a brand identity crisis. But I really love those “W” pockets, and Wranglers bring back fond memories of my childhood, so I hope this is the beginning of more great styles to come!

Givenchy Resort 2017: Androgynous Denim

by Kristen Philipkoski

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With the exception perhaps of the star-motif jeans (which also happen to be my favorite denim design of the collection), most of these pieces from Givenchy’s resort 2017 collection could be for men or for women. Double denim is so OK in the fashion world at this point that no one bats an eye. And Givenchy goes an extra step in the matchy-matchy direction with decorations like studs and leather patches figuring on both tops and bottoms.

Handsome here below better watch out because I’m about to appropriate that ringer denim jacket—or maybe the shirt, they’re both so good!

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[Photos via Givenchy]

MSGM Resort 2017: Acid Wash Returns With a Vengeance

by Kristen Philipkoski

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Acid wash denim is a hard sell for most people, but MSGM’s Massimo Georgetti is doing a pretty good job. He told Vogue: “MSGM originated from some sort of accident at the crossroads between music, art, and fashion,” and this origins are clear still. Of this particular season he said: “It’s a clash between a romantic vibe and an almost obsessive focus on sports.” My four-year-old does not approve—not enough flowers and feminine flair. But give her a few years to cultivate her eye—she’ll notice the sequins, the circle bag, and the flower motif on the dress do indeed soften the hard edges. 14-msgm-resort-17

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Denim Overdose? Try These 8 Ways to Organize Your Jeans

by Kristen Philipkoski

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If you have a denim drawer that’s bursting at the seams, or a towering mess in your closet that falls on your head whenever you pull a pair out, it’s time to get organized. These methods not only look cool, but they will also save you time getting ready and maybe even save you money—because finally you’ll be able to see all the jeans you own and won’t buy the same style twice.

1. Rustic Ladder: If you want to create a pretty display and have three or four favorite pairs of jeans on hand at all times, a rustic ladder can be beautiful and handy in your bedroom.

2. Row of Pegs: This method can accommodate lots of jeans, and works for bags, too!

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3. Rolled in a Rustic Crate: If you’re short on closet space, rustic crates make beautiful decor both in an out of your closet. And rolling allows easier access to your jeans.

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4. Folded and Labeled: This genius method helps you identify your styles of jeans even when they’re folded. Divide your jeans by style and label the stacks.

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5. Pull-Out Trouser Rack:  If you’re going for the real deal when it comes to custom closet organization… don’t forget a pull-out trouser rack module. It’s not a stretch to use them for jeans.

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6. Hangars: Have room in your closet? Hangers have been around a while for a reason.

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7. Store Them Sideways: Instead of stacking them in the drawers the regular way, stack the jeans sideways so you can see every pair.

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8: Shower Curtain Hooks: Shower curtain hooks are more then just for the shower! Display them in your closet showroom style and use shower curtain hooks to hang up your jeans.

shower_hangars_jeans_organizationImages via: Apartment Therapy, Buzzfeed, She Wears, She Shares, A Bowl Full of Lemons, Nubry, The Nest

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