Anytime the thought crosses your mind that there are no new ways to wear denim, you are proven wrong in a matter of minutes—just walk down any street or flip through any magazine and you’ll find something new under the sun. If there was ever a textile that has thrived on reinvention, it’s denim.
Shopbop’s Jean Queen collection proves the point in spades, with jeans that are somewhere between a culotte and a skirt (skulotte?), perfectly-patched flares, ruffled and embroidered tops, off-shoulder dresses and even denim shoes. We’ve never been more convinced that there’s a denim garment for every occasion.
I’ve been diving so head-first into the flare/bell trend that I found myself looking for a way to switch things up. When I’m feeling that way with straight or tapered jeans, the answer is often to cuff them up once or twice. But doing so with flared jeans gave me pause, because, would they stay cuffed?
But I tested it out anyway, because I was digging the look. The answer to the questions, at least with these McGuire Gainsbourg baby boot cuts, was yes, but only with gentle wear. Once you start rigorously stomping through an airport, which I did shortly after these photos were taken, the cuffs will likely fall out. That was OK in my case since the jeans were so long that they would drag on the ground—but be aware that if your jeans are long, you could end up with dirty jeans fast.
In addition I would say the stiffer your jeans are, the longer they’ll stay cuffed. You could also sneak a safety pin inside your jeans on each side at the seams—discreet and easy enough to remove when you’re feeling the long look again.
This photo shoot (with my dad!) also marked my first try-out with the bandana trend (better late than never!), which I thoroughly enjoyed, until I got really overheated after running to my flight 🙂 Let me know if you try cuffing your bells!
More outfit deets: Freda Salvador Star boots; vintage Phillies t-shirt, similar here; blue bandana.
[Photos by Richard Philipkoski]
You’ve likely noticed—how could you not—that bell bottoms and flared jeans are enjoying quite the revival of late. And even though skinnies are still going strong, wide-legs are having their day in the sun. So I wanted to revisit a topic addressed back in 2011 by our former editor and founder, Jennine Jacob. What she recommended back then still holds true: If you’re 5’4″ or shorter, it’s worth holding out for petite sizes when it comes to bell bottoms and flared jeans.
Why? Because look how wonderful the jeans look when the bell starts to flare out at the knee. If you hem this type of jean, the flare will start somewhere mid-calf, which might be just fine sometimes, but doesn’t give the same lovely silhouette.
Check out some petite flare jeans options here!
Guilty as charged, and I admit it was wishful thinking, but numbers don’t lie. Skinny jeans make up 54 percent of new full-price jean styles in retail stores, according to trend forecasting firm WGSN—far more than any other denim silhouette.
And I really can’t say I’m that surprised, because almost every lookbook that comes across my desk still includes skinnies. The style has been going strong since the mid-2000s, and while other styles may be more popular with the fashion-forward set on the sidewalks outside runway shows in New York and Paris, the masses still want form-fitting denim.
According to this article, flares have surged in popularity to 11 percent of denim merchandise in stores, but that’s still nowhere close to skinnies, and it looking like they’re already waning in popularity:
Street and runway styles pushing wider jeans have yet to convince the populace to switch. For instance, a recent trend in ’70s clothes sparked a spike in flared jeans. The latest entrant is high-waisted flares cropped above the ankle, popularized by designer Rachel Comey. Fashion show catwalks last fall were chock-full of baggier denim but the style was less prominent just one season later, according to WGSN’s runway show analysis.
Despite my love of all things seventies and my enthusiasm for the resurgence of the wide-legged trend, I also still hang onto my skinnies. They’re too easy to pair with a tunic or kaftan to get rid of. Long live skinny jeans!
Hudson Laurel patchwork flare jeans, $255
There are flares, and then the are flares. I have a few pairs of the former type, and now I’m ready to take it to the limit—to the next level, if you will—with some really freaking cool-ass bell bottoms with serious character. Who’s with me??
SJYP button jeans, $350
Vale run free fray trousers, $220
Marc by Marc Jacobs wide-leg chevron denim trousers, $498
Free People tidal wave extreme novelty flare, $168
Charlotte of The Fashion Guitar has become one of my favorite fashion bloggers over the past couple of years. As I was browsing her site recently I came across her wearing the most perfect pair of jeans. They’re flares by m.i.h. I’m obsessed with this shade of denim. It’s that perfectly bright blue shade of 70’s-esque fabric, and they look amazing with her powder blue Chloe corduroy jacket.
They look pretty great with this cape situation, too! Check out the rest of the post here.
It’s summer—time for summer sales! There are a whole lot of them to sift through, but if you’re looking for a new pair of jeans, you’re in luck. I’ve sifted through Shopbop’s amazing summer sale to find the very best, on-trend denim, all for 30% off or more. From white to black, short to long, bells to skinnies, there’s something for everyone!
Mother high-rise cropped, 7 for All Mankind white trousers, Citizens of Humanity bell bottoms, Citizens of Humanity high-rise light-wash skinnies, Goldsign The Stevie jeans, Hudson Taylor high-waisted black flares, Hudson cutoffs, James Jeans high rise bright-blue flares, Citizens of Humanity overalls, Joe’s Jeans Holmes shorts, Joe’s Jeans high-rise dark flare, Current/Elliott Girl Crush flare jeans, Rag & Bone high-rise white bells
Welcome to Bloggers in Denim, a new ESD series highlighting the best denim looks on our favorite bloggers.
Krystal Bick of This Time Tomorrow may have recently left the Bay Area for New York City, but she brought some laid back California Vibes along with her. I’m loving her black wide-leg Anine Bing jeans paired with a lacy white top.
She looks cool and collected, and she must be loving the opportunity to go sleeveless because it’s almost never warm enough for that in the Bay Area!
I finally had the opportunity to meet Kiley of A Sequin Dress At Breakfast
over brunch last weekend. Amongst a table of 10 other loudly chattering bloggers and friends, we we gabbed about how delicious our omlettes were, the craziness of New York Fashion Week, and luckily for you guys – a little bit about denim!
What’s your denim philosophy?
If styled in the right way, denim can be appropriate for any occasion. The right top, accessories, shoes, and bag can sometimes turn jeans into a more dressy outfit than a dress itself. Also, don’t be stuck to the size you think you are. Different brands sizes can run across the board in fit, so don’t be afraid to go smaller or bigger than usual to get the perfect fit. It’s just a number – that only you will see.
What do you wear with denim?
Honestly? Anything. I’ve always loved the look of a classic white tee shirt with the perfect pair of dark denim flares
. But I’m also a fan of all things sparkly, so of course I love to pair my sequins
with my jeans. And with fall right around the corner, I practically live in my fur vest
every day and it always looks right with any of my denim.
What are your favorite brands?
My favorite skinny jeans are Joe’s
, and my favorite trouser style and straight fit (that I cuff up) are both from the Gap
. They’ve done denim forever, and as many pairs of jeans as I buy, I always tend to wear my old Gap favorites.
Tell us about the jeans you wear most often?
Recently, I’ve been loving my red jeans
that I found at a local thrift shop. They are the perfect length and fit so I can wear them long or cuffed. I also have been living in my previously white denim cutoff shorts
that I recently had dyed hot pink.
What is on your denim wish list?