Old Faithful

That would be #6 on our list of essentials, our jeans. Or at least it should be…

Before we even talk about jeans, let’s be clear about two things:

1) If you would rather put on a pair of sweatpants instead of jeans, you don’t have the right jeans; and

2) There IS a pair of jeans for everyone. You just have to be patient.

OK, let’s talk about jeans! The following DOs and DON’Ts are from Stacy London, host of the TLC show What Not to Wear.


  • Go slowly when you shop. Quality time in the fitting room—45 minutes to an hour—pays off. Pick a store with lots of inventory. Don’t get frustrated if you don’t find the right pair at the first store. It may even take a few trips to get the perfect fit.
  • Sit or squat while you’re trying on jeans to make sure not too much butt is showing (and to gauge comfort level).
  • Be flexible about size. An 8 in one brand may be more like a 10 (or a 6) in another. When in doubt, take more than one size into the dressing room.
  • Buy two pairs when you find great jeans—one to hem for heels, the other to hem for flats. You’d be surprised how fast styles get discontinued.
  • Tone down to a dark blue wash; it’s most slimming. Special fabric treatments (whiskering, abraded texture) make sense only on areas of the body you want to spotlight.
  • See a tailor if jeans aren’t precisely right (but never buy them too small, or there won’t be enough fabric to work with).
  • Prevent fade-out by washing dark jeans inside out in cold water. Dry-clean your dress-up jeans (the ones you wear with heels) from time to time: It’s pricey, but you’ll look crisp and immaculate.


  • The first jean hazard to watch out for is the dreaded “muffin top”. The “muffin top” is caused by a waistband that’s too low and too tight. When your tummy spills over the sides of your jeans, you know you’re a member of the muffin club.  But, there’s good news for muffins everywhere. Waistlines are rising! The ultra-low rise fad is fading fast, and the new mid-rise styles will keep your belly from bulging.
  • If you have thin ankles and you want to show them off, by all means, buy a tapered jean. But, keep in mind, tapered denim only accentuates the width of the hips. Plus, the tapered effect often leaves women looking like ice cream cones.
  • If the waistband of your jeans could double as a push-up bra or your backside looks flatter than a flapjack, you’re guilty of wearing “mom jeans.” Stacy thinks these high-waisted horrors are cardinal sins of fashion.While moms may not want to wear their daughters’ trendy, low-rise jeans, there are plenty of brands out there that cater to mature women with good fashion sense.

Do you have a favorite jean resource?  If so, please leave a comment.  Let’s start a list of ideas for those who are struggling!

A white tank and colored cardigan are always a good match with a pair of jeans.

A white tank and colored cardigan are always a good match with a pair of jeans.







5 thoughts on “Old Faithful

    • Mandy, thanks for the tip. My favorites are from The Gap and Ann Taylor. I was shopping at an outlet mall recently, and I found a pair of long jeans at Ann Taylor. They fit so well, that I took them up to the register without even looking at the price. They ended up being $70 jeans, and I got them for $19!

  1. I adore my jeans from “Not Your Daughter’s Jeans”! I hated jeans – too tight, too unattractive, too ‘invasive’. But NYDJ are amazing – found them at NOrdstrom’s and bought them on sale. I bought a dark blue pair, a medium blue pair and a grey denim pair. Wear them to work occasionally with heels and sweaters – very nice fit and comfort.

  2. Pingback: Wardrobe Wrap-Up | Simply Swank

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