Look Chic in the Summer Heat

Denim is a year round staple. And, even when it is sweltering outside, most of us still don our favorite pair.

But, not every cut of denim is made for every body, regardless of what you might have heard. While there are "no rules" in fashion anymore, there is something to say about personal style, which is immune to trends. Several years ago, the skinny jean, a modernized take on the tapered jean of the past, emerged onto the scene. Slowly, they have become a staple in nearly every woman's (and some men's) wardrobe as they gained popularity and attracted attention from the media and the fashion industry. More and more stores' inventory is being dominated by skinny jeans. It's a skinny jean craze. They come in every color imaginable. They add that extra "something" to an ensemble. But, that extra "something" isn't always good. Women with curves, especially women with hips that are disproportionately larger than her upper half (often referred to as a pear shape) and women with curvaceous bodies and a defined waist (hourglass) are not well suited for this type of pant. Women with a straighter figure, with hips narrower than her shoulders, are best suited for the skinny jean. Although I don't really like to refer to body shapes as straight, pear, and hourglass I will use these terms here because I think most of you can recognize what I am talking about. While skinny jeans can sometimes  look ok on pear and hourglass women, they aren't showcasing their best silhouette.  It is usually mediocre. On a pear shaped woman, a skinny jean tends to draw your eye down. The goal is to draw it up. Instead of noticing your overall silhouette (and most importantly, your face!), this line creates imbalance and can actually add visual weight to your lower body. No one wants that. Creating your best silhouette is all about balance.  A bootcut jean in a dark wash helps balance out the hips. Depending on your hip size, your height, and your overall frame, you might even be able to support the look of a flare jean. It is important to play around with different leg openings during your search for the perfect pair. The key is to be sure to have ease over the hip and thigh and that nothing if fitting too loose or too tight; it is important to pay attention to how the denim lays over your bottom and across the back of your leg. We want to avoid the denim from digging or cutting in. Not a good look. Keep  your denim plain and free of embellishments including stoning, colored thread, embroidery, and flap pockets. Experiment with rises as well. Typically, a hip hugging low or super low rise is not your best bet. Look for a mid-rise instead. Finding the right pair of jeans is like  a treasure hunt! It takes patience, but it is worth it! Paired with a wrap top that accentuates the waist is a perfect way to create balance on your upper half. Keep tops to the high hip to hip bone. For the pear shaped women, your tops are the perfect place to add interest and embellishment. Again, it brings the eye up. Look for colors that suit you, beading, prints, stripes, and special details that make you feel great. For the hourglass woman, look for tops that drape beautifully but don't cling. And, always....accentuate your waist! Another tip for creating a long and lean line: Wear a nude shoe. Heels are best, as they lift your "bottom line" to create a leaner look. If you don't usually wear a heel then look for a low wedge over a flat. Depending on your complexion, nude can run anywhere from peachy to pinkish to a taupey gray. Complete your ensemble with:  

A good quality bag Fun accessories A fresh manicure and pedicure An incredible pair of sunglasses Your beautiful smile!

  I will admit, I am guilty of "buying in" on the skinny jean craze. I love my skinny jeans. Well, at least I love the idea of them. But, I know they are not my ideal cut of denim. If this was tough  for you to read or you are rejecting this idea, then do yourself a favor. Grab the most honest friend you have, stash a pair of heels in your bag for trying on jeans, and take a day (or 2 or 3) to go hunting for your perfect pair of denim. Be patient and positive throughout the process. It is a process. Repeat: It is a process. Some brands that I have found to fit curvy bodies exceptionally well are Joe's Jeans and 7 For All Mankind, an investment, but definitely worth it. Once you find them - and you will - buy 2 pairs if you can afford to. Have them hemmed, one for heels and one for flats or a low wedge; make sure you have your tailor reattach the original hem for the best look. Then, do a comparison between them and your skinnies. Evaluate your body's silhouette. Do you look more proportioned? Are you better balanced? Do you look taller? Leaner? I would LOVE to hear back from you on this. Let me know what brand(s) worked best for you, and hey, maybe leave a comment with a comparison picture! Happy hunting!  

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