Men's Mavi Jeans Matt Relaxed Fit Jeans Available at Nordstrom.com

What to Wear Under Tight or White Denim

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I try not to notice these things, but they pop up in my browser and on the covers of magazines at the store and salon. I'm talking about celebrities who get caught going commando, and it seems to happen with some regularity… While most of us don't have paparazzi ready to shoot our every fashion faux pas (thank goodness!), there is no reason YOU need to risk similar embarrassment. Some of our readers have asked if they should wear a thong under tight or white jeans or simply forgo undies altogether. I'm here to tell you that you can keep your panties on, people! If you don't find a thong comfortable (and I've only met 2 whole people in my entire life who claim they actually do), there are some great options out there that are perfect for tight or white denim. Your first option costs around $20 and is an Assets by Sara Blakely Mid-Thigh Shaper in nude. (Get the nude for white denim or white pants; black is fine for other colors of jeans and pants.) Maternity Assets shapers are also available. I've worn these mid-thigh shapers under white linen pants, white shorts, skirts, and short dresses as well, so they are really versatile – and inexpensive. Sara Blakely is the creator of Spanx and knows what she's doing. These shapers eliminate panty lines; you can wear them alone or with underwear underneath them.

  

Your second option, which has more shaping and control, costs around $35 and is a SPANX Power Short. Like the Assets, there's also a maternity option called the SPANX Mama Short.

    

Spanx are available at Spanx.com, Nordstrom.com and Amazon.com. If you want tummy control, go for a higher shaper vs. a low-rise shaper. Remember to buy a nude or taupe shaper if you're going to wear white denim or pants. If you're buying the shaper for blue denim or dark pants, feel free to purchase black. And if you want to shape your legs the whole way down, go for a footless or capri-length shaper. Whatever option you choose, you'll be saying goodbye to visible panty lines when you're wearing tight or white denim and pants – and avoiding your own embarrassing fashion faux pas!     

Men's Mavi Jeans Matt Relaxed Fit Jeans Available at Nordstrom.com

3 Tips for Wearing Boots & Booties with Skinny Jeans

After reading the post How Long Should Skinny Jeans Be? Reader Julia emailed to ask for advice on how to wear different types of boots and booties with skinny jeans. Well Julia, I'm glad you asked because I've been thinking about this topic a lot lately! 🙂 It's fall and we have our family pictures coming up. We're having them taken at a tree farm in Snohomish and I thought it would look cute if the whole family was in boots. My husband wasn't too keen on wearing his black rubber boots, but I think I convinced him it would look good. Anyway… Boots and booties with skinny jeans! I've been people watching and reading online articles and have come up with a few pointers. Here goes:

  1. Tall boots pair best with a skinny jean. This is because a skinny jean fits tight around the knee and there's no extra fabric to pool around the top of the boot. You need a skinny pant or jean to get that smooth sleek profile that comes with wearing a tall boot. Before I got skinny jeans, I tried rolling my bootcut jeans at the ankle and stuffing them into tall socks, but the jeans were just too sloppy on top to wear with tall boots. Learn from my mistake, and pair your tall boots with skinny jeans or pants for the best fall look.                                                                                                                                                        
  2. Booties are super cute with skinny jeans, but you do have to be careful. The jeans need hit at your ankle bone or be rolled up to the ankle bone UNLESS the bootie hits above the ankle bone. Then you need the jean hem to hit just above the bootie. You need to see a sliver of skin between the jeans and booties when you walk or sit. For this reason, you need to wear a short sock with booties that can't be seen. Get a good pair of short athletic socks that won't fall down and drive you crazy. If this has ever happened to you, you know what I mean.                                                                                                                             
  3. Watch the contrast between jean and boot color – you don't want too much contrast. If you're looking for a classic and slimming look, you can't go wrong with black on black. If you want to wear a lighter color boot or bootie like gray or tan, go for a lighter wash jean. A dark brown or black boot or bootie is going to look best with a darker wash jean (medium blue or darker). Keep the contrast to a minimum for the best look this fall.

And there you have it! 3 tips for wearing boots and booties with skinny jeans this fall.  

               Light-fashion-hands-woman

Men's Mavi Jeans Matt Relaxed Fit Jeans Available at Nordstrom.com

How Long Should Skinny Jeans Be?

I'll admit that I was late to board the skinny jean train. I just bought my first pair a year ago. I wasn't sure how long they should be, but it didn't really matter since I thought I was only going to wear them with tall boots. As time went on though, I started thinking skinny jeans looked cute with flats and booties and I wondered what length of skinny jean looked best with those types of shoes. After some research (reading online articles and comparing pictures of models in skinny jeans), it was clear that skinny jeans should be shorter than other jean styles. Whether you wear them with heels, flats, or booties, skinny jeans are most flattering when the hem stops around your ankle bone. If you already have a pair of skinny jeans that are too long (like mine), try cuffing them at the ankle bone or tuck them into a pair of ankle booties. If you've yet to buy your new pair of skinny jeans, get someone to help you measure the exact length you need and read on for step-by-step instructions and a how-to picture. (I did this with my husband and was really surprised to find out what my skinny jean inseam was!)

  1. You need two people to measure your skinny jean inseam properly. So first thing first, go and grab someone to help you!
  2. Wearing jeans, hold the 0" end of a flexible measuring tape (available at any craft or sewing supply store – or get this cute pink one at Amazon) against the inseam crotch seam and stand up straight.
  3. Have the person helping you carefully measure the distance to the inside of your ankle bone, making sure to keep the tape flat and tight. The number will likely be several inches shorter than your normal inseam length (e.g. I need a 35" inseam with bootcut jeans but a 31" inseam with skinny jeans that hit at my ankle bone!).  
  4. Use this new number as your skinny jean inseam length and shop at SearchByInseam.com for your new pair of skinny jeans that are just the right length!

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Measuring my skinny jean inseam

Men's Mavi Jeans Matt Relaxed Fit Jeans Available at Nordstrom.com

Where to Buy Long Jeans Now – Top 10 Websites

Our most popular page on the site has just been updated! Find out what the new top ten websites are for buying long jeans.

 

Have you googled words like tall jeans, long jeans, and extra-long jeans trying
to find the best place to buy pants that fit a tall woman?  We've done it,
and know it's a frustrating experience.  Here are the top ten sites we
recommend for tall women's jeans:

Search By Inseam allows you to
search for pants by your inseam length, whether that is 33 inches or 38 inches,
or somewhere in between. There's also helpful content on measuring your inseam
so you can ensure a great fit. You're able to narrow your shopping criteria by
brand name and by price range. You'll find designer denim from Seven For All
Mankind, AG, Citizens of Humanity, True Religion and more, as well as less
expensive tall jeans from Gap, Old Navy, and Mossimo. Sign up for
notifications when a new pair of pants is added to the site that fits your long
inseam. 

shopbop
is one of our favorites for just-released stylish designer denim. The company
does an excellent job of keeping their inventory fresh and fashionable, and they have periodic sales where you can
snatch up bargains. This is one of the few places we regularly see 38-inch
inseams, and consistently see 36 and 37-inch inseams. Tall designer maternity jeans are also available. Shipping and returns are always free.

Boot Barn is designed for true cowgirls, but you can find urban-friendly jeans here as well. It's a great place for quality 36" and 38" inseam jeans that are made to wear with boots.

Gap
has done a good job of adding new jean lengths for tall women lately – and even some tall maternity jeans! We've seen
inseams of 34, 34.5, 35, 36, 36.5, 37, and sometimes 38 inches. The company offers free shipping on orders over $50 and free returns on all orders.

Piperlime is part of the Gap family and carries a good selection of designer jeans. The site doesn't allow you to search for tall or long lengths, but they are mixed in with everything else. Shipping and returns are free.

Banana Republic offers tall jeans in inseam lengths of 33-37 inches. They don't make you hunt for the inseam length like Old Navy does (more on that below); it's right in the product details. You'll get free shipping on orders over $50 and free returns all the time.

Old Navy
starts their tall women's jeans at a 33.5-inch inseam, and they go up to a 36-inch inseam. If the inseam isn't listed in the product details, you'll have to hunt for it in two different tall sizing charts, and then try to guess which is right – unfortunately, sometimes both are incorrect. Tall maternity jeans have a 34" inseam. Shipping is free on orders over $50 and returns are always free.

Nordstrom carries a good selection of designer and mid-priced junior and women's jeans, and you can often find tall maternity jeans as well. Shipping and returns are free. 


Alloy
lists their 35-inch and 37-inch inseam options on the left
navigation pane, which makes it easy to shop if either of those happen to be your length. Jeans are under $50, so it's a good place to shop if you're tall and on a budget. Do be warned that their target customer is a teenager, and the jeans are very low-rise. Plus sizes are available in a good number of jeans.


dELiA*s
shows 34, 36, and 37-inch inseams on their left navigation pane as well (Alloy and dELiA*s are sister sites). Their jeans are also under $50 and designed for teenage bodies.

Tall jeans from all of these sellers and more are available at
Search By Inseam, making it a great
site to easily find your inseam and do quick comparison shopping

Men's Mavi Jeans Matt Relaxed Fit Jeans Available at Nordstrom.com

Tips on Choosing the Right Denim Weight

The weight of your denim can make a big difference in how your jeans fit.  According to this month's InStyle magazine, medium-weight 12-once denim is going to be the most flattering because it'll hold you in without being bulky.  A lighter weight denim jean is best for wide-leg, relaxed styles, but opt for heavier denim for traditional boot cut jeans.  Finally, choose a jean that's made with 2% Lycra.  Any higher content of Lycra will reveal your bulges; any less Lycra means you'll sacrifice stretchy comfort.  Find 2% Lycra, medium-weight, lightweight, and heavier denim all at SearchByInseam.com.  

Men's Mavi Jeans Matt Relaxed Fit Jeans Available at Nordstrom.com

What Inseam Do I Need for Workout Pants?

Is getting in shape on your list of resolutions for 2009 this year?  We see sales of yoga pants spike between now and the end of January at SearchByInseam.com, and often get asked what inseam is best for workout and yoga pants.  In general, it's best to buy yoga pants 1/2" to 1" shorter than your normal jean inseam (more if you buy your jeans extra long to wear with heels) because you're going to be practicing barefoot, and don't want too-long pants tripping you up while you work on mastering your poses.  If you're buying running pants, you also don't want those being long enough to reach the ground and get muddy every time you wear them.  Visit our helpful page on measuring your inseam, and then adjust accordingly for the type of workout you'll be doing.  If you already have a pair of workout pants that are perfect in length, just measure those and go to SearchByInseam.com to find your replacements in the exact inseam you need.  SearchByInseam.com carries yoga and workout pants in inseams up to 39 inches.   

Men's Mavi Jeans Matt Relaxed Fit Jeans Available at Nordstrom.com

How to Patch Your Jeans

I was so bummed to find holes in the upper inside legs of my Seven Dojos the other week.  I do wear them a lot.  But still, I was surprised to see my thighs showing through! 

I went to the fabric store and got some iron-on patches that worked great for a couple days, but then they started peeling off.  I ironed them on again, and they stuck for an even shorter amount of time.  So, I called my trusty tailor and asked if she could help.  She said she could.  Score!  I thought paying her to keep them around was a good investment (and much less expensive than buying a new pair).  Sorry I forgot to take a "before" picture.  Here are the "after" pictures (click to enlarge and show the detail).  She did a zig-zag stitch all over the patches and the holes are totally invisible now!  I love my tailor. 🙂

Here’s the inside detail – the patch, covered by zig-zag stitching:

Stitching_7

Here’s what the outside looks like:

Patch

And here’s a shot of the backside zoomed out.  You can hardly tell there’s a patch there, and when I have them on, it’s totally hidden.

Backside_2 

Men's Mavi Jeans Matt Relaxed Fit Jeans Available at Nordstrom.com

How to Care for Your Jeans

I was reading an old issue of Allure magazine the other day and came across a good interview with Scott Morrison, designer and co-founder of Earnest Sewn.  Here are his tips (March 2008, p. 140):

  • Get a little dirty.  If you have stiff, dark raw-denim jeans, wash them as infrequently as possible.  Walking, sitting, and just the shape of your body will be the things that break them in.  The longer you go without putting them through the wash, the more comfortable they will become.
  • Keep them snug.  Stretch jeans should be washed more often.  Many women’s jeans have 2-4% of stretch material and will loosen up after a few hours of wear.  If you wear them a lot and like them snug, you’ll want to wash them about once a week to keep them as close to the original tight fit as you can.
  • Be protective.  Turn your jeans inside out in the washing machine.  This protects the color.  Use regular detergent and either cold or warm water.  Raw denim or loose-fitting jeans should be air dried, but stretch denim should be tumbled for about 40 minutes on high heat.  This will eventually reduce the elasticity, so if you’ve had them awhile, air-dry them most of the way and then throw them in on high for 10-15 minutes.
  • Hang out.  After they’re dry, hang your jeans in your closet instead of folding them, which causes creases.
  • Patch things up.  Act fast when you spot a tiny hole in your favorite jeans!  Buy a heat-transfer patch from the fabric store and iron it onto the underside of the tear.  Morrison also recommends hand-washing from then on to prevent exacerbating the problem.    
Men's Mavi Jeans Matt Relaxed Fit Jeans Available at Nordstrom.com

How to Walk Like a Model

I honestly think I’ve been checked out/hit on more times in the last 5 years (ages 24-29) than the rest of my life combined.  Why?  I was pondering this yesterday after I was stopped twice by two different men while walking home from the post office (in sweats, Gortex, and a hat, mind you – it was raining).  And I decided it’s because I finally learned to stand up straight (after a couple years of PT for back injuries) and embrace this long, lanky body.  Standing tall and walking tall somehow exude this high level of confidence that people are attracted to.  Why didn’t I figure this out in my single years? 🙂   

So anyway, I had this flash of insight yesterday and today I’m reading The Wall Street Journal and find Vanessa O’Connell’s article "How to Walk Like a Model," which basically tells me this is how I’ve been walking for the last 5 years.  And I have my PT to thank.  Thank you, Lisa.

For those of you who haven’t had a PT coaching you on how to sit, stand, and walk like there is a string pulling up through your body and out the top of your head, O’Connell offers some great advice from her interview with Jessica Stam, a hugely popular 21-year-old runway model.  Says Stam, "First impressions are a big deal, whether you’re walking up to the podium to give a presentation or into a restaurant for a blind date" (p. D8).  When she’s on the runway, she focuses on pulling her shoulders down and keeping her head straight and high.  Stam concentrates on a point in the distance to keep her balance while taking very large strides (to highlight the movement of the clothes she’s modeling), which she says give the impression of "a certain amount of confidence…When a woman walks more confidently, it can really affect the way other people see her – and the way she feels about herself" (p. D8).

Stam still gets nervous on the runway, and deals with it by imagining that people aren’t actually focused on her.  Rather, they’re looking at her clothes or they are thinking about themselves or something else.  So, whether you’re walking into a party or up to the podium for a big speech, take some advice from a top-notch model: believe that people aren’t focusing on you, pull your shoulders down, keep your head high and straight, and take large strides.  You will exude confidence, whether it’s really there or not!    

      

Men's Mavi Jeans Matt Relaxed Fit Jeans Available at Nordstrom.com

How to Shop the Sales

I just got my February issue of People StyleWatch yesterday and thought the "How to Shop the Sales" article was a good one.  It’s written by Kate Nobelius, who is the co-founder of Billion Dollar Babes, an organization that holds sample sales throughout the U.S.  Here are her top 5 tips for shopping the sales (p. 34):

  1. Don Battle Gear.  In other words, dress for an efficient shopping experience.  Nobelius recommends wearing a wrap dress, leggings, tank top, and slip-on shoes.  This enables you to get undressed without messing up your hair or having to deal with untying and retying shoe laces. 
  2. Do Your Research.  Flip through current magazines to get an idea of what’s hot and what’s not.  As Nobelius explains, "Sometimes there’s a reason things are on sale.  You don’t want to wind up with things that are totally out.  You want to buy items that will carry you into the next season."   
  3. Have a Plan and Stay Focused.  Make a checklist before you go shopping and stick to it.  You already do this at the grocery store, so carry the practice over to clothes shopping.  Make sure you stick to shapes and colors that complement your skin tone and body – there’s no reason to get crazy just because something’s on sale. 
  4. Buy a Size Up, Not Down.  If you’re in-between two sizes, go with the larger one and have it tailored to fit you perfectly.  This is something I’ve recommended in the past – here’s the post on how to find a good, inexpensive tailor.
  5. Don’t Dismiss Items with Small Flaws.  Fixing a broken zipper or a missing button is easy.  Ask for an additional discount, and you could save big.