Search Results for: label/Jag Jeans

What I Wore: Weekend Denim

jagjeans1 shoebuy naturalizer jagjeans2
Jeans: Erin Cuffed Ankle Jean c/o Jag Jeans | Shirt: Banana Republic | Shoes Naturalizer ‘Dania’ c/o Shoebuy | Bag: Vintage Coach via eBay (similar) | Bracelets: Lifetherapy, had forever (similar) | Sunglasses: Ray-Ba

I’ve been really feeling dark denim this spring, paired with more denim, with white, with unexpected items like a leather pencil skirt or brightly-printed midi.  I found this denim shirt on mega clearance at Banana Republic and love that it’s richly colored but as soft as a well-worn stonewashed version.  Jag Jeans sent me these cuffed skinny ankles and I am IN LOVE.  They are made from their Freedom Knit Denim, which looks like traditional jeans, but the inside looks more like loop terry and the denim stretches and moves with you for comfort and shape all day.  This is the third time I wore these without washing, which is a testament to the bounceback-ability of this stretchy denim.  They’re perfect for dashing about weekends running errands, which is what I did in this look.

Shoebuy is one of my favorite destinations for shoes; their selection is insane and their prices regularly beat those of department stores and mega-retailers.  I actually ordered these very Naturalizer sandals from another company and then found them for much less and with a larger size selection on Shoebuy.  Right now they’re having a great promo where you can get $20 off an order of $100, plus free shipping and returns with the code MAY100.  Along with Naturalizer, they have many other popular brands and great on-trend styles for the season!

Shoebuy.com Free Shipping on all orders! Shop Jag Jeans now!

What I Wore: Weekend Style

jag jeans review 3 alison gary jag jeans review 2 jag jeans review
Top: lamixx via Etsy | Jeans: c/o Jag | Shoes: Nine West | Bag: c/o Handbag Heaven | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban | Bracelets: Coin Collection (gift), c/o Lifetherapy, c/o LiveTheLook | Necklaces: Etsy (similar), personal charms on a chain

I’ve been really digging off the shoulder tees and sweatshirts lately but the prices I’ve seen are crazy, or else they don’t come in large enough sizes. Etsy to the rescue! I searched off the shoulder and found this sweatshirt from lamixx. It’s as comfy as a sweatshirt but a bit more glam and has become a weekend favorite.  As for this bag, Handbag Heaven sent it to me at the end of 2014 and I’ve been wearing the heck out of it yet never showed it on the blog until now. It’s an amazing price, looks like real leather, comes in three colors, and is the perfect size for concerts and day trips.

Jag Jeans reached out to me recently and asked if I’d like to try some of their collection. I was thrilled as I have been a fan of Jag Jeans for a while. I love the reasonable prices, the classic yet stylish cuts, and that they offer regular, petite, and plus sizes.  I wore these jeans last Thursday and received a ton of compliments, two women asking where I got them.  When they saw the waistband and heard the price they were as psyched as I was about Jag Jeans.  These jeans are so comfortable and flattering to curves; the pull-on waistband gives a smooth line under knit tops and prevents muffin top.  I mentioned on Instagram that I needed to shorten the jeans, but I washed them on hot and dried them and they’re now a better length and size.  Stay tuned as I’ll be featuring other Jag Jeans on the blog in the future!

Free Shipping on all orders! Shop Jag Jeans now!

Friday: Working for the Weekend

Shirt: Lands’ End Canvas
Jeans: Jag (similar)
Bracelets: Nordstrom, Ann Taylor, Lauren Ralph Lauren, c/o Soft Surroundings
Shoes: Halogen (similar)
Sunglasses: Ray-Ban
Bag: Banana Republic (similar)

I really should have had my husband get a shot of my travel mug – it’s for Saturn of Bowie.  My dad got it when he bought his 1994 Saturn, which I inherited when he passed in 1998 and drove into the ground until 2002 or so when I took over the loan on my mom’s ’99 Saturn, which I drove into the ground and replaced this past Easter with my Kia Soul.  The more I have the Kia, the more I like it.  I no longer feel like a hamster in a track suit – it’s great for carrying a ton of stuff, is good on gas (went to SC, KY, and DE with us this summer), and is roomy and comfortable.  And it’s my first non-inherited car!

This week has been busy. So busy, I haven’t done laundry in quite a while. I started trying to pull together fancy-shmancy outfits, thought maybe I’d go all kitchen sink today… but then realized I just want to get through today so I can enjoy the weekend. So I went to closet basics.

Last night I went back to Weight Watchers… for the first time in three months! Ack! We’re doing a wellness challenge at work so I figured it was time to get back on the Weight Watchers bandwagon. I was surprised I only gained 1.6 pounds in the past three months but no gain is a good gain. We’re moving offices soon and I am excited because the new one has a gym in it – a few of my coworkers and I have already decided to make good use of it, coming in early a couple days or using our lunch hours when we don’t have client meetings later in the afternoon.

Tomorrow we’re going to see Band of Horses and My Morning Jacket at Merriweather and I couldn’t be more psyched. Favorite band, and also get to spend time with some of my favorite people! What are your weekend plans?

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My Wardrobe Today – Thursday

Olive cargo jacket – Caslon (no longer available – similar) | Navy and white stripe knit tank – H&M (similar) | Dark stretch jeansJag Jeans | Black and cork heeled sandals – Payless (no longer available online) | Black leather studded bracelet – picked up in a boutique in Rehoboth Beach | Pumpkin Leather Purse Hobo International “Libby”

Just as I had my stride with getting my personal style back after having a baby… a hurricane tackles my closet. While most clothes are salvageable, they still need to be cleaned and most need a professional to handle it. So I am working with a shrunken closet and I feel that the result isn’t the consistency I like. Ah well, a challenge for me to overcome! So for now, I look as though I am going to a wedding one day, and game night at a friend’s house the next!

The biggest reason why I went casual today is because tonight my husband and I are going to see The Hold Steady at the 9:30 Club. I haven’t seen them before, so when they came to town I had to get tickets!  I needed something that would work for a quiet day at work, dinner, and then a general-admission show.  How awesome to find comfortable enough heels for this day from Payless!  And this bag from Hobo International is one of my best buys in a long time – it can fit my phone, my smallest point-and-shoot camera, lip gloss, ID and cash with no problem – the perfect concert bag!

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Friday: Real Housewife

Tee: Armorlux (gift from reader)
Vest: c/o Karen Kane
Jeans: Jag
Boots: DUO Boots (similar)
Necklace: LOFT chain and pendant from eBay
Earrings: Vince Camuto
Bracelets: Nordstrom, Ann Taylor, Ralph Lauren, misc.
Bag: Sabina (similar)

My husband saw me in this outfit and said I looked like a Bravo TV housewife. I guess with the gold, the fur, the boots, it is a bit Real Housewives! When I left the house, I had straight hair, straight bangs, and felt I was channeling a bit of Patti Smith. Though the rain had stopped, it was still so wet and humid outside that by time I got to the sidewalk my hair had all curled up. By time I was at the Metro, I felt like Veronica Lake – my bangs had become part of the rest of my hair and I had deep waves. Lovely, but with a walk from the station to my job those waves just became a hot mess and now I am typing with a topknot. Oh well, it’s Friday!

Isn’t this vest fun? I want to sip cocoa at a ski lodge, wearing it with a cram turtleneck. Karen Kane always amazes me with their fashion – it’s a ton of fun yet translates well for real life. Their fall collection is pretty fantastic – sequins, leopard print, jewel tones, and more!

And I have to share the beauty which is these jeans. I have other pairs of Jag jeans and I really like how they fit, hold up, reasonably priced, and are pretty classic looking (no bling, logos, etc.). These have a smooth waistband – sort of reminiscent of maternity jeans but they curve to fit a woman’s body and give a smooth line under fitted knits. Comfortable and brilliant!

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Giveaway: Gap Skimmer Jeans – Save and Win!

Last week I featured the new Gap Skimmer Jean and how incredibly versatile and adorable it is. Many of you were interested in trying the Skimmer for yourself, well now’s your chance! From February 21 – 27, 2013, try the New Skimmer and get $20 off! When you try the New Skimmer at any Gap store, you’ll get an automatic $20 off any regular-priced pair.  What a fab promotion, I’m thinking I may have to grab a pair of their camo-print skimmers for spring!

Want even more encouragement to try these awesome new jeans? One Wardrobe Oxygen reader will win a $50 AmEx gift card that you could use to buy your Gap Skimmers!

How to Enter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Gap Skimmers: Versatile Style for Now and Spring

I recently visited Gap and felt like a kid in a candy store. Adorable jackets, tons of stripes (we all know how I adore stripes), and fun jeans including their new Women’s Skimmer. Named because they skim the ankles as well as the body from waist to hem. I’m pleasantly surprised by how flattering the Skimmers are on my curvy frame. I tried on several variations and fell for the 1969 Dot Always Skinny Skimmer. I immediately thought of the outfit possibilities!

Jacket: Gap | Scarf: Ann Taylor (similar) | Shoes: Nine West (similar)

Sweatshirt: Alo | Shoes: Lands’ End (similar)

Jacket: Vince Camuto | Tee: Canvas Lands’ End (similar) | Necklaces: eBay | Shoes: Target (similar)

Sweater: Lands’ End via Gwynnie Bee | Shoes: Jessica Simpson (similar) | Cuff: Gap (similar)


The Skimmers are adorable with a sweatshirt and flats for weekends, or a slouchy sweater and platform heels for a night with the girls. For work I paired with Gap’s Striped Twill Zip Jacket, and for play the Skimmers are fab with an ivory blazer and bold gold necklaces. I can’t wait to style them for spring!


While I did receive compensation for this post, all opinions and text are my own.

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On a Lighter Note – Pajama Jeans

I don’t know if I have written about pajama jeans on here or on Twitter or my Facebook page.  All I know is they are awful. Yes, I agree that jeans can be uncomfortable, but that isn’t an excuse to wear these monstrosities.  They remind me of the denim diapers for babies – so very wrong.  If you want to be comfortable, consider a pair of heavyweight leggings or stretch jeans with tall flat boots, or even a pair of trousers in a heavyweight refined knit like Ponte de Roma.  No one needs pajama jeans in their life.

Anyway, I adore the brilliant style expert Bridgette Raes and follow her on Facebook.  Today she posted this hysterical parody video of the pajama jeans infomercial.  I just had to share…

Simplifying the Boyfriend Jeans Look

I don’t subscribe to many magazines any more. I used to get over a dozen in the mail every month, but started letting my subscriptions lag when I stopped to think about all the paper and waste. So many magazines have great Websites, blogs, and such that I can get the information I desire online. I decided to keep my subscriptions to magazines that I found myself keeping for reference, or wanting to pass on to friends because I found the issues so beneficial or entertaining. Gone were the fashion porn mags – Vogue, Elle, W. Same with the magazines that encouraged me to spend money – I’m talking to you Lucky and Allure!

What survived were magazines that really give a good look into my life – Mothering Magazine for the crunchy spawn-creator side of me, Rolling Stone for the music-fan side of me, Bust for the music fan/crunchy/feminist yet pop culture-loving side of me, Bazaar for the fashionista side of me, and Real Simple for the practical life-side of me. Oh, and National Geographic, which is a Christmas gift that my mom gives us every year.

I adore Bazaar magazine because I find them to really blend haute couture and street wear quite well. I can look through their pages and not only know what is new on the runways, but get practical inspiration for my personal wardrobe. I appreciate that they break down trends by age, and they don’t stop at women in their ‘40s. My husband even enjoys Bazaar, and will often discuss with me the articles he reads and the trends for the upcoming season.

And I adore Real Simple. I used to get Real Simple many years ago but found it too old, too obvious, too bland. In my opinion, Real Simple was for soccer moms and people who scrapbook. Since then, I have gotten married, I remodeled my home and now really see it as a home and not just a place to sleep and store my shoe collection. I have a child, and with it I have less time and patience for overly-complicated clothes, recipes, cleaning methods or pretty much anything. Friends constantly tell me about great ideas or buys they got thanks to their latest issue of Real Simple so when I got the opportunity to subscribe for only $5 (thank you Amazon!) I decided to add it to my small collection.

I quickly became a fan. Real Simple is a great magazine – it writes about most any topic, but with the general theme of simplicity and ease. Real Simple does a great job of adding style to this simplicity – it doesn’t get suckered into trends, but sees the ability to have beauty with a simple and budget-friendly life. Gosh, sounds a lot like Wardrobe Oxygen!

Yep, that was until a friend Tweeted about how Real Simple was offering advice on how to cuff jeans.

A couple years ago, Katie Holmes was photographed running around town in a pair of weathered jeans, cuffed above the ankle bone. Next thing you know, every Gap and Abecrombie in every mall in America is carrying the Boyfriend Jean – a pair of jeans that are slightly relaxed in fit, slightly distressed, and already equipped with messy little cuffs at the hem, making the jeans cropped.

These jeans can look pretty cute, especially when paired with the other Boyfriend-inspired clothes – Boyfriend blazers, Boyfriend sweaters, Boyfriend cardigans. It’s slouchy and gives a feminine touch to a tomboy look. It’s a good look on the models that sport this look in the store windows and pages of the fashion porn magazines that I stopped receiving in my mailbox.

These jeans rarely look good on real women. And real women are the folks who read Real Simple. By offering tips on how to cuff your jeans, Real Simple promoting a trend that is not a good one for a good 80% of the female population. This is a trend that is hard to wear if you are curvy, pear shaped, have short legs, athletic legs. It’s a look that works with only a very small assortment of footwear, and tops. It’s a look that if done with the wrong jeans and if paired with the wrong top can make one look as though she is dressed for an ‘80s theme party and not trying to look stylish and current.

Many times I speak of the True Fashionista. The True Fashionista already knows how to cuff her jeans, she knows what to pair with Boyfriend jeans so she doesn’t look like a fashion victim. She knows her body, and knows whether she has the gams to carry off the look. And the True Fashionista doesn’t read Real Simple for fashion advice.

If you aren’t sure if you can carry off this look, you probably can’t. I am not trying to be mean – I personally don’t, can’t and won’t wear the Boyfriend jean because I am a petite woman with curves and I know that this style will do nothing but accentuate the negative and diminish the positive.

If you are wondering what jeans to wear in this crazy current sea of skinny/jegging/Boyfriend/carpenter/painter/paperbag/rigid denim, my suggestion is to keep it simple. Dark, straight (or slight bootcut to balance out hips), little embellishment. Keep the length to elongate the legs, keep the rise medium – no muffin top, no mom jeans. This type of jean is universally flattering and has been considered stylish and chic for years. If you want to latch onto a current trend, I find its best to do it with a novelty top or a pair of shoes – you get more bang for your buck while still flattering your figure and maintaining personal style.

Real Simple, I still love you! I just think you need to remember your motto (life made easier, every day) before posting such tragic fashion trends.

Reader Question – Jeans That Fit

Hi Allie,
I wanted to ask your opinion on something. I have a really difficult time buying pants, especially jeans. I have the flattest butt you will ever see in your life, however, my stomach is far from flat. I also have pretty skinny thighs. Most pants hang off my butt awkwardly and have lots of room in the thighs, and if I go a size smaller, they’re too tight across my stomach and I get major rolls. Since sit-ups and squats aren’t exactly my favorite, I’m not seeing my body shape change too much in the near future…Do you have any suggestions for brands that aren’t made for girls with big booties? By the way, I’m 21 and attend a university.

Thanks,
Anna

Hey Anna:
Jeans seem to be harder for women to buy than bras – they are a wardrobe staple, yet often times look horrible on a woman’s figure. They were originally sported by cowboys, but even a century of modifications haven’t quite made jeans a garment that always works with a feminine shape. However in the past couple of years, many breakthroughs have taken place in the denim industry and there is more selection for those who aren’t necessarily built like a mannequin or a cowboy.

First things first I recommend a style of jeans that has some lycra in it. The stretch will help fit across the stomach and keep the style fitting around curves and your thighs. As for your rear, your denim should always have back pockets to add definition – flap pockets will make a rear look larger and rounder. Steer away from slash or on-seam pockets – a tummy will usually make these pockets gape and cause you to look larger than you actually are. Also steer clear of skinny or stovepipe jeans – these will make your rear look flatter, your tummy larger and in general you will look like a walking lollypop. A straight or slight boot-cut leg will be far more flattering and balance out your frame. Dark denim hides far more flaws and tricks the eye better than lighter hues, add a crease down the front and it will dress up your denim and make your legs look longer (and detract from the tummy). As for rise, you want something near the natural hip which will provide proper coverage for your tummy and also make your rear look curvy.

Another great option are trouser jeans. The lighter-weight denim hangs better so you have a cleaner silhouette, and patch pockets look appropriate. Again, steer clear of front slash pockets, and consider a wider waistband to reduce the chance of the dreaded Muffin Top. As for places to find jeans for your figure:

Custom-Fit Jeans
Many stores sell custom-fit jeans, and for reasonable prices. JC Penney will custom-create a pair of their St. Johns Bay denim for only $44.00. When filling out your information (have a friend with a tape measure ready), you are asked the shape of your tummy, rear and thigh. This is from the custom denim questionnaire:

JC Penney Custom Jeans
Custom-fit jeans can also be found at Make Your Own Jeans.com and Lands End. There are many other custom jean companies out there, but few others deal with body specifics and measurements of waist, rear, and thigh.

Find Your Fit
A lot of sites now offer a program where you enter information about your figure and they suggest styles or brands that will possibly work. Zafu is one of the best sites for this, they ask questions such as, “do your jeans usually gape at the waist?” and “When a jean/pant fits well on your hip, how does it typically fit on your waist?” as well as asking a bit about your personal style and denim needs.

Zafu Jeans Finder

Once all the questions are answered, you are given many different styles to choose from, where to purchase and their current purchase price. You also have the ability to adjust your answers to change the results.

Other Jean-finder Sites:
I Love Jeans
Oprah’s Best Jeans for Every Body
MyShape

Brands for Your Shape
There are many brands out there that are made to work with a woman’s curves. The Tummy Tuck brand comes to mind – they create jeans that help you be a size smaller and often have styles that help lift and define the rear. Tummy Tuck and Not Your Daughter’s Jeans (created by Tummy Tuck ®) can be found at Nordstrom and many other retailers.

And finally… if all else fails, hit the men’s section. As a fellow woman with a tummy, I often find that men’s jeans fit well because they are geared for a smaller bum, smaller thighs, and weight to be carried in the stomach. In a classic cut (think Levi’s 501s) and a dark color, they will look chic on a female frame.

Are Bootcut Jeans “Momtastic?”

Reader Laurie emailed me recently after reading “Talking Fashion” on Washington Post’s website about fall’s trends. Suzanne D’Amato and Janet Bennett lead this chat and are very intelligent and stylish women, but mentioned in this certain chat that bootcut jeans are “Momtastic” and to be stylish one should choose a skinny leg, high-waisted style, or maybe a straight leg in a very dark hue. Laurie wanted to know if this was in fact true, and if her beloved denim was now passé.

I doubt you will see Kate Moss or Sienna Miller tromping around town in a pair of bootcut jeans this fall, but that does not mean they are a fashion don’t. The thing is, trends come and go, and some styles seem to stay longer because unlike most of the garments going down the runway, they work with real women’s bodies.

I love the look of the skinny jean. Paired with boots, booties, flats or heels it is a sharp look. A sharp look I personally will not be wearing. I am short. I have thick legs. I have a booty, a tummy, and thick ankles. If you put a pair of stovepipes on my gams, I would look like a walking Tootsie-Pop. I don’t care how utterly stylish and popular they are, I will never be a slave to fashion and adorn my bod with things that make me look bad. Same with the high-waisted style. I can see this working if you are slim, leggy and long. Have some curves in the middle, and the high waist will make you look short, squat and heavy.

A straight-leg style is a classic look that works on many figures. I agree, this is a nice style, especially in dark denim. It can be worn with flats, heels, boots with ease and don’t look costumey or obviously trendy. However, the bootcut is always going to the be popular favorite because the slightly larger leg opening balances out the curves that most women carry in the middle of their body. A bootcut (NOT flare. Unless you are a leftover hippie, do donate those flare jeans or put into the attic until the next 70s theme party) balances out hips, thighs, tummy and bum. It prevents the dreaded lollypop look of the 80s. Remember all those women with oversized tops and leggings? They looked ridiculous and there is a good chance that this season’s slimmer denim will give a similar effect.

As for your bootcuts, there is a chance some of your pairs are starting to look a bit dated. If they are faded or a traditional “stonewash” color, they are a bit long in the tooth. The color now is dark and crisp, which is a good thing. A dark structured pair of jeans is far more flattering to a women’s shape than the old faded pairs of a few years ago. Dark sturdy denim will elongate your body, be appropriate for casual as well as festive occasions, and look more polished (and expensive).

The cut of your bootcut may be a bit dated as well. Yes, you will still find bootcut jeans in all your favorite haunts, they just will be a bit slimmer than before. The leg opening will be a true bootcut – a slightly larger size than a straight leg – just that inch or two needed to get over a boot. At first glance, you may not even notice they are bootcut, but when on the body you will see the difference. The leg itself will also be slimmer – gone are the relaxed styles that you could probably pull up without unbuttoning.

If you purchase some jeans, these jeans should have the tailored, polished look of almost being denim trousers. A dark color is what is hot and flattering, a more streamlined cut, quality refined denim. Stretch is still out there, just don’t have the jeans look like leggings on your legs. Stretch should add comfort, not the ability to think you can go down a size. It still is a nice look to have a slight crease down the front – this adds elegance and elongates.

To keep your denim looking great, wash it inside-out, consider hanging them to dry on occasion, and add a capful of vinegar to your cold-water wash for colorfastness.

So are bootcut jeans “Momtastic?” Well, it depends. I don’t believe any one style right now is “THE” look, nor any one style is completely out of style (excluding anything with pleats, tapered legs or lace inserts). It’s all about making slight changes to move with the times. No need to burn all your current denim, just reassess them. Try them on with your current fall tops, get a good look in a full length mirror, then use a hand mirror to get a look from behind. How do they make you look? Do they give off the image you wish to portray? Are they super comfy but sag at your backside and are just a hair too short? Are they a color that for some reason only seems to compliment black or white (this is a good test to see if your denim is an out of style color – stonewash doesn’t look good with much else)? Be real with your wardrobe and your body and if you are in need for new jeans, don’t fear. Bootcut is still out there and great to wear!

Featured: Levi’s “Star” Slim Bootcut, and Citizens of Humanity “Electric Guitar” Stretch Bootcut, both available at Nordstrom.

Ask Allie: Which Jeans with Which Boots?

Can you give me some guidance about which boots to wear with which jeans? There are skinny jeans, straight-leg jeans, mini-boot cuts, boot-cuts, boyfriend jeans, cropped jeans, jeans that people cuff above the boot, jeggings, and everything in between. There are ankle boots, cowboy boots, mid-calf boots, knee-high boots, UGGs, shooties, and fakers (they look like boots from the front but the back is open like a mule/clog). Which jeans do I pair with which boots so that I look proportional and not like a farmer? And when do I tuck the jeans inside the boots, and when do I leave them out?

how to style jeans boots which wear

Boots and jeans should be easy… I mean we’ve been wearing the combination for eons, right? But with all the different leg widths, lengths, and boot styles you may feel as though you need to get an advanced degree in footwear/denim matching!

Skinny Jeans

The skinny jean is a heavier weight than a jegging (legging made out of a lightweight stretchy denim), has all the trimmings of a typical jean (pockets, zippers, belt loops, etc.), but has a very narrow fit. What was originally found to be a cut only models could carry off, skinny jeans are now a commonplace silhouette worn beautifully by women of all shapes and sizes.

The skinny jean is perfect for tall boots, be they over-the-knee heeled boots, flat riding boots, cowboy boots, calf-height harness boots, or a slouchy suede wedge. The skinny jean hugs the leg making it less likely to bag at the knee or wiggle its way out of the boot shaft. The slim silhouette makes the bulk of a boot look more elegant, and works with the chunky and slouchy knits this season.

The skinny jean is also perfect for ankle booties. Be they short harness boots, lace-up combat boots, or ankle-high cowboy boots, a skinny jean tucks into the boot nicely and shows the shape of your calf above the boot’s opening. If you find your jean likes to wiggle out of booties, consider tucking the hem into a pair of socks; they also sell suspenders specifically for this purpose!

If you are going to wear UGGs or similar shearling or thick boots, I think they look the best with skinny jeans. Again, the bulk of the boot is balanced by the slim silhouette of the denim, elongating your legs and keeping you from looking like the Michelin Man.

Jeggings

As mentioned earlier, jeggings are like skinny jeans but with legging details. Usually a lighter weight fabric with more stretch than your typical stretch denim, jeggings often are without front pockets, a proper zipper, and sometimes have an elasticized waist. Since jeggings are such a thin fabric, they look best with tall boots that cover a bit of the body and balance the frame. I’d offer the same advice I did for skinny jeans, but add that you should also consider what you wear on top. Jeggings are best with tunics, longer cardigans, and jackets that hit around the hip to again balance the fabric but also provide some modesty.

Straight Jeans

The straight jean is a classic and flattering to most figures. That being said, it can be one of the hardest to style with boots. Often times too loose to tuck into tall boots, too baggy to slip into ankle booties, you may feel you’re stuck with flats when wearing straight jeans. In fact, a straight jean is a perfect partner for the slim-heeled booties and shooties that have been hot the past two seasons. Sort of a blend between a pump and an ankle boot, shooties have a lower vamp, a slim streamlined silhouette, and slip nicely under a straight leg jean letting the toe and heel peek out.

When it comes to straight jeans, the best boots are those that are meant to go under the jean’s leg. Wedge boots, granny boots, city boots, Chelsea boots, and shooties are often made with simple openings and elastic gussets to make them easy to slip on and off, but not as attractive on display over your jeans. The medium leg opening keeps your jean from dragging on the ground and covering your entire boot and gives a nice break at the front of the shoe.

Bootcut Jeans

No matter the size (hello mini and baby boots), bootcut jeans are named that because they flare out a tiny bit at the bottom to make room for a pair of boots to be worn underneath. With this bit of flare, you can carry off harness and cowboy boots without their shape showing through your jeans. Many women give their tall boots a second life (and give themselves a bit of warmth in the winter) by wearing their slimmer tall boots under bootcut jeans.

You mentioned “fakers”, those boots that are actually mules, and I think they are perfect for bootcut jeans because the extra width makes it less likely that the hem will slip under the heel, and it hides the back of the shoe. For such a shoe, a bit longer of a hem is good because it will better hide the mule back, keep your foot warm, and flatter the bulkier style of the boot.

Bootcut jeans also look great with ankle boots and shooties… if worn UNDER the jeans. Bootcut jeans (no matter how mini the bootcut) have too much volume to tuck them into any style of boot. The extra fabric will be uncomfortable wrapped around your ankle and show bulk. Remember the reason for this silhouette and wear boots under your bootcut jeans.

Cropped and Boyfriend Jeans

This is a cut of denim that is far harder to carry off with boots, and I often recommend the pairing to just True Fashionistas. However there are two popular manners in which to pair shorter jeans with boots…

A slim cropped or capri jean can pretend to be a full-length skinny jean when tucked into tall boots. This is a great way to get extra mileage out of your summer jeans; white and pale colors look seasonally appropriate when half covered with brown or black leather and topped with a wintry knit or jacket. I have been known to do this trick; I recommend wearing knee socks to keep your shins warm in the winter and also to hold down the jeans so they don’t bag at the knees.

Baggier cropped jeans like boyfriend jeans can get a downtown cool vibe when paired with a heeled ankle bootie. I’ve worn my ankle booties with a wooden heel with my boyfriend jeans and like how the extra height and slight platform balance the fullness of boyfriend jeans. A slim, sexy bootie, caged heel, shootie, or a lower vamp with a chunkier heel or wedge is the best choice for boyfriend jeans.

To provide balance, I recommend having a sliver of skin show between the jean and the boot. This elongates the leg, makes the combination more purposeful and on trend.

Cuffed Jeans

I know many people carry off this look, but I find it just as hard to carry off as those who wear tall boots under cropped pants. For every one woman who looks utterly awesome in this combination, there’s 30 women who look as though they got dressed in the dark.  I can’t offer advice that is universal, and recommend that unless you feel confident carrying off this trend, stay away until boot and jean styles have morphed over seasons to make it easier to pair.

Capsule Wardrobe: Skinny Jeans for Winter

Allie you shared something on Facebook about skinny jeans aren’t stylish any more. I just bought three pairs of skinny jeans in brown, jean color, and a tan cord. How can I make them look okay this winter? What tops are best with them, what shoes? I live in Michigan so I need to be warm.

The conversation on that article went deeper into what jeans are coming back en vogue, and how even though they say skinnies are dead they aren’t going anywhere. Like boot cut jeans, peasant tops, a-line shift dresses, and tall boots; there’s some trends that won’t go away even though fashion “experts” say they are dead. They don’t ever die because we real women with real bodies find these trends flattering and extremely wearable. It’s funny how five years ago many of us refused to adopt the skinny jean trend and now we refuse to let the trend go. But just because one news article says skinnies are passé doesn’t mean you need to find a whole new wardrobe. I’m still rocking my skinnies because though I was a late adopter, I now LOVE THEM.  And what matters most when it comes to style is wearing what is true to you, wear what you love!

capsule wardrobe casual winter skinny jeans cold weather

I’ve found the best way to incorporate a trend, whether hot off the runway or something the New York Times deems dated, is to wear it with similar colors. Create a color story with your wardrobe, mixing varying shades of similar hues or going monochromatic. For this capsule collection based off your skinnies wardrobe, I stuck to a warm palette of neutrals that will look luxe and show the skinnies are a purposeful addition to your closet.

When wearing skinny pants, it’s important to balance the figure or you can quickly look like a lollipop. Luckily, this is easy to do when it’s cold and you want lots of weight and layers. The first row of tops are the type that can just be thrown on with skinnies and look chic: tunics, slouchy sweaters, ponchos, and chunky knits that balance the frame. The second row is all about the layers; a knit blazer adds polish without sacrificing comfort or warmth, and waterfall cardigans and sweater coats are cozy and on trend while balancing the frame.

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Speaking of base layers, this year has really embraced layering, and practical layering at that. Turtlenecks are easy to find at all pricepoints, henleys are back in style, and there’s nothing wrong with even putting another layer under these pieces. Because I’m Allie, I added a striped knit which adds interest to an outfit of solids, and I also find to be the easiest pattern to mix with other patterns.

As for shoes, I also believe balance is important and I also believe in the importance of function over fashion. I chose three different shoes that will balance the skinny jeans while keeping you warm and dry through the winter. A pair of tall boots are a perfect pairing over skinny jeans. A pair of ankle boots are also a great pairing and this season chunky marled socks have come back in fashion and look great filling the space between cuffed skinny and boot (or over tucked-in skinny for extra cold weather protection). Use a waterproofing spray on your leather shoes and put rolled magazines in them to improve ventilation and help them keep their shape. Finally, if you’re in an area that has snow and slush, by all means wear boots appropriate for the weather! A traditional lace-up style of duck boot is back on trend and looks great laced up over skinnies.

Accessories are what pull a look together. Pashminas and infinity scarves are stylish while adding warmth and color to an outfit. A wide leather belt can cinch those sweaters to create a completely different look. Having a quality bag can add a luxe look even to discount mart knits and make the wearing of snow boots quite chic. Choosing one in a color similar to your leather shoes ties an entire ensemble together.

Ask Allie: Office-appropriate Jeans

Hi Allie, I am not sure what jeans I can wear to work. Dress code is business casual and jeans are acceptable but no specifics. Do you have a primer on jeans for work?

I will use my current and previous places of work as a guide – they all had business casual dress codes, but did offer details on what was acceptable and what was not:

I feel that if regular pants (chinos, trousers) were in the same condition, would they be work appropriate.  I’d hope you wouldn’t wear skin-tight, shiny, paint-splattered, torn, or frayed pants to the office and such denim is also not appropriate in most office settings.  Though distressed denim has come back in fashion, that doesn’t make them suddenly work-appropriate.  Office dress codes aren’t dictated by what is on the pages of your glossy fashion magazine. 

Each workplace is different, but if you’re contacting me it is because you are unsure.  I always feel it is better to dress up too much than too little.  When it comes to denim, you can’t dress up too much.  Crisp, saturated color, straight lines, silhouettes that don’t cling – good rule of thumb for office denim and any office trousers.

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Brand Love – Not Your Daughter’s Jeans

My stomach has always been my soft spot – even when I was younger, slimmer, and more athletic my lower belly protruded and was mushy. I remember working for Express, wearing their Metro collection – a knit hoodie, v-neck tee, and matching maxi skirt (hey, it was the late ‘90s!) and a customer pulled me aside and told me about a control garment sale taking place down the hall at Lord & Taylor. I was mortified, and resolved to do anything possible to get a six-pack. Even when doing crunches through the commercial breaks of Friends and Beverly Hills 90210 I had a soft tummy. Eventually I got over it and accepted it as a part of my body – a soft, mushy, protruding part of my body that I flattered with wrap dresses, wide waistbands on trousers, and untucked knits.

After having a baby, my lower tummy became even more pronounced. Even when I was able to fit into my pre-pregnancy pants, they looked terrible with my saggy belly. I resigned to the fact that I would live the remainder of my life in dresses… until I tried a pair of Not Your Daughter Jeans.

I hate control garments – they make me look like a stuffed sausage, aren’t comfortable, and often cause gas pains. I’d rather be curvy than uncomfortable. So when I heard that Not Your Daughter’s Jeans had a control aspect to them, they totally turned me off. But a reader raved about them, so I decided to try them. No pain, no constriction, yet the jeans held in my “mama pooch” and made me look more streamlined. The brand states that they will make you look a size smaller – I don’t know if it does that, but each time I wore them in the year after my pregnancy, people told me I looked great and asked if I lost weight.

Emerson is three years old and I still rely on Not Your Daughter’s Jeans for my denim. I have a couple other brands in my wardrobe, but I only wear them with tops that cover my lower belly. With NYDJ, I can wear shorter tops and fitted knits without feeling self-conscious.

Other than the hidden and yoga pant-comfortable control aspect of NYDJ denim, I like that the jeans don’t LOOK like control denim. No logos or visible labels, every cut seems to have an option with non-embellished pockets (I don’t like decorated denim), on-trend washes and silhouettes, and the denim is cut for women with curves. Straight jeans in other brands look like stovepipes on me and skinnies don’t fit over my calves – with NYDJ straight looks straight and skinny is skinny without cutting circulation off to my feet. I can get classic fits like a dark wash of Barbara or Marilyn, or get trendy with a skinny like Sheri or hot pink cropped Alishas.

Many of you readers have told me that you find NYDJ to be too expensive – and yes, they aren’t cheap. However, they are quality jeans. If I wash on the gentle cycle and line dry, my NYDJ jeans will remain in great shape with the same saturated color for years. I recently sold a pair of two-year old NYDJ on eBay for $35 and they were worn and washed several dozen times, yet were in great enough condition to garner positive feedback from the buyer. NYDJ is also available at great prices at Nordstrom Rack, Amazon, and NYDJ outlet stores (for you local yokels, there’s one at Arundel Mills Mall). But really, I often talk about quality, not quantity and I feel NYDJ fits the bill – you can get away with one pair of their $125 jeans to cover weekends and nights out with friends equally well, and not find them to be dated in a year’s time.

And nope, NYDJ didn’t ask me to write this post. I am writing this because I noticed on laundry day how many pairs I own, and how often I happily wear them. I believe a woman should love and accept her current body, she shouldn’t go through pain or humiliation to achieve society’s ideal for a woman’s figure. However, if you can find something that makes you feel more confident and flatters this lovely body you own, I say go for it!

Update: Many of you had questions so I figured I’d answer them here for all to read:

  • These jeans are a high rise; that helps keep the tummy completely smooth and there’s no muffin top.  However they don’t taper like “Mom Jeans” giving you a weird shape, and the pockets are still at the appropriate place on the bum.  The novelty styles seem to have a lower rise than the traditional jeans
  • I haven’t had any problem with the color fading or running with the novelty jeans.  I planned to wash the red on its own, but my husband threw them in with the rest of the denim and they turned out great.  The pink still looks bright after several washes.
  • The jeans run a hair large, especially if you want them to suck in the tummy.  If you are deciding between two sizes, go a size down.  I have NYDJs in 12 and 10, but the 10s suck in the tummy better but aren’t indecent/too tight/uncomfortable.
  • NYDJ has the control in the tummy area, not in the hips or rear.  However, they are made for a woman’s curves so those of you who find jeans are not flattering to your hips or bum may like them because of the lightweight stretchy denim, shape, and style.  I cannot personally vouch for this as I am as apple as apple can be.
  • I am 5’3″ and I have NYDJs in regular and petite lengths.  Each style seems to have a different inseam.  The straight legs I like in regular because they look best with heels, however I have a pair of petite straight legs I wear with flat shoes.  The bootcuts run longer and I find the petite is too short for my heels, so I have the regulars shortened by my dry cleaner.  Check the descriptions, even their crops come in different inseams in regular lengths.  I recommend trying them on in a store to really understand the unique fit of NYDJs – they aren’t like regular jeans for weight, shape, or length and the style that I like best may not be the best bet for your specific figure.

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Reader Advice Wanted: Great Jeans

A request from my friend Karin, who is petite, slim but with some lovely feminine curves. I haven’t had any luck with jeans lately, and was wondering if you fabulous women may have some suggestions:
If anyone has recommendations for (not skinny!) jeans that aren’t reminiscent of a plumber but at the same time are not mom jeans, let me know. Bonus points if such jeans (i) come in short or petite, and (ii) are less than $75.

I figured answers would be useful to other readers too, so why not post it on here? I thank you all in advance. :)

A Life, Replotted: Dressing the Part

chelsea henderson for wardrobe oxygen

I used to have a closet full of dresses. Expensive dresses. I justified the investment (doesn’t that sound better than splurge?) because not only were they appropriate professionally, but one dress required little thought in the morning, whereas a two-piece suit also required a blouse option, and three wardrobe components were two too many for me to coordinate when also getting my young kids ready for school. Yeah, that’s what I told myself every time I handed over my credit card. “I need this dress. It will make my life easier.”

To complement all those dresses, I had a closet full of pumps. I’m ashamed now to admit how many pairs of shoes I once owned. I freely handed over the plastic for these too, all in the name of looking the part. Speaking of looking the part, I never went to work in lower than a three-inch heel, unless of course it was casual Friday, and I could get away with riding boots and skinny jeans.

Sigh. Skinny jeans. I didn’t wear any other style of denim.

“Oh, check out Chelsea’s shoes today,” co-workers would gush as I walked by their offices. “Chelsea can get away with wearing jeans to work. She just wears them differently.” The compliments fueled me to try even harder, and a vicious circle of vanity and debt was created.

My Life in Shoes

Then I left the face-numbing job in a stressful industry to pursue the crafts that fulfill me. I no longer wake up at the crack of dawn to figure out what dress-shoe combination to put on for the day. And since it really isn’t comfortable to sit at my home office desk in skinny jeans, I’ve traded those in too. In fact, I’ve cycled out of my closet most of the wardrobe I once spent so much time and money in cultivating.

“I used to be so intimidated by how you dressed,” my best friend admitted to me over drinks one night. It saddened and shocked me, but also got me questioning: why I was as obsessed with my clothes as I used to be?

The truth is, my clothes provided body armor. If I looked confident, I’d be confident, or convincingly act the part. I could walk into a meeting in the U.S. Capitol and be taken seriously. Not that I ever wasn’t. The crazy thing about insecurity is it’s often unwarranted. But I wasn’t fulfilled in my profession, so I compensated with budget busting clothing purchases and used my miserable job to justify the expense.

These days, I don’t need designer dresses and sky-high heels to bolster me. I’m just as happy to put on yoga pants and a sweater, a look I often take from desk to mat to casual dinner with my best friend. It’s nice to know I don’t intimidate her anymore. And likewise, I’m no longer scared of my credit card bill. Living authentically is not always easy. People question my choices, and the old attachments can still present temptation (oh, Frye boots). But a nourished soul grounds me more than any outfit ever did.

chelsea hendersonChelsea Henderson is an aspiring novelist and recovering Capitol Hill staffer. When she isn’t sneaking time to finish writing her second book, she advocates on behalf of clean energy and environmental policy, reads, practices yoga, and single parents her perpetually hungry pre-teen boys. She also periodically contributes to her lifestyle blog, the Chelsea Chronicles and is intermittently good at Twitter.

Ask Allie: Wearing White Jeans in Winter

I don’t know why there’s snow on the ground and I want to wear my white jeans but I do. How can I make them work in winter? I’m 45, self-employed and prefer a more classic yet relaxed style.

Get those white jeans out of storage because they are hotter than ever in the winter months! As long as they are denim and not linen, twill, or another summery fabric they can easily be winterized. I’ve written about white jeans before, but you are not the only one who has asked me to revisit this topic in the dead of winter. Below a few outfits to get your sartorial juices flowing and to see how white denim can really rock in winter.

Ideas on how to style white jeans in winter by Wardrobe Oxygen


White jeans look so fresh with soft neutrals. Cream, tan, taupe and grey look so elegant against white. Choose rich textures like suede, cashmere, alpaca, and angora for a rich and seasonally appropriate effect. With this ensemble, I chose shades of pebble and taupe, and highlighted a popular look this winter – tall or over the knee suede boots and slouchy poncho-inspired sweaters. Gold jewelry and a glossy pinky nude lip add just the right bit of shine. To prevent being too matchy matchy, not only is the bag a different shade from the boots it’s a different fabric. It’s more stylish to mix up colors and textures so don’t be afraid to pair leather with suede, or brown with a color.

Ideas on how to style white jeans in winter by Wardrobe Oxygen


When white denim is paired with something obviously wintry, it helps the jeans look purposeful. I love the contrast of a plaid flannel and white jeans. If the shirt has a feminine fit, consider leaving it untucked, maybe with an extra button unbuttoned to show a peek of a camisole or low-necked Henley. A pair of rugged boots in a soft shade keep your feet warm, and the low contrast color keeps the look cohesive. Again, don’t be afraid to mix leathers as I did with a tan leather watch band and gray glazed bag. The choice of three leather/suede pieces is purposeful so it doesn’t look as though you grabbed boots and bag willy-nilly, you made a conscious decision to mix fabrics and did it with style. If you’re a low-fuss woman, no need to apply makeup for your relaxed style; regular application of a balm (this is my current favorite) will keep your lips soft and supple.

Ideas on how to style white jeans in winter by Wardrobe Oxygen


And finally, this look is polished and classic with a modern twist. Considering your personal style you likely already have a gray turtleneck and black blazer in your wardrobe. Balance the dark colors on top with a black Chelsea boot for a classic yet comfortable ensemble, but consider adding a bit of personality with a statement bag and a wash of a sheer red lipcolor (I have this balm stain and swear by it; I’ve had friends of different ages and skintones agree it’s a wearable soft red for most everyone and budget friendly too!).

Hopefully these ideas will show you that it’s okay to wear white jeans in the snow, and you can do it without losing your personal style aesthetic or looking like a fashion victim!

What I Wore: Mom Style

wardrobe oxygen what I wore weekend style gap ann taylor wardrobe oxygen what i wore duo boots

wardrobe oxygen what i wore ann taylor cashmere poncho

Poncho: Ann Taylor | Tee: J. Crew Factory (similar) | Jeans: Gap | Boots: c/o DUO Boots | Bag: c/o Fossil (similar) | Bracelet: CC Skye (similar)

It’s starting to feel like fall, so I HAD to whip out this poncho from Ann Taylor and my tall boots! While I’ll miss summer, I do enjoy fall fashion and it’s been great to sleep with the windows open and add an extra quilt to the bed!

This poncho was a splurge, but as I said in this post, it’s a classic that will look great for many years. I knew I’d wear it in a casual manner like this for errands and weekend “Mom Style,” but also think it would look elegant in the office over blouses and trousers. I was excited to see these boots match this bag from Fossil; I haven’t featured it on the blog since this post but am really feeling brown leather this season.  The bag is big enough to carry everything I need for a weekend on the go!

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What I Wore: Air Flow

wardrobe oxygen what I Wore Gap Real Straight Jeans Karen Kane Messh Top Nine West Pumps wardrobe oxygen what I Wore Rough Tumble bag Ray Ban Aviators Nine West Flax wardrobe oxygen what I wore Gap Real Straight Jeans Karen Kane Top Rough Tumble Bag

Mesh top: c/o Karen by Karen Kane (similar) | Tank: c/o J.Jill | Jeans: Gap | Shoes: Nine West (similar) | Bag: Rough & Tumble | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban | Bracelet: Had forever (similar) | Lipstick: MaryKay ‘Mystic Plum’

If you follow me on Instagram you know I wore this look to work Friday. Karen Kane was sweet enough to send me this awesome mesh sweatshirt this spring but then the whole cast situation made it impossible to wear. Once the cast came off this was one of the first long-sleeved tops I made sure to wear.  The jeans are the ones from Gap I mentioned in this post; after some weird years I find Gap to again be a destination for quality but reasonably priced denim.

And this bag I continue to adore; no need to buy a trendy brand name to enjoy high quality and style.  I found Rough & Tumble on Etsy and am thrilled to see they are growing, now with an e-commerce site.  A woman-owned business with everything made here in the USA?  Yes please!

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