Simplifying the Boyfriend Jeans Look

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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!

real simple cuff jeans

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

katie holmes 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.

A woman with curly hair wearing a plaid blazer holds a green fur coat over her shoulder on a city street.

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  1. I like Old Navy’s Weekend jeans because they are not too loose and are the same structured denim material, not that really soft cottony stuff that doesn’t seem to stand up to much. The fit is really good for me, and I can cuff them and still look cute. Yeah, they haven’t replaced other jeans and I don’t wear them super often, but I think they are a good way of trying the look without spending a lot of cash or dipping into something very unflattering. But that’s just me–I think the key is that if you are interested in the look to find the ones that work for you.

  2. This should never be a good fashion for any girl! Wearing your boyfriends jeans is a bad idea, unless he is wearing skinny skinny jeans!

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