Jean Junction

There's something magical about jeans and that is its everlasting appeal

Girl wearning jeansJeans are the indigo staple of our lives.

Many of us work, travel, party in them and, for the most part, spend a lot of our time in them.

From deep indigo to icy blues, worker pants to skinny legs, high and low waists, denim jeans have taken many an avatar. They continue to be reinvented, every which way, around the world, each day; they also remain the singular “must-have” wardrobe staple every fashion season.

If all this reinvention means you may need to switch often between brands and/or adopt a new style which hugs just right and is more forgiving of your frame, you are not alone.

What makes jeans, jeans?

For starters, women’s and men’s jeans are cut very differently between waist and hip. Women have pronounced hips, which men do not, and thus the shaping of women’s jeans is vastly different. Jeans come in a few standard fits.

Loose fit. The more comely cousin of the 80s “baggy fit,” the loose fit is perfect for lounging around at home, to sport around college, or on a road trip. I notice it is the favourite jeans fit for professionals like photographers, who’ve a considerable amount of physical activity as part of their work. It’s generally rather roomy and can sit from mid-to-low waist.

When picking a loose fit, ensure that the waist fits at the waist level you’re comfortable wearing and one that works for your lifestyle [higher if you’re more the formal pants kind; lower, if trendy is your style].

The loose fit looks best in light-to-medium or medium-to-dark denim washes and suitably flatters leaner bodies, as it can drape well and add some bulk. Avoid the loose fit if you have a larger frame, or large thighs, or are vertically-challenged; it isn’t the fit for you.

Straight cut. The good old straight cut is a dependable sort of style as it flatters most figure types. Whether you’re hip heavy or a medium-build, you are more likely to find a straight fit that suits your body type and boosts your style quotient, all at once. The straight cut fits closer to the body than the loose fit, and continues down the leg without clinging.

When picking a straight fit, ensure that your waist and hips are held rather snugly, while the knees have room for movement.

Straight fits work in all tones of denim, but for a more contemporary feel, pick ones in a deep indigo.

A word of caution: this fit can be slightly problematic for women with thick thighs. A pair with some “stretch” in the denim would be better suited.

Bootcut. The favourite of the 70s finds favour to this day for the very fact that it is flattering to curvy [read womanly] figures. With its flare at the ankles, the bootcut balances out heavy hips, making them look more proportionate.

Although not at the cutting-edge of fashion, at the moment, the bootcut is one style which is unlikely to see permanent oblivion in the fashion arena. It’s likely to be back in the news with the next few turns of the fashion cycle.

A bootcut should fit at the waist, hip, thighs and close on the knee and, then, end in a subtle flare at the ankle. It is best worn low waist, unless you have a large belly.

The bootcut in stretch denim is best for most women. It also looks mighty flattering on athletic men. Bear in mind, this style in a dark denim wash is also very slimming!

Skinny leg. The most rocking style of jeans in the fashion spectrum, at present, is skinny leg, or drainpipe jeans, that hugs the body from waist to ankle. These are only to be sported by those with shapely limbs. Else, they can look very tacky.

A more forgiving version of the drainpipes is the cut-offs, or fitted capris, which end a couple of inches below the knee. These don’t exaggerate hips like their lengthier cousins do, but they do possess the flattering form effects of the bootcut with the trendier edge of the original skinny leg. A heavenly combination that! Both lengths of the skinny leg work best in a deep indigo colour.

The skinny leg is the hottest fit on the charts at the moment. Go out, explore, experiment, and enjoy your second skin!

Take Care of Your Jeans

It’s hard to find the perfect pair of jeans – one that make you feel brilliant every time you wear them; whether it’s your old, baggy favourites or that super-sexy pair you save for best.

Here are a few tips:

  1. Try to wear your new jeans a few times before washing them – this gives the material a chance to break in
  2. Remember to turn your jeans inside out when you wash them. This will prevent the colour from fading. Then keep them turned inside out when you iron them to avoid those annoying shiny scorch marks
  3. Wash your jeans on a gentle cycle using cool water only – it helps to prevent shrinkage and stops the colour from fading
  4. Wear your jeans with relish. Get out there and rough them up a bit. If a hole appears, patch it up. After all, everyone knows that well-worn jeans are well loved jeans
  5. Jeans is all about passion and deep relationship – the more you wear and treat your jeans, the more beautiful they get

A pair of jeans is like a second skin where the indigo and denim are living materials. Your everyday life gives the denim its unique character.

Meera Mittal is a Mumbai-based fashion designer and consultant.


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