As a dedicated follower of fashion, it is necessary to shop with the utmost optimism. For years I’ve trained myself to think that everything has potential with the right fit, accessory and attitude. And because I was in BCBG, which when translated into English stands for good style, good attitude, no problem … right? This is what I told myself when a sales associate at BCBG on Oak Street in Chicago handed me a pair of indigo jeans w/ small-rhinestone-like embellishments, resembling an arts and crafts project gone wrong.
It was an aggressive stab at the Boho-Chic style that has engulfed the fashion world in a sea of hobo bags and slouchy boots. Thank you Sienna Miller. I tried them on and needless to say they weren’t my cup of tea. With the more tailored and grown-up style of the forward coming fall season, polish and substance are required for successful execution. A simple pair of soft denim jeans in a shade of deep, creamy, blue caught my eye. The $98 price tag alone was an attention getter. No extra buttons, no zippers on the ankle (a la Jordache circa 1980’s which have recently shown their faces again) and best of all, no over-styled washes. They made the legs appear long and lean without out added detailing or an over-tappered ankle. They were timelessly chic with modest embroidery on the back pockets. They could easily be dressed up or dressed down, for work or play, Manolo’s or Delman’s. Judging by the soft flexibility of the fabric they could fit a variety of body types.
The second pair of jeans on the list were a thicker denim in a more trendy wash and a low – very low – rise. They were great for elongating the torso for those that have higher natural waistlines. The wider-than-average back flap pockets gave them a fun and trendy vibe; a great jean to go out and party in. But reader BEWARE: only wear these jeans with low-rise hipster underwear, low-rise thongs or just plain go commando. A small camel-colored suede patch resembling wings sits on the upper waist, which added to the fun and trendy vibe.
Another trendy alternative spotted were gauchos. Gauchos have slowly crept back onto the fashion radar, worn in a plethora of fabrics against a canvas of both eclectic and classic style.
BCBG offers a light denim gaucho with a slightly angular waist. That falls pretty average on the hips. Because of the simplicity (light wash, average buttons and basic cut) they could easily provide a jumping point into a variety of looks. However, because of the light shade and thin fabric, the life of these should not go further than an Indian summer.
Though only separated by a block, the Italian brand Diesel felt worlds away from the spirited Bon Chic and Bon Genre that defined BCBG. Inside of a fitting room at Diesel on North Rush Street in Chicago I stood. Actually I squirmed, attempting to pull a pair of Keate jeans over my knees, thighs and around my behind. I began to panic. Good God, have I gained that much weight?
Though I have increased trips to the local hole-in-the-wall Thai carryout, I didn’t gain this much weight. Just as I vowed to commit to carb-less, meatless existence, my thoughts were interrupted. Eureka! I got them on; it was by far the most rewarding and productive 4 minutes and 26 seconds of the day. “This is my size, right?” I said, bemused as I opened the door. “They’re supposed to fit like that,” says Jillian a young and sweet sales associate dressed like an 80’s roller rink girl. Long white socks with navy stripes around the calf a pair of navy hot pants, and a ponytail. With the exception of needing to take very short breaths … deeper breaths might provoke the buttons to pop off. I was impressed at what I saw in the mirror. The straight-leg and wide-belt loops made me look three sizes smaller and made my legs look long and lean. They were perfect for a night out with the girls and a pair of round-towed kitten heels (to soften the narrow lines.)
Jillian also explained that Diesel jeans (any high-quality denim for that matter) should be extremely fitted in the waist and throughout the leg, which guarantees a better long-term fit for your body. It was described almost as a molding process. The Keate jean comes in four different washes currently ranging in price from $140-$250. And of course the jeans I fell in love with were for about $250. Go figure! Keate Jean Link
The Cherone jean was another option or so it seemed. Before journeying back into the fitting room Jillian warned me that this is one of Diesel’s more difficult jeans to fit into, based on the cut and style. It’s available in over a dozen different washes and can go as high as $250. The Cherone has a thicker, overlapped waistband and is very slim through the legs which was an instant negative for me. True to my nature, I tried them anyway and failed miserably. I couldn’t even get a leg inside of my recommended size. This is a jean made specifically for a very small waist and skinny legs. This is a jean made for Kate Moss. Definitely not Marquita Harris. But that won’t stop me from trying again next season, if I cut back on the Thai… Cherone Jean Link