How to wear the skinny to wide-leg jean
Jeans come in a world of shapes, sizes and lengths – just like women. But what fits and flatters you best? And how do you wear it?
We consulted personal stylist Jeff Golf for pointers.
Alphabet letters were once a popular tool to determine the rules for who wore what, Golf explains. You might have been defined as an A shape (narrow shoulders, wider hips and legs) or an X (balanced hips and shoulders), for example.
“Now we work less on defining shapes by categories and work more with cuts that are flattering to your body,’’ says Golf, an owner at Montreal’s Ludique styling agency. “We try to put people less in a defined box. “We want to highlight the features of your body that you yourself have embraced and are most comfortable with, and minimize those you are less comfortable with.’’
To figure out your figure, you may want to consult a personal stylist. Or you can take a good look in the mirror and have a conversation with yourself.
The secret is to know what you like best about yourself – and what you’d rather mask or minimize.
While everybody can wear every jean, what’s important is how to pair it with tops and shoes to flatter your figure, Golf notes.
Here’s a cheat sheet on how to wear Yoga Jeans’ six fits, from the skinny to the wide leg.
The skinny jean is almost a legging, fitting snugly through the thighs to the ankles. The dominant style for ages, it is a classic that’s not going anywhere soon. If you’re slim, the skinny can take a tucked-in or short top. Curvier women should try a body-skimming but not tight longer top, cut closer to the waist, Golf advises. Both heels and flats work.
The slim jean is cut a little looser at the ankle, making it easier to wear with a fall bootie. The skinny jean will scrunch up at the ankles with most booties. The slim pairs equally well with heels or flats.
The straight-leg jean loosens up at the knee and should be worn with a heel. It’s also easier to wear if you’re taller as your height will create the illusion of longer legs and allow the fabric to move with you. A cropped or cuffed straight jean – very much trending these days – is also a nice way to wear fall booties or statement shoes. “We see the beauty of the shoe and have the style of the straight leg,’’ Golf says.
The relaxed jean, which loosens up on the upper thigh down to the ankles, is a trickier jean to wear unless you’re tall. This new take on the casual boyfriend jean has a higher waist today. It’s best paired with a fitted top, following that well-worn rule of balance: the loose pant takes a fitted top while a tight pant takes a looser top. Slimmer women may want to play with tucking their tops into the relaxed pant.
The bootcut or flare is making a comeback and it’s a favourite for many figures because it creates balance from shoulders to hips to ankles. Slim at the thigh and knee, it widens at the calf – and requires a heel, short or high, slim or chunky. “Architecturally and visually it creates a beautiful line,’’ Golf says.
The wide-leg jean is having a moment, cropped or full-length. Wear it with boots, runners or platforms. Cropped wide legs are great in winter because the hem stays out of the slush and snow. And we love them in summer because they’re cool. It you’re short and curvy, pair the wide leg with a top cut above the hip – not long or loose. Taller women can wear a longer top but it should still be close to the body. As for the full-length wide leg, Golf says a heel is a must.
Yoga Jeans come in three rises: mid, classic and high, ranging from 8 ¾ inches to 10 ½ inches high. The new high-rise jeans are worth trying, Golf says, because they’re comfy – especially with good stretch. They’ll contain and tuck you in. Mid and classic rises should sit comfortably below your waist without cutting your flesh and creating dreaded muffin top. The low-rise jeans has seen its day for now, Golf notes.