DENIM: FIT FOR A FASHIONISTA | A STYLE GUIDE

No matter what time of year it is, denim is always in style.  In the late 60s, fashion magazines were graced with light wash, bell bottom jeans with a very low-rise waist.  As time went on, the pant structure changed and skinny jeans were invented: the tighter the denim, the better.  But like we've seen in the past with other garments (the skirt, in particular), all trends come and go and then proceed to come back around in just a matter of time.  

After the skinny jean craze, women started falling in love a high-rise waist, adorned with as much distressing as possible; the 80s were so rebellious.  Shortly after the love affair with holey-denim, fashionistas started falling in love with embroidered this, embroidered that.  Miss Me anyone? Thankfully, that denim trend ended almost as quickly as it started and then loose denim became the latest look; boyfriend jeans were brought into this world.  Being the indecisive bunch that we are, that look didn't last very long.  Thus, the straight leg jean became the latest must-have.  An in-between style for those who can't decide whether-or-not they want to wear a skinny jean or a flare-leg jean. 

With the ever-changing styles of jeans to wear, it can sometimes be hard to pinpoint the ones that are in style and the ones that are out of style, seeing as though both are sold regardless of their trendiness.  Denim will alway be a wardrobe essential, but this season, quit worrying about your jean purchases and instead, use this friendly guide I've created to help pick out the perfect pair. 

** click image to enlarge **

- about "FIT FOR A FASHIONISTA" -

Jeans can be very intimidating, especially when everyone has different body shapes and it seems as though certain jean brands only cater to certain body shapes, the "model look."  But, there are a few denim brands that I love which cater to ladies of all shapes and all sizes.  In each denim style, you will find a section called, "FIT FOR A FASHIONISTA" which lists the best place to purchase each style of jeans for your body type.  No longer will you feel discouraged pre-denim shopping.  Instead, embrace your body and love the denim that you're in.

Additionally, all of the BEST JEAN BRANDS mentioned below have sizes ranging from 00-16 and ranging from short/petiete to tall lengths.  So, don't think for even a second that you won't be able to find a pair of jeans that are fit for you, because these denim brands have created jeans that are MADE for you.

 

THE D.L. ON THE BEST JEAN BRANDS

My favorite brand of jeans is LEVI'S, they're the O.G. denim brand and I love them for a few reasons:

no.1 COMFORTABLE: 
Levi jeans are made out of sustainably grown, natural cotton.  They're also partnered with the "Better Cotton Initiative" to insure that their cotton growing process is not only sustainable but also ethical.
no.2 AFFORDABLE: 
In addition to purchasing Levi jeans at their online retailer, Levi's can also be found at affordable department stores such as JCPenney and Kohl's.  Both of these retailers offer coupons and sales without having to sacrifice your fashion morals.
no.3 SUSTAINABLE:
As mentioned in point no.1 Levi's believes in better cotton, but additionally, they are cutting back their use of water by doing a dry-stone wash versus the typical stonewash.  By doing this, they have saved over 170 million liters of water, thus far.

** for more information on Levi's, please visit their "ABOUT" site here **

 

Believe-it-or-not, my second favorite denim brand is AMERICAN EAGLE. Being a major corporation, sometimes regarded as a fast-fashion retailer, American Eagle has received a bad rep.  But, after doing more research, I fell more in love with them for a few reasons:

no.1 SUSTAINABLE & ETHICAL:
They have over 5 initiatives to help the planet including: a denim recycling program, gas emission/energy reduction and more.  Additionally, AE is an 100% transparent company in regards to their manufacturing and have their reports available for public view.  AE is also invested in creating a safe and inclusive work environment for all of their employees. 

no.2 PRICING:
AE carries a wide variety of styles for all shapes and sizes.  But even more-so, they have prices that are affordable for everyone, including frequent sales and promotions. Say sayonara to breaking the bank when shopping for jeans. 

** for more information on American Eagle, please visit their "AEO BETTER WORLD" site here **

 

THE STRAIGHT LEG JEAN

As mentioned and depicted above, the straight leg jean is all the rage right now.  Especially, the straight leg jeans in which the hem is raw; very Alexa Chung.  The straight leg jean is a great option if you're not into the skinny jean and also not into the girlfriend jean, it's a happy medium.  Not too hot, not too cold, but just right. 

This style of jean can be found in capri, ankle or full length.  There's a style for everyone.  But, since this style of jean is majorly trendy, purchasing a pair at a fast-fashion retailer will be tempting since they can be found everywhere.  While the price may be cheap, the quality is anything but ideal.  Instead, purchase a quality pair from a sustainable company that will last you a lifetime.  Even if you pay a few bucks more than you had hoped, don't stress.  Straight leg jeans will never go out of style since they're a blend of two trends.  Splurging is allowed for a good pair of straight leg denim jeans. 

FIT FOR A FASHIONISTA

Straight leg jeans can be very deceiving, especially if you're a gal with curves.  Thankfully, jean brands nowadays cater to women of all shapes and sizes, no matter the style of jean.  A straight leg jean can be a great pair of jeans to wear if you're looking to give the illusion of slim legs.  Since the jean doesn't hug your legs very tightly, rather lightly skim the length of them, you're legs will look killer! 

YOU KNOW YOU WANT THEM


THE STILL-SKINNY JEAN

In my brief history lesson to you all on denim in the beginning of this post, I stated that when skinny jeans were all the rage, the motto was, "the tighter the better."  Now, that motto is still there yet has some exceptions.  The skinny jean comes in all sorts of fits: from the skinny, to the super-skinny, to the jegging, all of your tight pant needs can be met.

I think skinny jeans are a great alternative to those of you who don't love leggings (how could you not love them, but there are some people who don't, I guess).  They fit tight, yet still are considered a "pant" by the rest of society.  They can take any dressy top from "black-tie" to "casual," and add a classic element to most pieces in your closet.  Additionally, they're one of the most versatile styles of denim out there.

FIT FOR A FASHIONISTA

The skinny jean is most notorious for making people of all different shapes and sizes feel as though they can not rock jeans.  But, if the right pair is found, can be very slimming and flattering on your body.  Skinny jeans are typically found in the shade black, which is a known hue for making any shape and size look killer.

YOU KNOW YOU WANT THEM


THE BF/GF JEAN

Again, as I mentioned in the brief history lesson at the beginning of this post, the "boyfriend" jean was the jean of the early 2015's to late mid-2016's.  I guess fashion decided that boy's weren't the only ones who should be able to wear baggier jeans and that ladies should have a chance at comfort, as well.

If you're not into the skinny jeans because you prefer a looser fit and you're also not into the straight leg jean because it's well, too straight, then the boyfriend/girlfriend jean might be the fit for you.  The boyfriend jean is the original baggy jean for ladies.  The fit is typically mid or high-rise with an overall slouch.  Whereas, the girlfriend jean is typically a lower-rise with some slouching along the thighs and knees then become more tapered near the calf.  Both options are great if you're not one to wear denim all that frequently, but still feel as though you should own a pair.

FIT FOR A FASHIONISTA

BF/GF jeans are the ideal jean for all shapes and sizes.  Since they're made to run and look big — that's how they're supposed to fit — they seamlessly glide over any imperfections that you think you may have.  Additionally, if you have a more "unproportional" body shape (aka, ME!!) then this jean is great for you.

YOU KNOW YOU WANT THEM

 

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE AND GO-TO DENIM STYLE? WHICH HISTORICAL DENIM TREND DO YOU WISH WOULD GO BACK IN STYLE?  WHAT OTHER "FIT FOR A FASHIONISTA" STYLE GUIDES WOULD YOU LIKE ME TO COVER?  LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW OR ON INSTAGRAM, @BRUNETTEWITHABUDGET.

"STAY FASHIONABLY CONFIDENT:" LEARNING HOW TO LIVE IT.

Today, I'm wearing a cobalt blue mini trumpet skirt from Patricia Field and tucked into that is an off-white blouse with black lines which create a gradient starting from the boat neckline and continuing down to where my waist is.  Underneath the skirt, I have on a pair of sleek black tights which lead right into my signature pair of black faux suede booties.

Before this outfit, I was wearing black faux leather moto leggings from BCBG paired with an oversized black sweater adorned with metal buttons on the sleeves.  This look was also paired with my signature pair of black faux suede booties.  

And before that outfit, I was wearing a blush colored dress, with a black sweater over top and a maroon colored faux leather jacket to finish off the look.  And again, I was wearing my signature pair of black faux suede booties.

I had started getting dressed at 10 a.m., and I had moved on to my third outfit by 2:30 p.m.  In the course of four and a half hours, I had changed three times.  

But saying I only changed three times would be a blatant lie.

I had experimented with 12 different outfits prior to my blush dress ensemble, which caused my closet to resemble the afterlife of a tornado. 

This was all due to social media and my recent lack of self confidence.

As a blogger who's main goal is to help ignite one's self confidence, I have recently been feeling like a imposter on my own website. I've been in a self confidence rut that has not only been impairing my ability to get dressed in the morning, but has also been impairing my mental positivity.  


I have been going through this fashion identity crisis for a few months now, and this has been because of two reasons.

For starters, since I go to an art school in one of the most creative cities in the world, I feel the unduly need to dress eccentric.  When I see others walking around wearing these ridiculously beautiful outfits, I feel the need to compete with them.  

I get in this mindset that what I'm wearing isn't "artsy" enough.

Recently, when I have been getting dressed in the morning, I choose my outfit based on the mindset of "is this artsy, does this look like I go to an art school?" 

And this is incredibly backwards.

One of the beautiful things about going to an art school which I have recently forgotten is that individualized self expression is celebrated.  I shouldn't be concerned if the way that I dress fits the stereotypical art school look, I should embrace my personal style and be content with it.

Secondly, as a fashion blogger, it's hard not to compare yourself with those who have made it big in this industry.  From bloggers such as Leandra Medine from the Man Repeller and her vintage whimsical style, to Leonie Hanne from Ohh Couture and her cohesively layered street ensembles, I have found myself inherently undermining my personal style.

When you're a blogger, you automatically receive that label (and sometimes I think that's what people automatically think of when they see me) and others undoubtedly assume your clothing will be unique and unlike anything they've ever seen before. So, when getting dressed in the morning, I'll start obsessively scrolling through top fashion blogger's Instagrams to find outfit inspiration.  I'll find a look that I like and then proceed to attempt to re-create it with the pieces I have in my wardrobe. Sooner-or-later, my room will look like someone projectile vomited my entire wardrobe on my floor and afterwards I'm left naked, without an outfit and a slashed self esteem to boot.  I start feeling like I need to reinvent my wardrobe because it's not analogous to those dubbed as fashion icons.


That process of self comparison has been going on for months, and as much as I tell myself that I need to stop, I continue to do it.  It wasn't until today that I really sat down and thought about the ways I needed to change my mindset in order to start living a healthy and confident life once again. 

Dressing the way you're comfortable in, regardless if it's simple or eccentric or not, should be your main focus in the morning.  What's considered "fashionable" shouldn't be based off of those with over 10k followers on Instagram, but based on what you can rock and feel your best in; whether it's by wearing a maxi dress with thigh high boots and a statement belt which cinches in an oversized sweater, or if it's by simply wearing an A-line skirt with a shirt tucked into it and booties, the most important thing it's the way that you feel after you have put our outfit on.

Social media should be used as a way to become inspired, not a catalyst towards negative emotions that you may be feeling about yourself or your personal sense of style.  As I have mentioned before, fashion blogs and magazines should be used merely as inspiration, not the end-all-be-all to fashion.  

I'm have pledged to start my challenging myself to stop being consumed with the style of others and start becoming content with my own.  If you have also been feeling in a rut lately, I encourage you to join me on this journey of rediscovering the concept of "staying fashionably confident." 

 

 

MY GO-TO STYLING TIPS | HOW TO MAKE CLOTHES WORK WHEN YOU'RE LOOSING WEIGHT

There comes a moment when all of the hard work you put into exercising and eating right pays off.  That moment of truth when you're getting dressed in the morning, slip on your favorite jeans and pause. Suddenly, the waistband is no longer taut to your hips.  Instead, the sewn denim drops down to your hips creating an unbelieveable amount of sagging in the crotch. When this happens, it's hard not to wish that you could suddenly gain that weight back that you lost just for the day in order to make the pants work.  But instead of running to Krispy Kreme to scarf down half-a-dozen glazed pieces of heaven in attempt to bloat yourself in the name of your favorite jeans, there are ways to fake the fit. 

PANTS

I have a love/hate relationship with losing weight around my stomach.  Yes, I love the look of a flat stomach but at the same time, I love when I can slip on a skirt or pair of pants and they fit perfectly -- which doesn't always happen in the midsts of losing weight.  I have tried the whole, "stick-your-stomach-out-as-far-as-it-can-go-the-whole-day-so-your-bottoms-can-fit" trick.  But all that leads to is hard breathing and a protruding stomach. 

I have been using my favorite trick for making pants work for a long time now.  But just recently during spring fashion week, I noticed this "style" becoming a trend on the runway: the paperbag waist.

GET THE LOOK:

I accomplish this styling trick by taking a thick belt and tying it tight around my waist, creating a cinched look.  Not only is this stylish and in trend, but it allows the loose pant to fit better.

SHIRTS

There's nothing I love more than a statement belt, and when my shirts are a little bit too big for my liking, they're my go-to.  As much as I love the oversized tee-shirt style, sometimes slimming your newly trimmed waist is better than hiding it under a tent of fabric.  I discovered my obsession with the statement belt around the time when I was just starting to lose weight around my waist.  Since the vast majority of shirts I own are flowy (because of comfort and their ability to hide the problem areas around my stomach), I decided I needed something to cinch the extra material. 

As shown in Antonio Marras Spring 2016 collection, a statement belt can be used for not only just shirts, but also dresses.  It's time to start embracing your newly found curves, and what better way to do so than with a statement belt? 

GET THE LOOK:

I accomplished this styling trick by bringing the belt around my waist and tying it in two ways:

1) the typical way where you gather all the fabric in around your waist; the simple look

2) pull the belt around your waist and pull out some of the tee-shirt material from the sides, its' the perfect combination of put-together-oversized

JEANS

One of my biggest struggles is jeans.  No matter if I have put on pounds or have lost some, jeans never fit me exactly how I want them to.  Thus, has led me on a scavenger hunt to find the best-fitting jeans.  Even with all of my searching, I have yet to find a pair that fits me perfectly.  This has caused me to improvise and use my styling skills to my benefit.  The boyfriend jean has become a major trend on the street style scene.  Though you don't need special skills to style these, because they come boyfriend style as-is, they are a great piece to invest in when you're in-between sizes and not sure how to incorporate your old jeans into your new-body-wardrobe.

GET THE LOOK:

You can style the boyfriend jeans in several ways:

1) Tucking in a simple tee-shirt with a leather jacket; chic yet casual

2) Letting a sweater drape over the waistband of the jeans for cooler days

3) Pairing a blouse and booties for a more stylish and dressed up ensemble

THE ART OF LAYERING

My final tip is my most go-to when my clothes just aren't 100% anymore: layering.  I fully support the use of layering on an everyday basis.  By doing this, it allows certain pieces to look better on with other pieces versus off by itself.  You can incorporate layering with shirts, sweaters, jeans, pants and just about every piece in your wardrobe; the possibilities are endless.

GET THE LOOK:


What styling tricks will you be trying?  Let me know in the comments below, I'd love to know what tips of mine you end up trying!