Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Skinny Jeans

In my last post I traced historical trends in blue jeans fashions from their adoption in the 1960s with the basic look below

 and continued until women were wearing frankly silly jeans like those in the following illustration.

When these high-waisted jeans were determined to be rather unflattering, jeans designers took a new look.  My theory is that they took note of young men wearing their jeans hanging low on the backside, as seen here,

and made adjustments for women's styles, leading to low-rise looks like these below:

Again, another fashion faux pas.  Personally I blame Britney Spears, who often was seen wearing such jeans.  Let's face it -- they didn't look that good even on her.

But if low-rise jeans didn't flatter Ms. Spears, they were an absolute disaster for the average woman.
It was during this period that the phrase "muffin top" was coined to describe the results when low-rise jeans were worn by women who had even the smallest amount of flesh between their waists and their thighs, which was pretty much all of them.  See below.

For several years there, we had young men and women wearing pants that showed us much more than we wanted to see.  Such a mistake.

Eventually this trend played itself out and the new look was jeans that sat higher but were much tighter through the leg.

This was accomplished by adding a small percentage of elastane to denim fabric, allowing a certain amount of stretch.  These looked great on slim gals like the ones below, especially when worn with 4-inch heels.

Figuring that if skinny was good, then skinnier was even better, designers then came up with jeggings.  The word is a combination of jeans and leggings, and the product was made of even stretchier fabric, as you can see in the example below.

Many, perhaps most, women wearing jeggings also wore tunic tops for obvious reasons.

By this point, jeans had got about as tight as they could.  If designers wanted anything more close-fitting they would have had to invent a spray-on product.  Thankfully, that did not happen.

But the women kept buying skinny jeans, which I find remarkable.  Half of American women wear clothing sized 14 or higher.  These ultra-skinny jeans did them no favors.  And, for all women, there was the danger of rendering jeans unwearable if they accidentally were put in the dryer.

To this day retail  and online stores around the country continue to sell very tight jeans and somewhat fewer jeggings, but there has been a belief developing that it is time again for new looks.

Here is one called "boyfriend jeans."  (You may remember that "boyfriend jackets" and "boyfriend sweaters" were pretty well-received in recent years, and so it is not surprising that the idea was extended to women's jeans.)

One variation on boyfriend jeans is below -- jeans deliberately torn in many places.  These typically are quite expensive.  I see them around from time to time, but my impression is that women who are used to spending a lot of money on clothes don't really know how to make this work.

Another trend -- actually one that never went away for some women -- is boot-cut jeans.  The thought is that these are more generally flattering because a little more width at the bottom of the leg balances out the natural width in women's hips.  I think there will be a lot more boot-cut jeans sold going forward.

Below is a new version of the boot cut, introduced by the former Spice Girl, Victoria Beckham.  As you can see, it features a wider hem in the pant and recalls the bell-bottom jean craze of the 1970s, when jeans just kept getting wider and wider at the bottom.  In retrospect, I think most agree that those were the bad old days.  We all should hope they do not return.

1 comment:

  1. The post is written in very a good manner and it contains many useful information for me. Men Jeans
    women Jeans