Blue jean baby: 5 tips for doing denim
Created in 18th-century France and brought to the United States in 1873, denim has come a long way since its days of clothing only cowboys and gold miners. From James Dean’s effortless cool in Rebel Without a Cause to the bell bottoms of Farrah Fawcett to the all-over couples’ outfits of Britney and Justin, the versatile and durable fabric has become a staple in any and every closet. And while the comfortable classic is best known for being casual, we’re here to tell you that doesn’t have to be the case.
“I have often said that I wish I had invented blue jeans,” noted famed designer Yves Saint Laurent. “The most spectacular, the most practical, the most relaxed and nonchalant. They have expression, modesty, sex appeal, simplicity–all I hope for in my clothes.”
In preparation for McMains Children’s Developmental Center’s Sips and Suds event on March 14, which has a denim and boots dress code thanks to its Live Oak Arabians venue, we stopped by Aria to get some tips on doing denim in 2019.
1. Make it an investment.
Good denim doesn’t come cheap. But Caroline Pierson and Olivia Melville, two sales associates at Aria, note that with jeans, it’s quality over quantity. Because the staples will likely be worn more than once a week, the cost of a higher-end pair is well worth the splurge.
“You’re always pulling them out of your closet,” says Pierson. “Having a few quality pairs will make you feel better about your outfit and just more confident in general.”
2. Give higher waists a try.
“A lot of women are hesitant to try high-waisted jeans,” explains Pierson. “But I always encourage people to try on things they don’t necessarily think they will like because a lot of the time people are surprised at what items actually look like on.”
High waists are a notable nod to past silhouettes, but the style endures due to its benefits. In the right size, a higher waist can pull in the lower stomach while also elongating the look of the leg. And, Pierson notes, that if you are worried about creating volume around the waist when tucking a shirt in, opt for a looser top.
3. Pair rips with refined pieces.
Both Pierson and Melville note that one of the quickest ways to pull off an effortlessly chic look is to pair ripped boyfriend jeans with pieces like a pointed-toe pump, an elegant top, or even a blazer. Combining two seemingly mismatched styles gives the look an unexpected air and allows all the individual pieces to shine.
“One of my favorite looks is a ripped boyfriend jean with heels and a silk top,” says Melville. “It’s a great combination of casual and pulled together.”
4. It’s all in the details.
“For me, I have several different pairs of jeans that all have slightly different elements like flared hems or colored stitching,” says Pierson. “I love that the details elevate the look and keep things fresh.”
The last few seasons have seen the rise of unfinished hems, patchwork denim washes and even a touch of rainbow. Pierson says these small details allow the jeans to still feel special, even after countless wears.
In addition to details on the denim itself, one trademark of the Aria look is out-of-the-box and eye-catching earrings. Large and bright statement earrings elevate any look and can make even a pair of jeans and a white T-shirt feel like a fashion statement.
5. Don’t be afraid to try something new or nostalgic.
Styles like flared hems bring back memories of the look’s first iteration for those who were lucky enough to don that style the first time around. Pierson and Melville note, however, that it doesn’t hurt to just give the trend a second try. You might be surprised with the outcome.