When it comes to denim I flit between dressing like I’ve never seen a pair of jeans before to literally wanting to wear them all day, every day. With denim you can make them your own and it’s true that the best pair will sometimes feel like a second skin…or at least a reliable BFF.
But just like you I find hunting for a pair of jeans an absolute nightmare. I’m like Goldilocks in the fitting room: this one’s too tight, this pair is too big, I can’t get the leg of this pair up past my calf muscle and the last pair hanging over the door leaves me speechless, exponentially increasing the width of my thighs and drastically shortening my legs.
Yes. Denim has the power to magically transform your self-esteem whacking it into submission and sending it to an all-time low…
I bought a pair of high waisted jeans once — Wranglers I think they were — in a dark denim. They had a fair amount of stretch, but I may as well have slotted myself into an 18th century corset; I couldn’t breathe and when I sat down they literally sucked the life out of me. I couldn’t wait to get out of them and let my stomach expand. As soon as I got home I found myself prodding my belly to make sure that my vital organs were still in tact.
A good pair of jeans that fit in all the right places is damn hard to find and when you have to cut off half the length it’s ‘bye bye original shape!’ You might fit up top (this is me talking to my jeans like they’re a mutating Siamese twin), but even though I’ve only worn you for a day, you’re sagging half way down my butt with the addition of small mounds of fabric protruding in the place where my knees used to be.
These days I tend to purchase denim from Korea because they skim neatly at the sides without giving me an extra set of hips that sit halfway down my legs. It’s the curse of the short Asian girl living in a country where clothing is made for average height to tall people who actually have curves.
I love denim and I own quite a few pairs of jeans but my favourite ones in the past have been a couple of pairs of Nobody’s, which were deliciously soft. I still have a really old pair of Lee Low Rider’s that I kick around in at home. They’re kinda baggy in that comfy kinda way that I just can’t bear to part with them. I’ve also fallen in love all over again with a pair of Alexa Chung for AG dungarees that I bought a couple of years ago. And one of my all-time favourite brands is Neuw Denim. I picked up a pair of wide leg cropped jeans on a recent trip to Auckland last month and I’m soooo in love! Blog post coming your way soon…
But I’ve wanted a pair of Levis for a while. Not since I tried to squeeze into my sister’s high rise Levis when she was at high school have I wanted them more than now. It amazes me how a brand can disappear off the ‘cool radar,’ only to be revived years later with a massive comeback. Last year I raced to the store to try on a pair of what were newly released 505C’s that came with a whole heap of hype.
I can tell you first-hand that it was almost embarrassing in that way that I couldn’t even bare to look at myself in the mirror. Tragically, I went in for a belated round #2 because I recently discovered that they’ve released variations on the cut. The ones that I tried on a few weeks ago gave me a butt that wasn’t there before, hugging my derrière in a weird heart-like shape. I looked like I’d just had J-Lo bum implants! The pockets slant outwards and are placed higher on the back, as it turns out. It’s enough to give anyone body dysmorphic disorder. But that’s not to say that they won’t look good on anyone else…the problem is that they do! I just don’t have the right proportions to make them fit like a a beautiful glove.
But before I dragged myself out of the store in despair with my dream of owning a pair of Levis turning into a mirage, the lovely guy at the Dunedin Levis store directed me to the 501 skinny jeans. My preference was a straight up and down cut, skimming the hips and not too tight at the ankle and calf. I was skeptical of the a high rise fit (the style made famous for the ‘camel toe crotch’, ahem), but low and behold they were perfect, while still allowing some breathing room — sans camel toe!
In the past I’ve been wary of showing my short waist and loathe to tuck my tops in but I’m embracing my waist because despite being short I actually have long legs…for my height. Seriously!
The best thing about denim is that you can style them your own way to create a completely different look and I’ve paired mine with a vintage top. I actually like the stiffer feeling denim and the wash is so flattering. They have a rip and repair knee with an emphasis on the ‘repair’ so I can still wear them to work.
My husband saw me try them on the other day, promptly informing me that I better pick up the phone because the 80’s want their pants back. Ha-ha. You know what? He can kiss the extra-wide arse on the pair of 505C’s that I didn’t buy!
Style File: I’m so pleased that I kept my Mum’s lurex top. There’s nothing like pairing vintage with denim and lurex is making a massive comeback, maybe without the frilly sleeves and the almost Edwardian-esque collar (which I love by the way!). These are Levis 501 skinny jeans bought from the Dunedin Levis store in the colour, Post Modern Blues.