Dressed up or down, denim is a popular, go-to option for fashionable women of all ages, and even though boot-cut and straight-leg styles have been the most popular among women, jeans have taken a turn for the funky in 2011. A flared 70's style leg has been cropping up on runways around the world, as well as skinny legging styles, and slouchy boyfriend cuts.
Ready or not, here they come (again)! The revolving doors of fashion continue to churn out trends from past eras, and this time around it so happens to be 70’s inspired denim. Whether it's high wasted, trouser-inspired, or slim fit, 70’s-style jeans are back. The universally flattering fit makes them a perfect way to update any wardrobe, while the subtly flared leg is especially complimentary to curvy body types.
This style of jean can also be found in a variety of different washes, with dark and light being the most popular. A dark wash is a more low-key option for shoppers who are hesitant to jump head-first into the 70’s-inspired craze. It is also a more polished and modern option, which means that this style can act as a multifunctional staple in every wardrobe. On the other end of the spectrum, light wash 70’s styles are more geared towards the hipster set. The light wash makes them young, fun, and carefree.
Regardless of the wash, make sure to keep the silhouette clean when wearing this style of jean. There are two primary ways to do this: keeping it clean and sleek, or adding a breezy bohemian flare. The clean look incorporates a body-conscious, tucked-in shirt paired with a narrow belt. This second option calls for voluminous silky tops, airy jersey sweaters, and dangly chain necklaces. No matter which style option is chosen, modern accessories should be incorporated to keep the look timeless, such as age-appropriate aviator sunglasses, and chunky wedge heels. Brands such as Ellie Tahari and J Brand Jeans currently offer the perfect take on 70’s-style jeans, as does The Gap, who is quickly jumping on the bandwagon.
The skinny jean has been a strong presence for multiple seasons, but it has since gotten even skinnier for 2011 (think painted-on, legging style jeans). Fortunately, designers have made it a priority to make this style much more comfortable than it sounds by utilizing blended fabrics that allow the jeans to bend and move with the wearer. This super-skinny style is particularly body-conscious, which makes it a perfect way to show off legs without actually showing any skin. It is especially flattering on petite body types, which take to fitted silhouettes.
Skinny leggings are also extremely versatile: dress them up with a silk top and heels for a night on the town, or dress them down with a chunky wrap sweater for a quiet afternoon in the park. Either way, skinny jeans act as the perfect layering piece; the key however, is proportion and fit. Avoid pairing a fitted leg with a fitted top. Instead, try pairing legging style jeans with a voluminous top that balances out the super-skinny leg. Keep this look grounded by adding wedge heels or boots. This playful look also calls for funky accessories; think animal print scarves and rocker-chic extras. Look to brands such as Miss Sixty, J Brand, Victoria Beckham, and True Religion for figure-flattering legging-style jeans.
Moving away from the super-skinny craze, there comes a trend that is as comfortable and stylish as it appears. Please welcome the slouchy boyfriend jean. This androgynous style is a much-needed change of pace, and the perfect way to incorporate some edge into a wardrobe. The boyfriend jean is meant to be worn loose, so do not be alarmed if they feel somewhat baggy. Be aware of too much extra fabric however; the idea here is not to hide the body in oversized garments. To reign in the slouch factor, try cuffing the jeans at the ankle to show off a heeled pair of booties or jeweled flats. A warn-in wash, accompanied by the occasional hole and patch is appropriate for this style of jean, but make sure to keep the look feminine by adding body-conscious pieces such as a fitted blazer, or an arm-baring tank-top, as well as a hefty portion of dainty necklaces.
Each of these jean styles is perfect for 2011, and can be seen cropping up everywhere, from the runway, to the red carpet, to the shelves of retail stores. If you are feeling extra bold, give doubled up denim a try by pairing a denim shirt with a different wash of jeans, or even a denim dress.