Printed Jeans and More New Denim Trends
From paisley and plaids to brocade and botanicals, patterns this bold should be the focal point. Choose cuts with a more modern straight or skinny leg, and pair them with a basic chambray shirt or a simple crewneck. Freaked out by the notion of wild zigzags across your thighs? Stick with a smaller pattern on a dark background.
To buy (clockwise from top center): United Colors of Benetton blue paisley jeans, $109, benetton.com for info. Old Navy navy floral velvet jeans, $37, oldnavy.com. NYDJ hexagon-print straight-leg jeans with control panels, $140, nydj.com. Fidelity teal brocade jeans, $198, fidelitydenim.com for stores. Coldwater Creek black feather-print straight-leg jeans (goes up to size 24W), $90, coldwatercreek.com. Levi’s multicolored prismatic-print jeans, $78, 866-860-8907. Bebe black argyle jeans, $129, bebe.com. Paige purple plaid jeans, $189, paigeusa.com for stores. Mavi gold brocade jeans, $138, mavi.com for stores. Sold Design Lab black plaid jeans, $184, Lord & Taylor, 800-223-7440.
The quickest way to get party-ready? Slip into a pair of jeans with beading or sparkly thread. To avoid looking as if you busted out your BeDazzler (hello, 1987!), choose slim silhouettes in dark washes, as well as accents that are small (like rhinestone pindots) or that match the fabric’s color palette (like black sequins on black denim). Wearing them with something subdued, such as a boyfriend blazer and smoking slippers, tones down the flash.
Decked-out jeans like these require some TLC, though not as much as you might think. Check the label. But in general you can machine-wash printed, colored, velvet, and motorcycle styles if you simply take a few precautions. Before laundering, turn them inside out (to lessen fading and to protect the nap of velvets) and zip up zippers (to prevent the teeth from abrading the material). Use cold water and a mild detergent on the gentle cycle. Finally, hang-dry, since machine dryers can destroy embellishments, special finishes, and dyed fabrics, says Nina Castello, the chief of design and production for James Jeans. As for coated, beaded, and leather- or metallic-trimmed jeans, it’s safest to send them to a dry cleaner.
To buy (from left): Michael Michael Kors rhinestone-studded jeans, $150, michaelkors.com. Chico’s sequined jeans, $119, chicos.com. 7 For All Mankind x Malhia Kent metallic-tweed–paneled jeans, $395, sevenforallmankind.com. Hudson metallic-stripe jeans, $198, hudsonjeans.com.
Sumptuously comfortable, these jeans are festive enough for the holidays yet won’t look out of place with a cozy knit in February. What’s more, they manage to be timeless and trendy no matter the cut of the leg or the color of the fabric. Intensify jewel-tone pants with a matching colored top; accentuate plush pastels with a soft ivory sweater; elevate neutral velvet with other neutrals for a chic take on preppy cool.
To buy (from top left): Frankie B. olive skinny jeans, $196, bloomingdales.com for stores. NYDJ red straight-leg jeans, $130, nydj.com. MIH mauve flared jeans, $210, mih-jeans.com. Citizens of Humanity blush skinny jeans, $188, anthropologie.com. J Brand purple skinny jeans, $216, nordstrom.com. Genetic emerald flared jeans, $245, Willow Boutique, 850-231-0433. Talbots evergreen slim-leg jeans (comes in petite and plus sizes), $89.50, talbots.com. Banana Republic navy skinny jeans, $89.50, bananarepublic.com. Citizens of Humanity brown skinny jeans, $188, bloomingdales.com.
Inspired by the protective quilted padding on motorcycle pants and jackets, the edgy panels and seams on these jeans instantly rev up tees and boots. While the style is always skinny-cut, you’ll look even slimmer if you pick a pair with diagonal stitching along the areas of the body that you would like to downplay. It’s the seams that run straight across that you have to watch out for—if you have full hips or thighs, horizontal lines will make them appear wider, says Nina Castello of James Jeans.
To buy (from top): Habitual coated black jeans with ankle zippers, $248, piperlime.com. American Eagle Outfitters blue jeans, $70, ae.com. Free People faded black jeans, $128, freepeople.com. Buffalo David Bitton whiskered blue jeans, $118, buffalojeans.com. James Jeans black-and-indigo jeans, $194, Rebecca & Co., 336-273-2953.
Treated with a shiny finish, these sleek jeans may look constricting and thick, but they’re actually extremely lightweight and stretchy. Deeper tones are more grown-up (and figure-forgiving). To draw attention away from your tummy or thighs, offset the skinny, shimmery legs with a long, blousy top in black or charcoal.
To buy (clockwise from top): Sold Design Lab silver jeans, $242, Bloomingdale’s, 866-593-2540. 7 For All Mankind cobalt jeans, $198, 866-427-1114. Tractr copper jeans, $92, tractrjeans.com. James Jeans emerald jeans, $180, shopbop.com.
Get Your Jeans Fix
The Problem: “Jeans Are Always Too Long on Me”
Shop stores that offer on-site tailoring (like Nordstrom, J. Crew, and Banana Republic). Bring the type of shoes you plan to wear with the jeans, and ask for the original hems to be reattached. Headed to your own tailor? Nina Castello of James Jeans suggests washing the jeans first to ensure there is no additional shrinkage.
The Problem: “The Waistband Gaps in the Back”
Go for a contoured waistband, which means the jeans are higher in back than in front to better fit curves. Many companies specifically design styles to address small waists. Try: The Rockstar by Old Navy, Curve ID by Levi’s, or Maria by J Brand.
The Problem: “I've Got a Hole in My Jeans”
Ship them to Denim Therapy (denimtherapy.com) for repair. The company will restitch damaged areas instead of slapping on a conspicuous patch. Denim Therapy will perfectly match any shade of indigo (or any other color) but won’t mend coated or velvet jeans. Prices start at $4 per half inch for holes and tears, plus a $12 shipping fee.
The Problem: “My Jeans Get Stretched Out”
When buying, look for at least 2 percent Lycra, spandex, or elastane. Choose a pair that is snug but that doesn’t leave imprints on your skin. Next, try this dressing-room test: Do a few deep knee bends. If the fabric expands more than a half inch, the jeans will probably bag out more with further wear, says Jennifer Wojinski, a designer for Habitual.
The Problem: “I Need Jeans That Are Slimming”
Innovative on the outside and inside, these denim lines use invisible, suck-you-in technology. Talk about slim pickings. Miraclebody, miraclebody.com. NYDJ, nydj.com. Photo Ready by J Brand, jbrandjeans.com. Revel by Levi’s, levi.com. Slim Illusion by 7 For All Mankind, sevenforallmankind.com.