I’ve had a fair few people ask me about jeans lately. Specifically which style of jeans to go for these days. I would say if in doubt, plump for a straight leg high waist. Why? I hear you cry? Well, mainly because I just like that style, but also because I think they are most flattering. Why? I hear you cry again (my hearing is excellent, it’s eyesight that’s going), Well, because if you’re like me and the midriff is your problem area then a high waist is your friend.
That may sound at odds to what you might think, but I find that a high waist acts a bit like a corset, it holds you in in the right places. You know when you see those crappy diet ads where the before photo has a stomach hanging over a low slung knicker? Look again at the ‘after’ photo, as a lot of times all it takes is a higher waistband and an improved posture to make the person look better.
The lower the waist on your jeans, the higher the chances of a muffin top. The 90s were a cruel mistress, but the low cut boot leg jeans were perhaps the worst offender of all. Straight leg jeans should also ideally end at the top of your ankle, that makes your legs look better and gives you the opportunity to show of your shoes, or boots in the winter. Side bar. I never ‘got’ bootleg jeans, because they didn’t even show off your boots, they just hid them. What’s the point of that?
I know many of you struggle to find the perfect pair of jeans. A lot of the time it just comes down to trial and error, especially with high street sizing, but here’s 5 pairs of high waist, straight leg jeans that I can personally vouch for. None of them are too high, so as to cut the circulation off in your rib cage, they are all ankle length on me (I’m 5’7) if you’re shorter, just turn up the hem or lop it off. If you’re taller, River Island and TopShop do most of their styles in a ‘Tall’ version.
RIVER ISLAND BLAIR JEANS
I have to admit, I’m not always the biggest fan of River Island. It’s got a bit of a ‘Don’t go near me with a naked flame or I might ignite’ vibe about it. BUT, that doesn’t go for everything there. They do a great range of cotton blouses and their denim is very good. They’ve been doing a version of these straight leg jeans for few years now. Annoyingly they keep kept changing the name of them, but I think they’ve now settled on ‘Blair’ so that makes it easier to find the cut I like.
I would say these are true to size, but (as with most of these type of jeans) the denim doesn’t have much stretch so if you want to err on the side of caution go up a size. I LOVE this blouse from Meadows. In fact I love most things from Meadows, a lovely brand that’s new on my radar.
TOPSHOP EDITOR JEANS
These are an absolute classic. Been around for a few years now and continue to be a big seller. They come in lots of colours and I’d say true to size. Which is rare for Topshop as a lot of times I can’t get half a leg in a 12 in there. To be fair though, Topshop have always done well with denim. hands up who bought their first pair of skinny jeans there? The Baxter. I remember feeling pretty radical in 2002 wearing tight tight jeans and black ugg boots around town. I even wore ugg boots with Floral Tea dresses in the winter. Please tell me I wasn’t the only one? What were we thinking?
GAP CHEEKY HIGH JEANS
These were recommended to me by my friend Arlene as ‘The Best Jeans Ever’. I was sceptical to say the least. I don’t think I’d bought a pair of Gap jeans for about 6 years. But if someone tells you you MUST by, then they have the courage of their convictions if nothing else. I can concur they are very good jeans. Very flattering, somehow make your legs look longer, tight squeeze on the waistband though. I’d say maybe go up one size. I took my regular and I do have to unbutton sometimes when I sit down for too long. Not a great look in public, but as I’m so rarely in public these days, not so bothered.
H&M STRAIGHT HIGH JEANS
Technically it’s the Vintage Straight High Jeans from H&M that I have, but I assume the fit is the same on these. I think H&M jeans are some of the best on the high street in my humble opinion. They are cheap, but they don’t tend to lose their shape and they fit well. Sizing is true to size I would say. I know H&M used to be one of the worst offenders for bad sizing, but they seemed to have fixed this over the past 18 months or so.
I used to work in H&M (or Hennes as I still refer to it) on High St Kensington when I was at college in the early 90s. I’d say it was my least favourite job ever. Like a cross between working at a jumble sale and a public toilet. if we weren’t folding stuff that had been flung on the floor, we’d be closing the fitting room because someone had done a piss in the corner. Honestly, and this was Kensington. I dread to think what the clothes shops in less salubrious parts of town were like.
WHISTLES HOLLIE JEANS
Saving my favourites for last. I hope they haven’t all sold out by now as they were on sale and had some sizes left at the time of writing this. It’s the combination of the button fly, the quality of the denim and the absolute perfect length of leg that make these the best. They are the pair I reach for above all others at the moment. I went up one size (these are sold by waist size). Can I also give a special mention to another new brand I’ve recently discovered, Laveste. I haven’t bought anything from them as yet, but this shirt is high on my wishlist.
Hopefully, notwithstanding any travel disasters I will be in Devon as you read this. So, there is a chance that I may take a blog break next Sunday. Knowing me, I won’t, as inspiration may strike even on holiday, but just warning you in case I do.