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Once upon a time skinny jeans were the best thing that ever happened to me. I’m tall, and when I was young the only jeans long enough for my knobby Bambi legs were Wranglers because they came in a size 0 with a 34” inseam option. I bought them in every color, and not until my sister refused to let me use her surname if I wore them to high school did I start exploring more options.
When flares were a thing in the nineties I struggled with length. I would lose my proverbial shit if my jeans made it into the dryer. I was always letting out the hem to get another inch out of them, and when I was desperate for another couple of centimeters I would wash them in cold water and iron them while pulling at the legs until they were dry. Anything for a tiny, itty-bitty smidge of length.
So when I was gifted a pair of super skinny jeans from London in 2006 it didn’t take me long to jump on the bandwagon. Skinny jeans have a way of being very forgiving in the length department. If they’re too long, cuff ‘em. Too short? Cuff ‘em. Tuck them into boots. Wear them with any heel height. Rock them with flats.
They are just. so. practical.
Imagine my dismay when flares recently took center stage again. Wah wahh.
I love the idea of them. I also think they can be super flattering and in a high-waisted 70s style – perfection. But. I had nightmarish daydreams of kneeling on the ground, ironing wet jeans with tears in my eyes. Wearing them on a rainy day, putrid NYC water seeping up the leg from the ground. Still, I’m a sucker for a solid trend, so I bought a couple of pairs and even though I have to plan my entire outfit around the length of my inseam, I feel compelled to admit that I adore them. They’re comfortable, flattering, elongating, and trendy; a great combination.
So the seventies are back. As are the eighties. Oh and now, in a true Effie Trinket-esque fashion explosion, the nineties have arrived. I LOVE IT. But maybe not as much as I love my skinny jeans?
With the nineties came the ugly jeans. You can call them “mom jeans” if you so desire, but I’m gonna do moms a solid and call them what they are – ugly jeans. Like light-washed, high-waisted, button-fly, early-nineties denim. I prefer dark washes in winter so all season I’ve clung to my skinnies and the occasional deep-blue flare. I also like the balance generated by slim silhouettes when paired with the bulk of cold weather gear. However, now that the solstice is a few weeks behind us and I can officially pretend that there is a glimmer of spring light at the end of the long winter tunnel, I think I’m fully embracing this trend.
Ugly jeans are pretty much the rebuttal to all things typically Kardashian (for lack of a better word). Regardless of what you do with them, they just don’t exude that oversexed vibe that I think truly fashionable women are finding oh-so-tired these days. They aren’t lux. They aren’t sleek. They aren’t slimming or elongating or any of the things that can make a pair of pants slightly suggestive.
But they are comfortable (seriously, I just said that), and they’re the epitome of confidence and IDGAF, which is often the main driver of all things cool. And best of all…very, very best of all – if they’re too short, cuff ‘em. Too long? Cuff ‘em.
Nineties jeans…all that and a bag a chips.