Style 101: Shopping for jeans

Shopping for jeans can be nothing short of a hassle; besides the different cuts and washes of denim, there are significant inconsistencies in sizing, which can make trying on jeans a nightmare. But what if we told you that you don’t have to lug four different sizes of the same jean to the dressing room just to find one that works?

That’s where this week’s Style 101 comes in, outlining our method of shopping for jeans that nixes the in-store guesswork and places the focus not on your pant size, but on your measurements. Here are a few things you can do to make your denim shopping experience as painless as possible:

First:

Be sure to plan ahead. If you know you will be visiting a shopping mall in the near future, decide on the stores you want to visit ahead of your arrival, and research their denim stock. Take note of the different cuts (i.e. skinny, straight, bootcut, flare, etc.) available, the different brands available and the different washes available (i.e. light wash, dark wash, a rinse wash with whiskering at the hips or fading on the center of the thigh, etc.).

Also decide in advance the kinds of cuts, brands and washes you’d like to pursue depending on your taste, but don’t discount trying something new, either. If a style that you wouldn’t normally wear receives a high customer rating online, it may be something worth trying on once you’re in the store.

Also look for any descriptions of the different cuts online; many stores offer a ‘denim dictionary’ that explains in a few bullet points how a certain cut of jeans will fit. For example, a skinny jean will have a closer, tighter fit throughout your hips, thighs and calves, while a boyfriend jeans is much more relaxed throughout the leg. Knowing this ahead of time not only helps you pick out what kinds of cuts you’d like to try on, it also helps you decide what size to pick out; you may decide to try on a size up in a skinny jean while you may opt for your normal size or even a size down in the looser boyfriend style.

Next:

Take your measurements. For jeans, you will need to focus on your waist measurement (the smallest part of your waist) and your hip measurement (the fullest part of your hips). If you don’t have a measuring tape, try using yarn or ribbon and measure the results against a ruler. Knowing your measurements will help you bypass the standard sizing employed by many denim brands, which often vary. To skirt around standard sizing, compare your measurements to the brand’s size chart listed online before you go in the store; this way, you’ll have an idea of what size you are in a given brand of jeans before you even set foot on the fitting room floor.

Make note of the sizes you are in the brands you are seeking, and take them with you when you shop. Also be sure to look at any customer reviews on size, taking into account whether some customers say the style runs true to measurements listed on the size chart, runs smaller than average or runs larger than average.

Then:

Hit the store, but don’t forget to bring your size notes. This way, once you are digging through the piles of jeans in the store, you have an idea of what size you are looking for in the particular cut and wash you desire.

When trying on jeans, bring the size that best matches your measurements, plus a size larger or smaller depending on the cut of the jean — if you are trying on a skinny jean, bring a size larger to account for the slimmer fit, and if you are trying on a boyfriend style jean, bring a size smaller to counteract the roomier silhouette.

While trying on your jeans, assess the fit, cut and wash. Although it is easy to decide whether or not you like the cut and wash you picked, it can be a bit harder to tell if your jeans fit. Keep in mind that if the jeans fit in one place but not another, they can be altered to remedy the problem. For example, a common problem is that the jeans fit in the hip but are too big in the waist; if your hips are fuller, you should aim to fit your hips first, and then have the waist taken in via alterations. The same goes if the jeans fit your waist but are too baggy throughout the leg; the extra material around your leg can be tailored proportionally to ensure a proper fit.

The Takeaways:

While it may seem more complicated to research your selections prior to your denim hunt, it can be helpful to know a store’s stock, as well as the brand’s cut and sizing before you even set foot in a store because not only will it help you save time, it also makes you much more aware of clothing’s sizing system and silhouettes in general.

Knowing your measurements specifically allows you to be less attached to the size listed on the tag inside the jeans and to focus more on achieving a proper fit.

And remembering that your jeans can be altered to fit your body reminds us that we don’t have to work to fit the clothes; the clothes can be reworked to fit us.

Happy Shopping!

Zenoorin takes home bronze for Iran

The Olympics always produce stories of blowout wins and unlikely victors, and this year’s Rio games are no exception.

Consider Kimia Alizadeh Zenoorin, who the Huffington Post reports not only kicked her competition to the curb in the women’s 57kg taekwondo event on Thursday, Aug. 18, but also became the first Iranian woman to ever win an Olympic medal.

The Huffington Post says that the 18-year-old bronze medalist “fell to the floor and kissed the mat after beating Nikita Glasnovic of Sweden 5-1 in a one-sided contest at the Carioca Arena 3 to secure a breakthrough bronze.”

After earning the country’s fifth medal in the Rio games, Zenoorin expressed her excitement this way, according to the Huffington Post:

“I am so happy for Iranian girls because it is the first medal and I hope at the next Olympics we will get a gold … I am very excited and I want to thank my parents and my coach. They really stand behind me and I am so happy.”

Although the young athlete already made history with her Rio win, she’s sure to be one to watch in forthcoming Olympic games.

Bold style to come via Kenzo x H&M

High fashion is coming to one of the biggest worldwide retailers, and the collaboration is nothing short of amazing.

Launching on Nov. 3, POPSUGAR reports that the Kenzo x H&M collaboration is packed with bold looks, with the main print in the line being tiger stripes that “appear on everything from rollneck tops to high-waisted leggings.”

The line also includes “an oversize[d] jacket and a parka to take you into Winter and, of course, let’s not forget the black Kenzo logo gloves and the tiger-print crossbody bag,” according to POPSUGAR, promising a jam-packed collection filled with edgy styles.

A brand courtesy of designers Carol Lim and Humberto Leon, H&M’s head of design Ann-Sofie Johansson promises that Kenzo’s collaboration with the retailer will offer a unique style that contrasts their previous design partnerships.

Balmain was glamorous and sexy,” Johansson said, according to POPSUGAR, “and this is vibrant, young, and fun.”

An image of one of the dresses from the collection has already found its way around the Internet, and certainly lives up to the hype surrounding the collaboration. Featuring bright blues, oranges and greens, as well as an abstract leopard print, ruffles and a collar, this dress makes fashion fun and dynamic.

Can’t wait for the collaboration to hit stores? POPSUGAR says the line will hit 250 stores worldwide and will also be available online when it launches in November.

Happy Shopping!

Zendaya to star in new ‘Spider Man’ flick

As if a successful pursuits in acting, music and design weren’t enough, Zendaya is set to add another item to her growing resume.

According to the New York Daily News, The Wrap reported that the 19-year-old will play Mary Jane Watson in the forthcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming film. Zendaya inherits the role from Kirsten Dunst, who played Watson in the Sam Raimi trilogy between 2002 and 2007, says the News.

While her involvement in the film was announced in Marchthe News says it was well-concealed by reports saying Zendaya would play a character named Michelle.

Other big names in Hollywood are set to the share the screen with Zendaya, according to the News, including comedian Hannibal Buress, actress Marisa Tomei and actor Michael Keaton, as well as “British actor Tom Holland, who will take on the role of young Spidey, Peter Parker.”

Fans will, however, have to wait until next summer to catch the blockbuster, as the News reports that it will hit theaters on July 7, 2017.

Hardy’s modern chain remain a classic

After a men’s flat woven chain launched in 1992, the John Hardy style became a cultural phenomenon and was instantly carried over into a women’s collection. Now, InStyle reports that the staple is being revamped.

Announcing a new Modern Chain Collection, InStyle says that the line by John Hardy includes six men’s styles and 25 women’s designs, featuring “both gold and silver bracelets, necklaces, rings, and earrings that not only draw inspiration from the original chain-weaving method, but pay homage to the brand’s artisanal craft.”

While the collection delivers a sleek, modern aesthetic, InStyle says that it ultimately remains true to its roots, offering a simple plaited style in ultra-luxurious metals and finishes. The best part is that their elegant design makes them appropriate for all outfits and occasions, allowing you to get maximum wear of out of your jewelry.

If this modern take on a timeless piece of jewelry is right up your alley, InStyle says pieces can be purchased from johnhardy.com, and prices range between $250 and $19,500.

Happy Shopping!

Jumping to victory

Every Olympic athlete has to overcome some hurdles to become the champions that we see on television, whether it’s enduring painstaking training or difficult living conditions in their home country. But some athletes literally have to jump over hurdles to get the gold.

Cue Dalilah Muhammad, who became the first woman from the United States to win the gold medal in the 400-meter hurdle Olympic event, according to the Huffington Post. Even through rain, the Huffington Post says the athlete “shot out of the blocks, rose quickest at the first hurdle and never looked like being overtaken.”

Muhammad beat out Denmark’s Sara Slott Petersen who won silver, while Ashley Spencer of the United States took home the bronze medal,  reports the Huffington Post.

Her margin of victory: 0.42 seconds, according to the Huffington Post, finishing the event with a total time of 53.13 seconds.

Congratulations, Dalilah!

 

Accessible fashion for all

Back to school shopping is in full swing, and besides buying backpacks, notebooks and pencils for your little students, finding fashionable new clothing is also a must. But one designer is making sure that all kids have exactly what they need for school and beyond.

Announced in February as the first major brand to design adaptive clothing for children with disabilities, Mic reports that Tommy Hilfiger and Runway of Dreams — an organization that “works with the fashion industry to create more options for people with disabilities” — are collaborating yet again to release a fall collection of stylish new threads for kids of all abilities.

The 58-piece collection includes “bomber jackets with MagnaReady magnet closures, T-shirts with closures along the back, pantswith an elastic waist and cargo shorts with a velcro fly,” according to Mic, while also maintaining that classic Tommy Hilfiger aesthetic.

In fact, the collection barely differs from non-adaptive options, reports Mic:

“The clothes in Hilfiger’s collection address the various needs of people who have different abilities: for example, adjustable waistbands, pant legs and sleeve lengths for people who use wheelchairs or have limb differences, and alternative ways to put on and remove clothing. The clothes also cost the same as Hilfiger’s non-adaptive collections, and the styles are nearly identical too. It’s just the small details, like having velcro rather than zippers, that set it apart.”

Founder of Runway of Dreams Mindy Scheier explained to Mic the decision to pursue adaptive clothing with Tommy Hilfiger for another season this way:

“Seeing the success of the spring collection was an incredible validation of our mission and proves that there is a real need for adaptive clothing at the mainstream level … We are excited to work with Tommy Hilfiger again and bring more clothing options to the differently-abled community, especially as kids are getting ready to go back to school.”

Summing up the meaning of this accessible clothing line, Scheier told Mic that she sees the collection’s fall revival as the first of only positive things to come in the future.

“With this collection, we are one step closer to making that a reality for people of all abilities, including adults and children.”

To shop the collection, click here.

Malik fights for Olympic medal

Winning an Olympic medal is surely something to be proud of. But when you’re the first female from your country to medal in your sport, you have every reason to feel like you’re on top of the world.

According to Women in the Worldwrestler Sakshi Malik took home India’s first Olympic medal of the Rio games on Thursday, Aug. 18 after she won bronze in the 58kg women’s wrestling match. Her achievements don’t stop there, however: the win makes her “the first female Indian wrestler, and the fourth Indian woman, to win an Olympic medal,” reports Women in the World.

But the road to her Olympic victory has been far from easy. Women in the World says that Malik her two teammates come from Haryana, “the conservative north Indian state notorious for honor killing and sex-selective abortions — the region has the lowest birth ratio of girls to boys in all of India.”

Beginning her training at the age of 12, Malik said villagers used to shame her for practicing the sport, wrestling with boys and wearing shorts, reports Women in the World — all things that challenge the status quo of an area that didn’t allow girls to train with boys until 2002 and expects women to be fully covered in their dress.

“It hurt a little and I wondered why people said such mean things, especially when I was so young,” Malik said, according to Women in the World.

But now that the athlete has garnered worldwide attention and acclaim, Women in the World says Malik noticed that people have changed the way they treat her. “It’s so weird to see how people can change so suddenly,” she said, “how they take interest in me now that I’m rising to the top, yet didn’t support me when I was starting out.”

The one constant in her life: her family’s support. Without their encouragement, Women in the World reports that Malik knows her life would have taken a more typical path, leaving her married and with children instead of with an Olympic medal.

“My life is very special compared to my friends,” she said.

As for her Olympic win, that, too, did not come easily. Women in the World says Malik battled back from a 0-5 score while squaring off against Kyrgyzstan’s Aisuluu Tynybekova, only to win by a score of 8-5.

It looks like Malik’s life has a recurring theme: she continues to do the very thing that seems impossible.

Perry pushes talents into shoe design

As if being a Grammy-nominated recording artist and a newly-minted makeup designer weren’t enough, Katy Perry is pushing her talents into fashion design — and the results are just as whimsical and bold as you’d expect.

Glamour released sketches of the songstress’ forthcoming line, showing styles that place “Katy’s effervescent, bubbly personality and style” into a pair of heels.

One design incorporates multicolored stars in a strappy cage heel, offering a nod to 2015 Superbowl look, according to Glamour, while another seems to have silver fringe covering the heel of a cobalt blue open-toe heel.

The most whimsical of the designs thus far: a red race-car inspired look, complete with windshield-like vamp and a grille encompassing the outer toe box.

While Glamour doesn’t specify when shoppers can expect the line to hit stores, one thing is for sure — these new styles definitely have Perry’s footprints all over them.

Carter puts forth positivity

Many Olympic athletes are considered heroes: whether they help their team to victory or they achieve personal bests, some rise above the rest to be seen as role models. But for American shot put star Michelle Carter, being an inspiration to others doesn’t end once she steps off the field.

According to Micthe Olympic gold medalist not only medaled and broke an American shot put record at this summer’s Rio Olympics, she also lives her everyday life as a “powerful advocate for celebrating body diversity and wearing whatever makes you feel like you.”

Mic says Carter recently imparted a bit of body-positive wisdom in an interview with the New Yorker, explaining that all bodies — no matter their size, shape or capability — have a purpose.

“You have to understand everyone’s body was built to do something,” Carter said. “I was built to do something, and that’s how I was built. I think the world is realizing we were promoting one body type and there have always been many.”

But her comments did not end there. Carter — who is also a professional makeup artist with her company called Shot Diva — also shared with the New Yorker that she doesn’t shy away from looking her best when competing, encouraging others to also put forth the best version of themselves.

“For a couple of years, being professional, I kind of questioned myself,” Carter said, according to Mic. “Should I wear my false lashes or take the time I want to take so I can feel good when I go out on the field? Because nobody else was really doing that. And I thought, No: I’m not going to change what I believe I should look like to fit anybody else’s standards. I believe if you look your best, you’re going to feel your best, you’re going to do your best.”

Way to go, Michelle!