Jeans. Was there ever a staplier staple? Since their birth as work pants in 1873, jeans have come a very long way. Here, along with my favorite Mott & Bow jeans, are five tips for how to wear and style jeans…
Give it a test run.
First things first, before you commit to your jeans, you must try them on. Ask yourself: Can you sit down easily? Could you comfortably eat a burrito? Can you frolic? We love Mott & Bow’s home try-on option, which lets you choose a couple different sizes, try them out, and includes a free return label so you can easily send back whatever you don’t want. It eliminates the need to deal with unflattering dressing room lighting, or a horrid my-calves-are-stuck-and-I-can’t-get-out-of-these-jeans-and-the-salesperson-is-asking-how-I’m-doing situation. (This has happened to me more than once, and it wasn’t pretty.)
Venture outside your comfort zone.
For years, I was afraid of high-waisted styles, as I feared they’d make me look like I’d just walked out of an 80s sitcom and not flatter my five-foot frame. One day, I tried a pair on a whim and fell in love. Now, these are my very favorite pair. They hold their shape nicely and look good with absolutely everything. (Although these are a close second.) Why not experiment with a silhouette, wash or material you don’t usually go for? You might be surprised!
Dress them up.
A pointy toe pump instantly elevates everyday denim. It’s almost like adding lipstick — just that one thing immediately makes you look polished. I love pairing heels with a boyfriend jean, for a look that feels more fun than fussy. Pairing heels with jeans in a dark blue or black wash skews more profesh. Bonus: A pointed toe creates an uninterrupted line, visually elongating the leg.
Showing a peek of ankle is a subtle way to change your whole silhouette. When it comes to cuffs, my rule of thumb is: Roll them twice to wear with flats. When pairing jeans with boots, booties or chunky mules, opt for one big cuff. To demonstrate, please refer to my everyday style icon, Timmy from Lassie. The look is classic, requires zero effort, and works for all sorts of adventures.
Joanna wears the high-rise skinny jeans.
Play with a tuck.
The front tuck — This is where you grab just a small section of shirt and tuck it into the front waistband. It can be centered, or slightly to the side. The result is a casual way to define your waist and bring the look together.
The French tuck — (Any Queer Eye fans in the house?) This tuck takes it one step further. Here, you tuck in the whole front half of your shirt, then subtly billow it out just a bit. (See above.)
The full tuck — This is the all-around tuck you want for cleaner ensembles, or when you need to appear polished. A full tuck works especially well if you want to snazz up your look with a decorative belt.
If you’re in the market for jeans, we highly recommend Mott & Bow. Their jeans are made at premium denim mills, but cost less than designer denim. Plus, they’re super comfortable and don’t fade over time. They also offer multiple inseam lengths and carry sizes 14-20.
(Photos by Christine Han for Cup of Jo. In the top photo, I’m wearing these jeans. This post is sponsored by Mott & Bow, a brand we love for all our basics. Thanks for supporting the brands that help keep Cup of Jo running.)