Trends that should end: Skinny Jeans, Ankle Jeans and Jeggings

I know I am going to take a lot of heat for this one, but I’ve had just about enough of Skinny Jeans.  Jeggings and Ankle Jeans are just special cases of Skinny Jeans, which I will get to later.  But first, let’s talk about the monster in the room.  Skinny Jeans.

Skinny Jeans have their place.  They make it much easier to tuck your jeans into your boots (when you are going for that look.  But in general, I find them unattractive on MOST women (not just plus sized).

  • Skinny jeans accentuate how skinny our ankles are.  Therefore, by comparison, they make our thighs, hips and butt look wider.  This effect is FAR worse on plus-sized women, as skinny jeans accentuate the difference and angles in ways that aren’t flattering.  (Don’t believe me?  Take a look at these Orange jeans and tell me you think they are enhancing her figure –> )
  • They accentuate cellulite and flab on our thighs, usually by clingy there.  See picture –>
  • They bunch up and wrinkle oddly around our knees – adding another set of horizontal lines that breaks up the nice vertical one that our jeans could have. <– See picture –>
  • They cling to our calves <– See picture –>
  • They bunch up around our ankles <– See picture –>
  • By adding in all those curves to match our legs, they break the nice flowing line from the hip that a good pair of jeans gives us.  That line lengthens the leg and makes us look taller, thinner AND more put together.
  • They look casual under EVERY circumstance.
  • Many women wear them too tight, so camel-toe is rampent.

Jeggings are just extra tight skinny jeans.  Suffice it to say that Jeggings take every sin of skinny jeans and make them worse, usually in a lighter weight fabric that subtracts the control that some skinny jeans provide.

Ankle jeans (also boyfriend jeans rolled up above the ankle and other such styles) were some bright bulbs idea of how to deal with the fact that proper length skinny jeans have a tendency to bunch up around the ankles.  Notice how the pair to the left clink and create curves in bad places, make her ankles look crazy small and proportionately make everything else look bigger.  This is a MODEL.

However the glory of a proper length jean is that it makes your legs look longer, and ankle jeans do just the opposite; they cut you off a few inches too short.  I wouldn’t mention these abominations if my beloved J.Jill weren’t so fond of them.  It’s important to check the length on their pants.

My biggest problem with ALL of these trends, however, is how hard they have made it to find a pair of bootcut jeans.  Particularly a pair of COLORED bootcut jeans.  Manufacturers are churning out every new trend in skinny cuts rather than making them available to those of us who like something else.

And often, that is my biggest problem with trends.  They can take over the market and leave those of us who prefer something else completely out in the cold.

(I didn’t want to be mean to real women (although it isn’t hard to find examples), so these pictures are from vendor sites.  I’ve always had a rule that if it doesn’t look good on the model, it probably won’t look good on me.  These pictures bear that out.)

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Trends that should End – Bottom-banded tops

(This is the start of a series on Trends that are taking over plus fashion, especially those that are generally unattractive or unflattering.  I know that there are people who will LOVE each of these trends, and on whom they will look terrific.  But they will end up in this column when there are few other options or the trend is nearly impossible to avoid.)

One of the trends for the past few seasons has been tops that have a band around the bottom, usually that hits at the hip and brings the top in tight.  This needs to end.  The look doesn’t flatter most women’s figures, and more often detracts from her great curves.  Here’s an example.
MICHAEL Michael Kors Plus - Plus Size Mission Tie Dye Crinkle Peasant Top (Vine) - ApparelThis Michael Kors top from Zappos is quite lovely, but take a close look at what it is doing for the model’s figure.  She has lost her waist, has almost no chest (despite the site saying she is a 38D and looks kind of like a blob.  In contrast, here she is in a top without the bottom band puffing out her shirt:

MICHAEL Michael Kors Plus - Plus Size Abstract Camo Cap Sleeve Top (Rich Olive) - ApparelNow she has a waist, smaller hips and more curves.  The overall result is more flattering.

This difference is made worse on those of us who don’t have model figures and stylists to make sure everything is laying correctly.

For those of us with a pear shape, the band hits at our widest part and the blouse-y middle covers up our best features.  For those who are apples, this type of shirt can allow some breathing room around the middle but can also make you look even rounder.

I have tried these types of tops on, and the only ones that made it out of the store had an actual elastic band at the bottom that I could remove.  Otherwise they have NEVER looked attractive.  Designers should move on from this trend sooner rather than later.

Who are you and what do you mean by “grown up”?

I’m sure some of you are asking just who I think I am. I mean, I just looked at my blogroll and it’s not like there is a SHORTAGE of plus-sized bloggers on the web. So why another one?

  1. Plus-sized women come in a LOT of shapes and sizes, and not all of us look the same.  I looked through a LOT of plus blogs and didn’t find that many women who looked like me, so I decided to fix that.  Our shapes dictate what looks good, not necessarily just our weight.
  2. There are a lot of brands that carry plus fashion that I feel are underrepresented.  We all know immediately if many of the specialty brands are having a sale (Torrid, Simply Be, ASOS Curve, Lane Bryant, etc.), but what about some of the other brands that span sizes?  J.Jill, Coldwater Creek, Soft Surroundings, and other similar brands carry plus sizes, are of good quality, but aren’t department store lines or limited strictly to plus.  These alternative vendors are where I get a lot of my clothing and deserve some coverage as well.  (That is NOT to say I don’t shop those specialty brands as well.  I’m pretty equal-opportunity when it comes to shopping.)
  3. I have massive respect for a lot of the girls in my blogroll, but many are 20 or more years younger than I am.  I would look or feel silly wearing many of the very trendy things they go for.  But that doesn’t mean I need to look frumpy or boring.
  4. Frankly, I disagree with some of the things I see floating around the blogosphere about how to dress a plus-sized body.  Not every outfit is improved with a belt, much of what I see is too tight, and many otherwise wonderfully turned out women REALLY need to buy a supportive and correctly fitted bra.  I reserve the right to rant about these things occasionally 🙂

Point two also comes in to play when I say “grown-up”.  I have a job and don’t have to buy only the least expensive items.  I am far more likely to drop things off at Goodwill then buy them there.  I love a good bargain as well as the next girl, and am happiest buying things on sale, but I will buy great pieces at full price with no guilt.

Point three also relates to “grown-up”.  As I was putting together my blog roll I saw something like 3 outfits involving tutu’s.  Ah, to be 23 again.  However that was, quite literally, half a lifetime ago for me.  I am not likely to wear anything like that except at halloween.  I believe that if you wore a trend the last time it was the big thing, you really shouldn’t wear it this time.  (I’m talking to you, flash-dance sweatshirts, jump suits and harem pants.  Thank goodness the stirrup pant thing didn’t last this time around.)  But that doesn’t mean you can’t wear clothing on the trendy side.  Just that it needs some thinking through.

This blog will be my way of thinking through what does and doesn’t work, and why.  It will show some examples of how to look like an adult, feel good about yourself, stay on trend (without becoming a fashion victim) and wear clothing that is comfortable all at the same time.