Tag Archives: zara

Finding the perfect jeans

17 Feb

No matter your personal style, jeans are a wardrobe essential. A great pair of denim can be dressed up with heels and a silk blouse, or dressed down with canvas sneakers and a graphic tee. Save for formal or business events, jeans can be worn to almost any occasion since dark rinse denim creates a polished look and can be thought of as an alternative to black pants. But because jeans come in such a variety of washes, cuts and brands, they can be difficult to shop for. One way to start jean shopping is to look for a style that would most flatter your body type.

Cuff your jeans to add some flair and show off your shoes.

Cuff your jeans to add some flair and show off your shoes.

If you’ve got an hourglass figure, go for a mid-rise that cuts higher in the back for more coverage. Solid colour wide-legged trouser jeans would complement your frame, but if you prefer a slimmer fit go for tapered legs instead of skinny jeans. The ankles of tapered jeans are less narrow than skinnies and offer more room in the thighs. Another trick is to roll the hem of the jeans to add width at the bottom and balance the hips.

For petite frames, skinny jeans and bootcuts work well to flatter and create proportion. Vertical fading down the front can help elongate the legs. Look for jean brands that offer shorter inseams so you can save a trip to the tailors. Straight figures can pull off most jeans styles and rinses, but for ones that flatter the most opt for slim fits. A comfortable alternative to jeans you can try are jeggings — they have high stretch content and usually come with faux front pockets to reduce bulk and create a super slimfit effect. Bootcut jeans can also work to add a curvier silhouette to straight shapes. If you’re on the taller end of the scale, try rocking flared denim to give proportion. Jeans faded from the thighs the knees can also help in breaking up the length.

Dark rinse jeans without any whiskering are perfect for dressing up.

Dark rinse jeans without any whiskering are perfect for dressing up.

For pear-shaped figures, avoid super tapered jeans. Instead, balance curvier hips with trouser style denim or low-rise flares. If you’re plus-size, dark rinse straight-leg jeans will create a slimming effect. Trouser cut denim will also enhance your figure. Check the rear pockets to make sure it’s flattering. Small back pockets can make backsides appear larger.

To hide tummies, pick a mid-rise jean so the waistband sits just below the belly button. Wide waistbands will also help flatten the stomach. Look for jeans with stretch so it’ll rest comfortably against the belly without squeezing. For those with a small waist, one of the problems you may encounter when sitting is gaping of the jeans at the back. Reduce gaping by finding jeans with a contoured waistband. Instead of one strip of fabric, this is where the band is cut on a curve and sewn together.

Change up your blue jean routine with a chic grey pair.

Change up your blue jean routine with a chic grey pair.

Take special care of your jeans to ensure your favourite pair of denim lasts as long as they can. Keep them clean, but avoid washing them too often in order to retain the colour of dark washes and prevent breakage of the fibres. It is recommended that for the initial washing, hand wash jeans inside out with a colour safe detergent like Woolite Extra Dark. Another option before your jeans go into a washing machine for the first time is to soak your denim in a solution of water and vinegar. The vinegar helps preserve the dye in jeans before the first wash. For raw denim, which takes a while to become broken-in, most brands would advise washing after six month to get the personalized fade.

The right pair of jeans can be a great confidence booster. So now that you have an idea of the type of jeans that can most flatter your figure, you’ll be well on your way to finding that perfect pair.

[Article first appeared in the Feb. 12 issue of Richmond Review.]

Start fresh with spring trends

22 Mar

Fall was all about opulence and lavish textures with its embellished details, baroque styles and layering trends involving leather, fur, velvet and brocade. But for spring, the fashion industry went down a more minimalistic route. The biggest trend this season is the simple, high contrast black and white. Usually designers stray from black and opt for soft pastels in their spring and summer collections, but the graphic duo of black and white made a huge impact at most of the major shows. From Calvin Klein in New York, to Céline in Paris, to Milan’s Moschino, black and white ensembles rocked the runways in a variety of styles. A combination that’s super wearable for everyone and suitable for day and night, black and white is now both timeless and on trend.

Step out in the hottest trend for spring: black and white.

Step out in the hottest trend for spring: black and white. (Dress from Zara)

For an updated way to wear black and white, try incorporating pieces with bold stripes or monochromatic checks. Marc Jacobs sent a number of his models down the runway with black and white striped and checked outfits. Stripes are another big trend for spring, so you don’t necessarily have to incorporate black and white versions of striped clothing. Michael Kors featured rugby stripes of red, navy and green in his collection while Christian Dior used bold lines of pink and black. Easy to incorporate into any style, try a navy striped tee with shorts for a nautical look or black and white striped denim for a Balmain-inspired rocker vibe.

Marc Jacobs spring/summer 2013

Marc Jacobs spring/summer 2013 (Photo credit: EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/GettyImages)

Another trend this is season is the boudoir look. This means adapting pieces we normally would associate with lingerie into transparent items for our everyday wear. Look for sheer and light fabrics such as organza, silk chiffon or mousseline. In terms of style, the transparent look comes through in lace details, mesh panels, cutouts and high slits. On the runways, Alexander Wang showed deconstructed dresses with sheer panels and cutouts. Crop tops and slip dresses were spotted at Rochas, and Akris presented a multitude of transparent ensembles. For a wearable and fun night look, pair a cropped tank with a high-waisted skirt or pant. Or swap a blouse with a bustier to wear under a blazer. The key is to keep things subtle — show just a hint of skin that isn’t normally revealed with the usual jeans and tee.

Cutouts featured at Alexander Wang’s spring show.

Cutouts featured at Alexander Wang’s spring show.

The luxe sport trend is also big for spring. Bomber jackets were seen at Stella McCartney and sporty dresses were included in a lot of the collections. A great way to wear this trend for the warmer months is with scuba dresses. Characterized by a higher neckline, exposed zipper, fitted sleeveless bodice, and usually with black panelling down the sides, the skirt of a scuba dress can either be a-line or more body conscious. Dress them up with heels or pair them with canvas sneakers for a more casual look.

Look sporty with a scuba dress like this one at Victoria Beckham.

Look sporty with a scuba dress like this one at Victoria Beckham.

Still going strong from autumn are the leather and pantsuit trends. Perfect for the transition into spring, opt for suppler, lightweight leather in unexpected colours and styles such as a flirty oxblood leather skirt. With the power suit, both masculine and feminine shapes were spotted on the runways. For a cool and versatile twist, pair a suit blazer with formal shorts or cropped pants, as seen at Tory Burch and Helmut Lang.

For smaller details, ruffles, exotic patchworks and Japanese silhouettes are also in. With frills prominent at Gucci, Givenchy and Chloé, the ruffle is an updated variation on the peplum trend from previous seasons. If you want to add a big splash of patterns and colour into an outfit, try a patchwork top or dress such as those seen at Rodarte or Proenza Schouler. Similar to a collage, the modern patchwork combines different textiles in complementary colours and patterns. And to emulate the Japanese-inspired looks at Etro and Prada, look for kimono-style wrap tops or dresses with wide, structured belts.

The patchwork trend at Proenza Schouler.

The patchwork trend at Proenza Schouler.

There’s a trend for every look this season. And with black and white pieces already in your wardrobe, you’re set to start out spring with style!

[Article first appeared in the March 20 issue of Richmond Review.]

Fall 2012 fashion trends

20 Sep

Pack away the pastels and summer basics — this season is all about embracing darker tones and lavish textures. From gothic leather and Shakespearean baroque pieces, to a revival of military detailing, this year’s fall trends will have something for every style.

A cobalt dress from the Stella McCartney fall/winter 2012 show.

Colours

Orange was a big colour trend earlier this year, but the cooler months will see an influx of vivid blues and reds in stores. Usually paired with black, blues were dominant on fall runways at the collections of DKNY and Stella McCartney. Cobalt, in particular, was a designer favourite. Easy to wear, blue tones also look great paired with silver for a chic, modern look. Reds were also a standout colour in the fall collections. From deep burgundy to bright scarlet, try incorporating this trend with a bold red coat or dress to add some flair to cold grey days. For dressier ensembles, go for the gold — a slew of metallic gold dresses were spotted at Elie Saab and Michael Kors. For the day-to-day, limit gold to accent pieces such as belts, bracelets, coat trimming or small detailing on a blouse. For celebratory soirees, take the look to full items and dazzle in a gold sequined jacket or skirt.

Oxblood, a deep red, is another hot colour for fall. Find this dress with an embellished collar at H&M.

Fabrics

In terms of texture, leather is always huge for fall. Whether it was because of the popularity of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo or just a general moodiness in culture around the time designers were creating their collections, the tone translated into gothic leather pieces such as matte trench coats and embossed dresses. A highlight of the Proenza Schouler and Givenchy shows, leather has the capacity to be classic and rebellious depending on the fit, style and texture. Another trend similar to leather is the fascination with PVC and other waxy material. Channel Fendi’s futuristic take on PVC with a shiny black skirt made from the plastic textile.

With its leather pants and black/blue combo, this ensemble from BCBG hits a few trends at once.

For a more romantic and soft fall texture trend, look no further than velvet. The lustrous fabric is not just for holidays and kids under ten anymore, as evident on the runways of Gucci and Marc by Marc Jacobs. Try a velvet blazer in a jewel tone for a luxe look or a structured dress for that extra indulgence. Fur is always a big trend for autumn but this year, the material is kept more for small accents than a coat made completely of pelts. Whether you want to follow this trend with faux or authentic fur, find items such as a top with fur collar trim or a skirt with fur panelling.

Styles

Military styling seems to return every few seasons and it’s back again this fall. Structured army jackets were prominent at Jason Wu and Tommy Hilfiger. Look for tops and coats with epaulettes, pockets and round, gold buttons. Baroque and Shakespearean influences were also featured heavily in the collections. Try this renaissance trend by sporting opulent pieces with heavy embellishments and intricate designs. Brocade, through the use of gold and metallic threads, is also characteristic of baroque style.

A military-inspired coat from Zara.

Pantsuits are another popular choice for this season. Go sleek and polished with a suit in a solid colour or, for the more adventurous, with matching patterns. Prada and Louis Vuitton both sent models down the runway with printed pantsuits. Try a jacket and pant combo in matching florals, tartans or checks. Oversized silhouettes, especially for coats, are also trendy. Look for roomy, slightly baggy coats that drape away from the body. Another trend that falls in line with the oversized look is exaggerated hips. Peplum is continuing strong from spring and summer, but for the daring there are dresses and tops with panniers — extra fabric that extends from the hips to give it extra oomph.

Whatever style you’re drawn to, update your wardrobe with a few of this season’s trends. Fall and winter is always a fun time to play with fashion.

[Article first appeared in the Sept. 12 issue of Richmond Review.]