Denim Do’s and Don’ts

Her is from Stacy London, when she was on Oprah

Stacy London’s Jean Myths
Before you leave the house in your favorite pair of jeans, stop and take a long look in the mirror. Is your backside sagging like a day-old diaper? Are your jeans so acid-washed they belong in an ’80s music video? Do the tapered legs make you look like a walking ice cream cone? Could your waistband double as a push-up bra?

According to Oprah’s in-house experts, about nine out of 10 women are wearing the wrong jeans. So, yes, that probably means you. To combat this out-of-control epidemic, Oprah asks Stacy London, host of TLC’s What Not to Wear, to debunk denim myths and warn you about common fashion blunders.

“Muffin Top” and “Dunlap Syndrome”

What’s the first jean hazard to watch out for? The dreaded “muffin top” or, as Oprah calls it, “dunlap” syndrome. “That’s when your stomach done lap over your jeans,” she jokes.

The “muffin top” is caused by a waistband that’s too low and too tight. When your tummy spills over the sides of your jeans, you know you’re a member of the muffin club.

But, there’s good news for muffins everywhere, Stacy says. Waistlines are rising! The ultra-low rise fad is fading fast, and the new mid-rise styles will keep your belly from bulging.

Plumber’s Crack

Unless you have a tool belt strapped to your waist, there’s no excuse for plumber’s crack. Women who wear low-rise jeans are often guilty of this obscene offense, Stacy says.

Before you crouch, be sure to pull down your shirt and hike up your pants. Otherwise, a full moon may be rising in the grocery store aisles—for everyone to see!

Ice Cream Cone Effect

If you have thin ankles and you want to show them off, by all means, buy a tapered jean. But, keep in mind, tapered denim only accentuates the width of the hips. Plus, Stacy says, the tapered effect often leaves women looking like ice cream cones. Trust Stacy, go for the 31 flares—not flavors.

Mom Jeans

If the waistband of your jeans could double as a push-up bra or your backside looks flatter than a flapjack, you’re guilty of wearing “mom jeans.” Stacy thinks these high-waisted horrors are cardinal sins of fashion.

While moms may not want to wear their daughters’ trendy, low-rise jeans, there are plenty of brands out there that cater to mature women with good fashion sense.

Don’t Be a Fashion Victim
If you go for jeans that have a lot of bells and whistles, you may fall into the “fashion victim” category, Stacy warns. Don’t fall for every new trend—skinny jeans and blue jeans tucked into boots may look good on your favorite celebrity, but not everyone can pull it off.

Stacy says patience—not fashion magazines—is the key to finding the perfect pair of jeans. “I feel terrible because women get so frustrated,” she says. “They try on two pairs of jeans, and they say nothing fits me and they leave the store. You’ve got to try. And even if you don’t get lucky after seven, if you get lucky after 20, it is worth it.”

Boot-Cut Myth
Now that you know what jeans to avoid, Stacy wants to make sure every woman goes into the store armed with accurate information. She’s here to set the record straight about common denim myths.

Myth 1: Boot cut is flattering on everyone. False, Stacy says. Petite women, in particular, should avoid boot-cut jeans, and wear jeans with a straighter leg. Stacy says if you’re shorter than 5’4”, a boot cut may make your thighs look heavier by hugging the knees too tightly before flaring at the bottom. Boot-cut jeans can also make your legs look shorter.

The ideal body type for boot-cut pants is a woman taller than 5’4” who has long legs.

Stretch Myth

Myth 2: Stretch denim is always better.

“Well, not always,” Stacy says. “Sometimes [stretch denim] can make your legs look like sausage in casing if it’s too tight.”

What’s another reason to avoid stretchy fabric? Stacy says the skin-tight fit can give women “dimples” right below the tush. Her advice is to try on nonstretch, as well as stretch, to find the best fit.

A “Distressing” Myth
Myth 3: Distressing always makes you look thinner.

Oprah learned this lesson the hard way. Her old jeans are distressed along the leg, which Stacy says creates a “spotlight” on her thighs. “Unfortunately, in the wrong place, whiskering, bleaching or distressing can actually accent a wide hip, a larger booty or a heavier thigh,” Stacy says.

Distressed jeans also look more casual than darker denim, Stacy says. She suggests dark-wash jeans paired with heels and a sequined top for a great evening look!

January 28, 2010. January.

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