Skinny jeans have gone through many phases over the years. Originally, jeans had minimal to no stretch, and were made as workwear with a more relaxed fit. They were made to be tough! Despite the fact that the stretchy jeans of today, which were created in part as a response to activewear becoming ultra popular (and giving denim a run for its money), were a huge hit, vintage denim is still preferred by a significant amount of denim fans. Jeans with some stretch definitely prove to be a better and more comfortable fit in most cases, but denim fabric technologies over the years has blurred the lines between jeans and leggings which has turned out to be quite the love/hate ordeal. I personally love a lot of my super soft stretchy jeans that I could take a yoga class in, but after trying a few 100% denim pairs myself, I have to say I get it. A lot of people don’t want skin-tight, figure hugging jeans, and like the durable feel of thick cotton denim.
I’m so happy to see the huge strides being made for sustainability in the denim market! Awareness is growing, both with consumers and brands themselves, about how important it is to reduce the toxicity and wastefulness that is inherent in garment manufacturing. Denim is a nasty process, from the pesticides used in the cotton to the toxic chemicals and water wasted in the wash process that makes those pretty fades we love when we shop for the perfect pair of jeans. G-Star RAW has been one of the leaders in the industry. They’ve worked with Pharrell Williams a few years ago to convert plastic floating around in our oceans to beautiful apparel, created a documentary with i-D illustrating the impact of plastics consumption on our oceans, and created a collection of jeans using only natural dyes. Continuing to plough forward full steam ahead, the brand has now unveiled a collection featuring their most sustainable jeans ever.
As mentioned earlier with my post about Hudson’s awesome new arrivals, it’s so fun to see what these premium denim brands come up with each season considering the denim market is so incredibly competitive and saturated nowadays. The creative ideas the best designers can conjure up with a material that most people find to be quite basic is so inspiring to see (and probably why my denim collection will never stop growing). Even within specific trends, it’s so rad to see the brightest minds stay afloat with fresh takes over and over again. Patchwork is one of those trends that’s not quite new, but it always feels like it is because of all the cool new styles that come out every year. I’ve written about patchwork several times, like with my review of Sonas Denim and the Pedal Star skinnies by Closed a couple of years beforehand. While this trend goes years back, it never really feels overdone. I never feel like it’s commonly revisited, despite how fun it is.
I cracked up. I hope you did too! I love getting my little curated newsletters from Etsy…especially around major holidays. Two years ago (I skipped last year) I featured a Valentine’s Day gift guide from Revolve, but this year I’m enjoying all of the creative and personal Valentine’s Day gift ideas from Etsy! In fact, I should probably feature these more often! Significant others can be notoriously difficult to shop for, especially around Valentine’s Day when everyone’s expecting chocolate, fancy dinners and gemstones. Well, maybe not everyone, but it can be tough to find the perfect non-cliche, personalized gifts every time a holiday centered around love, family or friendship rolls around when our lives are as busy as they are. Rushing out to a fancy dinner also means dealing with packed restaurants, difficult-to-come-by reservations and slower service, and chocolate or jewelry often just seems so thoughtless or forced. Some people opt for DIY gifts, but why not go for something unique and thoughtful crafted by someone who specializes in such a thing, when our creative juices, time and energy are fried by our daily grinds…especially when there are adorably convenient options for personal customization?
I don’t believe Hudson needs much of an introduction, but for those who may be new to the denim game, these guys have earned their street cred. As a veteran brand that’s been around for pretty much as long as other household names such as 7 For All Mankind or True Religion, they’ve staked their claim by constantly reinventing themselves, and I am always liking what I see in every release. For me, Hudson is one of the best brands to truly accentuate the booty, with curvier fits (especially in their signature bootcut models) and well-placed back pockets. The premium denim market is seriously saturated and extremely competitive, so it’s very difficult to stay afloat and come up with new ideas on a regular basis. However, the brand has once again proven its staying power with some new releases that definitely warrant some “oohs” and “aahs.”
Not all black clothes are alike..at least, if the designers really know what they are doing and have a strong creative license. Just like with jeans, I like seeing all the amazing creative things you can do with something that most people see as “bland” or “simple.” As someone who isn’t a fan of bright colorful clothing (just on myself, I love watching other people be as colorful as they desire), I appreciate all the amazing independent apparel brands I’ve discovered that know how to make dark clothing anything but basic. It can be tough to run across these, so I get pretty excited every time I find one. From Marigold Shadows to Marcellamoda to Siskatank and even styles from Carbon38, these are some of my favorite types of shops on the internet. Most are overseas in Europe, but when I find one here in the states, it’s a special treat to me. This time, I’ve run into Helvak, a vegan brand self-labeled as “stealthwear with a conscious.”
One perk of being a style blogger is getting the chance to try (and collect) a wide range of denim. You kind of have to be a little obsessed, and because of that, there are very few brands I have not tried (or don’t yet have a pair from). It’s definitely fun to see how your body shape works with different brands, so when you do choose to purchase a pair later, it’s such a convenience to know which brand and size to go for. One brand I actually can’t believe I have not gotten my hands on yet is Madewell, especially considering all the crazy accolades I’ve heard come from their devoted fans. Many of these premium denim brands promise the perfect fit, and many of those are correct…but since bodies come in so many different shapes, this can still be tricky. Madewell is a brand that I’ve heard amazingly positive things about in the fitting department, and I can’t wait to try them (FINALLY…it’s been what, just about 5 years since I started reviewing denim)!
I love dressing up to go out. Honestly though, I haven’t been out much lately, due in part to being so exhausted from the work week. When I do go out nowadays, it’s because I have a DJ gig, am supporting a friend’s gig or I’m somewhere seeing a favorite musician or band perform. In any circumstance where I find an opportunity to hit the town, I always like dressing on the darker side. Black is my taste, along with other dark colors: olive green, burgundy, and other earthy tones. Actually, this is pretty much me all the time, but I like to have a little extra fun when I go out with edgier and more unique pieces that I don’t often see just anywhere else. I also love to see how other people with similar tastes adorn themselves, especially at rock or metal shows, or clubs that cater mostly to the alternative crowd.
As a blogger, or any creative for that matter, it’s normal to run into writing blocks. If you’ve noticed, I’ve even switched up my writing schedule to fit more of a twice-per-week plan, and sometimes I don’t write at all, if I don’t find anything that inspires me. Brands or styles that spark my fancy ebb and flow, so I feel it’s better for my blog to reflect that, rather than forcing articles that I’m not really feeling. But I never really have to fear, it seems…as every time I feel like I may finally have seen it all, another brand pops up that makes me go “oooOOOOoohh!”
I know, you’re probably all sick and tired of hearing about activewear. After all, it’s proven to be a fairly trendy—and thus lucrative—business, so it seems there are new companies popping up every day trying to cash in on the trend. However, H&M isn’t quite new to activewear. I bought some of theirs way back in 2006 once on a trip to London, when I realized that yes, I still had the urge to go on jogs even though I was on sort of a vacation…so I went shopping for the cheapest workout clothes I could find. I still wear those items today, and am surprised how long they’ve held up. Over the years I’ve moved to purchasing from tried and true active brands like Puma, Lolé, and Under Armor, but I’m still always curious what brands that don’t cater primarily to the activewear market come up with in that department. H&M isn’t completely new to sustainability, so it’s no surprise that on December 28th of last year, they released a collection of eco-friendly activewear!