So for those who followed me through my last post, you know why I’ve been MIA for three weeks: I was at that little party in the desert. You know, that one that’s actually a temporary city built by 70,000 people, and also known as Burning Man! What an experience! Since my blog doesn’t focus on such things, I won’t get into details, but I’ll just say it was the most transformative experience of my life. It tested my mental strength several times, and gave me some clarity to some of the things I wanted to improve in my “default” daily life. This event also encourages everyone to be participants rather than spectators, so the collaboration we had giving back to our camp (building, bartending, helping with workshops, etc) was also extremely fulfilling considering that teamwork is not always so easy in the real world! Yeah, there was plenty of partying, but it went way deeper than that—there’s something so liberating and inspiring seeing so many people letting loose with their creativity, and doing good for others without expecting anything in return.
There are so many gorgeous variations of your traditional blue or indigo washed jeans out there, but my favorite shade lately has been a washed, or faded, black. Dark denim, especially black, is normally seen as a Fall shade, but I honestly love it year round. When it comes to black jeans, most people don’t think much in terms of variation…black is black, right? This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Last Fall, I published a post featuring my favorite dark grey and faded black jeans out there, and since this last month I found myself drooling over this shade again I decided I’d pay the topic a revisit.
One of the reasons I love denim so much is because I am a creative…I am basically an artist of sorts by craft. There are so many cool pieces of denim out there beyond the traditional blue jeans, and the possibilities somehow always seem endless. I always gravitate to the most unique, colorful, creative, unusual, weird and different pieces in the denim industry, and I try to get my hands on as many as possible to make dressing up in the mornings even more fun! When it comes to a night out, I know most ladies prefer to opt for the foolproof sleek, dark-washed, leg-lengthening skinny jeans to go with their favorite pair of killer heels, but why not opt for something to set you apart from the pack, to let our your playful side? Shopbop has put together a fun collection of party-worthy denim, with patchwork, fringe, distressing, embellishments, and other fun and daring details to shake up your nightlife routine a bit.
I’m definitely digging the alice + olivia Joana Splatter Paint Skinny Jeans (paint and denim always somehow seem to go hand in hand) and the Citizens of Humanity Agnes Crop Jeans in Euclid Bleach. The BLANKNYC Two Tone Raw Hem Jeans in Sliding Doors also catches my attention as I love colorblocked styles! The Siwy Mary-Jane Jeans in Crazy Train offer a fun festival-style vibe in my eyes and I’d wear them out dancing any time as well. Also, I’m sure you all remember the beautifully distressed BLANKNYC Skinny Classique in Good Vibes which has been a very popular blogger and stylist staple all this last year, longer than any denim piece I’ve ever seen out of the brand! Here are my favorite pieces from Shopbop’s Party Denim collection!
Shop the entire Party Denim collection from Shopbop here!
The sleek, leatherlike look is always in, regardless of the season. I always like edgy looks, or pieces that look like they just came off of a long motorcycle ride or rock concert (from the stage side, of course) to balance out more casual outfits. Leather jeans were always kind of appealing to me, but I never owned any; partially because of the price, but also because of the fear of washing them or feeling too suffocated. There are always vegan leather options, but in my past experiences they only felt kind of clammy as the day went on, again not offering a whole lot in the breathability department. I know there are a lot of awesome new options, but I haven’t quite dipped back into that realm yet. However, when coated jeans emerged onto the scene, and I finally got to review a pair or two, I found a new alternative that I knew I could love!
Coated denim (also known as “waxed denim”) is regular denim with a layer of acrylic, resin, polyurethane or pigment. When done on a black jean, it really looks like a beautiful leather piece! Using denim allows them to be more stretchy, soft, and breathable for a comfortable all-day wear. I really love wearing them under a casual tee shirt or out on the town or a DJ gig! They can be kind of tough to wear in warmer weather, so now that Fall is here and Winter is just around the corner, my coated denim will emerge once again. The extra coated layer offers a bit of warmth, and I think they just look way too cool under boots. Most come in black, but there are some jewel-toned alternatives out there, which of course are great for Fall to match with the season’s colors! Some of my favorite coated denim pieces include already-loved denim styles like distressing and rips, and moto or zipper detailing. Here are a few pieces I’ve gathered to share with you that I think are great examples of coated denim.
What do you think? What are your favorites?
Patched and Embroidered Denim for Fall
The artistry within the denim community is one aspect that keeps me hooked. When ripped jeans first got popular over ten years ago, I started by buying my own pair and ripping them myself, then added rhinestones and patches all over them, based on a pair I had seen at either Abercrombie or Hollister (same thing basically…but can’t remember specifically). Way before that, in high school, I enjoyed putting embroidered patches all over my backpack, but hadn’t ever considered putting them on clothing. Jeans with cute embroidery have been floating around the market more than before now, and it’s so fun seeing all of the different designs available! It further pushes the notion that denim is like a canvas, ready for a designer (or designer at heart) to have at it and express their creativity, just like with painted jeans. A lot of them bring out a cool flower child-ish ’70s vibe which obviously fits me pretty well if you’ve been reading my blog long enough!
Fall is almost here already, and I think patched and embroidered jeans would be perfect to match the falling leaves and changing colors of the season. Springtime is also another season that I feel these embroidered jeans fit well within, but that’s a subject for a much later post! Here are some of the best I could find out on the market right now, starting with two beautiful styles that are part of Level 99’s Fall/Winter 2016 lookbook: the Allie Mid Rise in High Street (above) and Level 99 Amber Slouchy in Point Dume (below). Which is your favorite?
New 3×1 Skinnies and Osiris Kicks
When I first started my denim collection, my goal wasn’t only on collecting different styles, but also trying out a piece from all sorts of different brands as well. Until just a few days ago, 3×1 was still absent from my stacks of jeans…until Hautelook had a sale, yay! These are the 3×1 Distressed Skinny Jeans in Tarnish. Aren’t these just freaking gorgeous? Pair that with another score…I’d been craving a pair of Osiris NYC83 kicks for awhile now and was pretty flabbergasted about how tough it was to find them, especially in women’s sizes. So it was off to Ebay once again! I lucked out and found my size and the color I wanted, brand new, at an amazing deal, and I honestly cannot stop wearing them. They arrived just in time for California to actually have a good rainy day and to finally cool down a bit! It finally feels like Fall, and I love the combination of the 3×1 jeans with my leather jacket from Victoria’s Secret (acquired years ago) with the high tops. I wore the jean/shoe combination for two days in a row, actually! I forgot how comfortable skate shoes were!
Shopbop Presents the Principle Denim Collection
Most of us who have been wearing jeans for long enough already know what styles and brands best flatter our figures, but for many of us, finding the perfect pair of jeans is still quite the task! Fear not…because if you’re ready to dive into the premium denim market, Shopbop has got you covered with their new Principle Collection. This is so exciting…the retailer has partnered with 15 of the biggest names in the denim industry to design an ultimate collection of a wide variety of fits, styles and washes. We’re talking pieces from Rag & Bone/JEAN, AG, McGuire, Paige, FRAME, R13 and many, many more, in the form of flares, skinnies, crops, baby boots, micro flares and a few relaxed styles as well. They even squeezed in a classic BLANKNYC Vegan Leather piece (how couldn’t they?). I’m totally digging this collection, and Shopbop put together a great little lookbook in the form of a guide for those who just aren’t quite sure where to start. There are even two petite styles involved to be sure to include everyone! If you’re looking for a serious staple piece, this is a great place to look! The media sure has been trying to push this “denim is dying” idea on us for several months now, but the reality is quite different…and Shopbop is here to prove it. Check out the Principle Collection below!
Denim Surfboards by 3×1 and Token
It might be obvious right now that I appreciate just about anything made from denim…the fabric is so versatile it’s easy to expand it over to furniture, sunglasses, art, watches, shes, and many more, as I illustrated in a post this February! The list seems to go on and on and I thoroughly enjoy seeing innovators get creative with denim. While perusing Rawr Denim, an online blog for everything raw and selvedge denim, I ran across this neat little item: selvedge denim masters 3×1 are currently showing us just how radical you can get with the fabric, teaming up with Token Surfboards to celebrate a new store opening in Southampton, New York. Each board is handmade and has selvedge denim insets from 3×1, some complete with some really neat fraying effects! Buyers can head to the Southampton store for a custom board, with the options of board shape, size and style of denim. According to Observer, these boards will take up to six to eight weeks to be made, so anyone without specific custom preferences can choose from three premade boards right from 3×1‘s online storefront. There was a time when I thought I would get into surfing…even went for a brand new board, but failed pretty miserably…these kind of tap back into that old desire to hit the waves! Although, I think I’d be too afraid to use and abuse these…especially for the price—these special items start around $2,250.
As my denim obsession and side job in denim blogging advances and my denim nerd level grows, more and more people are always asking me what the average price of a reliable pair of jeans is, and where they can find the great deals. My immediate answer is to direct them to popular sample sale sites Rue La La, Hautelook and Ideel, which are my go-tos when I am in a shopping mood, but I get so many great sales in my inbox every week that I’d feel silly if I didn’t share them too. It seems there are more great deals floating around for current and would-be denim fiends nowadays than I’ve ever seen that it’s gotten to the point where you rarely ever need to pay retail anymore! So here are a few of my favorite brands on sale right now. Whether you are looking for edgy, chic, comfortable, or just a classic pair of jeans, you’re in the right place! Above is a brand that I still have yet to get my hands on, 3×1, which prides itself in being one of the best sources of selvedge denim around. You can bet on quality with this brand for sure! New items have just been added to their sale, so give it a look.
7 For All Mankind
Does this one really need an intro? It’s always exciting when 7 For All Mankind goes on sale. I’m always eyeing new styles in the Kimmie, which is a perfect fit for curvier bodies like mine. Check out the Contour fit for a contoured waistband or the slimming effect of the Second Skin Slim Illusion version. It’s usually a good idea to size down in the Kimmie style so keep that in mind if you are going for a pair! The brand also has a $99 denim section right now for more great styles.
Another huge favorite…I’m a big fan of the AG Stilt jean! I always size down in this brand too, and it’s an amazing one for curvy shapes. I suggest the Angel for a great slim flare look if you aren’t into the skinnier styles. These fit so well without needing to be pulled up throughout the day and are so flattering! The stretchy fabric is super soft, too.
Level 99 is one of my top ABSOLUTE favorite brands…they are relatively new to the industry and have made such an impressive impact on the denim market with their eco-friendly fabrics, wash processes and impeccable fits. Their price points are slightly lower than most premium brands, so when this brand goes on sale, it’s worth checking out. Check out the Tanya high rise for a great curvy fit (I reviewed this style here) or the Janice for a perfect figure-hugging super skinny fit. Level 99 also uses tencel fibers in their fabrics which makes for an ULTRA soft and stretchy feel. These jeans are so awesome!
Blank NYC is killin’ it in the summer style department and has been seen all over the booties of festival-going bloggers everywhere. They are an amazing brand for quality at a lower price point, especially if you are looking for a little bit of edge or some chic distressed looks. Their sale section is always rocking, but there have been a few more styles added lately! If you are looking for something to add to your closet this summer without breaking the bank, this is a great one to check out. I’ve never had much of a problem in terms of fit with this brand, but I do size up one size as they tend to run small!
I don’t often see Diesel go on sale so this is a rare opportunity! What can I say about them other than the fact that they pretty much rule the out-there, totally unique and super edgy rockstar look. Diesel does offer a few classic styles, but if you are really looking to stand out with something that will turn heads, check this sale out! Diesel will bring out your inner punk rocker and you won’t look back. For sizing, I usually take my true size. Every now and then though, I size down. Every look and fit is different so I would read closely and check out online reviews before you buy.
I absolutely love this brand! I haven’t checked out many of their latest styles, but I did two reviews for them earlier this year: The Grace in Moscow and the Florence Instasculpt in Warner. DL1961 came out a few years ago as a revolutionary brand that finally answered the need for jeans that stick to your shape without stretching out. These are SO soft and definitely keep their form while holding you in! Take your usual size in these.
Like Diesel, those that know True Religion know that they don’t often go on sale either. This iconic brand is offering 50% off select styles, so if you’ve ever been tempted by the idea of your own pair of horseshoes on your bum then this might just be the time to check them out! This style runs through July 8th so hurry now for the best selection.
Joe’s has already grabbed the market’s attention as a great curvy fit jean that will last you for years and years to come! A ton of new items have been added to their current sale at up to 30-50% off, including denim, tops and jackets for women and men. Shop a wide range of collections including Music Festival Style, Sooo Soft, Spotless, Off Duty, 70s Inspired, Collector’s Edition, and so many more. There is a MASSIVE selection of both classic and edgy looks to fit whatever style, fit, texture, color, etc that you may be looking for so head over now…even if you aren’t inclined to shop at the moment, it’s worth a fun look!
Happy shopping, happy weekend, and happy Father’s Day!
Frayed Hems Beyond the Denim Short
The frayed cutoff short. Nothing new. We’ve all been sporting them and creating our own out of our old jeans for decades. Last year I discovered skinny jeans with raw hems after one of my favorite bloggers, Lorna of Raindrops of Sapphire posted about her raw hem 7 For All Mankind jeans (she later shared her AG raw hem leggings). I love the look! I thought it was just something those two brands were up to, until I got a newsletter a few days ago from popular denim brand J Brand. They have an entire line dedicated to raw hems, titled The Fray, which includes not only skinny, culotte and bell jeans but also jackets, dresses and denim tops! Initially, this post was just going to feature J Brand, but as I searched the net a little more, I found that the raw hem trend was on full force with a multitude of other top notch premium denim brands! I scoured a few shops until I picked out a few favorites and collected them all here to share with all of you…and to bookmark as wish list items as well. What do you think of this new(ish) trend? I think it’s about time I add a skinny jean with a raw hem to my ever-growing denim collection! I’m not sure if I’m that partial to the tops and dresses, but you never know until you try it right?
I was just about done with this post until I spotted these couture items on Shopbop…kind of beyond reach for many of us but still awesome!
What do you think? Do you have a favorite frayed denim look?