It’s always so amazing to me how different each pair of jeans are when the majority of the population still sees a pair of jeans like a typical blue piece of workwear. Premium denim has definitely come a long way since they emerged on the market and blew up in the early 2000s, and of course creativity is one of the major factors that keeps competition real and the best brands on top. Racing stripes are one of those cool designs that I’ve had my eyes on for a long time—I can’t really recall exactly when they became popular but I know it was a few years ago sometime. I’m going to make an educated guess that they came to be around the time activewear as streetwear grabbed hold of the market and gave denim a bit of extra competition! I failed to add a pair of jeans with side stripes for quite awhile, until I got to review the above pair for Mavi. I absolutely love this sporty looking style! It also reminds me of my days in high school marching band…which came to mind when I was coming up with the concept of writing about 21 side stripe skinny jeans to march you through the summer!
Being as obsessed with denim as I am, and having reviewed denim for Denimology and this blog since 2014, I have many denim styles. Of course, the classic blue jean takes up most of them since it’s the most common (and let me say, there’s still a ton of variety), as well as my all time absolute favorite wash, faded black. However, sometimes it’s fun to shake it up a little with a statement piece! Usually the thought of a chunky piece of sparkly jewelry pops up when thinking of such a thing, or maybe some eye catching heels. For me though, I often opt for a fun pair of printed jeans as something different to spice up an outfit when I feel like I’m in a style rut!
I get so excited seeing more of my all-time top favorite denim brands doing their best to go sustainable! For those who don’t know, denim has been such a guilty pleasure for me—I love denim, but the manufacturing process is quite dirty. It takes a ton of water and chemicals to get those worn-in fades we all like so much, and then we get into the pesticides used with growing the crops and the amount of land that is necessary to produce all the cotton needed. Joe’s, Patagonia, Reformation, Liverpool and Everlane are all brands that are revamping or have revamped their production to help support a healthier planet. In 2018, J BRAND released their first ever sustainable capsule collection, and they’ve just followed it up with another big step!
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.
I know, I was just as surprised as you are, I guess. Usually Fall is the time for earthy, neutral colors such as browns, burgundies, and olive greens…but I’ve seen more than one retailer pushing the latter as a new Spring color. I’m fine with it, as I’m not much of a bright pastelley color person at all, and olive happens to be one of my favorite colors. It’s nice to find more toned down alternatives! Most people probably associate olive green as a military shade, and military pieces are indeed included in these new Spring marketing campaigns. They are also usually more lightweight which offers more breezy options for the warmer weather!
And now it’s time for something completely different (for me at least)…I’ve mentioned before that I’m totally not into the “traditional” girly shades. You’ll just about never spot me in pastels, and certainly not pink. However, I do like seeing such feminine touches going through “tough makeovers,” as J Brand puts it. I always thought a pink motorcycle, or a pink handgun, or…you know, anything that normally isn’t very girly at all in a humorously girly shade was somewhat appealing. Looking at it the other way though, gives it a whole different approach. Colored denim is always fun, and relaxed, vintage-like fits have been growing in popularity. Along with vintage denim comes plenty of tough distressing and broken in detailing, which I feel definitely make a pink shade look a little more rockstar and tones down the girl-next-door factor a bit.
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?
Velvet is the Fabric for Fall
It happens every year…and somehow I still don’t own one velvet piece! I know many people might see it hard to pull off as a grown-up, like overalls, corduroy or culottes. However, there’s no mistaking that it’s an ultra luxe, beautiful, and soft fabric that emerges every year as temperatures drop. It also helps that it also always comes in several of the best jewel tones for fall! I absolutely love these colors, especially the dark blues and burgundys. Oh, and black never hurts either. It’s easy to rock a velvet blazer, but there are so many other great items made from this popular, timeless fabric!
I decided to go on a hunt for some of the most gorgeous velvet pieces I could find, after my interest was sparked by a newsletter from J Brand’s latest releases! I was not disappointed. No longer is a velvet pant just a velvet pant anymore—check out that amazing disco-ready BLANKNYC Flare in Burgundy Lush and the Rag & Bone/JEAN RBW23 Velvet Skinny Pants in Navy which features zipper details! I’m also crushing on the AG The Super Skinny Velvet Pants in Super Black and J Brand Mid Rise Super Skinny in Emerald. I was initially going to stick with jeans and bottoms but there were so many totally cute tops and shoes, and these DRESSES. Before I drool on myself (again), I’ll stop here and let the photos below do the talking.
What do you think of this popular Fall fabric? Shop more pretty velvetey things below!
Some may think that the handful of veteran, household name brands that have well established their place in the denim markets long ago (such as 7 For All Mankind, True Religion, Citizens of Humanity or J Brand to name a few) are on smooth sailing terms in the industry at this point. However, they know just as well as the hard working, struggling up and coming brands that it’s always about reinventing and re-innovating to stay competitive and keep up with new technologies and trends. Sometimes, they might just come out with something exclusive that no other brand has done before, like a special limited edition piece or capsule collection.
J Brand is already very well loved and always provides great fodder for me to write about on a decently regular basis, but I just noticed something yesterday that really made me go WOW! These guys have created something truly special. Their Gold Noir collection on its own is beautiful to look at, made up of sleek black denim with gold buttons and gilded zippers. One piece, however, stands out from the pack: the Natasha Sky High Skinny in Seriously Black, dubbed the “Little Black Jean,” which is finished off with 24k gold buttons. Not only that, but it’s made of fade-resistant, supremely soft stretchy black denim that “glides on your skin.” It comes with a gorgeous package including a bag and card, and only 100 were made! Each jean is individually numbered. So, if you are a die hard denim fan like me with a few hundred dollars to spare, this one will truly be a collector’s piece for quite some time.
The Gold Noir collection also features four other main pieces (not in 24k gold): the Carina Double Zip Skinny Moto in Seriously Black, Zion Mid-Rise Skinny in Transformation, Carina Double Zip Skinny Moto in Resolute and the Maria High-Rise Flare in Innovation. If you count the petite version of the Maria Flare, this collection holds 6 amazing pieces.
Here are the other pieces that grace and complete the Gold Noir collection!