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!
When shopping for black jeans in the past, I was always looking for the most jet black, dark and saturated (wash wise) pair I could find. I mean, it’s fair to say that’s a fundamental piece for anyone’s closet, and I do own a pair or two of those. However, I always end up saving those only for special occasions for fear of washing them and having them fade. Now, I know I have posted in the past about some pretty awesome fadeless black jeans from brands such as Level 99 and DSTLD in the past, but I haven’t owned any of those yet and still was afraid to wash the nice black pairs I have and love.
It’s yet another long weekend, and yet another great round of sales! I plan to spend my next few days resting, going to a few concerts and clubs in Hollywood, and spending time with friends. I’m fortunate to live in California where it’s going to be nice and warm all weekend, but I know some parts the country have some inclement weather looming overhead…and I’m sure if I lived in those areas I’d be more inclined to stay at home shopping! Whatever you plan to do this weekend, if you are aching for a new pair of jeans, I’ve put together some of the best premium denim sales I could find. Enjoy, and be safe!
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?
Black and Olive Earth Tones
It’s funny, I was just going to call this “Distressing and Stripes,” and realized there was a pattern here…I had already named a post that last August (see here)! I guess I have a subconscious style preference. Anyway, two of my favorite pieces here are my black Alternative cardigan I got years ago and Level 99 Tanya in Crawford jeans, which are a deliciously soft high rise that just go with freaking everything. I just got this Long Sleeve Striped Pullover in Olivine (similar here) by Splendid from Hautelook (one of my favorite online haunts). This is my first item from Splendid, finally, and it definitely lives up to all my expectations! Olive is one of my favorite colors, and this Olivine shade is so pretty. The stripes are a navy blue color too, although they look black in these photos. I always like keeping contrast up with my outfits by wearing something black, but this time I went almost all black with one olive green piece to break it up. The boots are the Lace Up Quilted boot from American Eagle Outfitters (another similar one here), and I’ve been wearing them around to break them in for festival season (can’t wait)! My necklace is made from jasper, onyx and pyrite beads from Midwinter Co., one of my favorite jewelers. I love how well olive green and black go together!
Level 99 Spring/Summer 2016 Lookbook
Level 99 is one of my very favorite denim brands, because to me they are the whole package: amazing fits, their jeans don’t bag out, they are ridiculously soft, the washes are rich and beautiful, and the brand itself is extremely environmentally-minded. I have several pieces from them and I find myself wearing them more than most I own! There are tons of great fitting brands out there now, so for me this quality brand stands out due to its eco-friendly fabrics and wash techniques more than anything else. I’ve been in love with their huge variety of light and dark and distressed and not-so distressed varieties, and the fact that they seem to bridge the gap between the youthful and the young at heart with gorgeous classic and clean pieces. This brand has something for everyone, and although the skinny styles are what stood out to me the most at first, they also have tons of looser fitting styles…they excelled at the boyfriend jean last year (including some selvedge—I own two and they are awesome) for example, along with several linen pieces. Their new Spring/Summer collection focuses more on these loose and breezy beachy looks with luxurious tencel and linen fabrics dominating the lookbook, as well as a few plays on trends that emerged and re-emerged last year. The culotte and overall styles look like they made it through one summer and are ready to tackle the next, and I LOVE that they’ve included raw hems on some of these this time around! Although I am more of a fan of darker pieces, and not quite yet sure about culottes and overalls, I love the overall look of this lookbook (no pun or puns intended here) and I’m sure they’d make great additions to anyone’s closet for mixing and matching! I’m looking forward to another great year of Level 99.
Halloween Denim Sales
I can’t believe it was already a year ago that I dressed as a “sexy” Mad Hatter for an impromptu Halloween party at the house of a coworker, and then another one again the weekend after for a company party…that was definitely one of my favorite ones. I often laugh at the influx of “sexy” costumes out there, but inside, I’ll admit it’s just good plain fun. This month I already had two parties, and I think I’m already pretty partied out…both of them were Halloween-themed DJ gigs, both at which I dressed as dark as I could, in a black corset with lots of metal hardware, a spiked collar, a garter belt, black fuzzy Spirit-Hoods-style half hood, stockings and stripper heels…with the intention of being a bat. However, the wings just weren’t working, so I resorted to a hellcat, thanks in part to the first party being a Heaven & Hell theme. I DJed on the Hell stage, which was my choosing, spinning some ultra dark and sexy techno (bwahaha). This is definitely my favorite part of the year! Whatever you choose to do this party weekend, here are a few sales I found in my inbox from some of my favorite denim brands (I’m actually surprised I haven’t seen more) just in case you figured you’d squeeze in some shopping as well. I’m keeping this brief as I doubt many will be by their computers this weekend…so with that said, be safe, and have loads of FUN! Happy Halloween! Mrowr….
Level 99 Appoints Petra Nemcova
Of all the denim brands I’ve reviewed, Level 99 is a HUGE favorite of mine. I was a fan even before I had a chance to review a pair, the Tanya in Crawford, for Denimology! Later on I wrote about their innovations in stainless white denim with Forever White, and fadeless black denim with Forever Black. Their incredible fits and super soft Tencel fabrics are just something else, and their efforts with eco-friendly, sustainable wash processes gets major bonus points! Today it’s quite popular for denim companies to hire supermodels as brand ambassadors, so it was only fitting that Level 99 did so too. Level 99 has just appointed Petra Nemcova to represent the Forever White and Forever Black collections! She is one of my favorite models for sure, and the best part is that she’s also a philanthropist! Following her terrifying ordeal in 2004 when the Indian Ocean tsunami nearly took her life on what was supposed to be a dream vacation in Thailand with her fiancé Simon Atlee (who tragically perished), she was inspired to build a charity, the Happy Hearts Fund, which rebuilds safe-resilient schools in areas impacted by natural disasters. Read more about her story here. I believe she is a perfect face for Level 99’s campaign and I can’t wait to see what comes out of it! View the press release below.
I’ll have to admit, I had no idea that April was Earth Month! I’m not sure what rock I’ve been living under, but whatever. Thanks Level99 for bringing this to my attention! I’m sure we can all admit that things are changing around our planet…the importance of being eco-conscious has been stronger than ever with various charities, grassroots movements, organizations, companies and individuals all standing up to make their mark in all industries. The denim industry is definitely one of them. In a Level99 newsletter, which is responsible for realizing the importance of this month, is celebrating with their expansive efforts to stay Earth-friendly. I have a few of their jeans, and I LOVE how super soft they are thanks to Tencel and modal fibers, which are manmade from sustainably harvested trees in a “closed loop” process that uses close to no chemicals or water (denim processing and finishing takes up a LOT of water). The brand also creates the classic fading and whiskering on their jeans using low compression lasers and ozone chambers instead of water. Read more about the brand’s initiatives here! Other bigtime brands have stepped in as well. DL1961 uses DLPRO fabrics in many of their jeans. “The extremely absorbent ProModal™ fibers cut the dying, washing and treating process in half, conserving water, dyes, energy and time.” Parker Smith uses eco-friendly cotton/tencel denim as well. AG is another that uses ozone technology instead of water and chemicals to finish their jeans and remove excess indigo (read more here). DSTLD, the premium denim brand that offers quality at a lower price by eliminating the middleman, uses eco-friendly fabrics and natural dyes and softening techniques. Another huge one to name is the Levi’s® Water<Less™ collection, which uses up to 96% less water than traditional denim manufacturing. Levis has saved 172 million liters with Water<Less™ finishing! Read more about this amazing initiative here. Read on to learn about more eco friendly denim for Earth Month!
Flower Print and Raw Edges
And yet another post involving me wearing a top favorite brand of mine, Level 99. You might remember these pretty printed jeans, the Janice Ultra Skinny in Moon, from a previous post! I felt kind of inspired by some of the independent designers for festival attire that I thought I’d pull something out of my closet that kind of has a foresty, nature look to it: an old tee from Wet Seal. Yeah, from way back when, actually…when the brand was seen in malls everywhere, when malls existed (now I feel old). I wore this through high school and when I had my band, so unfortunately there are a few pills in the fabric from my guitar strap rubbing against it. Either way, it’s lasted for quite some time, which I guess could give Wet Seal a bit more credibility. I haven’t checked out the brand for awhile and was surprised to see a store pop up in my town recently, but I still have yet to walk in. With this outfit I’m wearing a hat again, of course (I work out a lot so that’s how I handle my curly bangs while my hair is drying), and a La Mer “Odyssey” wrap watch in Stingray I snagged from Rue La La a few months ago. The cardigan I got from my sister because she was going to donate it but I LOVED the color. It’s from American Apparel. On my neck I am wearing my favorite little amethyst pendant with a heart I found at a local jewelry store, and a cerulean gemstone wrap. The shoes were once my sister’s too, and I’m not sure what brand they are. I wear them a ton and the brand name is worn off the inner sole. All I know is that they came from London! I love all the earthtones in this outfit and I had to snap some photos to document it for future styling ideas.