It seems as though jeans have been around forever. They are constantly re-invented and there’s never a fashion show in Milan, London, New York or Paris, where denim is not represented in some form or another.
Denim is, of course, the cloth used for making jeans, and it can be traced back to somewhere around the end of the 18th century. That’s over 200 years ago!
During that time, it was made by mixing together a number of materials. With the increase in trade, slave labour and cotton plantations, ‘jeans cloth’ came to be made completely from cotton. It was favoured by farmers and outdoor workers as it was very strong and did not wear out easily. The material was dyed with indigo, taken from North American plants, thus giving the trademark colour of ‘blue’ to jeans.
Around the mid 1850s, a German immigrant called Levi Strauss came to San Francisco, and noticed a gap in the market for pants/trousers, made from rough canvas. This caused chafing among the miners working there and so he changed canvas for a twilled cotton cloth from France, known as ‘serge de Nimes’, which later came to be known as denim. He later formed the Levi Strauss & Company and started using the pocket stitch design and later still rivets to make his denim jeans even more durable. The rest is not just history, but the present and the future. But with such a bewildering number of styles today, what are the best jeans for you?
First you need to sort out what body shape you are. Here are five of the most common body shapes:
A pear body shape, which is when your bottom half is wider than your top.
An apple shape, which is when you have big boobs and an undefined waist.
An inverted triangle, which is when your shoulders are broader than your waist and bottom half.
Slender figure, also popular as Slim figure.
An hourglass figure, which is when you have evenly proportioned boobs and hips, with a small waist.
For pear body shapes, go for flared jeans that start flaring from the knee. With a heeled shoe these jeans will make your legs look longer.
Colour wise go for darker tones: a deep blue, indigo or black colour will help streamline your legs.
Look for jeans with permanent creases that create a vertical line down the leg. Because this draws your eye up and down the centre of the body, and away from your hips.
For apple shaped ladies, bootcut jeans are the most slimming, flattering jeans. Why? They streamline the thighs and kick out over the shoe. As with pear shapes, add a heel to help elongate your legs.
Darker blue or even black jeans will look good. Seek out a pair with high pockets that will make your derrière look perkier. Again, vertical creases on the front of your jeans will elongate your legs and add some subtle volume to balance your upper body.
The best jeans for an inverted triangle body shape are flares that start at the knee and glide out over the feet, creating the perfect balance to your broad shoulders. Alternatively, a bootcut will look good. Combine your jeans with a top that will “soften” your shoulders; feminine details such as ruffles and frills. Add a feature necklace – it will help take the eye away from your shoulders.
Are you a slender woman? Skinny jeans are made for you! Try a light blue or a slightly distressed look will help enhance your shape. Jeans that are faded at the knees and down the leg create an effect to give you extra curves. Avoid black or dark indigo jeans because they can make your legs look even slimmer- go for bold and bright colours: Red, green, even Lilac!
Finally for those with an hourglass figure, I suggest you go for a dark bootcut or skinny pair of jeans to show off your curves. Try a “midrise” jean – this is where the waistline sits mid-way towards the stomach. It will fit snugly on your hips, creating lovely smooth lines. Fancy stitching and pointed details on pockets will show off your curvy rear. Nice!