How to find skinny jeans

So earlier this week, I was fortunate enough to work on a project with John Lewis Westfield White City to try out their new Style Studio (the trip was a paid project but writing a blog post wasn't part of the arrangement - this is just something I'm doing separately as so many of you have asked and I found the info so illuminating!). 

And the aim of the game was to see if they could solve my huge mental block I have with skinny jeans.  Actually it's not just mental.  It's physical too.  

They just don't fit properly.  And if they do fit properly, they stretch to look like you're packing spuds after a couple of hours.  Or they have to be so tight that you get the GAWJUS look of sausages about to burst their skin instead of thighs.  

Not to mention the muffin.  I appreciate I am not large by any stretch of the imagination, I really, really am not.  But I've lived a good life and don't spent 24/7 in the gym eating chia seeds and energy balls so there is some lovage around my middle as a result. 

Which happily makes itself known in skinny jeans when I stand up after sitting down.  The Hitch.  That unattractive hitching up of the jeans that we all can picture so well. 

ENOUGH.  I had got to the point where I thought maybe skinny jeans just weren't for me.  Oh dear lord - had I reached the point of comfort over style? 

And it seems it's not just a tall thing either.  It's a universal problem.  To really put them to the test at the Style Studio, I took my petite friend with me.  Genuinely, we are little and large next to each other. 

She has the same problem in reverse. 

The live video that we took is still up over on my Facebook page (Does My Bum Look 40 - imaginatively titled...) - do go and have a look (and ignore the comments.  Things we've learnt is that there are some very very strange people who tune into Insta Live and make some "interesting" comments.  Which just adds to the bonkersness of it all).  

BUT loads of people have said they found it really useful so if you dip over there (and do follow if you'd like - there is other separate stuff I put up there too!) you can see how we got on.

First up, I'm going to run through the guidelines that we were both given and worked for both of us, on how to find the perfect skinny jeans.

High waisted full stop.  So.  I have had many people saying that they hate high waisted because they're uncomfortable.  This is definitely what my friend Lizzy said (the petite one..) - she says that she finds them too restricting and actually painful. 

Sooo it seems that lots of skinny jeans these days have a LOT of lycra in them.  So that they stay skinny.  And stay up.  However this is therefore akin to wearing Spanx.  Which everyone knows aren't comfortable at all. 

Which leads me onto talking about super skinny jeans (be them or be them not high waisted although these were the ones I tried on as it was Simon Cowell's all the way for me.  Muffin be gone).

Hmmm.  They're just so skinny.  And so clingy.  Being skinny jeans and all that.. doh.  But I realised it wasn't a look I loved (as you can see over on the instalive!).  The fact they do now have a lot of stretch in them - to me, they felt more like jeggings than jeans.  Which really wasn't what I was looking for at all. 

In the dark colour I tried, they looked very much like black leggings - seriously I felt like an escapee from a mime act.

If you are looking for very close fitting ones then these are an amazing fit.  They WERE very flattering, the quality of the fabric meant that there wasn't that concertina effect on the legs that some do give. These are very dark - the Tonal Mona (that made me laugh - don't ask why but HOW did they come up with that?!) shade is a blue black which would work with anything.  And they are SUPER long.  They just weren't what I was looking for. 

Paige Margot High Rise Ultra Skinny Jeans in Tonal Mona £200

And all the ones that Lizzy tried on from the more expensive brands were super long.  Which meant they puckered, which meant we were back to sausages bursting their skins. Which isn't a look that anyone aspires to (do correct me if I'm wrong on that..!!).

I then tried on a pair of straight legs which were all sorts of amazing at the top but at the bottom... fine with heels - seriously fine with heels, but dare I say I want them for a day look.  They weren't anywhere near a boot cut, but I think we're all been wearing skinnies for so so long, they almost had the impression of a teensy baby boot cut! Like I say - amazing with a pair of stilettos but for during the day with flats - oh dear lord - so not what I was looking for.  And I need them to be versatile.

However if you do wear a lot of heels and are looking for an amazing pair of not cemented to the ankle - and want LONG - definitely try these.

Paige Hoxton Straight Leg Jeans in Nottingham £200 I also did love love the wash (Nottingham - describes it perfectly... ??!!)

We were determined to keep trying the skinnies and Lizzy was adamant that she didn't want a high waist so very nearly got these.

On a petite - the JBrand mid rise was almost a perfect high rise.  Note - on someone tall, it's not so much a perfect rise, as a perfect muffin/thong displayer.  Way too low cut.  However I did like the hem detail on this - as in it wasn't super tight like a legging but Lizzy felt that they were *slightly* too long on her being super petite (5ft1).

JBrand 811 Mid Rise Skinny Jeans £200 

So what is the secret to buying skinny jeans?  Don't buy skinny jeans.  Buy slim or slim boyfriend jeans.  High Waisted.   And buy Madewell ones.  SORRY!!!!  Which means you have to go to John Lewis Westfield White City which is the only place in the UK you can currently purchase them.  Or, if you can wait till August, they will be rolling out into more John Lewis and will be exclusive to them.  Or, take a trip across the pond....

However I do have some good news for the petite amongst you who I know are desperate for more ideas.  First up - I am definitely going to be going shopping with Lizzy again.  We will be looking for dresses and will report back but in the meantime, we have found the perfect tees!

These are the perfect tops to go with skirts and jeans and trousers and essentially everything.  Lizzy really struggles with tops - she is blessed in the bust area but has a tiny frame.   Not to mention everything always being too long in the body. 

So first up, there were Madewell ones in linen which we can gloss over for the minute unless you can get up to Westfield White City. 

But these.. stock up in every colour.  They are the perfect tops for all occasions.  Smart or casual. 

Jigsaw V Neck Linen Roll Neck Top £50 in the XS

They also have it in the Grape online at JL £49 (no idea whey there is £1 difference between the two tops)

You can't get the grape at Jigsaw but you CAN get a yellow (they did have black, pale blue and saffron but they seem to be OOS as they were in the sale). 

Linen V Neck Roll Sleeve Top from Jigsaw £50 

Now I'm not sure people are aware of the Styling Services that John Lewis offer.  All their stores have a one or two hour service - that is FREE of charge with no minimum spend.  If you're looking to while away an afternoon with a friend, or are in need of a wardrobe overhaul, or have a special occasion coming up - it's something I would definitely recommend. 

Refreshments (make mine a prosecco please...), large private fitting rooms and a wealth of knowledge that you can tap into - as well as a range of brands to suit all budgets.

Or you can buy a treat for someone (or pass the info to a loved one if you fancy it for yourself..) at the new Experience Desks which there are at some stores.  Definitely Westfield - it may be an idea to check online to see if your local store does it (click onto your local store here).

Here, if you'd like to upgrade the complimentary styling session, you can purchase Fashion and Beauty Gift Experiences. 

The Complete Beauty & Style Experience (£115)

Two hour in store Personal Styling Experience
Wash and blow dry and manciure at our &Beauty Salon
Makeover at one of our beauty counters with £35 to spend on beauty purchases
Afternoon Tea at The Cafe Bar by Benugo 

The Beauty 7 Style Experience (£40)

One hour Personal Styling Experience
Wash and blow dry or manicure at our &Beauty Salon
Make up advice at one of our beauty counters
Drink and treat at The Cafe Bar by Benugo

Lizzy and I were very kindly treated to a blow dry and a pedicure at the &Beauty Salon at Westfield, not to mention a glass (or two) of fizz whilst we were trying on jeans. 

To give you an idea of what sort of styling issues they can help with, they do encourage you to choose from one of the five bespoke style sessions.

Special Event - Wedding, black tie or family occasion?
Workwear - Dress to impress with workwear that gives you confidence
The Perfect Pair of Jeans - DONE!!  Doesn't have to be skinny
Holiday - From City to Beach, we'll help you pack the perfect capsule wardrobe
Wardrobe Refresh - Reinvigorate your wardrobe and find pieces to refresh your style

Which pretty much covers everything I can think of.  We did check and again, if you're looking for something specific like dresses, tops to go with dresses, the perfect Summer jacket - whatever you're struggling with, they can help! 

Here are the results!

Me and Lizzy!!  In the end, I have got on the High Waisted Slim Boyfriend Jeans in a 26 (size down) and Lizzy has the High Waisted Slim Crop in a 25 which are a perfect length on her.

Tee - Isabel Marant from My Theresa (ss17)
Jeans - Madewell from John Lewis (part of paid partnership ss18)
Blazer - Zara (ss17)
Shoes - Jigsaw (gift ss18)

And yesterday - officially loving the jeans.

Tee - hush (gift from project with The Pool current)
Jeans - Madewell from John Lewis (part of paid partnership ss18)
Blazer - Alexa Chung for M&S (aw16)
Loafers - Gucci (3yrs ago)
Bag - Hill & Friends (gift current)

So there we have the jeans edit and info on how to get some personal style info if you're looking for it.  I do hope it helps, would love to hear your denim feedback!

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8 comentarios:

  1. Now I realise I'm not the only one! I've been buying slim fit for a while (I tend to refer to them as skinnies though...), proper skinnies and especially coated ones do give me the sausage look!
    And yes please take Lizzie shopping again - I'm not quite as petite (5'3", size 10/12 and 32FF), and while I get so much inspo from your style Kat, it's nice to see someone more my size and shape.

  2. £200 is a lot to pay in this day and age. But they looks worth it I suppose.

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  3. Couldn't agree more that skinny jeans are like leggings these days and that is not a look I'm after. Love that you went shopping with Lizzy - I love your look but I am more Lizzy-sized being a smidge under 5ft and a size 6-ish. I found the J Brand Ruby cropped cigarette jeans a good fit and, although high-waisted, found them pretty comfortable. I still had a few inches lopped off the bottom and the waist taken in though (grrr .. when forking out over £200 on jeans and then having to spend another £20 or £30 chopping off fabric .. the pain).

    You both look fab in your jeans - looking forward to Madewell finding its way into other stores around the country.

    And yes, would be great to see you go dress shopping with Lizzy!

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