Sorry for my absence this week. I’ve been making over a hardworking mom who has six illnesses. When I give someone a makeover, I put my whole heart into it because I want to make that person’s life a little less stressful. And I want her to know she’s beautiful. One of the big things we talked about during the makeover was how to wear denim, which leads me to yesterday’s prompt: Health Activist Choice Day 2! Write about whatever you like.
6 Tips for Finding the Right Denim
1. Avoid super light denim: My number one rule of style is this: If it didn’t work for the cast of Beverly Hills 90210, it doesn’t work. Seriously. There will never be another group of men and women on TV as collectively stunning as these people and they looked terrible in light denim. Acid wash ruins everyone. (Image via Starpulse.)
2. Avoid “whiskers:” Whiskers are lines or fading that stretch horizontally over the thighs, which makes them look disproportionately large in comparison to the rest of the body. Whiskers belong on kittens, not on thighs.
3. Know your body type: You want to know where you carry your excess weight. When you try on pants, that body part is your number one concern. According to fitness guru, Tracy Anderson, there are four different body types: abcentric, glutecentric, hip centric, and omnicentric. You can take her quiz here. I am abcentric so most of my cellulite goes to my tummy. This is why I always look for jeans that start a few inches above my belly button. I avoid pants that are tight in the tummy area. Similarly, if you carry your weight in your hips, you want to make sure that pants are roomy in the hips. (Side note: Sometimes, you may need to get pants tailored after you fit the largest part of your leg. For instance, when I was at my heaviest, pants that fit my waist were too long for my legs so I would get them cut.)
4. Go dark: Dark rinse denim is slimming. You want jeans that are monochromatic–one color throughout. To preserve the color of really dark denim, you can wash them with a thimbleful of vinegar. Since dark jeans can transition from day to night, they are more economical.
5. Look for “jackpot words”: The jackpot words I look for in labels are: curvy, stretch, booty, and bootyfit. These words are used by designers who understand what cellulite is. During one makeover, I got a 5’2″ size 10 woman $15 Levi’s at Marshall’s that fit her curves perfectly. Other brands that understand curves include: NYDJ (Not Your Daughter’s Jeans) and Joe’s Jeans. (The picture features the back of one of my Joe’s Jeans Booty Fit–before I took the tags off, obviously.) Jessica Simpson makes excellent jeans for women who are petite. She also makes denim for women who are plus-sized. Gap’s Long and Lean Jeans are great for tall women as well. Finally, CJ (Cookie Johnson) jeans are great for women who are glutecentric. What brands have worked for you?
6. If you’re still on meds, keep your clothes: My closet is a revolving door of ten different dress sizes. Whenever I gain weight (because my neuro has increased my Prednisone), I go back to my larger sizes.
This is a picture I took of two jeans (both the same size) I used on mannequins during this month’s makeover. (Unfortunately I didn’t take pictures while the jeans were still on the mannequins. So I ended up hanging them in my shower.) The left side features slimming denim and the right side is everything I’d advice against: super light, whiskers, and it’s not monochromatic.
I understand that buttons and zippers can make it hard for many of us to wear jeans. (I was once in that position so I only wore dresses. I empathize.) If you can’t wear jeans, I recommend leggings in dark colors. Black leggings with black shoes always look great.
Stay tuned! I’ll be doing more posts for WEGO’s Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge.
–Your Stylist, Jessica Gimeno