French Chic & Slim
|| 26 March 2017
Finding The Right Jeans
Our Chic & Slim Special Correspondent Kat, (“who is not really the jeans type”) after reading the advice of Parisian style coach and personal shopper Aloïs Guinut on her website Dress Like A Parisian went shopping in London for Levi’s 501 and 505 jeans. She shares her experience in three emails.
20 March 2017 — Today's "Nouvelles" was very interesting (the Paris shopping trip). It seems to support what I told you, that the BCBG thing is well on the way out, replaced by something more interesting and avant garde. But, trust the Parisians to get even edgy and somewhat risky styling just right.
I had a quick look at the website [Dress Like A Parisian] of their shopping hostess Aloïs Guinut, and took note of her comments on jeans. I do not wear jeans. I have tried, in the past, and resigned myself to the fact that they simply do not suit me. And they do not fit me. But I would love a black pair!! Her recommendations of Levis 501 or 505 are intriguing. "Mummy jeans" indeed!! They are the essence of cool, SO James Dean and Clint Eastwood.
According to this lady, they suit people without a waist (c'est moi) but with long legs (moi aussi) so, today being a drizzly day, with nothing to do except shop for red mullet for dinner, and some new exercise clothes, I am off to the Levis store in Regent Street to investigate. Will let you know how I get on . . .
22 March 2017 — Yes, I bought a pair of black Levi 501's. Not the original cut (legs too wide, I'm leggy, but I'd need to be three inches taller to pull those off!) but a new, slim legged version, in the mens' cut, which oh joy, fit both my wide waist and (relatively) narrow hips and thighs. They will never be a staple in my wardrobe, I am not really the jeans type, but there are occasions when one really does need jeans. Shopping at Borough Market on rainy Saturday mornings and trailing round rainswept Brighton today come to mind! And, boy, are those jeans cool!!
Thoughts After First Wearing
23 March 2017 — By all means mention my jeans comments, if you think they would be useful. You could also include that I, like many "certain age" girls, have a bit of a tummy, and these jeans do a great job controlling that, without creating that ghastly squeezed up "muffin top" effect.
Darling Joan Collins gets lots of stick from the fashion police here for wearing high waisted "mummy jeans", but, in this instance, Joanie is absolutely right. She is quoted as saying that, like me, she rarely wears jeans, she is in amazing shape for her age (80's!!) with gorgeous legs, but there is that tummy problem. Doesn't stop her looking great in the jeans, or a chic, white, one piece swimsuit either. I have a very similar one, in black.
Still on the jeans message, the website I visited cautioned against choosing jeans with a very high stretch factor. This would seem counter-intuitive (stretchy jeans are comfortable and hold you in, right?) Actually, wrong! I have tried that famous, and often recommended NYDJ brand ("Not your daughter's jeans") and, whilst they might work for someone with a longer, slimmer waist and a flatter tummy, though comfortable, they were a disaster on me. The waistband kept rolling over, the fly kept gaping over the zipper, not good at all.
The thing is, as always, to keep trying, and not to dismiss styles and brands which might seem out of bounds for "certain age" women with "certain age bodies".
And men's jeans, which, even when higher in the waist (which contains a Joan Collins Tummy very well) still look cool. And beware of too much lycra. Yes, it's comfortable, but that's the problem. After a few hours wear, it's too stretchy, and stops holding you in, whereas a stiffer fabric both looks more authentic (therefore cooler!) and is a very effective shapewear substitute (I HATE shapewear, of all the uncomfortable, unsexy garments that is my bete noir!! I'd sooner wear an old-fashioned corset, and at least look vintage!!!)
In closing, I will admit that on the one hour train journey to Brighton, my new jeans were less than comfortable to sit in. But half way through lunch they had warmed up and moulded themselves to my shape, and I didn't even register their presence the way back.
So there you go . . .
The 19 March 2017 Nouvelles mentioned by our special correspondent linked to In Search of Paris Chic by Harriet Green in The Guardian. Harriet Green and daughter’s experience shopping in Paris under the guidance of style coach and personal shopper Aloïs Guinut.
Aloïs Guinut Dress Like A Parisian website Main Page
Aloïs Guinut advice on wearing Levi’s 501 jeans
Image: Google Images Levi's 501 jeans.