Straight, Skinny, or Boot? A Pear’s Denim Dilemma

My favorite jeans are half off today, making them about $35.  I think I’ll order another pair.

This is an interpretive dance showing how much I love these jeans.

This is an interpretive dance showing how much I love these jeans.

LOFT’s curvy fit straight leg jeans: they’re super stretch and comfortable, but they don’t stretch completely out of shape until about the end of the second day.  They’re snug enough to fit into boots without (too much) bunching at the knees.

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All the same, I don’t think they’re a great look for me except with boots.  They create what others have called a “triangle” or “piano leg” out of my bottom half.  “Straight leg” jeans are a misnomer if you’ve got a full hip and thigh area.  If jeans really go “straight” from your hip down, then you’ve got a wide or trouser leg jean.

I really dig the look of a trouser leg pair of jeans, or a bootcut that isn’t too tight in the thigh and knee.

Boden wide leg jeans

I haven’t quite found the perfect pair for me (these look promising but I’m waiting until they go on sale).

It rankles the minimalist in me: needing two cuts of jeans, one to wear with boots and one to wear with flats (and possibly another, longer pair to wear with heels). Especially as certain tops may work with one cut of jeans and most definitely not work with another.

But I’m aiming to have two great pairs of each cut and deal with it.

How about you?  What’s your favorite style of jeans?

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My Minimalistic Fall/ Winter Mom Uniform

Don’t get too excited. It’s shockingly similar to last year’s.

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My “inspiration” was this outfit I saw on Pinterest (can’t find the original source):

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To be honest, I usually wear this cardigan with a knit top, because I hate ironing the chambray one, and it’s less comfortable.

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Old Navy has redeemed itself with this sweater.

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I have a few other cotton tops that I also wear with this cardigan . . .

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Like this (you’ve seen this outfit before).

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Cotton Lands’ End sweater I picked up at a consignment shop recently. Not my favorite ever, but good enough to keep for this season at least.

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This sweater/scarf combo is an old reliable for me. It probably looks better with the wider legged jeans, come to think of it.

I have two pairs of jeans that I wear regularly: Loft curvy straight leg jeans (I grin every time I write this . . . curvy straight . . . hah!) (currently 50% off), and an old pair of Levi bootcut/ trouser leg jeans. I also have two other pairs as backup.

Throughout the Fall, I wore these outfits with the stretchy cotton Lands’ End blazer I wrote about earlier.

I had some trouble getting a good shot of the blazer in action.

But I tried valiantly . . . .

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So that’s it. Three sweaters, three cardigans, a few knit tops, two jeans, two pairs of boots, one pair of Sperry’s (really looking forward to replacing the latter). Pretty much what I wear every single day. I do have a heavier sweater for really cold outings, plus a law school hoodie for those days that just call for a sweatshirt.

It works pretty well for me. The thing no one tells you about minimalism though . . . it gets boooring. Especially when half of your sweaters are from 2009. Here’s hoping for a new year filled with many new sweaters . . . well, two or three anyway.

Fall Momiform Preview {7QT}


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In the Fall a young mom’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of . . .

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Blazers:

Katie Holmes blazer

(I can’t figure out how to insert it on this page, but you can see my Pinterest board here.)

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And cardigans:

Cardigan

(Style board here.)

— 4 —

And the Rule of Three.

Rachel defines the Rule as wearing three pieces: a top, a bottom, and an accessory (like a scarf).

Elsewhere (can’t find a link) I’ve read it defined as three pieces on your top half: a top, a sweater or blazer or something, and an accessory.

Rachel’s Rule of Three is all I can handle in the heat of the summer (top, bottom and a necklace).

But once the weather allows, I do like the way a jacket spiffs up my mom uniform:

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And to dark-wash, straight-legged jeans (edgier-than-I Shana says they’re cool, so they must be).

I just bought a pair of these.

LOFT curvy straight-leg jeans

They aren’t as tight as they look in the picture.   I’ll report back once I’ve worn and washed them.  But I wanted to let you know that they’re 40% off through 8/18/13 (promo code: FRIENDS).

 I’m not crazy about LOFT’s quality lately, but I’ve heard good things about their curvy skinnies.  These curvy straight-legs are slim-fitting enough to tuck into boots.  But they aren’t so tight as to create a “piano leg” effect on those of us with thighs that are . . . um . . . voluptuous.

The look on Pat’s face was priceless when he read the tag on my jeans once: “Curvy straight. . . .   Curvy . . . straight?”

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Stacy and Clinton say that the most flattering jeans for most people are straight-leg or trouser styles.  Always in dark wash.  Always.  I agree.

So why is it that these are so hard to find, and everywhere I turn I see (1) bootcut jeans and (2) skinnies with (3) whiskering, fading, light-wash, blah blah blah? The fashion industry is against us, I tell you.  They create unflattering trends that we won’t feel good in, making us eager to try whatever the next trend is.

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Blazer, cardigan, jeans and possibly some new shoes.  I think I’ll have to limit my Fall wardrobe additions to that.  Oh, never mind, scratch the shoes.  What I need most is a new bag.  My current one is pitiful to behold.  We’ll see what ye olde budget allows  . . . .

Have a good weekend! Thank you, Jen at Conversion Diary, for hosting today’s link up!

Finding the Perfect Jeans (and Why They Might Be In Your Closet) [Style and the SAHM]

I recently have come closer to my goal of having four pairs of jeans to wear for my everyday “Mom Uniform.”  I haven’t yet reached denim Nirvana, but I’m closer than where I was a few months ago.    Below are some things I’ve learned along the way.

#1: Alterations are your friend.  I have read in many places, including Audrey’s blog, Christina’s blog and Trena’s comments on my post, that one should buy jeans to fit in the thighs and seat and have them altered to fit at the waist.  I nodded my head and thought, “Yeah, that makes sense.  I’ll totally do that next time I buy jeans.”  Then it occurred to me:

Why not do that with the jeans I already own?

And it worked!  Exhibit A:  Levi’s trouser/bootcut jeans, purchased at a thrift store for $12 (can’t tell which style number).  I like the way they look, and they are comfy, but they stretched out too much and would be falling off by the end of the day.

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For the low low price of $15, a seamstress took them in a bit in the back waistband and seat.  (She also sewed down the pocket flaps.)  Voila!  Like new jeans.

So these pictures aren't the clearest.  I don't like taking close-ups of my bottom half.  You'll have to take my word for it: they fit better.

So these pictures aren’t the clearest. I don’t like taking close-ups of my bottom half. You’ll have to take my word for it: they fit better.

Similarly, Exhibit B: LOFT Modern cut “Marisa” crops (from last summer, no longer available that I know of).

Before:

Snug in the legs but saggy in the waist.

Snug in the legs but saggy in the waist.

After:

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Why oh why did I buy the “Modern” cut instead of the “Curvy” one?  This brings me to my next point:

#2: Curvy cut jeans are your friend:  (This might not be of much use to ladies with Banana or Apple shaped figures.  But for those, like me, with Hourglass or Pear-shaped physiques, who find themselves with some junk in the-general-area-of-if-not-exactly-in-the trunk, some tummy, but still, somewhere waaaaaay up there, a discernible waistline, read on.)

Until now I avoided “curvy” cut jeans because I’ve never been exactly bootylicious.  Also, the descriptions of most “Curvy” cut jeans say something about a small waist.  I do not think of myself as having a small waist.  I’ve got plenty of Mummy Tummy, and I hate hate hate the feeling of a tight waistband.

Somehow, though, the curvy cut really is better.  It sits above the poochiest part of the tummy but not too too high.   The waistband sits higher in the back, which keeps it above your hip bones, which in turn keep it from falling down.  If the waistband is too wide and low, physics demand that it slide down to the narrowest point (i.e., your ankles).

#3: Bootcut jeans are not so bad . . . perhaps.  I’ve avoided them because all the stylish people (like Megan and Shana) say they are best worn with heels.  Heels most definitely are not part of my Mom Uniform.  But then I happened upon these babies:

Levi’s 529 Curvy Mid-rise bootcut

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These are not perfect: the fabric is not the softest, and  the dye rubbed off on my Top-Siders, even after washing the jeans a couple of times (grr).  And the tag is scratchy in the back.

Man, though, they’re comfortable and, I think, decent looking.  They stretch out a little with wear, but not too much.  I went around exclaiming at random intervals, “It is so great to have a comfortable pair of jeans.”  Pat thinks I’m crazy for ever wearing anything but comfortable jeans, but there you have it.

(I would have bought straight-leg instead but they were cut differently.  By the way, the cut seems to differ depending on the wash.   I think the back pockets are best in this particular dark wash.)

They’re not so stylish with flats or sneaks, but seriously, who cares?  Everyone I hang out with wears bootcut jeans with everything, so who do I think I am?  Also, they’re snug enough at the knees that I can tuck them in my boots if I fold them just right.  (See this tip.)  Maybe eventually I’ll see if my seamstress can pull a Dwija, but for now, they’re okay.

#4: If jeans barely touch the floor when you’re in socks in the dressing room, they’re too short.  *Sigh*  At 5′ 7.5″, I really need to get in the habit of buying Longs and having them hemmed up.  I never want to bother taking them to the seamstress, so I talk myself into regular length, but they’re just not quite right, even with flats.  And forget about heels.

Lose the shoes already, Laura!  I've tried getting rid of them so many times, but they're like ugly, patent leather boomerangs.

Lose the shoes already, Laura! I’ve tried getting rid of them so many times, but they keep coming back like ugly, patent leather boomerangs.

#5: Perfect jeans are hard to come by.  Duh.  All of the above three pairs sag occasionally, and I have to hike them up every hour or so.  But that’s improvement from every five minutes, so, you know: progress.

Perhaps my perfect pair of jeans is out there somewhere with all those really high-end, $100+ models.  I haven’t gone there yet.  For now, a little bit of sagging is just the way it’s gonna be until (unless?) truly high-waisted jeans become fashionable again.  Poor Jessica Simpson tried valiantly but failed miserably.

Thanks for taking one for the team, Jess!

I now have three pairs of pretty good jeans, plus my least-bad pair from my before-Girl 2 days.  They’re all comfortable enough that, on most days, I can talk myself out of my pajama pants.  Like Bono, I still haven’t found (exactly) what I’m looking for.  But I’m calling it good enough, as spring is upon us.  I’m working on my warm weather uniform for now, and I’ll return to the perfect jean quest in the fall.

Have you found a great-fitting pair of jeans?  Do tell!

Good Fences [Would] Make Good Neighbors, and Other Sources of Anxiety

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Yesterday afternoon I achieved the Holy Grail of parenthood: two siblings playing outside, together, for a good stretch of time, while I watched from inside:

Don't eat yellow snow, girls!

Don’t eat yellow snow, girls!

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Later that evening, I paid a price for my half hour of peace.  At midnight I got an anxiety attack imagining the neighbors’ German Shepherd-ish puppy (the one with looooong legs) jumping our fence and mauling the girls, or at the very least traumatizing them for life.  I came *this* close to waking up Pat and demanding he come up with a plan.   I talked myself down, but I’m still concerned.  Nothing’s happened yet, but I can just tell that dog is gonna jump the fence any day.  Can we demand the neighbors do something before anything’s actually happened?  Or should we preemptively put up a tall privacy fence?  *Sigh*

English: German Shepherd puppy sitting.

The neighbors’ dog looks like this, but bigger and with longer legs. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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My baby suddenly is becoming a toddler.  She’s been toddling a while but now she’s getting attitude, drama, charm.  She knows to say “hot” when her food is too hot.  She throws herself on the floor dramatically when she wants something.  She gives kisses and says “mwah.”  And she screams when she doesn’t get her way.  Oh man, does she scream.

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The honeymoon is over with blogging.  I still have lots of ideas to write about but have trouble motivating myself to write.  I’m going to stick with it though.  I don’t like to give up on something until I’ve given it a year.

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I do want to write a series on my attempt to revamp my wardrobe and, at age 30, for the first time in my life, be a well-dressed person.  I’m going to title it “Style and the Stay at Home Mom.”  Get it???  But I just need to start writing.

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On that note: my new jeans from Boden arrived yesterday.  I showed them to Pat and he said, “Nice . . . Comfy? . . . Keep ’em.”

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Trouble is, I think they’re too comfy.  I think they’re going to stretch out and fall off after the first few hours (as I discussed here).  I wonder if I’m just deluding myself that I need a smaller size?  There’s nothing imaginary, though, about the plumber’s crack I get with my current pair of similarly-comfy-fitting jeans.  *Sigh* The search continues.

— 7 —

Pat made himself a dentist appointment and is there now.  I’m very proud of him.

Happy weekend, folks!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

What I Wore Sunday, Confessions of a Late Mass-Goer

I ran late for mass today.  Suffice it to say, I was running late for reasons 100% my fault, I am very repentant, and I shall never make the same mistakes again.  And God cut me a break because Father started mass a few minutes late, which means I wasn’t late after all.

You see, Pat and I have determined three very important guidelines for determining whether you are late for mass:

  1. If you are inside the church before the priest processes in, you’re not late.
  2. If you are in your seat before the priest reaches the altar, you’re not late.
  3. If one of you achieves #1 or #2 while the other parks the car, the car-parking spouse is not late by virtue of the first spouse’s being not late.

No. 3 didn’t apply today because we went to mass separately, for the third time in a row.  The girls are sick yet again.  Please, please Spring come soon!

I went to an English mass for, I think, the first time in at least a month.  I attended the Spanish mass the last two times, and Latin the times before that.  Because we usually go to a Latin mass, I still have to look at the cheat sheet for the new responses when we do go to an English mass.  Very humbling.

So anyway, this is what I wore:

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My jacket is from Old Navy, at least 5 years ago.  It’s a testament to how their clothing used to be of good quality.

I like to think my outfit looks a little bit like this get-up from J. Crew:

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                     See it now?

J. Crew says that “a denim jacket makes everything seem a little more effortless.”  Does anyone else out there get annoyed by the idea that our outfits are supposed to look “effortless”?  At this stage in my life, “effortless” is pajamas.  Just getting dressed at all is an effort and I don’t care who knows, dammit.

For more Sunday finery, check out the link-up at Fine Linen and Purple.  Thanks, Kendra and Emily, for hosting!