3 January 2011

  • Purple Cowl-Neck Sweater: Marisa Christina, gift from MIL
  • Navy Cords: J. Crew, skinnied and hemmed by me
  • Metallic Brown Loafers: Naturalizer, via DSW
  • Orange Floral Cuff: Shabby Apple, gift from Husband D.

{Shop: bracelet, similar shoes, similar pants}

This week’s Rule Breaking Monday post is inspired by an odd confluence of ideas. While we were on vacation, SIL E. noted that the rise of the skinny jean made her feel disconnected from the fashion world (a term worth unpacking, but not at this moment), in part because it was a look she didn’t feel comfortable in and didn’t feel she could make work. That afternoon, in one of its decade-in-review posts, Glamour magazine named skinny jeans the best fashion trend of the decade, and decried the death of the bootcut jean (one of my own standbys) as something that “may have been cute in the 1990s.” Putting aside Glamour’s hyperbole for a moment, there’s still something very interesting going on here, where these two thoughts and feelings come together. The skinny has assuredly become ubiquitous, worn by celebrities and regular gals of virtually all body types, but it’s still something that makes many women — even the stylistically adventurous — feel apprehensive. Having battled my own anxieties over skinny pants, and slowly tiptoed my way towards a greater embrace of the skinny, I’m dedicating this Rule Breaking Monday to that boldest and most rule-breaking of skinny pants looks: the ankle-length skinny pant with flats and a fitted, hip length sweater.

And you know what? The world didn’t end. Are more of my thighs exposed than when I wear an a-line skirt? Sure. Of course they are. Are Stacy and Clinton having a heart attack at the thought of my proclaiming this outfit both wearable and fun? If they cared, sure. But maybe not: I’ve dressed up the look with interesting accessories, used the neckline and detailed ribbing on the sweater to highlight my waist and collarbone, and I felt strangely confident and comfortable in my own skin. With all its exposure and attendant fears, I’m still learning to love the skinny, which can be bold and empowering in its own strange ways.

What about you? How do you feel about skinny jeans? If you wear them, what’s your preferred silhouette: moderate stretch, straight-legged, jegging (however defined)? Did you have anxieties about wearing them, and if so, where’d you start out easing yourself in to wearing these kinds of silhouettes?

3 January 2011

3 January 2011

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  • http://ramzrevell.blogspot.com/ ramsey revell

    Firstly, what a GORGEOUS house!!!!! Secondly, thank you for the kind note. Finally, you look darling, like someone off of a soap opera. Always fixed, perfect for lounging, running errands or, of course, a photo shoot. And your shoes are just too precious!

    • http://narrowlytailored.blogspot.com S. of Narrowly Tailored

      Thanks, Ramsey!

  • http://www.befabulousdaily.us Cynthia

    I don’t wear them, because I’m already built with large shoulders and I already feel like my upper body is out of proportion to my legs (not that it’s longer or taller, just that I’ve got that brick on stilts build). When I gain weight, my torso embiggens first and my calves and forearms stay little. Skinnies just seem to emphasize that.

    • http://narrowlytailored.blogspot.com S. of Narrowly Tailored

      That makes sense, Cynthia. I’ve always been really wary of them for the opposite reason — I’m more bottom heavy, and I feel like they emphasize my thighs in a way I don’t love. I have a good friend who is more apple shaped with thin limbs, though, and loves the skinny, because she likes calling attention to her slim lower half — so I think as in all things in fashion and style, this is one of those things that may be equal parts body type, confidence, and sheer preference.

  • http://chicchemistry.blogspot.com/ Beth Ellen

    I was once incredibly apprehensive about skinnies, but I slowly worked my way there. First I got some straight leg jeans that had a decent leg opening, not too tight at all, but over three years I’ve bought them tighter and tighter till a pair of jeggings this fall. I still swear by my classic bootcut jeans for comforts sake, but I’ve come to embrace the skinnies as well.

    I love the color mixing going on here with the orange and purple and brown. It’s a great blend.

    • http://narrowlytailored.blogspot.com S. of Narrowly Tailored

      Thanks, Beth Ellen! I think I’ve decided that moderation in all things makes sense — I love the skinny, but I’m never going to get over the way that bootcut jeans and sky-high heels make my legs look 18 miles long… even if it may have been cool in the 90s!

  • Anonymous

    I bought my first pair of skinnies from F21 to “try it out” so I could wear boots over my jeans. I ended up liking them and bought another pair. And now I have four pairs (not all from F21…not the best quality obviously) but my favorite are looser around my ankles. The jeggings still freak me out…You’re looking good so keep the skinny trend going!

    • http://narrowlytailored.blogspot.com S. of Narrowly Tailored

      Thanks so much, and nice meeting you! I definitely share your “freaked out by jeggings” feelings — I actually bought a pair this summer that had real pockets, but no fly or buttons, and ended up returning them — just too weird (for me) to wear!

  • http://twitter.com/mementofelis Sarah Elizabeth

    This looks great on you! Screw what Stacy and Clinton have to say.

    • http://narrowlytailored.blogspot.com S. of Narrowly Tailored

      Thanks! Nice meeting you – thanks for stopping by!

  • http://inkinseyscloset.blogspot.com In Kinsey’s Closet

    I love skinny jeans! I could live in them! Tucked into boots or paied with a sext heel, I love em!

    • http://narrowlytailored.blogspot.com S. of Narrowly Tailored

      Thanks, Kinsey — I’m definitely learning to love them, too!

  • Anonymous

    Adorable as always, my dear! I was just remembering today my first awareness of skinny jeans as a “thing” – Summer/Fall 2005. I hated them. I thought they couldn’t help but be universally unflattering, and I was definitely no fan of the skinnies-tucked-into-boots look….. my, how things change. I’ve actually always wanted to keep a diary of “Trends I’ll Never Wear” – I seem to reverse my position within a year at least 75% of the time. Still saying NO to ugg boots though….. now and forever.

    (I actually talked a little bit on my blog today about some similar apprehensions regarding over-the-knee socks – prompted by being featured over on Chasing Davies! Squee!)

    • http://narrowlytailored.blogspot.com S. of Narrowly Tailored

      We should definitely keep that journal together! It would be awkward and awesome…and give the boys something to laugh about!

      Totally no to Ugg boots, though — I think I remember a FB group from when we were in college that said it all: it was called “it’s never the right temperature for a mini-skirt nad Uggs.” Remember those ruffly skirts girls used to wear them with?

  • http://allesmode2010.blogspot.com Charlotte

    I love how you combined purple and orange! It’s such a fabulous color combination and is highly underused in my opinion! Kudos!

    • http://narrowlytailored.blogspot.com S. of Narrowly Tailored

      Thanks, and thanks for stopping by my blog! Nice to meet you!

  • http://fashionableacademics.blogspot.com/ La Historiadora de Moda

    This outfit just has a hint of Audrey to it, and I adore that.

    I have to say that my views on skinny jeans changed a lot because I lived in Europe in 2006-2007 and saw women of all shapes wear them in a lot of different ways. That said, I was pleased to see that, atleast according to Vogue, flowing pants and wide legs are going to triumph over skinnies this year.

    • http://narrowlytailored.blogspot.com S. of Narrowly Tailored


      It’s funny how living in Europe can change your views on a whole variety of body-image related things, isn’t it?

  • http://thecoastalchicster.blogspot.com/ Lisa D.

    I like this outfit! That’s pretty impressive that you hemmed and “skinnied” these pants by yourself — I wish I could sew. :)

    I definitely had my reservations about skinny jeans. I have bigger thighs and a butt, so I like the way flared and bootcut jeans kind of balance that out. But I’ve gotten over my fear of the skinny, and I’ve been wearing them for about 2.5 years now. I like looser, almost straight-leg skinnies to wear with flats, but I’ve got a pair of jeggings to wear with boots, and I kind of like the way one of my pairs bunches up around my ankles when I wear high heels. They definitely show off my shoes more than those big flared pants. I’m excited to see that wide-leg pants are making a bit of a comeback because I’ve got a bunch that I’m ready to break out of the back of my closet for spring!

    • http://narrowlytailored.blogspot.com S. of Narrowly Tailored

      Thanks, Lisa! I’m not sure I’d call it “sewing” as much as “can turn on the sewing machine and only occasionally follow directions,” but there are some great tutorials out there on the internet on this one.

      It’s funny, you’d think that as a pear-shaped gal, I’d be cheering the potential for a return of the wide-legged pant, but I feel like sometimes those can be even harder to wear than skinnies, you know? I think the straight down from the widest part of my hips thing can be a real challenge, but I think this may just be a perception thing — like I’ve just finally gotten over the idea that bigger clothes really make you look bigger and I can’t deviate from that, but I’m not sure.

  • http://lawmama.tumblr.com/ Law Mama

    I’m a big fan of skinny jeans – especially of the stretchier variety, but I get the reservations. I transitioned to skinnies with straight-leg jeans first. It kind of helped me get used to the idea after a decade or so of flares and boot-cuts.

    • http://narrowlytailored.blogspot.com S. of Narrowly Tailored

      Thanks so much for stopping by, and nice to meet you!

  • Candidclassic

    Your jeans look awesome on you! I love the look of the ankle skinny jean, but can never pull it off. My favorites are straight leg and skinny jeans with a bit a stretch. Although, I’ve recently started to crave slight flared, boot cut jeans again.


    • http://narrowlytailored.blogspot.com S. of Narrowly Tailored

      Hi! Nice meeting you, and thanks for stopping by! I haven’t been able to find a straight leg jean that works well yet, but I’m hoping I’ll be able to find the “happy medium” between the skinny and the boot cut in the future.

  • http://wearingmythreads.blogspot.com/ brittneynikkole

    Skinny jeans. Every time I see a girl wearing these so chicly tucked into boots or with adorable flats like you’ve done here I sigh. I think to myself, “I can do that. I can wear those”. And I’ve tried a couple of times only to find myself gasping “Oh, holy mother of thighs!” and scurrying back to my boot-cut jeans.
    Sometimes I think I’ll try again. Most of the time I think I’ve never really been trendy anyway so I’ll stick with what works. Whatever I finally decide I’m sure skinny jeans will continue to taunt me. Seems as though you’ve got them under control. Great look ma’am!

    • http://narrowlytailored.blogspot.com S. of Narrowly Tailored

      Nice to meet you! First of all, I think “holy mother of thighs” may be my new favorite phrase ever. Thanks so much for stopping by — and bon courage!

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