Jean shopping – like falling in love

Jean shopping – like falling in love

If there’s one constant of fashion, it’s jeans.

“They’re the easiest thing to throw on without having to think too much,” said Portland’s well-known fashionista Laura Serino, co-founder of the blog Fore Front Fashion. “And you can wear virtually anything with them.”

Though they may be beloved around the world for their versatility and comfort, they’re also enigmatic and ever-changing. As this year crests to a close, many new styles – or, conversely, styles that left us and have come around again for an appearance – are emerging.

According to the industry and style site, performance denim will be prominent next year, as will various indigo styles. Also look for “dipped” styles (in which jeans or shorts are whitewashed halfway up or halfway down); jeans with shiny, futuristic holographic looks; intentional destruction to reveal colors and patterns beneath; white denim; and styles that are diffused and even “painterly.”

Meanwhile, the site notes, all-over, high-color prints will accent classic slim and skinny silhouettes. Other flourishes will include batik and tie-dyes, blanket stripes and checks, repeated prints such as mini dots and hearts, and plastic accents including taped seams and rubberized zips and pocket openings.

Serino, for her part, said we’ll continue to see a trend in colored and printed denim – think polka dots, animal prints and florals. As she noted, they were popular in the spring, and they’ll transition easily to pair with sweaters. The skinny jean also remains popular, she said, and predicted that we’ll see more straight leg styles.

And looking ahead for the summer, says we’ll see light denim and chambray with loose, baggy and laundered silhouettes, as well as unbleached, un-dyed and untreated cottons to appeal to the sustainable crowd.

Another trend? Recycled jeans.

Levi’s spring 2013 collection will include several jeans and jacket styles made from a minimum of 20 percent recycled content – notably, plastic bottles and food trays, according to the company.

But even with all these unique and titillating styles, one of the endless perils of jeans is finding just the right pair.

Serino has some tips for that: Find ones that fit (and are comfortable) in the waist; if the length isn’t right, it can easily be tailored.

Also, keep in mind what types of shoes you’ll be wearing with your jeans – heels, flats, sneakers – and pair them with the right jeans that are also tailored to the best length to show off your footwear (and to also keep you from tripping).

And if you’re totally stuck on what to buy, she advised, go to a shop with a good selection and spend some time trying on several styles. If you can, bring a friend – preferably one who will be honest with you about how you look, and who can give you feedback on the view from behind.

“That is an important aspect of a good pair of jeans – let’s not kid ourselves,” said Serino, who described herself as a Levi’s devotee.

And, she stressed, despite misconceptions, you don’t have to spend a lot to get a good pair of jeans (and one that you’ll love until you wear them out).

Ultimately, it’s about what fits – and works for – your body.

“Jean shopping is like falling in love,” said Serino. “When you find the right pair, you’ll just know.”

For more tips, visit

Printed jeans remain popular, says Laura Serino of the fashion blog Fore Front Fashion.    
The skinny silhouette is a stylish and popular look.

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