a lovely living

Talking Basics: denim

Alright ladies, today is the second installment in our Talking Basics series (you can see the first featuring the basic white tee here) and we’ll be tackling denim. In some ways it can be a real love/hate relationship…do you feel that way? I love it because it’s a great neutral and a wardrobe staple. Kind of like hardwood floors in decorating. When you have a great base it’s much easier to put an outfit together (or decorate a room, see what I mean?). In another way, finding the right brand, fit, style, color that suits your shape and style can be a real time consumer. I’ve been there and continue to find myself there time and time again!

Let’s start by covering the basic styles of denim. You have skinny, straight, boyfriend and flare. You can also throw in the legging which is basically super skinny, and bootcut which falls between straight and flare. Those take me back to my high school days and I’m honestly not a huge fan of bootcut, so for now I’m just going to set them aside. Outside of the basic styles you’ll also have to decide what wash you are looking for (light to dark and everything in between), what rise (high, mid or low), and if you want any distress to them. All of these choices are very personal and come down to what you feel the most comfortable in and how you’re looking to wear them.

Over the years I’ve built a rather nice collection of jeans but there are many that have come and gone. I swear after each child my body has settled in differently. Not necessarily good or bad, but different. So I once again find myself sorting through those that no longer fit ‘right’ and searching for the ‘perfect’ pair. There are however certain brands that I’m always able to turn to for denim. I’m not one to go cheap on denim for the most part because I can certainly tell a difference in quality. Although I have to say that lately I’ve been having a lot of luck with LOFT’s denim and during some of their sales you can get quite the steal. Other than LOFT, here are some of my tried and true denim brands:


I know a lot of others have luck with Citizens of Humanity and 7 For All Mankind, it’ll just depend what fits your body the best. As I recommended with the basic white tee’s, if you don’t have certain retailers nearby, try ordering from Nordstrom or ShopBop or someone that offers free shipping and returns so that you can go to town ordering a number of different brands/styles/sizes etc.

I like to have at least one pair of the following styles and typically more because I find I lean towards light denim for a while and then switch over to dark. There’s not really a right or wrong there. The same goes for the rise. I have never been a fan of low rise because I always ended up having that dreaded gap above the behind! Thank goodness mid and high rise is the current trend. I finally feel comfortable and plan on keeping it that way even when low decides to make it’s comeback!

You’ll also find the ‘ankle’ option when looking at skinny jeans which is a nice option to have. It creates a slim line when you show your ankle (ie the skinniest part of your leg) and can look great with booties or heels. I actually had a woman comment on my ankle jeans as I was loading my daughter into the car at the supermarket a little while back. She said “I have the hardest time finding that length in jeans!” Ankle was what she was looking for I assured her ;)

Without rambling on and on (and on), here is a narrowed down version of some of my top denim picks for each style. And if you have any other questions on the matter, I’d be more than happy to answer…or pretend I know the answer ;)



Skinny: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Straight: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Boyfriend: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Flare: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

So how’s your relationship with denim? What’s your go-to?

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