Guest Post: Intolerants Fashion Frenzy – Spotlight on Jeans

Guest Post: Intolerants Fashion Frenzy – Spotlight on Jeans

This month’s guest post comes from the hopelessly stylish Caterina, an Italian born beauty who currently resides in one of my favourite European cities: Brussels. A management dynamo by day, Caterina’s a fashion blogger by night and the brains behind the style-savvy site Not Just A Pretty Dress. I was fortunate enough to sit down with Caterina several months back and pick her brain about all things related to fashion and beauty: the versatility of costume jewelry, the loveliness that is COS, thoughts on ballet flats, the return of the lipsticked mouth, McQueen vs. Chanel. Just McQueen.

We also talked about jeans: a wardrobe staple so wildly versatile that you can take it from day to night and all the way into tomorrow. Jeans serve as social and – in some cases – cultural marker and they’re one of the few items of clothing that freely move between economic classes. They’re a fashion essential worn by billions of men and women around the world, and whether it’s Shanghai or Cairo, Nairobi or Katmandu, there’s probably no item of clothing that translates better than jeans.

jeans

I don’t know about you, but buying denim is my Achilles heel. It’s the type of purchase that can force me into a state of fashion-induced despair. There’s always one month of the year where I spend countless weekends and evenings visiting shop after shop and squeezing into all types of skinny, to only wind up schlepping home empty handed and 50 shades more discouraged. Legs that demand a 35” inseam are partly to blame, though the main reason for my aversion when it comes to jeans is the price/quality issue, a factor that often sends me running for the hills.

Being the fashionista that she is, Caterina is as well versed about affordable jeans as she is about peplum. Since she had some great tips about this coveted garment, I asked Caterina if she could develop a guest post on our beloved denim to cater all of you out there who share my tolerance for accessible fashion.

And luckily for us, she obliged. Graciously. Read on…

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Hello I’m Caterina from Not Just A Pretty Dress and I’m delighted to have the chance to write a guest post about one of my favourite fashion staples: jeans. I had the pleasure of meeting JoAnna during one of her trips to Brussels, and over dinner at the enchanting L’Idiot du Village we discussed many things, including one of our main fashion challenges: finding a good pair of jeans, at a decent price.

One of our wedding presents was a Selfridges gift card, which has been 'wisely' spent for these limited edition Stella McCartney for Notify jeans, too beautiful to resist!

One of our wedding presents was a Selfridges gift card, which has been ‘wisely’ spent for these limited edition Stella McCartney for Notify jeans, too beautiful to resist!

In recent years this task has become increasingly difficult due to the fact that the ‘humble’ garment has been endowed with (quite inexplicably really) a venerable ‘it status’ (perhaps we should blame Chanel’s 2008 SS ready-to-wear collection?), all of which is reflected in soaring price tags.


These relaxed fit Fruit of the Loom jeans belonged to my dad when he was my age: I'm a big fan of 'family vintage'!

These relaxed fit Fruit of the Loom jeans belonged to my dad when he was my age: I’m a big fan of ‘family vintage’!

My personal view regarding jeans – which, by the way, also applies to t-shirts – is that no matter how the fabric may be treated or ‘distressed’, no matter how many ‘stylish’ holes it may have, and regardless of whether there is an original print that adorns the fabric, I refuse to spend a fortune on these garments. With that said, below are some tips on denim labels and how to shop for them.

The labels: My current favourites are jeans by Reiko, a French brand that offers a range of both basic styles and those with a bit more flair through the use of bright colours and quirky prints. What I like the most about my Reiko Chino Denim is the incredible softness of the fabric; it makes me want to wear them every day! Other budget-friendly denim options are available at Uniqlo (if you are into skinny, you should have a look at their ‘Ultra Stretch’ line), the GAP and Topshop (French Vogue Editor-In-Chief Emmanuelle Alt is a huge fan of the Topshop Baxters, so if they are good enough for her…).

My Reiko jeans are the last addition to my denim wardrobe. They have a great and very comfortable skinny cut.

My Reiko jeans are the last addition to my denim wardrobe. They have a great and very comfortable skinny cut.

Another recommendation comes courtesy of the lovely Alex at The Frugality. Last April she took a ‘denim style challenge’ and showcased so many great ASOS jeans fits that I’m seriously considering snapping up the Brady Slim Boyfriend for the fall season.

A bit of advice: If you are into designer jeans try to wait until the sales (usually at the start or end of every season), pop into outlet stores or regularly monitor online boutiques like Matches, which often have a ‘sale’ section all year around. I still treasure a pair of Ksubi I got from Browns Label for Less many years ago, and The Outnet has an amazing selection of J Brand jeans.

These Vanessa Bruno skinny jeans were a great sale find from a couple of seasons ago.

These Vanessa Bruno skinny jeans were a great sale find from a couple of seasons ago.

The most important thing is to be patient and do a lot of research, which is always a good thing before any shopping mission. Best of luck on all your future jeans adventures!

**All photos credited to Not Just A Pretty Dress.**