I wear mom jeans.
I’m not quite channeling Tina Fey in that “Saturday Night Live” sketch. And my denim isn’t as scary as those Pajama Jeans advertised on TV. Yet, in my jeans, I’m sloppy, dowdy, and frowzy… Yes, rejected Smurf names could describe how I look. I know I have a problem, but I have no clue how to fix it. Paralyzed by so many choices when shopping, I get stuck. Stuck while wearing mom jeans. Not good, people. Not. Good. At. All.
Enter Beckie Klein and Martina Gordon, a.k.a. my Fairy Godmodels. When I met New York Family’s resident style mavens for drinks, it ohsoquickly turned into a jean-tervention. “Jeans are part of your closet’s foundation, just like the little black dress or the white shirt,” they told me. “Once you have the right foundation, everything else falls into place.”
My days of wearing mom jeans had to stop. With Beckie and Martina as my guides, I now have that elusive perfect pair of jeans (actually three of them). Sure, it took nine stores and five hours, but you can do it too—by following Beckie and Martina’s five laws for finding the best pair of jeans for your bod.
Law #1: Meet Slim, everyone’s BFF.
“The only jean you really need is a slim, fitted jean in the dark wash,” Martina says. Also called skinny or straight, “all of our clients—sizes 0 to 14—rock in this style of jeans. It follows the simple rule that if it fits and is body-hugging, it’s more flattering than when you try to hide your figure,” Beckie adds. Other must-haves: a white pair and a grey pair or a pair in a dark, but more casual wash.
Law #2: It’s going to take time.
“Think of jeans shopping as a mission,” Beckie reminds me. “Go to stores where you can try many different brands at one time,” Martina says. And forget the number on the tag – try on your regular size, as well as a size up and a size down. The process may be frustrating, but it is one worth doing. “You are investing this time to save time later – after you find the perfect jeans, your daily dressing will be so much easier,” Martina adds.
Law #3: Price doesn’t matter.
Beckie and Martina swear by a pair of jeans that costs $40. So, why should I buy one that costs $189? “You don’t need to – if you find the perfect jean for $59, buy a couple of pairs and call it a day,” Beckie says. If you find a pair that screams “I will change your life!” and costs a bit more than you usually spend, Martina says to think about how many times you will wear them. If you live in jeans like I do, the “cost per wear” is pennies, even for a $150 pair.
Law #4: Don’t get swayed by trends.
“You don’t mess around with your foundation,” Beckie says. Skip the super-light washes or the hippie bell-bottoms you see in magazines. “They may be in style, but they probably aren’t your style,” she adds. Pick another trend to freshen your look for the season. “Keep your jeans dark and fitted and have fun with your shoes or accessories,” Martina suggests.
Law #5: Trust your gut.
How do you know when it’s the ideal pair? Beckie offers this advice: “If you don’t feel beyond fantastic in the dressing room, they aren’t the right jeans.” Martina says, “Do squats. It loosens them up and you get a better idea of how they will be. Live with them for a few minutes.”
BECKIE AND MARTINA’S BEST BUYS AT EVERY PRICE
Beckie and Martina have given us the five laws to follow on how to find that perfect pair of jeans. “With Jeans, price is not the leading factor in quality. What looks best has to do with what works on your body,”
Martina says. “We have jeans we have fallen in love with for $40, and we have jeans that we have had forever that were 200,” Beckie adds. Here’s the scoop on a few of their favorites, for every budget, in stores now.
Best Buys Under $75
The Fairy Godmodels say Levi’s, Gap 1969, and Uniqlo are the stores to hit for a great pair of jeans at a great price. “Zara is another place that has great jeans for not a lot of money,” Martina says.
Gap 1969 Legging Jean ($69.95): This legging jean from Gap’s 1969 line comes in some fantastic washes and colors (dark blue, grey, and moss green). “It’s great with an oversized sweater that covers the tush area and boots in the fall,” Martina suggests.
Uniqlo Skinny Fit ($39.90): For under $40, this dark blue jean is a must for every closet. “We have put this jean on almost all of our clients,” Beckie raves.
Best Buys Over $100
If you can spend a bit more, “head straight to AG,” Martina says. “The denim there is unbelievable. They feel like Frette linen on your body.” Another brand they love is J Brand. “You can find it at Scoop or Barney’s or Bloomingdale’s—any department store.” Also among their denim loves are jeans from Rag & Bone and All Saints.
AG Jeans “The Zip” ($178): This pair comes in white, grey, and dark blue. “I have this jean and have been living in it all summer,” Martina confesses. AG Jeans “The Farrah” in the 3 Years Wash ($210): “The high-waisted dark jean with flare leg is everywhere this fall. It’s not going to replace the clean line and versatility of the classic, dark, fitted jean, but with a high heel, it can be a very chic, slimming look to wear on occasion,” Beckie says.
J Brand 811 Mid-Rise Skinny in Bright Red ($176): Say you have a flawless pair in a dark wash and a cool white pair. Feel like going for a color? Check out this red one from J Brand. “It’s a blue-red—so rich, we love it,” Beckie says.