Denim Essentials 101


Ladies, I am here to navigate the way through the sometimes overwhelming denim departments that we have all experienced!  Whether you shop at Old Navy or Bloomingdale’s, there is a vast amount of choice when purchasing a pair of denim and even types of jeans that you might not even be aware of!  I am here to answer your questions and lead the path to a wardrobe full of great jeans- stick with me!  We have all been there… That intimidating moment when you walk into the retailer of choice, looking for a pair of new jeans that look great on you… and trust me, that pair exists for every women, it is just a matter of finding them!  Upon arrival, there are hundreds of pairs of jeans, sometimes even a full wall, multiple denim manufacturers, sales people who don’t look at all like they could help a 40-something find jeans and extremely loud music blasting in the background.  In your head- Ugh, perhaps I will just stick with what I have at home, this is so not worth it!  I am here to tell you that it is SO worth it and just a matter of getting the facts before you venture out, all the while understanding what looks best on you and what you feel comfortable in.  Sit down in a comfy chair, grab a cup of tea and read up on how truly easy it can be to get that perfect pair of denim!

To Sanforize or not to Sanforize… This is the question?

Sanforizing is a process of pre-shrinking the fabric, which will limit the post-wash fabric shrinking to 1%. The process includes stretching and manipulating the denim cloth before it is washed, a process that all manufacturers currently employ.  In my department, all denims are sanforized, though many people ask for the old fashioned denim.  If un-sanforized, the denim will shring 10% after your first washing.  I have not come across an un-sanforized denim, however if you do, please send the information!

Does it make the Cut?

There are so many different names for the various cuts of denim, it’s is mind boggling! The following is a listing of the different types and the coordinating details!

Extreme Skinny/Legging- 9″ ankle opening. It is just as it states; a jean that is sized as a legging and made from a denim, not a knit.

Skinny- 10″ ankle opening. A fitted Denim that hugs the body from the waist to the ankle, showing off the silhouette of the leg.

Cigarette- 11″-12″ ankle opening.  Think Audrey Hepburn. Similar in construction to the skinny, the cigarette Jean does hug the body from the waist to the ankle, however the ankle opening is not as narrow. As well, this type of Jean typically stamps right at the ankle.

12.5″-14.5″ ankle opening.  This cut of denim should be a straight line through the hip, thigh and knee, down to the ankle. Some more modern and slim offerings taper in at the ankle, but a true straight is just that. Straight.

Boot cut- 15″-19″.  The original design is fitted in the seat, hip and thigh, down to the knee and then becomes gradually wider down to the ankle.  This cut of denim was originally so one could wear a boot under it, however these days- anything goes! My preference is that it be worn with at least a small heel, however I’ve seen it successfully paired with every kind of shoe.

Boyfriend- 13″ ankle opening. The newest styles of these are slim through the waist and hips, becoming slouchy through the thigh and ankle.

Flare- 21″-24″ ankle opening.  Extremely fitted through the waist, hip, thigh and knee, then it flares to a wide leg or bell bottom type opening at the ankle.

Cropped-  Typically this jean is a legging, skinny or straight cut in a shorter version


Rise of the Denim!

High- 11” Rise or more, Sits above the natural waist, at or covering the naval, typically covers the belly button. (6 ½”-8” zipper)

Regular/Mid- 9 ½”-11”rise, waistband is just below one’s naval (4 ½”- 6” zipper)

Low- 7’-9 ½” rise, waistband sits 2”-3” below the naval (2 ½”-4”zipper)

Super Low- 7” rise or less, 4”-5” below naval (1”-2” zipper)

This information, coupled with my earlier posts on which denim looks right on your body type, should help you immensely when choosing your next pair of denim.  Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have or even to book an appointment to choose that perfect pair- it’s one of my specialties!  I have a huge selection of premium denim available to me and am happy to help in finding the perfect pairing.  Enjoy the weekend!





Valarie Stock

Image Consultant & Personal Shopping



“Creating a world of extraordinary style, one person at a time…”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s