I’m sure I won’t be alone when I say that one of the things I find most difficult to shop for (beaten only by swimwear, perhaps) is jeans.
I don’t even want to count the number of times I’ve ended up staring at my own tragic reflection in a changing room mirror, jeans only up to my knees even after 5 minutes of kicking and jumping myself into them, before thrusting them back into the hands of the shop assistant, mumbling an awkward ‘thanks’ and slinking out, red faced and probably a bit sweaty. If I had a tail, it would very much be between my legs.
And yet denim is such an essential in any wardrobe. Not sure what to wear to work? Denim – just stick a blazer on and you’re sorted. Casual weekend? Denim and a tee. Night out? ‘Jeans and a nice top’ hasn’t become so iconic for nothing, people.
So jeans and I aren’t always very good friends – a massive bum and sizeable thighs tends to mean most jeans are almost impossible to get on, and once I eventually yank them up they’re straining at the hips and flapping about at the waist anyway – and I’ve found myself in a comfort zone of sort-of-but-not-quite-fitting straight legged or mom style jeans for the past couple of years.
Which is all well and good because I love them, but sometimes it’s nice to have a change up, so when Matalan offered to send me some jeans from their denim range, I thought I’d try some that I would usually write off i.e anything that isn’t aforementioned straight leg blue ones. Usually, I would tend to steer away from focusing the writing in a post purely on anything I’m lucky enough to be sent, but considering we’re talking about the minefield that is jeans shopping here, I thought that giving actual details on fit, style, colour and comfort was going to be more useful than whatever other nonsense I would normally spout. In the interests of giving valuable information to anyone else who is forever on the hunt for affordable denim but wants to avoid the situation I described in the second paragraph – sort of like a public service, you know – here are the ones I welcomed into my denim wardrobe.
The black skinnies
I know what you’re thinking; WOAH there Soph, don’t go too wild. Black skinny jeans?! You’re a revolutionary.
Skinny jeans are scary, okay, and while they’re the most standard of denim options for some, for me they’re rarely flattering…I actually didn’t own any when these arrived, having thrown out every other poorly fitting pair I’d had before. Still, let’s face it; they’re one of the most versatile styles you could go for and really fill a gap in the wardrobe. These are the best fitting pair of skinnies I’ve tried; the waistband is actually fairly close to my waist, which is unheard of, especially for £10 denim. They’re a little longer than what I would consider optimum length (but I do have mega short legs, so probably perfect for most), and for a pair of jeans that isn’t intended as high waisted, they sit very comfortably on the waist, which is great for a wide hipped gal like myself.
I really dislike super stretchy jeans (I feel very vulnerable in them, like I may as well be naked from the waist down and painted blue. One of the weirder things I’ve written on here) so I love that these are rigid enough to look smart but flexible enough to be comfortable. Black skinnies are probably the essential ‘jeans and a nice top’ pair, so I popped on a leopard print shirt and a blazer, then dug out the mules in an effort to encourage spring along a bit. Desk to date night ready, I think.
What I’m wearing
Black skinnies – C/O Matalan | Mules – M&S | Shirt – Zara | Blazer – H&M | Bag – Primark
The bootleg jeans
I’ve gone left field here, haven’t I; if you’d mentioned bootleg jeans to me this time last year, I would have told you they reminded me of my mum when I was growing up and that I hadn’t worn such a shape since I was about 12. Yet with the return of the nineties trend has come the return of the bootleg – something that could also be said about the colour, because rinsewash has been popping up all over the place and I’ve become quite taken with that, too.
These are some of the most comfortable jeans I’ve ever worn, and despite some reservations about how they would look on me, I wound up really liking them. I went for a bit of a seventies *lewk* with a baker boy, cord jacket and platforms, but I think these could also be great for work or dressed down with flatform trainers and a jumper.
What I’m wearing
Bootcut jeans – C/O Matalan | Top – Miss Selfridge | Shoes – Office | Hat – H&M | Bag – Zara | Jacket – Primark
In summary, two very welcome denim additions in time for spring. I’ll probably always feel most at ease in a blue mom or straight leg jean (which, incidentally, Matalan do actually have…maybe I should check those out), but yet again I find myself pleased that I pushed myself out of my style comfort zone. What’s your favourite denim style? Do you tend to try lots of different shapes, or do you have a ‘go to’ that you stick with?
Photography: Rob Poor