25 April 2007

Why Jessica and most of you should step away from the high-waisted jeans

I honestly thought the high-waisted trouser trend that has taken over Hollywood in the past few months and graced the bottom halves of stars like Eva Mendes, Liv Tyler and Chloƫ Sevigny and can't-they-just-go-away C-listers like Mischa Barton and Jessica Simpson would pass by unnoticed and untried in our fair city.

This is, after all, like a strapless neckline, a skinny pant and a tulip skirt, a cut that to be worn flatteringly demands a very particular body-type.

A body-type, as hot as it may look in a white crocheted Michael Kors mini and much as it may be John Mayer's current wonderland, Jessica Simpson simply does not possess.

The woman I saw on my way to work this morning who, bless her heart, was trying her darndest to emulate what she had seen in the latest issues of both Vogue and In Touch Weekly, failed and failed miserably in trying to bring the not just high-waisted but extremely high-waisted trouser jean to the streets of NW DC.

Like Jess, this woman racked up her three strikes right away by being petite, short-waisted and cartoonishly curvaceous. Rocking the high-waisted trouser successfully not only requires height, and a perfectly proportioned torso-to-leg ratio but an evident but not too evident waist-to-hip transition. In most fashion magazines I've read this Spring, editors have splashed these Katherine Hepurn jeans across their denim features declaring liberation at long last from the "hard to wear" skinnies. Yes, it's true, if you have a tiny waist to which you want to draw attention, the high-waisted jeans may be for you. And yes, it's true, if you have a tiny waist and are at least 5'6" with heels, you've cleared another hurdle. But if you have a tiny waist, the right height and a DD chest, boy hips or are of questionable gender, however, the game is immediately over and you must take off that pair of J Brand Bardot high-rises and hand 'em over.

The truth is, neither the skinny nor the high-waisted silhouette is an every-woman option, and while I am pleased to see DC women taking chances with their street style, I still believe the most important consideration to keep in mind when selecting an outfit is not how great the item looks on the girl in the magazine, not how great the item will look on you once you stop eating Popeye's and finally get your ass to the gym, but how the item will look on the figure you have right now.

So until you can rock the high-waist as fiercely as Gwen, I'd stick with a nice mid-rise straight leg.


elle said...

Many women have yet to grasp the corollary between what FEELS good on them and what LOOKS good on them. I'm sure the curvy type you described did not feel good in those pants!

i think you're brilliant said...

Not to blow your ego up too much (who are we kidding, it was too late in 7th grade), but you'd look great in this style. You've got the height, the shape and the air of sophistication (another criterion, in my opinion) necessary to make these look good.

Do you have a pair?

Johanna said...


No, I don't have a pair. I tried on two different brands last weekend in Gtown, and while both looked good (there's that ego), I couldn't justify the cost. Plus, I don't have enough tops that would work with this kind of cut. They either have to be cropped at *just* the right point or tuck-in-able, but a very SLIM tuck-in-able.

If someone gave me a pair, I'd wear 'em, but I'm certainly not gonna drop good shoe money on a passing-through-town trend such as this.

bff in chicago said...

wowsa, Gwen looks fantastic in those jeans! How did she get down to that size after only having had Kingston a year ago??

There are a few high-waisted jeans wearing peeps in my neck of the country, but people here tend to know if they're high-waisted worthy or not. What is it about DC that the women there just don't get it? Even in Okemos people get it. Somewhat.

Okay, maybe not.