Welcome to my new series called Jean Guide for Modern Women. When I’ve written about jean outfits in the past my comments section lights up with requests for more tips. I keep hearing your request in my ears. I made a promise and I intend to fulfill on that promise starting right now!
One of the things that had me stalled was that when I sat down to compile tips, things got unruly fast. This subject is like a wheel with “jean” in the center and lots of spokes; each one wanting attention. My solution? Create a series and take it a spoke at a time.
But before we start, I truly think we need a theme song. This morning when I started writing, a tune came to me immediately. I can’t get it out of my head and now maybe you won’t either. (Please forgive me!) Remember when Dana Carvey and Mike Meyers had that sketch on NBC’s Saturday Night Live called Wayne’s World? It later turned into a movie (which I saw!) and then another one. Well, the words aren’t clever but sing the Wayne’s World melody in your head but substitute Jean Guide for Wayne’s World.
Jean Guide … Jean Guide … Ex-cel-lent … Ex-cel-lent … Party on …
We have our theme song; now let’s party on about jeans. In today’s lesson we’re going to talk about hems or bottom edges of jeans and what to do with them.
The Frayed Edge
This edge treatment is flooding the shelves and rack spaces of any place where jeans are sold. You’ll find frayed edges on skinny jeans, cropped ones, boyfriend jeans and wide legged jeans. “What’s the big deal with the raggedy edges?” I thought when I first saw them. I actually groaned. I mean, who needs this?
This was a trend I was surely going to skip … just like I was going to skip that appalling skinny jean trend that appeared years ago and well, you know what happened. I fell in love, ate fashion crow, and have been wearing skinnies ever since!
So guess who fell in love with the frayed edge the first time she tried them on? Moi. At first I thought I’d wear this style on the weekends here in Sonoma, super-casz. But now I’m thinking I want to dress them up!
I went to some of my favorite Instagram feeds to find pictures demonstrating the frayed edge. I absolutely love the black and white outfit on the left. Everything that’s served up with that black jean is pretty, feminine, and lovely. It’s a great modern, stylish look. On the right our blogger friend Dawn Lacy wears her blue frayed edge jean in a more rocker way with the black strapped boots and leather jacket.
The deep cuff
In this collage above, our ladies have turned their jean hem up into about a three-to-four-inch cuff. This deep cuff works best on boyfriend, relaxed, jeans. This would be impossible to achieve with a skinny jean.
The styling on the left is again, fabulous for modern women like us. I love how she’s taken the classic blazer and white shirt, added a belt and totally groovy black and white shoes to pull it all together. This deep cuff is a great way to showcase wonderful shoes or boots like in the picture on the right. Great shoes quickly raise the cool factor. Beautiful.
Even deeper cuffs
In this next collage below, Shauna, in the leopard boots, has a deep cuff in her unhemmed jean. And Tamera on the right has an even deeper cuff. She’s wearing the latest embroidered jeans (ones I must try as well). As you can see, the treatment on jeans is getting more and more imaginative. What I want you to focus on is how great these ladies look in these current jeans. You could too! Best to give it a try before you walk away in a huff, like someone we know (wink wink), saying they are for young people and not for “people our age.”
The double fold cuff
Shauna is wearing these two jean styles in the collage below. They are relaxed, distressed, and the right one is embroidered. I can’t tell for sure but I think this cuff has been achieved in two steps. Because the jeans aren’t narrow, it looks like the edge of the jean was turned up a good four inches. And then, that four inch cuff became a two-inch cuff once it was folded in half. The fold hugs the hem of the jean. I love doing this with jeans that are a little too long. Don’t get stuck on exact measurements. I’ll flip the edge up five or six inches even, then fold, and then fiddle with it until it looks right. This double fold cuff is perfect on these relaxed jean styles.
These rolled and distressed jeans are both brought to you by @chicover50.
The narrow cuff
When it comes to skinny jeans, you’re not going to be creating a four-inch roll because they will be too tight over your calf. So the best option is to take the edge and roll it up just half an inch. You can leave it just like that or you can roll it one more time and have a one-inch roll. In the examples below you can see how perfect this narrow cuff is with both boots and slides or sandals.
Below are more examples of flipping the bottom edge up just once. On the left, the jean is skinny which works well with the narrow half-inch cuff. On the right, the leg is wider and the one inch or so cuff works well.
These examples both come from @chic_in_chanel.
The double rolled, narrow cuff
I want you to observe the cuffed hem below on the left. This is Sara Hatten-Masterson, a colleague/friend of mine in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. I love the easy, casual jeans and pale blush top. Both pieces are rumpled and relaxed. I’ll bet you anything that Sara has rolled this hem more than she’s folded it. It’s easy to do. Think of scrunching up a rolled newspaper. You treat the hem that way too. You roll it so it looks loose instead of flat.
On the right, Susan has cuffed her jean twice but she’s made it straight and smooth. Both of these cuffed jeans are the same width; they’re using a slightly different technique to achieve different results. Brilliant.
In the cuffs in the collage below, the jeans aren’t skinny but not super relaxed either. These gorgeous ladies have created a double cuff that looks to be about two or two and a half inches deep.
They are both smooth cuffs. I love their outfits! Are you getting the hang of this?
Not interested in cuffing? Go no-fuss with an ankle jean
If cuffing seems bothersome to you and you’re not ready for the frayed edges, you can stick to the classic ankle length jeans. As we’re heading into spring and wanting to show some skin, these ankle jeans below are super no-fuss. The jean on the left is a skinny ankle jean and the one on the right is closer to a narrow or straight-legged ankle jean. Just add a favorite bootie or a sandal and you’re set!
Did rolling, fraying, and cuffing get easier for you? Let me know if this helps. I do have four more spokes on the jean wheel that I’m working on for you, but I’m open to more of your questions! Enjoy!