7 Top Skinny Jeans

Have you heard that saying? Everything old is new again. Whether you are reminded of the saccharine sweetness of Sandra Dee in the 50’s or the rock ‘n’ roll grunge of Johnny Rotten in the 80’s, skinny jeans will take you back in time and bring you forward to today.

Do not freak out! Yes, it’s a skinny jean revolution, but skinny describes the look, not the person. While some skinny jeans are just what you’d expect, only fitting that elite, slim-thighed 11%, there are a lot of options out there. From seriously skinny to almost straight, we’ve pulled 7 top styles that will give you the latest look. Even if you’re body’s not-so-slim and not-so-straight, check out our Skinny Scale, this is a trend you may not have to skip.

Here’s our skinny scale. We’ve ranked these jeans from the skinniest skinny to the straight skinny. You decide which you dare to try.

Miss Sixty Eden Skinny Stretch Jeans, $219: Skinniest Skinny

This is the skinniest of the skinny, sexy tight from top to bottom; don’t go near this jean unless you’re as straight and slim as an arrow. This is a great skinny jean if you have a smaller seat and super slim thighs. Textural pocket details and eye-catching back embroidery bring dimension and interest to the tight sexy fit through the butt. You can rejoice in your thin thighs at last with a jean that was made just for them.

Chip & Pepper Skinny Jeans, $187: Extremely Skinny

Also for the super straight, this Chip & Pepper jean has a slim fit that is not quite as tight as Miss Sixty. A darker wash color and longer leg length make for an extra slim silhouette. Scrunching those extra long legs at the ankle actually has a similar effect to a boot cut, balancing out your shape by adding volume at the bottom.

Siwy Michelle: $182: Seriously Skinny

There’s a little more room for your booty in these skinny jeans. They’ve got super stretch that allows for a close fit and comfortable movement. An upward tilt at the back waist contributes to better seat coverage. Again, a darker wash and a slightly straighter leg works best for curvier women, minimizing hips and thighs for a slim straight look. The extra length that bunches slightly at the shoe is a cool trick that will make anyone’s legs look longer.

Levi’s 503 Skinny, $25: Still Skinny

This is a great skinny alternative that gives a bit more room through the hip and thigh while still maintaining that skinny vibe. If you have more of a seat and an average thigh, these will fit well and look great on you. Due to their skinny leg, they will enhance your hip curve so you have to keep that in mind. The other nice thing about these is the price. You can afford to dabble in the latest trend even if it’s only for a season or two.

J Brand Cigarette Leg, $158: Still Skinny

Clean dark finishes and an absence of embellishment have made J Brand one of the leaders of the skinny jeans trend. This jean has a bit more room through the leg so it doesn’t cling to your every curve. A slightly straighter leg like this is a good choice for those of us with larger thighs or more shape through our hips. The straight look is there without the plastered fit. You still have a perfect base for the longer, fuller tops that are such a big part of this trend.

Citizen’s of Humanity Ava, $146: Sort of Straight

This great fitting jean has a narrow straight leg that will give you a very slim long look without the tight fit. There is room for a butt and some hip curve in these skinny jeans; you can even have a larger thigh. The leg slims down at the knee and then stays straight for that skinny look you love. Leave it to Citizen’s to give you the latest look in a very wearable jean.

Gap Straight Boy Cut Jeans, $58: Straight Skinny

This is not the skin tight skinny jean but this straight style will give you that same slim look. The cut of the Boy Cut jean is very straight, giving your body a long clean line even if you have curves. There is room for a butt and a good amount of coverage at the waist. Gap prices are also very reasonable, making this a fashion trend that you can’t afford to pass up.

An Introduction to the Suit Jacket

Without a doubt, the most elegant item of clothing in a man’s wardrobe is the suit jacket. It comes as part of a set with matching trousers and sometimes with a vest in the same or contrasting fabric.

There are two main types of suit jackets – the single-breasted jacket, usually with notch lapels and the double-breasted jacket, strictly with peak lapels. Occasionally, you may find a suit with a mandarin collar but it’s not mainstream. Shawl lapels are commonly use in a tuxedo jacket.

Single-breasted jackets have a single row of buttons down the front, usually two or three; there may be an occasional four, commonly for very tall men. The jacket’s front sides only overlap enough to permit buttoning.

A double-breasted jacket has two rows of buttons, and the front overlaps enough to allow both front sides to be attached to the opposite row of buttons. These jackets were all the rage in the 80s and seem to be going through a revival of sorts with some recent high-profile adopters in David Beckham, Jake Gyllenhaal and even Prince Charles. The current double-breasted jackets though are only remnants of their former selves – gone are the big shoulder pads, they are cut shorter and the bulk factor is removed altogether allowing shorter men the opportunity to don one without looking all swamped up.

Jacket Fit. The fit is the most important part of the jacket and I can’t stress that enough. People have different comfort levels with how tapered they wear their jackets. This is usually done at the waist to allow the jacket to closely follow the contours of the body. It all depends on how comfortable you feel in the look. You may have noticed men who power-dress, bankers and management consultants for instance all wear tapered jackets as it is what basically creates the image. To look good in a suit, you need not have your jackets fitted to that level unless you like it that way. Although be careful that it’s not too loose either as that creates the opposite effect of a shabby image. Make sure it’s shaped well on you and the fabric does not pinch at some corners and hang loose at others.

Here are a few things other you will want to look at to ensure the rest of your jacket fits well. The waist button should rest just below the natural waist of the wearer. The length of the jacket should be in line with the middle knuckle of the thumb and the back should rest just a little below the bottom. The cuffs should rest just a little above where the wrists. This leaves room for the shirt cuffs to be seen, usually around half an inch.

Jacket Shoulders. Jackets are usually built around the shoulders, and this structure is essential to the fit of the garment. The most important function of the jacket shoulders is to create symmetry. People come in different shapes and sizes and that is true of their shoulders too. Some men have extremely broad shoulders, others drooping and some will even have shoulders of different heights. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that and a well-stitched bespoke jacket will easily help to create symmetry. The padding of the shoulders is the place to start. Make sure the shoulder lines are well-defined but not exaggerated. For most people excessively large shoulder pads, for instance those that extend beyond the natural shoulder line creates a disproportionate look. On the other hand, if you naturally have small shoulders, having the shoulder pads very slightly extend beyond your shoulder line, will correct the look for you. It’s all down to your body type.

The thickness of the padding is the next thing to look at. If you naturally have shoulders of different heights, you can use the padding of varying thickness to easily correct that for you. As a general rule with shoulder padding, gone are the days when bulky shoulder pads were in trend. Today’s jackets largely have a thin padding with a slightly downward natural slant. Over-padding causes the neck and head to be engulfed by the jacket, and too thin padding does not allow the jacket to have the formal look that a suit jacket is supposed to create. What a bespoke jacket does is to create evenness and symmetry no matter what your natural shoulders are like.

Jacket Lapels. Lapels are the folded flaps of cloth on the front side of the jacket; a continuation of the jacket collar that stretches down to where the buttons begin. Lapels come in different styles and options. The most common variance of the lapels is the width. For a classic look, a moderate-width lapel is best and it works well on most occasions.

There are three basic types of lapels. The most common is the notched lapel and is the type used on single-breasted jackets. A suit jacket with notched lapels is often considered the most formal way of dressing and the type adopted by businessmen across the board. The second type, the peak lapel is more dressy than notched and commonly used on a double-breasted suit. Peak lapels create a broader and stronger silhouette with it’s fuller looking edges and arched angles – more of an occasion look and might be a bit much for the working day unless of course it comes on a double-breasted jacket. Shawl lapel is the third type and is usually found on tuxedo and dinner jackets. Here, the lapel and collar are not separate – the under collar is cut in one garment front with the centre back seam joining the two halves.

Jacket Sleeves Buttons. One of the things that distinguishes a bespoke jacket from an off-the-rack one is functioning sleeve buttons. In fact it has become fashionable to leave the last one unbuttoned as a statement to say that the jacket is custom-made. Most suits these days have four sleeve buttons but three is not uncommon. Regardless of the number, there should be at least as many of them as there are buttons on the waist, and they should be placed within a half-inch or so above the hem. Also sleeve buttons should always match the waist buttons.

Jacket Pockets. There are three typical styles of pockets on a jacket. The first is the jetted pockets. This type of pocket is sewn into the lining of the jacket and only a narrow horizontal slit appears on the side. As they appear nearly invisible, it contributes to a very sleek and polished look and frequently found on formal wear.

The second type of pocket is called the flap pocket. Flap pockets are like jetted pockets with an additional flap sewn into the top of the pocket, thus the name. It covers the pocket’s opening. Flap pockets are the most common type on suit jackets and nowadays is tailored such that the flaps can be tucked inside the pocket thus creating the jetted pocket appearance. This gives wearers’ the option of wearing the suit one day with the jetted pocket look and another with the flap pocket look.

There are also patch pockets, the least formal, and like the name suggests, a cloth is patched on the outside of the jacket to make it into a pocket.

Some bespoke jackets also come with a ticket pocket, another customisation that distinguishes a bespoke jacket from a ready-made one. It’s a smaller pocket placed above the standard pocket on the right side or occasionally on the left if that’s the wearer’s dominant hand.

Pockets are, usually, horizontally cut, but on some less formal jackets like the sports jacket you will find that they are made with a slight slant.

Moving up and common to all jackets is the breast pocket – basically a jetted pocket found on the upper-left chest. It’s purpose is not that of a pocket as such and is used more commonly for putting a display handkerchief or pocket square.

Inside pockets differ from jacket to jacket. Off-the-rack ones don’t often come with one. On a bespoke suit, it depends on the customisation requests but as a standard there is normally one on the left side and it is sewn into the lining. Some additional inside pockets for holding pens and/or credit cards are also not uncommon, another signature that the jacket is bespoke.

Jacket Vents. Vents are flap-like slit(s) in the back bottom of the jacket designed to accommodate freer movement while a person is seated for instance and for easier access to trouser pockets for the wallet. On the bespoke jacket there are three options – ventless, center vent and side vents.

Ventless jackets as the name suggests have no vent and is commonly found on Italian-style suits offering a sleek look for the back side of the jacket. Center vent is one single slit in the center of the jacket. A jacket with side vents has two vents, one on either side, usually where the trouser pockets are placed.

If there’s one point to take away after reading through the article, make sure it’s “fit”. A well-fitting suit covers a multitude of sins you may make in fabric, color and style.

Mini Dress Fashion Statement Takes Front and Centre

If it’s spring then it must be mini dress season, and 2009 is no exception to this rule. Regardless of how warm, cold, rainy, or sunny the weather might be, celebrities and stars are embracing the newest mini dress looks both on the red carpet and in everyday life.

The recent Costume Institute Gala held at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art was a dress lover’s paradise, with tons of the world’s best known stars showing up in a huge array of mini dress fashions. From the simple classics to the ultra modern, there was no shortage (no pun intended) of “above the knee” dresses populating the red carpet arrivals.

Actress Anne Hathaway harkened back to the 1960?s with her combination of retro hair and a mini dress of lush purple taffeta. The skirt was balloon-like rather than straight, a fashion statement that few people could have pulled off so successfully. Although the dress was certainly not the kind to suit everyone’s taste, Hathaway looked lovely anyway.

On the other end of the spectrum was Madonna. The so-called “material girl” wore a dress that quite frankly looked like a shrunken pair of pantaloons left over from the Elizabethan age. The colour was not quite turquoise but not quite green, instead falling somewhere in between in a shade best described by the word “blah”. All in all the outfit just didn’t work on any level, but there is a bright side: Madonna’s fashion disaster offers a great lesson to others who want to participate in the mini dress trend without making major fashion mistakes.

If you want to wear a mini dress then you absolutely should “go for it”, as long as you have a good sense of what works and what doesn’t work on your own body. Unless you have a huge amount of confidence and a picture-perfect figure it’s best to stay away from the modern/strange looks and instead opt for the modern/classic looks. Choose a mini dress that’s about mid-thigh in length or slightly shorter, but never so short that your bum hangs out the back or you can’t sit comfortably and modestly. If you?re looking for a splash of colour consider a mini dress with a fun and trendy print to it, like polka dots (big or small), distinctive floral, or an all over bold colour like red, royal blue, emerald green, or the like.

Of course, most of us simply want a mini dress that’s comfortable, stylish, and practical for everyday living, so don’t be afraid to shop around for more casual mini dress styles. Jersey knits, cottons, linens, and rayon are all great fabric choices when you’re looking for a mini dress to wear at work, while shopping, or just for casual comfort and style.