Styling Your Blue Jeans - Your Wardrobe - The Francais Way…
While we like to think of blue jeans as the quintessential American wardrobe staple, denim was actually a fabric creation of France. This accidental discovery in the 18th century occurred when fabric mills in Nîmes, France, attempted to replicate a sturdy Italian fabric called serge. What they created was called "serge de Nîmes" or "de Nîmes," now anglicized to “denim.” Let's talk about this principal item of your wardrobe - the français way...
It should noted that in the USA, on May 20, 1873, Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis made the first pair of blue jeans out of denim fabric. Until then, denim was the traditional and standard fabric used when manufacturing durable workwear.
The comfort and durability served well America's adventurous gold diggers, miners, and cowboys alike.
As a side note, for nearly 100 years, up until 1960, they were called "waist overalls." That lasted until the trendier shoppers, the baby boomers, created the name "blue jeans" or "jeans."
Globally today, Levi’s jeans are still the most shopped and requested brand of blue jeans!
These days, denim is available in the classic blue (with its many washes) and every color of the rainbow.
That's to say nothing of the type of fits. From the skinniest slim fit to the baggiest drape, you can get a denim jean to suit your every mood and style.
Shopping for blue jeans can be a bit overwhelming, and sometimes frustrating. P'Niche gets it! Here are some tips for purchasing your best jeans...
Fabric Quality: Make sure the weight of the denim is strong and heavier grade. This will give the denim more stretch, making them fit better, and last longer.
Stitching: Make sure the stitching around the pockets, side seams, and, hems is of good and durable quality.
Stretching: Make sure it seems that the jeans will have a bit of "give" to them so that they get more comfortable as they get more broken in with wear.
Details: Take a look to make sure that the zippers, copper buttons, and rivets are made from good quality and will last the test of time.
Prices: Jeans don't need to cost a fortune. But, if they are too inexpensive, you are looking at a lesser quality garment. Spend a bit more up front for quality here.
Fit is Everything: Jeans come in so many shapes and sizes, but if they don't fit you properly, the look won't work. If you fall in love with a pair and need them in your wardrobe, you can take them to a tailor. For instance, I always needs to have the back waist of my jeans nipped in a bit. No shame to it - and then the jeans will now look like they were custom made for you - tailoring is definitely a worthwhile investment.
Denim is of course represented in the royal households! You can see the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate, in skinny, dark washed jeans, paired with a Breton top and navy blazer - keeping the look chic and monochromatically slimming.
Princess Diana's look also has a navy blazer, but adds a playful element, with a balloon sweatshirt layered underneath, and brown leather knee high boots to get her easily across the grassy pitch she was walking.
Not missing a royal step, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry and Meghan, look great together in their blue jeans. Meghan has it paired with a Parisian style, oversized blouse, and matching leather accessories. Harry sports a simple polo and sneakers.
Fun fact - speaking of Prince Harry and sports - we all know that Harry loves polo, so he must be in jeans quite a lot. Traditionally, polo players typically wear blue jeans to practice and step it up to white denim jeans for proper matches.
Let's take a look at some other street styled jeans for some P'Niche-spiration...
This Parisienne has street chic style nailed.
Her simple medium wash jeans fit her comfortably, and she has paired them with a simple, good quality sweater.
Her accessories are minimal, and you can see here that she can comfortably navigate the cobblestones streets of Paris with ease in her ballet flats.
Sneakers or booties would have looked great as well - check out our French footwear guide for more inspiration...
She looks as effortlessly confident and comfortable as can be...
Jeanne Damas has over 1.5 million followers on her Instagram account, and it's easy to understand why.
She steps her jeans up a notch with this amazing "day to evening" look. Pssst - day to evening looks work great when packing a capsule wardrobe!
Mme. Damas styles her look with a deep cut black silk top, matching black handbag, and metallic shoes. She manages to give some edge to her look with her jeans frayed at the bottom, bringing them up to date a bit.
And of course, the true French woman she is, she has an easy hair style and a signature red lip to complete her stylishly sexy look.
You can see in this snap that Mme. Chic gets this daytime casual look absolutely right by keeping her other key pieces in a similar color family.
She also cleverly offsets the loose leg of the jeans with an ultra fit shirt on the top.
Loose hair, chic accessories, and this look is absolutely going to turn heads!
This look is so stylish and easy to replicate. We can tell that there is an in-between-season vibe going on.
She has chosen to keep her blouse and jacket simple and monochromatic with a tailored black blouse and jacket. Even her sun glasses maintain the color scheme.
The fun surprise in the styling of this ensemble is the pop of color red bootie, which manages to both bring the outfit up to date while keeping it timeless and classically elegant at the same time.
This classy Monsieur Beau is looking dashing while running his Parisian errands.
Nothing is more classic that the iconic white tee paired with this great darker wash jean.
Think James dean. Well, Jacques Dean anyway...
Keeping it casual with a dark blazer and crisp sneakers, gorgeous time piece, and sunglasses, he is definitely ready to get stuff done.
This look might also work in many modern office settings. As we continue to re-enter the workplace, jeans are becoming more and more part of the day-to-day uniform, so check with your team and see if you can put this look into your office wear rotation.
P'Niche loves how this gentleman's look brings torn jeans into play. It's just enough edge without being too much.
By keeping his top simple with a white shirt, monochromatic black leather jacket, designer belt, and shoes as accessories, he is able to make his jeans the star of the show.
This is also a great gentlemen's way to take jeans from day to night. With a very dark or black wash to the denim, you will be able to use this look for many different times and occasions.
We love how this seasonal and transitional look comes together.
With a very dark wash and corresponding color sweater, the style looks clean, crisp, modern, and ultra-chic.
You can tell he put some thought into the purchase of this gorgeous coat and leather duffle. The look is very luxe and very well cared for.
Remember, P'Nichers, quality over quantity is the aim - this gentleman looks as though he is off to his private jet!
Next stop, Versailles?!
We're not sure where this elegant homme is dashing off to, but he sure looks great as he is on his way!
He's taken this casual look one step further with a fabulous pinstripe vest under a gorgeous muted color, slim fit trench.
With his corresponding satchel, loafers, and scarf, he is keeping this look to three main colors.
This is a wonderful example of "less is more" - SO much more!
When I am lucky enough to shop for jeans in Paris, I head to:
Lee Jeans, Le Marais
38 Rue du Temple, 75004
Métro: Rambuteau (Line 11)
25 Rue Royale, 75008
Métro: Madeleine (Lines 8, 12, 14)
Not in Paris? Pas de problème! Check out these non-sponsored sites:
Nordstrom (various designers)
What do you think P'Nicher's - how are you styling your jeans and what was your fave look from this mini look-book? Looking forward to hearing in the comments et à bientôt!