Tonight I was fortunate enough to go out to dinner with a colorful, hysterical group of girlfriends. Our conversations are always lively and interesting, and at some point, as it often does when a group of girls get together, it usually turns to fashion or sales or shopping of some sort. Tonight, the subject of jeggings came up, when one member of the group, a gorgeous, jet-setting single girl who just returned from a Caribbean vacation, mentioned that she had just purchased a pair of black jeggings, and that she loved them. I piped in that I, too, loved my jeggings. The very sweet, very stylish friend sitting next to me looked at me in amazement, and mentioned that she and her husband had laughed at a pair of Pajama Jeans when they saw them on TV. (And who can blame them!) “But I don’t think you are buying your jeans from an infomercial,” she said. She’s right, and fortunately, a great pair of jeggings has absolutely nothing in common with the misguided attempt at loungewear known as the Pajama Jean. Yuck! Jeans are not meant to feel like pajamas. If you want loungewear, wear loungewear. Jeans should look like jeans. That’s why I think that jeggings that look like leggings with a cheesy denim print should be banned for anyone over the age of 19. If you’re young enough, and edgy enough, to want to wear jeans that look like leggings, that’s your prerogative. For the rest of the world, the only relevant jegging is the kind that looks exactly like your favorite skinny jeans, only softer and stretchier. These are made of denim, not a knit legging material, feature pockets and, in many cases, a zip front and button closure. Some designers make the distinction by calling them pull-on jeans. So here, a few guidelines for pulling off one of the most persistently trendy looks of the last few seasons:
1. If you wouldn’t wear skinny jeans, don’t wear jeggings. They are not for everybody, and if you want to downplay your curves, there may be better options out there for you. Not every trend is for every body.
2. If you feel comfortable in skinny jeans, they you may want to try a pair of jeggings. Choose a black or dark blue pair, as they are the most versatile and flattering, and wear them as you would your skinny jeans. If you need a bit more coverage, try wearing them with tunics or longer cardigans.
3. If you have a favorite denim brand, try their jeggings. Fortunatley, this is one trend that is available in every price range, but at the higher end, you are generally going to get higher quality denim with better details. Another option? Corduroy jeggings, a great pick for winter.
Three Top Jeggings Picks
AG Adriano Goldschmied The Tights Jeans, $128: I love AG jeans, and these are one step skinnier than their skinny Stilt jeans, my current favorites. Classic details and a dark wash make these versatile and flattering, and the price isn’t too bad for something you’ll want to wear every day.
True Religion Misty Santa Cruz Dark Leggings, $208: If you have a skinny or boyish figure, these jeans could be your new favorite pair. The wash is designed to play up your curves, and the button-flap pocket adds some dimension to the back.
The AF Jegging, $58: Yes, it’s a very youth-oriented brand, but Abercrombie & Fitch has created a clean, classic skinny jean with a sleek dark wash at an affordable price. Can’t beat that!