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The Skinny Jeans Debate, Part Two: How to Wear Skinnies When You've Got the Lady Curves

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In my last post I encouraged men and thick women to step into a new world of denim - Skinny Jeans. For men I went into a fair amount of detail as to how to do this. For women, however, I held off because I thought it deserved a post of its own.

Allow me to contextualize, once again, which kind of women I'm talking about. When I refer to women as "thick", I mean those of you (us) with hips, booty, thighs - all of them, a combo of them, or even just one. In fashion lingo, these girls are somewhat obnoxiously referred to as "plus size" - meaning over a size 8 (usually about 10-14). But I'm not really down with the term "plus size," nor am I down with "curvy" (since when are supermodels like Bar Refaeli curvy?!), so I'll stick to thick if that's alright by you.

I know there is some hesitation among thicker girls to wear skinny jeans and I'm here to put your fears to rest. But in order to do so, I'm going to tell you the same thing I told the fellas. The desire to wear the skinnies must be there. You have to have a certain degree of confidence in your body - which for many women (whether they're a size 2 or a size 16) can be a struggle. You don't have to embrace everything and think you're gorgeous in every way, but you should be aware and okay with the idea that you will be revealing more than you're used to. Ok now let that sink in and take a breath. You good? If the answer is no, don't worry, skinnies will always be there for you when you're ready. If the answer is yes, continue on for tips to your Skinny Jeans Bliss.

1. Dark Wash, Nothing Fancy: This is one that you'll hear time and time again. We all know that darker colors are slimming. They streamline the silhouette, they don't draw attention downward, and creases/bulges/folds are better disguised. To go along with this, stay away from embellishments of any kind: extra stitching, buttons, or studs - any bleaching, designs, or imprints - oh, and please stay absolutely clear of those jeans without back pockets. They will make any butt look inordinately huge (unless that's what you're going for!). Keep it clean, dark, and nondescript. Mihal's fav places to find Dark Wash: Uniqlo, Levi's.

2. It's in the Stretch: There are 2 ways to go about fitting your beautifully thick body into skinny jeans. The first is the stretchy jean. What I love about the stretchy jean is that they're less likely to to stretch out in the wrong way. Meaning, rather than the material losing elasticity and sagging, they will stretch in a spandexy way, staying tight to accentuate your figure. Nothing less cute than a pair of skinny jeans with a saggy butt or knees. Because of the stretchiness in the denim, you won't have to wash it as much, it will wear out less, and it will maintain a nice close fit. Mihal's fav places to find Stretchy Jeans: Urban Outfitters, Zara, Uniqlo (but at Uniqlo make sure you get a size smaller than usual because they do tend to stretch out a bit).

3. It's in the Stiffness: The second method of hugging those curves with the denim is finding the perfect stiff jean. In my opinion these jeans are slightly less comfortable because they kind of corset you in. BUT...the result is great. The quality of the denim is tougher and less forgiving, so in a sense you're shimmying into the shape that the jeans are already providing. These should be washed as little as possible (perhaps stick to dry cleaning if you've got the patience/cash flow for it) because the more you wash them, the softer they become, losing the stiffness which is the reason you bought them in the first place! Mihal's fav places to find Stiff Jeans: Levi's, Rock & Republic (kind of pricey, but can be found discount at Century 21!).

4. Higher Waist Rise: The days of low rise are out, people - especially for us curvier girls. If you like your love handles sticking out, then by all means keep the rise on your jeans under them. But to conceal them and to stop constantly worrying about your butt crack sticking out (not to mention pulling your waistband up and over your belly when you sit down), for goodness sake experiment with a higher waist! Let me clarify that while I love them, I'm not talking about high waisted jeans, the ones that almost touch the ribcage. No, I'm simply referring to jeans with a higher rise - the waist line comes right about to the belly button. They come in both the stretchy and stiff variety, so you can figure out what works best for you. This has made the most difference for me in my relationship with skinny jeans - I hope you'll try them out. Mihal's fav places to find Higher Waist Rise Jeans: Urban Outfitters (the BDG brand called "High Rise Cigarette Jean" specifically!), H&M.

5. Perfect Length: This is a tough one for thick girls because a lot of jeans are made for tall, thin people. If we get a bigger size up to to accommodate our hips, thighs or booty, the jeans become longer and the proportions change. Nothing worse than skinny jeans that bunch excessively at the bottom. Not only does the bunchiness look funny, but it draws too much attention to the wrongness of the pant, which is turn makes the outfit look effed up, which...you guessed it...makes you look like a hot mess when all you're trying to do is wear a damn pair of skinny jeans! Luckily a lot of places these days have a L/R/S (Long/Regular/Short) option. And even if you're not a short person, it means that the legs are shorter in proportion to the waist - so when you go up in width, you're not necessarily going up in length. Mihal's fav places to find Perfect Length Jeans: Urban Outfitters (the BDG brands called "Ankle Jeans" and "Ankle Grazer Jeans"), Levi's, Uniqlo (they hem your jeans free of charge!).

And this concludes my tips to your Skinny Jeans Bliss. Good luck out there, ladies, it's a tough hurdle to conquer, I know. But let me assure you I know plenty of thick women of all ages with all kinds of curves who are wearing them with pride and looking damn fine (yes, even my mom is one of them!). Don't give up if you don't find them right away, the quest for the perfect skinny jean is only second to the quest for the perfect man (or woman, if that's what you're into). Eff the haters, keep on keepin' on, and as always...

Happy Shopping.