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WE LOVE: The beauty in ugly jeans

The deep blue tides of denim are a changing. After a very long and loyal devotion to skinny leg denim that has spanned almost two decades, we are seeing our once playful flirtations with the flared, cropped, baggy or ill-fitting jeans turn from a fleeting experimentation into a full blown love affair. More than ever before are we seeing women don their baby blues in all their confusing, unflattering, man repelling glory.

Jeans. No other item of clothing is more personal, more versatile or evokes such strong devotion. Considered the foundation of most wardrobes, whether it’s a casual off duty staple or a dedicated daily uniform. Yves Saint Laurent famously wished he invented blue jeans, referring to them as “the most spectacular, the most practical, the most relaxed and nonchalant. They have expression, modesty, sex appeal, simplicity – all I hope for in my clothes.” So when there is a distinct shift in style or cut, the world takes notice.

Not since the resurgence of the skinny jean in the early noughties, that saw the 501s and super low rise and rigid boots and flares favoured by the late nineties, have we seen such a definite shift in silhouette. During our long and committed relationship with the skinny leg there were some flirtations with the ‘Mom Jean’, a brief fling with the flare and even a serious affair with the boyfriend jean; but the skinny jean still reigned supreme as the denim staple.

Despite it’s now staple status, denim has been considered rebellious and cool, originally favoured by bad boys, rock stars and the insanely cool since the rock ‘n’ roll set adopted jeans as a badge of honour in the 50s. Fast-forward more than half a century and the once defiant denim jean is now the uniform of choice from wild teens to Chanel clad seniors with skinny and slim leg styles almost considered, gulp, classic. True to its anarchistic heritage, there is something liberating and rebellious about wearing unflattering jeans.

19th Century poet Ralph Waldo Emerson had once said, “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

Some women dress for the attention of men, others for the approval of women but as we see the rise of the ugly jean, it appears that we have indeed accomplished the art of truly dressing only for ourselves.

The new rule of blue; if you like it wear it.

About the Author:

Lauren JonesA Senior Womenswear Buyer, Lecturer, Keynote Speaker and Founder of Style Retailer. Lauren Jones has over 10 years buying experience, working across department store, David Jones and youth sector retailers General Pants co. and Glue Store. Specialising in women’s denim and fashion, Lauren has forged a successful career, consistently driving strong sales and margin result in a rapidly evolving landscape. Drawing on this experience, Lauren created Style Retailer, a fashion consultation business designed to help major retailers and independents alike drive competitive advantage and growth through solid buying practices.

Lauren also uses her vast experience to lecture at Sydney’s FBI Fashion College, teaching both Fashion Buying and Advanced Fashion Buying courses. Lauren is also a regular speaker at the Fashion Exposed seminars in Melbourne and Sydney and a regular contributor to leading fashion publications.

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