Vail fashion: The skinny on jeans
September 8, 2010
Though they’re somewhat reminiscent of the tight-rolling phenomenon of the ’80s, it looks as if skinny jeans are here to stay – at least for the fall – but local boutiques have the skinny on how to wear them, and how they are evolving to accommodate more body types.
“I saw the skinny jeans reintroduced in maybe 2006 and they weren’t taking off right away, because they weren’t a style that fit every figure,” said Sandy Helt, who operates Valleygirl Boutique in Vail, Avon and Breckenridge. “Now designers are creating a skinny jean look for all figures that will look flattering on different types of figures. And the consumers, more and more women have started being more comfortable with them.”
Valleygirl sells its fair share of skinny jeans, but in the summer, sold far more dresses. Skinny jeans are coming back with tall boots for the fall, but Valleygirl has an ample supply of denim for shoppers who don’t want to go tapered.
“When it’s still hot in the summer, people are wearing a lot of dresses,” Helt said. “The skinny jeans in particular are very stylish for the fall, paired with your favorite boot. Skinny jeans are not for everyone, and I like to cover all fits. Straight legs are not so tight but you can still stick them into your boots. Some of the skinny jeans have boot cuts called slim cuts, which is a boot cut but narrower. It also depends on the designer. I have a lot of designers that stick with the classic look – the wide-leg trouser jeans.”
Along the lines of skinny jeans, the most recent trend in women’s fashion are “jeggings” – jeans made from stretch fabric with very thin pockets that fit snug to the body like a legging but without the course weight of traditional denim.
“Jeggings – a jean legging – are very popular and are going to be big in the fall,” Helt said. “Combine it with one of the cute boyfriend cardigans we have coming in … we’re going to see a lot of that.”
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While the extremely low-cut jeans were in style for a while, designers are changing their cuts to accommodate more of the hips these days.
“You see more cuts higher at the waist,” said Renee Doyon, buyer for Lacy’s Fashion Boutique in Edwards. “There are a lot of high-rise skinny jeans for people that want something a little higher and easier to run around in.”
Though snug is in from the waist down, trends in tops – brightly colored silky blouses that have been at large throughout the summer (and sweaters moving into the fall) – are running quite baggy.
“You can’t put something tight on the bottom with something tight on the top,” says Alejandra Aldunate, manager of Blitz in Vail and Edwards. “It’s silky tops for the summer and you see it with exactly the same but long sleeves for the winter. I have sweaters that are a little bit longer and short coats hitting at the hip.”
Aldunate recommends wearing flats rather than boots with long baggy tops and jeggings or skinny jeans, because, “if it’s oversized and there’s a lot of weight on top with boots, it will cut everyone’s bodies.”
The baggy on top look, likely a relief to some women across the United States who are happy to hide some of their softness, is sometimes a difficult concept for the hard-bodied ladies of Eagle County to get their heads around.
“It seems like everything on top is more of a looser fit,” Doyon said. “A lot of people will come into the fitting room with an extra small and I have to say, ‘No, it’s supposed to be big.’ The style is roomier. They are meant to be voluminous.”
As we’ve all observed throughout the summer, not only are tops baggier, they’re also louder. Trends in the warm weather have seen a resurgence of vibrant pink, yellow and turquoise tunics and zany, retro patterns have made their way back into fashion with zebra and leopard … even paisley prints.
“Animal prints will never go away,” Doyon said. “It’s interesting how designers change them.”
Tops with prints were more of a summer phenomenon, however, because local boutiques say solids are coming back for fall.
“Army green is a big trend for the fall,” Helt said. “There are a number of designers bringing army green back. That military look is coming back.”
“I’m seeing a lot of black,” Doyon said. “You always see a lot of black for winter, but especially around here, black is such a classy look. It just dominates.”
Helt says she has a line of brightly colored wool coats for the winter and, going with the military look, cargo pants are coming back, too. Also, large zippers have gained new allure.
“Zippers are really big,” she said. “There’s a big trend right now in exposed zippers – zipper up the front, or exposed on the back of a dress.”
As far as accessories, like last winter and fall, scarves will be back in force, more intricate than ever and replete with patterns to spice up those solid sweaters.
“Scarves are huge for fall, not just scarves with one color but with many colors and different fabrics, pom poms and lace,” Adulante said.
Local fashionistas have been happy to see more women make a priority of fashion in Vail over the years, but when it comes down to it, the lifestyle here will always call for a slightly different lean than city styles.
“I always go back to picking styles that are better-suited for mountain living,” Helt said. “It’s important to choose the trends are right for your figure and your lifestyle, to pick up on your favorite trends. That’s what I try to do at Valleygirl – offer trendy pieces, but the store as a whole offers classic looks.”