Get the skinny on the perfect pair of jeans.
By Susan Peck
When it comes to American fashion, nothing is as iconic as blue jeans. And from the first pair of denims created by Levi Strauss in 1873, no article of clothing has created an obsession in the same way since.
Each generation has put its own stamp on the jeans du jour and created their never-ending evolution. James Dean and Elvis Presley turned the work pants into something sexy and rebellious in the ’50s. The 1960’s youthquake sent seismic waves of jean spirit into the streets, and the beat goes on for the pursuit of the perfect pair and fit.
Through the ages, the one thing that connects every wearer is the ultimate test, “Do these jeans make my bottom look good?” There are tricks to make that happen and our denim gurus will give you the top secrets for fit and care as well as the newest trends for fall.
It’s All In The Fit
Rear Ends premium jeans boutique in West Bloomfield, and soon in Bloomfield Hills, has been a destination for denim connoisseurs for decades not only because they carry the up-to-the-minute trends but because they also give expert and honest fittings — the key to jeans confidence.
Ariana Carps is co-owner of Rear Ends, started by her parents Mark and Elaine Blumenfeld in 1978.
Carps says these top three things are needed for a good fit:
Get expert advice. “You need an experienced eye to assess you from the front and behind, someone who knows the different brands and can suggest the best one for you,” Carps said. “We are always honest with our customers when we’re fitting them and the result is they walk out of here with fabulous-looking jeans.
“Next look at the knee and the tush areas. If the jeans aren’t fitting you in those two areas, you won’t ever be happy with the fit,” Carps said. “And the knee area can’t be altered.”
The third thing is to go a bit snug when getting a new pair of jeans. “All denim will give or stretch out after wear, so you want to buy the size that compensates for that,” Carps said. “If you’re choosing between two sizes, pick the smaller one.”
At Rear Ends, denim prices range between $88-$288 for brands like Big Star, Paige, J Brand, Articles of Society and DL 1961.
Denim : On Point Fashion For Fall
Fashion retailing expert Sharon Eisenshtadt, owner of SHE boutiques in Bloomfield Hills and Grosse Pointe, has the philosophy that denim works as a core classic in your wardrobe, and it’s what you pair it with that completes your fashion statement.
“My favorite denim for fall is from Current/Elliott,” Eisenshtadt said. “I’ve been wearing the style with just a little flare and an unfinished hem, and also their Stiletto Waterfall. They’ve been so popular because of their detailing and fantastic fit.”
SHE also carries other premium denim such as Genetic Denim and Blank NYC. And, at the Grosse Pointe location only, Frame Denim London-Los Angeles. Denim price range is $88-$250.
She suggests pairing your on-trend stiletto or skinny ankle jeans with a Smythe tailored navy blazer and Current/Elliott Super Loved tank top for a chic, polished look, or the long-sleeved cashmere and cotton sweater with thumb-hole details by Enza Costa for an edgier sophistication.
Transitioning into night, “give your denim a dressier look by wearing it with a sleek and silky Ramy Brook blouse that can be worn alone or with a leather jacket or blazer,” Eisenshtadt said. “Then add high heels for a fabulous look that will be spectacular anywhere.”
Eisenshadt and her staff are all fashion stylists who can update and help you complete your fall wardrobe with personalized service from head to toe.
Raising The Bar On Denim
With the look and feel of renowned boutiques like the Blue Jeans Bar in California or Son of a Stag in London, downtown Birmingham boasts its own luxe denim store, Caruso Caruso.
“Things change so rapidly in this business that I’ve learned to go by my instincts when I’m deciding what’s relevant to bring back from L.A. or New York for our savvy customers,” Lennon Caruso said. “For fall, we’ll see some continuation of flares and skinny denim, and other big trends are the released or frayed hem and distressed jeans with single slits right at the knee.”
The brand that’s really taking off in near-cult status is Frame.
“Everyone is asking for Frame right now, but our No. 1 selling brand by far is still Citizens of Humanity,” Caruso said. “Our staff and customers both love their fit and fabric technology.”
Maybe the best thing about Caruso Caruso is you can belly up to their jean bar — a rack that holds all of the styles available for every brand and you can check them out before you have the staff pull them from the regular merchandise. Jeans range in price from $88-$240.
Hometown Artisan Denim
Starting small and local, the Detroit Denim Co., located Downtown, is more about craftsmanship and artistry than high fashion. Owner Eric Yelsma explained, “Each pair of our men’s jeans is expertly crafted with all U.S.-sourced materials — selvedge denim, made on old-fashioned looms, from mills in North Carolina.
“We use copper buttons and rivets and put hand-cut and stamped leather labels on every pair. We’re dedicated to following the tradition that’s steeped in our history of creating quality, authentic American-made jeans.”
Jeans crafted at Detroit Denim Co. are 100 percent cotton, classic-fit, five-pocket and straight legged, with the Heritage Jean at $125 being one of the favorites. For men wanting a more giving style, the hockey cut will give additional room in the hips and thigh areas.
“Jeans are like a fingerprint,” Yelsma said. “Each of us wears them in different places and creates our own unique canvas. We like to think our jeans get better with every wear.” NS
6905 Orchard Lake Road, West Bloomfield
firstname.lastname@example.org (West Bloomfield and soon in Bloomfield Hills)
4076 W. Maple Road, Bloomfield Hills,
www.she-stores.com (Bloomfield Hills and Grosse Pointe locations)
166 W. Maple Road, Birmingham
Detroit Denim Co.
1401 Vermont, Detroit