+ Happy Hour

Happy Hour: Shine Bright Like a Diamond


While I may prefer a chic dress and a craft cocktail, sometimes it’s nice to just throw on a pair of comfortable jeans and a t-shirt, and break out the lawn furniture and fire pit for an evening of sipping clear alcohol of dubious origin from a Mason jar.

As moonshine has gone mainstream, recipes designed to make ‘shine more palatable have cropped up everywhere.  My favorite is something from Ole Smokey called ‘Vampire Cherry,’ a wickedly sweet, and surprisingly drinkable, concoction of Dr. Pepper, moonshine, simple syrup and Maraschino cherries.


Paige Skyline Skinny Jeans ($179)

Paige Skyline’s are my favorite casual jean.  They’re skinny but don’t cut off the circulation to your calves, and the pocket placement is perfect.  I also like that they have a mid-rise and come in a wide variety of washes.

I own ‘Moonrise’ (above), ‘Delancey’ (a more uniform dark wash) and their white jean.  I tried to buy their black jean, but the material is much less forgiving than the blue jeans, so I need to size up at least one size.

If you’re looking for something with a slightly wider leg opening, I like the AG Ballad jean, a slim-fitting bootcut style.  I’m still rocking my 7 for All Mankind A-Pockets from 2003.  And if you have a tough to fit figure, I love my Cookie Johnson ‘Faith’ straight leg jeans.

Need less expensive jeans?  I’ve had decent luck with Old Navy’s Rockstar jean, better luck with American Eagle.  I like their mid-rise straight jean, though it can be tough to find it in a decent wash.  I also like the ‘trouser jean’ at Banana Republic (comes in tall sizes).

If you’re petite or plus-size, please leave denim recommendations in the comments.  I think that advice would be more helpful than any look-alike pieces I could find.



  1. Alison says:

    Express jeans are better in quality than AE jeans but not as good as Gap denim. Their washes can sometimes be a crapshoot (and often have a lot of ugly embellished special denim) but always have a few good classic colors, especially in their Stella style (low-to-mid-rise).

    March 14, 2014/Reply
  2. Abbey says:

    I wear modern skinny jeans from Loft as a petite. I don’t have to hem them, which I love (I’m about 5’1″). They have some stretch, too.

    One thing I don’t like is how quickly they can develop fading from creasing. I’ve pushed that timeline further down the road by hanging them from a loop on my closet door instead of folding them, but it still happens. For the price, though, they’re great.

    March 14, 2014/Reply
  3. Erica says:

    For Petite, Gap is the best staple for jeans. Their ankle length is appropriately short. I am 5′ and don’t have to do more hemming, which sadly i often need to with other ankle or short lengths.

    March 14, 2014/Reply
  4. Lauren says:

    For petite, I buy Big Star from Nordstrom. Their sizing is a little weird (a size 26 = a size 0) but the length on all their styles are perfect for me (I’m 5’2″). I used to be all about Gap petites but have found their sizing to be inconsistent… sometimes I would buy a size 0 and they’d be falling off, other pairs wouldn’t get over my hips.

    March 14, 2014/Reply
  5. Sarah says:

    I like Joe’s Jeans ‘Provacateur’ style (I’m 5’2). I’ve also heard that the dreaded Abercrombie and Fitch makes good petite jeans, but I have not tried them…

    March 14, 2014/Reply
  6. Danielle says:

    This thread seems like as good as any for my jeans dilemma of late. I bring this up particularly in light of the recent Ask Belle post about denim hem lengths.

    I am 5’4 (so short-to-average height) and I find most ankle, skinny, and straight-leg jeans and dress pants look way too short. The link Belle shared for appropriate hems for skinny pants seemed to align with my thinking, that even skinny pants should skim one’s shoes (about halfway down the back of ballet flats, for instance). So why are all these pants only available in 28″, 29″, and 30″ inseam lengths? They look too short to me. (I have about six pairs of H&M jeans; they’re cheap and you can buy 32″ inseams!)

    March 14, 2014/Reply
    • Anna says:

      I’m 5’6″ and I buy Loft tall jeans (unless I plan on wearing them with boots and don’t want them to bunch). The regular sized ones top right at the ankle. If they’re too long, you can always get them tailored.

      March 14, 2014/Reply
  7. Dana W says:

    For petite jeans, I love AE. Their “short” jeans work fairly well. I’ve also had pretty good success with loft jeans and gap jeans.

    If you want to go really old school, I use to order jeans from delia*s (advantage to being petite is that you can sometimes score good deals from the juniors department). I’ve switched over to AE since since I like the quality more.

    March 14, 2014/Reply
  8. Michelle says:

    For petite jeans I also swear by Gap and Loft, but lately Gap has a better track record for properly fitting my larger hips and narrower waist. Either way, I can’t avoid a little tailoring at the waist. I’ve heard that tailoring is the secret to the amazing fit we see on petite celebrities.

    March 14, 2014/Reply
  9. Jamee Blink says:

    At 5’3″, I’m at the taller end of the petite spectrum. However, I swear (!!!!) by Gap Always Skinny. The inseams are perfect & sizing is spot-on (also, large range of washes). They hold their shape & color forever. For the price, they seriously can’t be beat.

    March 14, 2014/Reply
  10. Caroline says:

    I am quite petite and I have had amazing luck with the Paige skyline skinny jean (hemmed of course). Hudson jeans makes petite sizes!

    March 14, 2014/Reply
  11. Meaghan says:

    I’m 5’3, and the DL1961 Angel cut in Zeppelin is by far the most flattering and comfortable pair of jeans I’ve ever owned. I bought a pair after hearing about the brand from two of my closest friends and have recommended them to everyone I know. The kind of jeans that make you feel like a million bucks.

    March 15, 2014/Reply
  12. The Countess of Nassau County says:

    I’m 5’4 and a plus size. In recent year I’ve had really good luck with Lane Bryant for jeans. The key to their great fit is they cut for three different types for many styles. They identify each cut with a shape (square, triangle, round). The challenge is finding a style that hasn’t been bedazzled with hideous nonsense.

    March 15, 2014/Reply
  13. Kelly says:

    AG ankle lengths are amazing. I’m 5’1″ with a small waist but less small hips and thighs, and they’re the only skinny jeans will accommodate my shape while still being flattering. Even better, after multiple years of wear, I have still yet to see any wear and tear in the inner thighs, which is usually how my jeans die!

    March 15, 2014/Reply
  14. J says:

    Paige and AG both make a few styles in Ankle length. I’m 5’0″ and i’ve had amazing luck with both brands.

    March 15, 2014/Reply
  15. LPB says:

    I am 5’6″ and plus size (16) … Kut from the Kloth jeans fit great … Diana (skinny) and Baby Bootcut. Nordstrom has a great selection.

    March 16, 2014/Reply
  16. Lisa says:

    I’m 5’2 and I absolutely swear by Rag and Bone “Capri” jeans. If you want a skinny, ankle length jean, they are literally the perfect length (because they’re supposed to be capris on normal sized people!). I have the indigo wash which has a lot of stretch, so I might caution you to size down. Mine have gotten pretty stretched out in the 7 or so months I’ve had them, but they are still so, so, so comfortable. Pricey at ~$180, but worth it if you’re petite.

    March 17, 2014/Reply
  17. Giggling Gourmand says:

    I’m 5’2.5 and J Brad are pretty much the only jeans I wear.

    March 18, 2014/Reply