Style + Fantastic Finds

The Find: Fashion Refresh Week

Recently, I’ve been looking at the items in my closet and thinking some of them feel a little stale.  My personal style hasn’t changed much since my early-30s, and while I’ve never been one to chase trends, it’s time to freshen things up a bit.  So I decided that I would look for trendier versions of some of my staple pieces and share the results in this week’s morning posts.

First up, daily denim.

For years, I’ve worn AG Farrah skinny jeans and occasionally NYDJ’s trouser jeans.  I adore them.  But it might be time to try a new, trendier cut.

Enter the Levi’s Wedgie Icon Jeans.  These were recommended to me by a blogger friend in her late 20s.  (I won’t even discuss the pair recommended to me by my 21-year-old intern.)  They’re a little distressed and a little slouchy with a slim, but not skinny style.  They were also under-$100, which was a plus.

I was initially concerned that they would look a bit like 80s-Mom Jeans.  But they actually look great.  They’re modern and fresh, but totally wearable.  The non-stretch denim is going to take little getting used to, however.

Looking for a more modern styles?  The Madewell Ainsworth jean has a slightly wider, more relaxed leg opening.  (They also come in petite and tall.)  Levi’s 501 Jeans are also back in play.  Old Navy also has a fun pair of boyfriend jeans, also in plus size.

Have you tried any denim styles that you like recently (feel free to define recently as within the last 18-months given the pandemic)?  Or found any styles you want to try?  Leave your thoughts in the comments.

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  1. Audrey m says:

    I want so badly to like how I look in a wide-leg crop, but I cannot tolerate that shape on me haha! I did try a high-waist crop from Loft. Crazy comfy but man… the shape of skinny jeans just seems so much more flattering!

    April 12, 2021/Reply
  2. Kirsten says:

    I’m a big fan of the high-rise straight crop jeans from Loft! They’re close enough to a skinny jean for my millennial taste. 🙂

    April 12, 2021/Reply
  3. E says:

    You can pry stretch denim and skinny jeans from my cold dead old millennial hands. If I wait long enough, it will be trendy again! I also saw a WSJ article the other day that suggested Rothys were dated. I’ll just be over here in my rocking chair.

    April 12, 2021/Reply
    • Brigid says:

      I read that story, too, and felt personally attacked 😂 (obviously not giving up that emoji, either)…Some of the entries struck me as insane. No-show socks aww not allowed anymore?!?!

      April 12, 2021/Reply
    • E says:

      Wow – that WSJ article. Just wow. I don’t feel personally attacked, I feel offended that the WSJ would publish something so inane. Rothy’s are out of date? Just Rothy’s not all flat, non-leather shoes? The author of this article is ~60 years old, which I think makes her article even more ridiculous. “Socks are meant to be seen” – just what?! No-show socks are a really bizarre thing to say are out of style. No thanks, I don’t plan to start wearing ankle socks with my loafers and flats.

      April 12, 2021/Reply
      • E2 says:

        Guess you missed the WSJ op-ed about how DR. Biden shouldn’t call herself doctor because she doesn’t have a medical degree, if you think WSJ wouldn’t publish something so inane…

        April 12, 2021/Reply
  4. SheRyl says:

    Between covid15 and having a baby, I went from a size 6 to a size 12… also- my tolerance for too tight denim is gone; I realized I should measure myself; and that the size on the label is just a number, clothes need to fit the widest part of me (hips). I bought a pair of wit&wisdom from Nordstrom and I love them! Also second the wedgie fit, I have less of a waist gap with them than with many other jeans. Watch the fabric content, Levi’s makes different fabrics (and slightly different fits) for different colors.

    April 12, 2021/Reply
    • Hannah says:

      I bought a pair of wit and wisdom “itty bitty boot” this weekend at Nordstrom Rack ($11!) and I love them–extremely comfortable and stretchy but still have a refined look. I ended up buying another pair from regular Nordstrom where they were on sale. I thought they would be a nice change from skinny jeans (although I’m not giving them up either!)

      April 12, 2021/Reply
  5. Cait says:

    Throughout this era of stretchy denim, one of the things I missed most about “classic” denim was the durability. Would you consider updating us about that later? I haven’t bought Levi’s in more than a decade, but I remember them as being reliably long-lasting. Would love to know if that’s still the case!
    My impression is that the jeans here would only go with a t-shirt. Is there any way to dress them up, or are they only for the most casual occasions?

    April 12, 2021/Reply
    • Tina says:

      I think you could wear them with a blazer easily. Add a refined sneaker or even high heels and you have a look that is above causal in my opinion.

      April 13, 2021/Reply
  6. Marisa says:

    Preparing for re-entering the world and realizing that none of my pre-quarantine jeans fit me anymore, I recently bought the Wedgie Icon jeans and I love them! While I will never go in for the 3/4 length flare trend (who is this flattering for?), this is still a pretty slim fit. Finding the right size was a bit of an issue, since I had to size way up to account for lack of stretch, but the fit is amazing! Bonus for petite people, I’m 5’2 and the length is great for more of an ankle length fit. Love the look of the 501 jeans, that might be my next pair!

    April 12, 2021/Reply
  7. Nadine says:

    Okay, but like, how are ya’ll shopping for jeans without going into a store to try them on?! I’ve needed new jeans since July. The brand I usually buy isn’t available online, and it will be at least another few months here before I feel safe shopping in person, so I’ve been relying on ordering cheap, used pairs of jeans from ThredUp to get me through.

    April 12, 2021/Reply
    • SLG says:

      By ordering an embarrassing amount of sizes and styles online, then returning 95% of them! And then following up with the merchant to get my money back when they mistakenly said my return hadn’t arrived in time and issued me gift cards instead of a refund.

      It was a huge hassle, but it did provide a fun in-home try-on party, it resulted in 3 new pairs of jeans, and it’s better than getting exposed to COVID.

      April 12, 2021/Reply
    • Anonymous says:

      I’m not. Once vaccination rates are high and new case counts are low in our region, clothes shopping will fall somewhere below mammogram/opthamologist/dentist and somewhere above international travel.

      April 12, 2021/Reply
    • anna says:

      I feel pretty safe shopping in person in most places. I probably wouldn’t go to an indoor mall on the weekend, but most stores I’ve been in downtown or in outdoor shopping centers have been far from crowded and have lots of hand sanitizer all over the place. I’m mostly concerned with being in close proximity to others and not so much with surface transmission though. It also helps that I live in an area with high mask compliance.

      April 12, 2021/Reply
  8. Monica says:

    Oh I’m a huge fan of the wedgie jeans. I have them in a dark wash and a distressed light wash. Once you get used to the no-stretch, they are really great and make your bum look amazing.

    April 12, 2021/Reply
  9. Kate says:

    Can someone comment on how much to size up for the non-stretch jeans?

    April 12, 2021/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I went up one size.

      April 12, 2021/Reply
  10. Evelyn says:

    I am quite a bit older than most of your readers, so while I was reading this post I suddenly thought, “oh my goodness, there is an entire generation of women who have little to no experience with non stretch denim”. Honestly, I like the jeans with no stretch. And oh how I miss those shrink to fit 501s from back in the day.

    April 12, 2021/Reply
    • Eleni says:

      I am with you!! The first thing I look for is the fiber content and the percent of cotton.

      April 13, 2021/Reply
  11. eRICA says:

    I became a fan of Pilcro jeans – available at Anthropologie. A few years ago they were the first pair in years that I thought “hey, I like wearing jeans again.”

    April 12, 2021/Reply
  12. Jen B says:

    Honestly I’ve been impressed with Abercrombie denim. The curvy fit genuinely fits curvy, and they have some looser non-stretch style, which are only even possible because they have that curvy fit.

    April 12, 2021/Reply
    • RT says:

      Second Abercrombie! Never wore them as a teen, but love what they are putting out recently. As a cusp size, the curvy fit low/non-stretch jeans fit like a glove.

      April 13, 2021/Reply
  13. Meg says:

    Huge fan of Madewell jeans. Back when I used to shop in store (pre-COVID) their store team is PHENOMINAL. In the jeans department you just tell someone what fit/style (skinny, super stretchy, vintage, etc) you are looking for and they hand you jeans to try and when you try them on they’ll tell you exactly what size to get based on how you want them to fit. And after a day of wearing they mold to your body permanently. Totally worth the price. Recently I bought a few pairs online to try out and their website identifies a “stretch/comfort” level for each style and tells you to buy your normal size, size up for XX fit, etc. Online returns are super easy. Just ordered a pair of vintage denim (non stretch) and took the advise of the website to buy my normal size and they stretch slightly after wearing once – spot on.

    April 12, 2021/Reply
    • Katie says:

      Came here to say this! Madewell has so many styles and fabrics and are fairly size inclusive. Their stovepipe jean is a nice upgrade: I’d describe it as a straight leg crop but just slightly baggier than a skinny jean. I really love their Roadtrippers the best- super stretchy and comfy for usually around $70.

      April 13, 2021/Reply
  14. Andrea says:

    Love your blog! Your grit is just inspirational!
    I bought Talbot’s Modern Ankle jeans and love them. Very high rise.

    April 13, 2021/Reply
  15. SL says:

    Oh this is great! I really need this series – especially as I try to re enter society in something other than athleisure!

    April 13, 2021/Reply
  16. Ellie Levine says:

    I’m curious your thoughts on converse- they look great with the jeans pictured, not sure how I feel about them on me as a 40yo. Would you go with white or Black?

    April 13, 2021/Reply
    • Elizabeth says:

      get both! seeing as converse were retro when we were teenagers and is now a classic you should totally wear them.

      April 13, 2021/Reply
  17. Allison says:

    Agolde! Their 90’s Pinch Waist High Rise Straight Jeans and Parker long cut offs are amazing.

    April 13, 2021/Reply
  18. Monica T says:

    I have had several of my “everyday” jeans wear out recently, like actually develop holes or rip. The search for the jeans that shall replace them has been lengthy. Most of my everyday WFH jeans were Athleta jeans that have changed styles and sizing many many times over the years and so shopping second-hand for the ones I like has been mostly misses.

    I love Madewell jeans. If you haven’t tried their denim trade-in program, you bring in any pair of old and even unwearable jeans and they give you a voucher for $20 off on a new Madewell pair. I do have a hard time with them mostly having 10″ or higher rise, as I’m short waisted and long-legged and above 9″ is really not a good look for me. I found one pair of Roadtripper 9″ rise in a washed black that I’m currently loving. Extra stretchy and comfy, I really hope they come out with some lower rise light denim for Summer that I can swoop up. Rigid denim is nice in it’s time and place, but I definitely like having a few pairs of comfy stretch skinnies around.

    Also, looking forward to what other pieces of style you reevaluate! I made a checklist of personal style preferences in my closet spreadsheet to reference when I’m tempted to buy something aspirational. I’ve definitely had some fails this year when my life is even different than what it was before or will be after the pandemic, but I’m hoping the list will prevent more bad purchases in another transitional year.

    April 13, 2021/Reply
  19. Kay says:

    I would like to put in a plug for Everlane jeans. I have four pairs of their jeans (two shades of blue; black; white) and I love how thick and durable the denim is. I prefer their high waisted skinny, but I also have a pair of their cheeky 90s jeans, and I like the looser, relaxed fit. Plus they are never more than $78.

    April 13, 2021/Reply
  20. Rachael says:

    LOVE the Levi’s Wedgie Jean! I discovered them on Amazon a few months ago and immediately got a pair to try. I was not disappointed! It’s still modern without being a skinny jean and feels a little more chic. I ended up with a button-fly pair which I actually found I enjoyed. Non-stretch denim will take some getting used to for me as well, especially since they do stretch out as you wear – but they snap back after washing/air drying! I’m considering buying a pair in another color too.

    April 14, 2021/Reply