One Pair of Jeans

If I only had one pair of jeans, I would want them to have a dark wash, a simple, classic design with a wide, smooth waistband. No whiskering, fading, buttons, rhinestones, patches, or belt loops to create lumps under my tops.

While you are building your basics wardrobe, that’s what you need to keep in mind. Nothing fancy, just a great fitting neutral color classic piece that will work well with other basics but can serve as the supporting element with your statement pieces. I know many women who have tons of clothes but say they have nothing to wear because all their items are statement pieces or prints, and none of them work with each other. It’s fine to have lots of statement pieces in your collection, but you need good basics to wear with them.

If you get a classic straight or slightly flared leg style, the jeans will go with either flats or heels, and you can wear them dressed up or down. I had my tailor hem these to stop at the slimmest part of my ankle so that I could wear them with flats or heels. I like the cut of these pantlegs because I can wear them during the day with my comfortable loafers or in warmer weather with flat sandals. The alterations did not change the line because they are straight rather than boot cut.

The IC Collection (blue) and Clara Sunwoo (red) tops I am wearing above are from The shoes and the black jacket are from Dillard’s. The gray bag is from Express.

I get questions daily about flat shoe suggestions, so I am showing you several of my favorite styles here today. I always look for sleek, supportive flats that flatter the foot. If they have an almond-shaped toe or a pointed toe, they will visually lengthen my short legs. Even if what I am showing you is no longer available, I hope you can use the examples to find something similar that works for you.

  1. I notice that the Purple Poppy website indicates that a lot of their jeans run big and they recommend sizing down. Did you find that to be the case with these? I like the idea of no zipper and belt loops to avoid that pushed out look in the front. Just wondered about sizing! Thank you!

  2. Susan….love the Jag jeans. Are they true to size and do they bag out after a few hours of wear. Love how long they are! Thanks so much!

  3. Thanks for the tip on Jag jeans. I’d never heard of them before so I will definitely be looking into that brand. I’ve actually found that for me, Lands End and LL Bean jeans fit me well. They have a mid rise slim fit that doesn’t make me look like I’m trying to fit my muscular legs into a sausage casing! But they do require a belt which makes the bulk at the waist more prominent. Having something that is not an elastic waist but is smooth and doesn’t require a belt is definitely something I’m looking for!

  4. Susan,

    I love the wine colored flats with the tassel! Would
    you provide info, please?

    Love your blog!


  5. I very much appreciate the type of posts you have given us lately. While I love looking at what you wore where, I really appreciate your tips on how to style, pick and wear clothing items. It never occurred to me that a certain style of shoe would make my legs look longer and I didn’t know jeans of the type you covered here today even existed. Thank you so much for all the information!

  6. Dear Susan,

    I would like to order a pair of the jeans you featured above, but need to know how the sizing runs.

    I am a woman whose size can be a 10 or a 12, depending on the brand/sizing/etc.

    What’s your advice?

    Thanks and best regards,

    Sarah Elliott

  7. Dear Susan,

    I love my jag jeans, as well, but they are a little long. I have hesitated hemming them for fear they would be too short to wear with boots. I hate having pants with all different lengths.

    Do you wear all of your pants the same length regardless of casual or dress pants?

    Thank you

    1. Palazzo and wide leg pants should almost touch the floor and cover your show. Flares and dress pants are hemmed to the top of the foot. Ankle pants and straight leg pants are hemmed to the slimmest part of the ankle.

      1. Finally got two pair of Jag Jeans. After wearing for an hour or so they started stretching out in the legs, after 6 hrs I had bottom sag. Can’t return as I’ve already worn them. I’m a size 10. Next order will be a size 8. I think it’s because of all the spandex.

  8. Great tips on Jeans and tops, I always buy straight leg jeans with no decorations of any kind.

  9. I am new to your blog and am loving it! My only problem is that I’m short. Under 5 feet! My legs are short, my waist is now thick but I don’t have much hip. (So Chico’s new petite line still doesn’t fit! ) Finding clothes is a nightmare! Even scarves are too big! I am revamping my wardrobe that never became defined after retirement (my work look was very easy and needed to be formal-always a pantsuit with something pretty underneath). Your advice has been so helpful in terms of what to look for when I shop. But petite departments are so limited. A Nordstrom saleperson told me that most designers don’t make petites! So I’m stuck with mall-store generic clothing. I look like an ad for Ann Taylor, Talbots or j jill!
    I’d love for you to do a blog about those of us who have this disadvantage! There are a lot of us!

  10. Jag jeans are the BEST. I have three pairs in tan, dark blue and light blue. Jeans are usually my “wardrobe” since my retirement.

  11. I am so glad you reminded me of the Jag jeans. I have been downsizing my jeans inventory and vowed never to buy heavy denim jeans with a zipper and waistband again. While I got rid of a few pairs of colored denim and one or two with legs that bag, I need to have a pair to dress up with heels or ballerina flats. Definitely will look at the Jag jeans. I have such a hard time allowing myself to let go of things that didn’t get much wear. I have to convince myself that leaving them in the closet won’t change anything. The money is already spent and they might as well enrich someone else. Acknowledge the mistake and move on.

  12. Susan…love the idea bout the smooth waist of the Jag Jeans….Can you tell me what color wash your are and how do the sizes run in those jeans…Thank you…

  13. Susan, I love your blog.
    I have to admit that I am a trouser girl, zippers, belt loops, and waist bands. But I realize I am out of date. I have tried several pair of the pants with elastic that you suggest, and they slip down. I am constantly tugging them up. I can’t go for a smaller size because then they are too tight. Are there some of us who just can’t wear these pants?

    1. There are indeed some figures that can’t keep these wide waistband pants up. I often I have pull mine up because I have a thick waistline and no backside, so all pants slip down unless I use a belt.

  14. Saw this post and thought I “have” to buy some Jag pants, even willing to “gasp” pay full price! But I wanted to try some on before I ordered because sizing is all over the place. Anyhow our Macy’s is closing their doors so went to check out sale. Oh my, a win! I found 2 pairs, my size,got both for $60. A very happy shopper.

  15. Susan, Thanks to you and your wonderful style tips I learned about JAG pull-on jeans. In the past six months I’ve acquired three pair (light blue wash, black ponte knit and khaki). I’m in love! the pull-on style makes dressing a breeze, and the “no belt loop” waistband creates a smoother silhouette. I can’t thank you enough for educating us on the many merits of these wonderful pants. You are an inspiration, and I look forward to your posts; I always learn something!

  16. I enjoy reading your blog very much – thank you! I’ve bought two pairs of Jag jeans and like them immensely. Jeans have always been a problem, I’m 5 ft. and petites aren’t always petite! My question is do you wear tee tops and shirts tucked in or out with the Jag jeans? Looking for a smooth slender look…

    1. Thank you for your question. I wear long tunics or any knit top that I do not need to tuck in with the Jag jeans so that I will have a smooth wide waistband beneath. If I am going to tuck in all or part of the shirt, I will wear five-pocket jeans and a belt.

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I share tips and inspiration for using what you already have in contemporary ways. Defining words include effortless, classic, refined, discreet, and elegant. My style is chic, minimal, and timeless with a bit of edge.