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Michael J. Fox rocked the denim look in Back to the Future.  Not only is Fox back on the screen but so is the denim look he made so popular in the film.  And just in time too.  Is anyone else tired of looking at motley, ripped up jeans fresh from a knife fight or vampire brawl?

Take it from the Fox, and try this alternative to the vampire slayer trend.  Look for decorative stitching at the knee, reminiscent of jodhpurs (pronounced \ˈjäd-(ˌ)pər\), riding pants, or moto jeans. Keep in mind that the eye is drawn to contrast.  While this style is generally fitted, the stitching at the knee draws attention to the narrow part of the legs.  If you find that the hip area pops or looks unbalanced, try wearing a tunic that flows smoothly over the hips.

Ralph Lauren jodhpur jeans

Ralph Lauren jodhpur jeans

Anthropologie, moto jeans

Anthropologie, moto jeans

H&M moto jeans

H&M moto jeans

A word of caution.  This trend is youthful, fun, and playful.  Everything Michael J. Fox represented in his classic film.  Before you wear these jeans out in public, make sure the relaxed style fits the occasion.

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By Judith Rasband, AICI CIM and Dani Slaugh, Conselle Affiliate

Little did young Levi Strauss know when he came west during the California gold rush, that he would be responsible for creating one of the longest-lasting and most distinctive American contributions to the world of fashion.  He brought with him a wagonload of denim fabric to be made into tents for the miners, but he met with little success at tent making.  A very clever fellow, he then decided to make pants for the miners out of his very sturdy cotton material.  Copper rivets were added at points of stress to strengthen the pockets and enable miners to carry ore samples.  The so-called “Levis” were an immediate success and caught on elsewhere because of their durability and suitability to the rugged lifestyle of the Western United States.

A new name was needed to identify the pant style when made by manufacturers other than the Levi Strauss Co.  And so they became known as “jeans,” a logical adaptation for the name of the cloth from which they are made.  According to Webster, “Jeans” is a durable cotton cloth in a twill weave, used for work clothes.  The fabric was first made in Genoa (Genes), Italy and used for trousers or overalls in solid colors and stripes.  It was similar to Levi’s denim, a serge or twill seave cloth, made in Nimes, France – hence, deNimes, or denim.

Today, jeans may be seen not only in the mines, but in the backyard, in the classroom, the shopping malls, in restaurants and in theaters.  They are worn by people all over the world.  And last time I checked, most of those people are not wearing them to work hard labor.  No, we’re not panning for gold in the river, so why do we want to look like we are?   Jeans were great for their original purpose, but now that we have cleaner living conditions, it may be time to reconsider the jeans uniform that we all wear.  So many of us would benefit from more variety in our wardrobes. In reality, jeans fit few bodies, get stuck in the crotch, and bag in the bottom.  Our closets are full of enough unwearable jeans that most of us could make our own tent.  Maybe it’s time to consider the fashion statement we’re really making.  Read our June Newsletter for a young woman’s take on jeans in the closet.

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