Friday, March 18, 2011

Wardrobe Staple - Get Jeggy With It

I go through short bursts of religious devotion to specific pairs of jeans, and right now I'm having a moment with jeggings. For those that have not heard of the miracle that is the "legging jean," to put it simply: jeggings are life-changing. A portmanteau of jeans + leggings, the jegging offers all the comfort of a legging and all the sturdy pockets, zippers and butt coverage of a jean.

When I first heard of jeggings, I envisioned a horrendous nightmare of stretchy legging material painted with a trompe l'oeuil of denim seams, rips and pockets (like this unfortunate creation or this slightly less offensive number). In addition to my severe aversion to "faux" denim, my body shape is of the pear variety, and I could only imagine the horror of fake denim pockets stretched unflatteringly across my derriere.

But it seems I was wrong. A few months ago, my husband's cousin, a J Brand devotee, confessed that she'd recently found herself at Saks unable to control the urge to purchase these jeggings. The verdict? "Ah-mazing!" she said. "You have to try a pair." I wanted to try them, but I wasn't ready to drop a cool two hundo on the experiment. Enter: J.Crew Factory Store. Armed with a 30% discount code, I happened upon the pair of pants that has since changed my life. They were on sale for $49.50, down from $79.50, and with my promo code, I locked them in with free shipping for just $34.65.

For one thing, they're snug on the calves (but not offensively so) so you can wear boots over your jeans like leggy models do (and who doesn't want to feel like a leggy model?). But perhaps more importantly, the top half fits just like any other jean so you don't have to worry about the dreaded VPL that may present itself with traditional leggings. A note: J Crew Factory Store is only open on weekends, though this link usually works on weekdays. And if you're not sold on my life-changing J Crew jegs, here are a few other pairs that look like a solid buy: On the expensive side, I like these J Brands or these J Brands; on the cheaper end, I like these American Eagle jegs, or these Paige jegs (on sale!). Whatever you do, please don't buy faux denim! Jegs are still jeans. They must be made of denim to look right.

On weekends, I wear my jegs day and night. For day, I throw them on to venture out for morning coffee (when effort is the last thing I want to put into my look) - they're so easy it feels like I didn't try, but so cute it looks like I did. To complete the look, I like to wear a hip-length sweater (like this comfy and flattering v-neck - I like it in pink for spring) and my favorite Frye Campus boots. A note for those blessed/cursed with a pear-shaped figure: for a balanced silhouette, I recommend pairing jegs with hip-grazing shirts/sweaters and knee-high boots; or if you want to go for ballet flats, that can look great, but I recommend wearing a longer top.

For night, I like to up the ante a bit and wear a cute cami-cardi combination (like this voile Rebecca Taylor camisole and this wrap cardigan) with some heeled boots (or, if you dare, over-the-knee boots like these gorgeous Fryes or these seriously hot over-the-knees that can be rolled over to create a more demure knee-high look). You could also do a great pump like these in black, grey or nude.

How do you get jeggy with it? Share with us here!

Happy shopping!

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