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11/27/18: Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Okay, maybe its not actually cold outside just yet. Just a bit chilly. But the weather is getting cooler and cooler as winter approaches. I know wearing too many layers can be really uncomfortable and unflattering, so I’ve decided to share my best tips for staying warm, comfortable, and stylish.

Materials

As far as cold weather, it’s a given that it’s best to stick to thicker fabrics to avoid having an uncomfortable number of layers. But what most people don’t really remember is to try to find fabrics that are both thick and soft, so you don’t end up in a sweater with scratchy fabric that you genuinely cannot wait to take off at the end of the day. This makes sweatshirts and hoodies excellent options for winter. The inside of a hoodie is usually super soft and the jackets themselves are always really warm. This makes them basically the most comfortable thing in the world, and they can be worn with almost literally anything (you might not want to wear one with professional or business attire, but other than that) at any time of the day.

Layers

To try to avoid wearing too many coats or jackets, stick to the above paragraph and buy coats with thicker material that is more likely to keep you warm. A thin jacket may look appealing until it’s the only extra layer you have on and it’s 35 degrees outside. You’ll be so much better off with a jacket made of something thicker. A fleece jacket or coat might be a good (and warm) option for your winter wardrobe. In short, the thinner the fabric, the more layers you’ll need, and the thicker the fabric, the warmer you’ll be without overdoing it. If you’re wearing lots of thin layers, it’ll be a lot more difficult to move your elbows (and your arms in general) than one singular thick layer, trust me.

Buttons and Zippers

I know a lot of the time, we’re opposed to buttoning or zipping up our jackets because we don’t like how it looks or we think it’s not fashionable. But we shouldn’t be giving up our comfort for the sake of fashion, and you’ll be about 10 times warmer if you zip up your jacket. I don’t like zipping up my coats just because I like to show the shirt that I’m wearing as well as the jacket, but if it gets too cold for me, I’m not hesitant to button or zip up to keep warm.

A Summary

Basically, you’re going to want to stick to thick fabrics to avoid wearing an uncomfortable number of layers, but still keep just as warm as you would if you chose to wear 4 or 5 layers. Don’t be afraid to zip up your coat or jacket if you’re too cold, and you should be just fine this winter. Just don’t be outside for too long!

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11/26/18: Tights or Leggings?

Clearly there has to be a difference between the two, or they wouldn’t have two different names. Right?

Leggings and tights are very similar in that they’re made of stretchy, soft materials that basically grip onto your legs because of how tight they are (which is sort of funny to think about, considering how comfortable they are). There are really only two big differences between leggings and tights, the first of which being that leggings are footless, tights are not.

In a way, tights are like half onesies, in that they cover your feet and go halfway up your body in order to cover your legs. A major benefit to this is that it basically eliminates the need for socks. They also create a seamless transition from where they would end if they were leggings and where socks would start. This allows for you to be able to wear whatever shoes you want to, basically, without worrying about whether or not its going to look awkward with the tights. Leggings, on the other hand, cut off usually at the ankle, so they aren’t nearly as seamless as far as transitioning into socks. This might look a little bit awkward if you decide to wear lower rising shoes.

The other major difference between the two is thickness. Tights tend to be a lot thinner than leggings, making leggings the better option for winter clothing and tights the better option for the summer. This doesn’t just effect when to wear each item seasonally, though, it also effects the look. Due to the thinness of tights, they’re usually a lot less opaque and almost always will show your legs at least somewhat through the fabric. This isn’t really an issue unless you’re looking for something to wear that is going to be practically 100% opaque. What is an issue, on the other hand, is how easily tights can rip with how thin they are. You always have to be extraordinarily careful or you risk having a run in your tights (and no one wants that). The good news is that tights are fairly cheap (usually a lot cheaper than leggings, but it depends on where you shop, the color, the size, and a bunch of other factors that effect the price), so they’re a lot easier to replace than leggings. You have to option, also, to buy them in packs, which basically just lengthens the amount of time your tights will last (which is a huge plus).

In summary, the two things are very similar, but are set apart by the fact that one has feet while the other does not, and one is much, much thinner and less durable and opaque than the other one. Either one can add on to an outfit in a way that could not be achieved otherwise, and the one that you wear is entirely up to you.

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11/25/18:Socks as Accessories

Normally, we think of socks as something that we wear under our shoes, things that don’t really show very much and we shouldn’t really care about. This doesn’t always have to be the case, though. Socks can become a major piece of your outfit if you choose the right socks and wear them the right way. For example, maybe ankle socks aren’t the best option if you’re planning on showing off your socks in one way or another, and you should opt for something more visible, like knee or thigh high socks.

Shorter Socks

For your socks to be visible, they don’t necessarily have to be super tall. Lots of people go for crew socks and other types that aren’t even half as tall as the calf. These socks can be just as cute and stylish as any others, though, with things like patterns and stripes and such. You probably don’t want to buy these types of socks in a plain color if you’re planning on making it a main part of your outfit.

Socks like these are probably best for when you want your socks to match your clothes, but you don’t necessarily want them to pop or be a focal point of your outfit. These are mostly casual everyday socks, and are very fitting to be such, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a pair you really like and use them as a main point of an outfit.

Knee and Thigh High Socks

These socks are a whole lot more noticeable than things like crew socks, completely due to the large difference in height. These socks are basically guaranteed to draw a lot of attention. Even in plain, solid colors, these socks are bound to be the focal point of whatever outfit you decide to pair them with. The main problem with these sorts of socks, however, is trying to find shoes that match without looking awkward. Pairing long socks with taller shoes never really works, so you usually have to find a pair of shoes similar to a pair of low rise sneakers or canvas shoes. There are always exceptions, of course, so, at some point, you’ll probably come across a pair of shoes that go really well with tall socks despite the shoes themselves being taller.

Another important point to be made about these socks, though, is that they sort of have to be worn with shorts or a skirt. This makes them not 100% ideal for winter weather, but wonderful for literally any other season, especially fall (that’s why you see thigh high socks in so many fall outfits on Pinterest).

A Summary

Socks come in basically any length, so it really shouldn’t be difficult to find affordable ones that you like. The great thing about socks is that you can have them as whatever amount of your outfit you want. If you want your socks to be the main point of your outfit, go for it! If not, there are plenty of other sock options for you.

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11/24/18: Step Into Christmas (The Admission’s Free)

With the end of Thanksgiving comes the start of the holiday season. This means its time to pull out the tree and get festive! Of course, there’s plenty to do to prepare and decorate for the holidays. Of course, not everyone celebrates Christmas, but for those who do, it’s about time to get in the spirit!

“Ugly” Christmas Sweaters

Okay, so maybe some of them aren’t your style. Maybe a lot of them aren’t your style. But with a little bit of searching in stores or some internet shopping, you should be able to find one you really like or that you really find entertaining in some form or another. Maybe its in a comedic way, or maybe there’s a picture of a cat on it that you just find adorable. For the most part, though, these sweaters are just so stereotypically ugly that they’re one of the most fun parts of the holiday season. You’re likely to find some sort of image that makes no sense at all (and sometimes hardly even has anything to do with Christmas) or some animal or another decorated to match the holidays. Often times these sweaters are made of soft and extraordinarily comfortable materials. Basically there’s no downsides to these sweaters (even if you don’t think you like them all that much), or at least so few downsides that they’re practically the most perfect item of clothing possible for the holiday season.

Home Decor

You’re probably not the only thing you want to decorate for the holiday season. Most people go out of their way to put up at least a few decorations inside and outside their house. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to put a lot up around your home. Most people just go for the basics: a tree, of course, and maybe some lights here and there. I, personally, have taken the time to decorate my bedroom quite a bit, with some lights that I’ve put around the entire room. I happened to have some lying around the house (as you very well might), so it didn’t cost me anything at all to decorate this year, except for a bit of my time. Decorations are a generally easy and cheap thing to purchase, as long as you stay away from large inflatables and things like that, which could end  up costing you around $100 for just one item.

Lights

You might choose to put lights up at home, or you might not. If you don’t its never a big deal, since parks and other places with large, open areas often put up their own large Christmas tree and display of lights. It’s always fun to visit one of these places at some point during the season at night while all the lights are lit up. It’s absolutely beautiful to be outside while its slightly cold and you’re surrounded by the little lights hanging from nearby trees and put up in all sorts of shapes around the space. This doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with fashion, but you can always use these lights as an opportunity to dress up in some clothes you really like and have a mini photoshoot with your friends.

A Summary

It’s almost Christmas time, and its just about time we all start dressing like it (including our houses). While all that is fun to do and certainly brings a lot of joy, what’s most important this Christmas is that we don’t forget about those we care about. The holiday season is, above all, a time to celebrate with family and friends, which is always a blast.

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11/14/18: Bell Bottom Blues

A staple in 1970s – early 1980s fashion, bell bottoms of all sorts have become widely recognized and seen as somewhat iconic. Coming around only a short time after pants started to become more popular in women’s fashion, pant legs began to get wider below the knee around the 60’s and 70’s.

Casual and comfortable, bell bottoms can be a part of whatever outfit you want them to be. These pants come in a variety of designs, colors, and materials, ranging from denim to colorfully designed elastic fabrics. Whatever your preference is, you’re guaranteed to find a pair to fit. They usually come in the high waisted variety (to fit the 70s look), but if that’s not your thing, chances are you’ll be able to find some in a different style that better matches what you’re looking for. Whether you want your outfit to be loud or more conserved, you’ll come across a variety of bell bottoms in a fitting color.

Of course, as with anything, there are some things to keep in mind when shopping for these types of pants. Size, for one. High waisted pants can be difficult, since everyone’s body shape is different, and some peoples’ waists are smaller than others’. Depending on the brand of  pants and your size, you may find the waist or the hips too large or too small, and rarely the right size. The best way to go about solving this problem is to find the brand that fits you best. Worst case scenario, you’ll have to wear a belt. It seems like a pain until you remember how cute of an addition a belt can be to an outfit. In the end its just like shopping for any other pair of pants. If you already have a brand that you know fits you well, visit their store or website and see if they have a few different pairs you could shop from.

Bell bottoms, in a way, create their own style from basically any outfit, and can turn a simple shirt into something much more complicated depending on how you choose to wear and style them. They can be a more vintage/retro style, or they can be more current. It all just depends on what you wear them with and how you choose to incorporate them into your own personal style.

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10/17/18: A Guide to Graphics

Graphic tees are easy to find, but are sometimes hard to figure out. I never used to think of myself as the biggest fan of them as a whole, but now I’ve found my way through the somewhat chaotic jungle of t-shirts. There are a lot of great options once you know how to look! So, I’ve chronicled some of my graphic tee experiences here as a bit of a guide. Don’t let it limit you, but here’s my take!

Movie/TV Show Tees

The inspiration for this blog post comes from today’s outfit: my bright red Pulp Fiction shirt – sporting a drawn rendition of Mia Wallace (pictured left). As one of my favorite movies of all time, this was a necessity. I also have my eyes on a few Stranger Things shirts, as its one of my favorite shows and there are so many different versions all over the place right now. These are probably my favorite graphic tees. It’s hard to go wrong with wearing a shirt for something you loved enough to spend the money to get one. For every movie and show, especially more popular ones, there’s usually a lot of options to choose from as well, making it even easier to find something you like.

Band/Music Tees

Along the same lines of movie and TV show tees is this category, band and music tees. The same deal applies: it’s fairly easy to find shirts for an artist you like, and you usually have a bit of a choice. Bands tend to have different album or album-themed artwork available on merchandise, as well as pictures of the artists themselves or their specific logo. As a huge classic rock nerd, my wishlist is full of band shirts, most of which don’t even exist anymore. Luckily, I’ve gotten my hands on one for my favorite artist  – Billy Joel – thanks to my boyfriend. My favorite way to get these is from thrift stores. It’s always fun to find a little gem of an old band tee, especially when it could have come from the time of the band’s peak popularity.

Art Tees

Art tees are another great option. You can find favorite paintings from artists like Van Gogh or Monet, as well as a huge variety of works from lesser-known artists with the coolest styles. Whatever your style, there’s an art shirt for you. For more famous works, they’re fairly easy to find if you’re willing to do your research. As for the more unique art tees, you can find these from artists themselves on platforms like Etsy and support smaller brands and artists through this! Some larger brands occasionally have them as well, so keep an eye out for designs you like. This category comes with SO MUCH variety, it’s practically impossible to go wrong. There’s almost a guarantee that you’ll find something you’ll fall in love with.

Brand/Event Tees

If there’s a small business you love, or you attend some large organized event, you’ll probably be able to find and buy yourself a shirt. There are plenty of businesses and events with adorable logos, and by buying them you’re supporting them! It also acts as a great conversation topic and lets you get other people to support them, too (especially with recurring events). Plus, you get the benefit of a cute shirt with a cute design on it. Check out this Daddy Kool shirt, one of my favorite St. Pete businesses (pic from their Instagram).

A Summary

If all you think of when you think of “graphic tees” is the cheesy, Forever 21-style stuff that people love to make fun of, you probably aren’t particularly keen on the concept. I could hardly touch them until fairly recently after my bout with these terrible shirts during middle school (it probably wasn’t as bad as I remember, but who wants to associate themselves with how they were in middle school???). I was that way for a long time. Now that I’ve gotten an idea of all of my other options and my own personal tastes, it’s been so much more fun to wear them. I now own a lot of them and will continue to grow my collection. So, as always, wear whatever the heck you love and chances are, you’ll look great while doing it.

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10/1/2018: It’s Almost Halloween!

Practically a month later, I’m returning just in time to introduce the month of October. If you’re like me, you’ll be celebrating “Spooky Season” all month long. To help you guys out with this, I’ve made a guide on how to work Halloween fun into your daily wardrobe!

Jewelry

Themed jewelry is probably the easiest way to work in Halloween style in whatever you wear. Earrings are great and come in so many different variations. As I write this, I’m wearing black cat earrings that match my black top and skirt. I also have candy corn ones sitting on my desk at home, waiting for their turn to be worn. You can find earrings like this in ghosts, skeletons, spiders, pumpkins, witches and so on and so forth — basically, whatever your favorite spooky things are, they probably exist as earrings. These are usually the most accessible and easy-to-find — I bought three pairs at my local Walmart for just $3. However, if you’re not much of an earrings person, there are other options as well! You can find rings, necklaces (especially chokers, if you want to get really into the spirit of the season), and just about any other form of jewelry you want to wear. Check online, in jewelry shops, in general stores, at local markets — anywhere you usually hunt for your jewelry — and you’ll probably find something you’ll fall in love with. Don’t be shy of getting experimental with these!

Socks and Tights

Another fun and easy way to get into the Halloween holiday spirit is with stockings (in all their forms). Crew socks, knee highs, thigh highs, and tights come in countless themed patterns. The patterns often mirror those of Halloween jewelry. Crew and knee high socks often have the most variety in their patterns and work in easily with almost any casual outfit. Thigh highs, knee highs, and tights are a little harder to work in, but are great for keeping your legs warm in skirts and shorts as the weather cools down. These usually have their own breed of patterns as well, such as stripes or witch stocking themes. Socks in general are great for fall. While Florida isn’t quite on its way to cooling off, most other places are, and it never hurts to get prepared!

Graphic Tees, Hoodies, etc.

One of the most well-recognized ways of working Halloween into your wardrobe is graphic clothing. You can find graphic tees, hoodies, jackets, etc. etc. etc. You can find them easily as well, in most of the same places you’ll find jewelry, socks, and everything else. These are easy to throw on and match with more basic bottoms, and are generally appropriate for most everyday situations and events. They do limit your choices a bit, especially with their usually vibrant colors and patterns, but they’re a fun, cutesy way to wear your holiday love on your sleeve (sometimes quite literally). You can find patterns, faces, characters, images, or slogans of every size, shape, and color around this time of year. I’m not usually much of a graphic tee person, but I do make the occasional exception, especially for patterns along holiday themes. This is a fun way to get your daily looks into the October spirit with you!

“Costumes”

If you REALLY want to get into the spirit of things, why not embrace the holiday and dress up? By this, of course, I mean more subtle costumes. I wouldn’t recommend going to work or class in a full-on zombie costume. However, why not subtly dress up in the everyday clothes of a favorite character? If it’s close enough to what you usually wear, why not do a bit of a themed outfit along the lines of something fun? You don’t have to go too crazy, but you can totally incorporate some iconic outfits into your wardrobe. The best part about these types of costumes is that you can either find these pieces in your closet already, and if you don’t, you’ll probably keep wearing whatever you go out to buy! There are plenty of options for appropriate, casual costumes to wear around during the month without going too far and looking like you’re on your way to an early Halloween party. Think about your favorite movies, TV shows, books, just about anything you enjoy. There’s almost a guarantee that you can find something fun to subtly dress up as.

A Summary

Halloween is awesome. Dressing up however you want is a fashion lover’s dream, so naturally I’m all about fully embracing this holiday. My room is covered in little ghosts and skeletons, my desk covered in jewelry, and my Halloween costume in progress. While the anticipation builds, you can get yourself ready by following some of these tips and growing your October, spooky-themed wardrobe like me! Don’t be afraid to get geeky — embrace your inner child and let yourself have fun with one of the best celebrations of the year! Get spooky with the season and have tons of fun this 2018 Halloween. I know I will!

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9/6/18: Dresses Throughout History (Part II)

If you read, then you’ll probably remember the decades of dresses we went through yesterday. Here we’ll pick up where we left off: the 1970s.

The 70s were a time full of colorful clothes and absolutely wacky styles. Ruffles pretty much came into existence around this time, with a lot of designs incolving shorter skirts and sleeves. Of course, people couldn’t always leave the house wearing patterns that were out of the ordinary, especially those with swirling multicolor designs. A lot of the time, people had places to be that called for more businesslike or more casual dress. In such cases, simple colors like oranges and browns were common in dresses of designs very similar to the 50s and 60s, only slimmer at the top.

The 1980s were the beginning of present day styles, as well as throwing in tons of eccentric and bold styles like metallics and glitter. Colors were bright and many of the time’s female singers inspired looks with large accessories. The 80s were basically a time to dress how you wanted, with dresses that ranged from tight dresses with short skirts to quite the opposite. A lot of the time, you’ll come across these sorts of stereotypical 80s dresses, and these aren’t too far off from what some people actually wore. Colors and layers were common at the time, and dresses finally began to include spaghetti straps as opposed to the previously popular long sleeved dresses. On the other end of the spectrum, the 70s style continued through in business attire and more casual clothing (sequins can’t be comfortable all the time, after all).

The switch from the 80s to the 90s was a pretty big one, with the amount of glitter floating around suddenly coming to a stop. A lot of 90s dresses were simple, solid colored, spaghetti strapped, and loose, sometimes paired with a tshirt underneath, sometimes not. With these styles of dresses, you may also come across a few with busy but soft floral patterns. Also common during this time were dresses with plaid patterns that were long sleeved and loose, kind of like an oversized flannel. It was all part of the grunge look that was super popular at the time because of the fame of bands like Nirvana, especially well known for their punk sound and style.

Here we are, present day. There are such a number of different dress styles that I’ll have to list only a few for times’ sake. These days, you’ll see a lot of low cut dresses with thin straps (or no straps at all). Skirts are usually a lot shorter than they have been in the past and tend to be fairly loose. It depends on the style of dress you buy, though, because there are also a lot out there that are tight all the way from the top down to the skirt. Bodycon dresses are usually made of stretchy materials and are skin tight all the way down. As far as colors and patterns, anything goes. You see people walking around in blacks, browns, blues, reds, pinks, and just about any color combination you can think of.

Its crazy to think about exactly how far dresses have come since the 1800s. I guess people back then just didn’t realize that its totally okay to dress however you want, and that no woman should be required to wear one of those big dresses with the long sleeves and skirts. Imagine wearing that on a summer day (no thank you). Take this information and use it to help you achieve whatever look it is you’re going for! And remember, no matter what you choose to wear, your style is not definite. Feel free to switch it up whenever you want to find whatever makes you the most comfortable and feel the most like yourself.

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9/5/18: Dresses Throughout History (Part I)

Jumping back into historical fashion, dresses have been a huge staple in women’s clothing for centuries. To save us all some time, we’ll not go too far into anything pre-1940 or so.

For the sake of this discussion, we’ll say that dresses were pretty much all that women wore (and all they were allowed to wear) for a long time before the late 1800s. It was considered a daring move to wear pants until around 1920 or 1930 when wearing them as casual and leisure wear became increasingly popular. The sporting of these previously taboo items of clothing didn’t depreciate the number of women who wore dresses, however, as they were still sold everywhere and considered proper attire for any event. Now that you have a little bit of background, we’ll get into some of the more specific information of dresses throughout the decades, starting with the 1940s.

During the early 1940s, dress lengths began to shorten, switching from the long and extravagant dresses (popular until the 1930s) to around knee length and casual dresses. Colors of these dresses were usually soft colors or whites, often with plaid or floral patterns. More formal dresses came in colors typically associated with business styles, including shades of brown, grey, and black. Dresses often had sleeves that came down about to the elbows, usually a little pit shorter, and had collars a lot of the time (much like a present day button up shirt but in the form of a casual dress). Often times, they were smaller at the waist with flowing skirts to emphasize a woman’s curves and add more detail to the dress itself.

Moving on, you’ll notice that, as far as the basic design of the dress, not much changed between the 40s and 50s. Really the only big change that happened during this time is a change in common designs. Things like polka dots became increasingly popular along with slightly bolder colors like red. As far as brands aimed at the upper class, dresses were very different. Dior, in the 1950s, designed dresses with big flowing skirts and cinched waists. The goal was to change the appearance of a woman’s body to look curved. Dior also encouraged women to use corsets and to wear belts to further the effects of the dresses themselves. Dior created for those who preferred the sort of Audrey Hepburn style, with a lot of long gloves and off the shoulder dresses. With all the differences between what more expensive brands put out and what women wore often, the one biggest similarity is probably the length. Over all these many different designs, the dresses’ average length stayed pretty much the same from brand to brand and style to style.

The 1960s and 1950s were two very similar decades as far as dresses; they had the same styles, same patterns, and same colors a lot of the time. In a way, the 1960s were just a transition period from the 50s into the 70s, as the dresses’ designs kind of slowly morphed into the colorful, hippie-style dresses that come to mind when you think of the 1970s. Due to all these similarities, this decade was one of the least impressive and least interesting of the entirety of the 1900s.

Here’s where we’ll leave off for now for time’s sake. If you’re interested, this discussion will continue tomorrow in part 2!

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9/4/18: Different Denim

Basically everyone wears denim, and you’ll mostly see it in the form of jeans. Jeans come in so many varieties that it’s near impossible for you not to find a pair that will both match your wardrobe and look good while you’re wearing them. What you choose to wear depends on the brands and types you like as well as your personal style.

We’ll start this discussion with the infamous mom jeans. They don’t fit everyone’s style, not everyone likes the vintage look, but they have become a pretty massive trend over the last few years. Commonly found in thrift stores, these pants are cute and affordable, and vary greatly in color, style, and size. Walking into any store or shopping online, you’re more likely to find mom jeans in the light wash variety than you are in darker colors, but, if light jeans aren’t your thing, you can find them in other variations with a little bit more looking. These jeans can be paired with practically any top to achieve a 70s/80s look.

Moving on to the classic skinny jean: worn by people of all ages, shapes, and sizes. These are probably the most often worn type of pants in America, fitting easily into any closet and matching any outfit. Whether you choose to wear them with a tshirt for a casual look, a button down to dress it up a little bit, or throw on a hoodie for a cozy outfit, skinny jeans are the way to go if you want to have your outfit match, guaranteed.  Major plus to these last two styles: they’re in dress code at most schools, so, chances are, you wont have to worry about whether or not you’ll have a chance to wear them.

No matter what style of jeans you’re looking for, you’re more than likely to find some sort of distressed jeans somewhere in the mix. These jeans are worn most commonly in the younger age groups, mostly women in their teens and 20s. These came around in the 2000s and became an especially big trend in the 2010s, continuing to be so today.

Every type and style of jeans come in high waisted, midrise, and lowrise varieties. Lowrise jeans were popular especially in the early 2000s. Midrise are just your basic jeans, likely what you wear on a near daily basis. High wasited jeans go up to around the bellybutton and help to make the waist appear smaller and the hips appear larger (plus they’re really cute with belts) and have an especially vintage look compared to the other styles I’ve just listed.

Depending on the style you choose to aim for, you may decide to go with any one of these types or styles of jeans, but whatever you go with can easily be incorporated into an outfit that is 100% fitted to your unique style and looks good on you. Remember that what you choose to wear one day doesn’t determine what your whole wardrobe should look like, though. Feel free to change up your outfits as often as you like (easily able to be accomplished with a few different pieces of denim lying around).