Discover more from Jane on Jeans
Three fashion pros told me what they are loving. Here's the scoop.
Last month, I had lunch with my friend Heidi Bivens, Euphoria’s celebrated, culture-forward costume designer. We chatted about her book, Euphoria Fashion, I told her about my letter, and she quickly pulled up a link to Reformation’s Cynthia High Rise Straights on her phone. This happens a lot when I talk about Jane on Jeans – people share their favorite pairs and I take notes. It’s the best research, especially when my sources are fashion professionals who see it all first.
Today, I’m showing you the jeans recommended to me by three women whose point of view on denim I admire tremendously – Heidi, who I mentioned above, Nicole Phelps, the Global Director of Vogue Runway and Vogue Business, and Elissa Santisi, the stylist so synonymous with wide leg jeans there’s a B-Sides one named in her honor. (If you missed it, I included said jean in my inaugural letter.)
You’ll see, I have new people in my studio! The day I launched JOJ, Nicole DM’d me about Unified Unlimited, the new-ish line from designer Michael Colovos (of Habitual and Helmut Lang fame). Unified’s jeans are all unisex, so I asked my husband’s associate Zach to try the Trouser style, and invited Natasha, who runs Roam Studio, to wear the same jean in the same size 4. Natasha is typically a 27 in jeans; Zach wears a 30 (a size 2 in the Trouser was big on me, and I am a pretty reliable size 25, fyi; they come in sizes 0-8). I hope you find it helpful to see Zach and Natasha in these jeans. I feel really confident recommending them to you after seeing them on.
With slanted side pockets, buttoned back pockets, and a waistband constructed like traditional men’s pants, the Trouser lives up to its name. Why make unisex jeans? “When you think about denim – and how women look so great in vintage jeans – they’re men’s,” designer Michael Colovos explained (coincidentally, the jeans I’m wearing on the sidelines in these pics are men’s 501s). “By nature and by its heritage, great denim is a unisex concept.”
“Maybe it was all the sitting around during Covid, but I didn’t want to lose my comfort,” Michael went on to say about his sudden interest in using stretch denim. Granted, Unified’s stretch isn’t your average skinny-jean-stuff – it’s milled with an open weave, takes indigo like a rigid, and fades as vintage fades. It is hefty, it recovers, and it’s also very, very soft. “I find myself grabbing them most days,” Vogue’s Nicole Phelps told me. “It helps that they’re pulled-together enough for the office.”
Under Hedi Slimane’s direction, Celine has been consistently big on jeans. When New York stylist Elissa Santisi confirmed she wears them, I knew they must be good. “The Celine’s are always in rotation,” Elissa assured me. “One is men’s, which I prefer. They’re longer and they still have a wide leg, but they’re narrower at the hip and a bit higher in the waist.” If you want to go the men’s route like Elissa, try these.
This is my very first pair of Reformation jeans. (I have a skirt, which I’ve written about in this letter.) My reservation about Reformation jeans has always been that they skew too young for me (I’m in my 40s). The Cynthia High Rise Straights changed that. I’m going to let Heidi Bivens, who is the reason I bought them, do the talking (scroll), but I will say that the top block of this jean fits my body and Heidi’s, both petite but not the same, near-perfectly.
Jean of the Week: Heidi Bivens
“I was looking for jeans for years before I found these,” said Heidi, who is a triple-whammy costume designer/director/producer for commercials, films, and TV. “I am literally in stores all of the time, I see everything, and when I found these, it was the holy grail.”
The jeans Heidi is talking about are the Reformation Cynthia High Rise Straights in the Colorado wash (above). They come in two lengths – cropped and not. “I bought them in the regular length and had them altered with the original hem put back on,” Heidi texted me. “In costumes we call it the Hollywood hem.” It’s good that Reformation makes an effort to manufacture responsibly: A QR code on the hangtag links to a webpage tracing Cynthia’s production journey – from a carbon positive cotton farm in New South Wales, to the sewing facility in Vernon, California. It’s also good that “the Cynthia makes you look like you have a booty, even if you don’t,” Heidi explained. “When I see pictures of myself in them, I’m always happy.”
I’ll end this letter saying Thank You to Nicole, Elissa, and Heidi for leading me to all these great jeans. I learned a lot and welcome all recs… Readers, tell me what you’re wearing in the comments, or by emailing me here. Subscribe, share, like… your support, as always, is everything.
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