Today’s guest post is from Alicia Richmond, founder of Chic on a Shoestring (www.chiconashoestring.com). Alicia and I go back a few years. We worked together on a local television talk show called “Good Things Utah” where Alicia had a weekly wardrobe segment. Even though Alicia has worked with “famous” stylists, such as Clinton Kelly from “What Not to Wear” fame, I’ve always admired her practical approach to fashion. Her philosophy is that our clothes are a significant investment so we should make sure that they fit and flatter our body-type so they don’t become regrets hanging in our closet. Here’s a short video (http://bit.ly/10D9KgO) where she shares her wardrobe philosophy. I hope you enjoy her advice and please let me know your thoughts. Next month she’ll be helping us to choose a swimsuit that is flattering for our unique and different body-types! Take it away Alicia…..
Okay, so anyone who knows me well, knows that I am a fabric nerd. My bachelor’s degree is in Clothing and Textiles and I loved playing scientist in the textile labs when I was a student. One of the most practical lessons that I learned in my three semesters of textiles chemistry is the value of caring for your jeans and denim.
Any woman who has shopped for jeans knows that the entire experience is not only an investment in money, but also time. Jeans have become such a staple in our wardrobe that we are willing to go through the entire ordeal of shopping for that perfect pair.
But once you find the perfect pair of jeans, you will want the jeans to last for as long as possible.
Here are a few of my tried and true tips for keeping your jeans and denim looking as “new” as possible.
- For the “first ” washing of the denim, especially with dark wash jeans, always wash in cold water. We are going to “set” the dye. Remember to keep your jeans looking new, only wash your jeans every three to four wearings.
- Use one cup of distilled white vinegar, pour in the washing machine and let it distribute well in the water before placing the jeans in the washer. NO LAUNDRY SOAP for the first washing. Then I alternate using vinegar or laundry soap to clean my jeans, after I have “set” the color in my denim after the first washing. Use only a small amount of laundry soap with denim.
- Turn your jeans inside out before placing in the washing machine (you can wash more than one pair at a time, but the dye lots must be similar). Always turn inside out to preserve the “face” of the denim.
- Jeans will release the largest amount of dye in the first wash cycle. The vinegar will set the dye and prevent it from transferring onto other clothing items and onto your skin.
- After the jeans are finished washing, the first time and every time, take out of the machine and re-shape the jeans. Make sure that you pull the legs down to give you a little more length in the hem. Make sure to zip up the zipper and lay flat on a drying rack to dry. NEVER put jeans in the dryer, the heat breaks down the stretch fiber (Lycra content) and the finish on the denim. The jeans will be a little stiff after you grab them off the drying rack. Loosen them up by rubbing them with your hands.
The jeans above are mine and my favorite. They are some of my more expensive jeans, although I rarely pay full price for anything, but when you consider cost-per-wearing, these jeans have been a good investment; a staple in my wardrobe. These jeans are three years old. You treat your jeans well and they’ll treat you well.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR BODY-TYPE IS CRITICAL TO FIND THE PERFECT FITTING PAIR OF JEANS: Two women can be the same height and weight, yet have very different body-types.
- Are you long or short-waisted?
- What’s the ratio between your waist and hips?
- Where is your natural waist?
- How does your inseam relate to your torso?
- Where do you carry your weight?
These factors affect the rise of the jeans, the width of the waistband, the wash, the style of the leg, etc. for the perfect pair of jeans. If done well, you shouldn’t have muffin-top and back-gap and the cut will truly flatter your assets.
When I work one-on-one with clients, without fail, they all want a great fitting pair of jeans. For 15 years I’ve been analyzing women and their body-type to teach them how to recognize that perfect pair of jeans that flatter their assets and minimize their challenges.
When you find that perfect jean, you want to make it last and look great as long as possible.
For more of Alicia Richmond’s REAL fashion advice for REAL women…visit Chic On A Shoestring!