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How Each Levi’s Jeans Fit Looks IRL, Plus Which Makes Your Butt Look the Best

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Recently I was in NYC for work and while catching up with some of my colleagues, the topic of Levi’s jean fits came up. They asked me for any wisdom about which styles were best and what they should look for. The next day, an invitation to come to Coachella with Levi’s landed in my inbox. Denim destiny? I thought so.

Fast forward a few weeks, and there I was in Palm Desert surrounded by every Levi’s jean fit you can imagine, from their new product to vintage finds. Plus, their design team was on hand to give fit advice and walk us through each and every pair. I tried on a giant stack of jeans—I’m embarrassed to admit I was a bit of a dressing room hog that day, but anything for the story right? After photographing my favorites including some Boomerangs to capture them in action, I was surprised to find that my picks were all new styles. I’m a bonafide vintage jeans devotee, so this was not what I expected at all. To get more insight into the backstory of each style and how they fit, I sat down with Karyn Hillman, Levi’s Chief Product Officer. Keep reading to hear her take on all of my favorite Levi’s jeans fits, plus my point of view too. P.S.: If you’re thinking about snagging a pair yourself and need a reference point, I’m 5’4’’ and wear a size 26.

Levi’s Take:“The Wedgie is an absolute best-seller. It was really inspired by an ‘80s vintage 501 mashed up with a ‘50s vintage 501, kind of a pin-up jean. The Wedgie is snug throughout the top-block (aka the top section of the jeans) and it nips in throughout. We launched the jean fit with a skinny leg, and when we introduced a straight-leg version (pictured), people loved it. It has the best of both worlds: I’m sexy on top and I’m nipped in, but then has that cool-girl leg shape that’s a little bit more relaxed.” — Karyn Hillman, Levi’s Chief Product Officer
My Take:Even though I knew tons of fashion girls loved the Wedgie, I had actually yet to try it before this trip. The blue pair I tried is 100% cotton, meaning it’s a non-stretch denim, just like my favorite vintage pairs. Because it’s non-stretch, I had to go up a size to get the right fit. The white pair had a bit more stretch, so I could take my normal size 26. The top-block reminded me 100% of how a vintage pair looks and feels, which in my opinion, is hard to find in the denim world. In the non-stretch blue pair, I felt like they flattened by butt just a little, and this is likely because of the material. The white pair with stretch made my rear view a bit more appealing (to myself at least!). I can absolutely see why this style is fan favorite, but I was excited to try their newer style making waves in the fashion world, the Ribcage…
Levi’s Take: “The Ribcage launched in November, and it’s inspired by 501 again, but actually the ‘90s versions of the 501 mashed up with the ‘70s versions of the 501. The Ribcage is the highest rise ever. Compared to the Wedgie, the Ribcage is tad bit more extreme in the uprightness and how it shapes you and holds you in. But also, right at the hip it is a bit straighter and releases a little bit compared to the Wedgie, which nips in at every point.” — Karyn Hillman, Levi’s Chief Product Officer. My Take: At the Levi’s Coachella event I saw people with different shapes, sizes, and style types trying on the Ribcage, and it was surprising how good one jean style looked on everyone. My favorite version was the Ribcage Wide-Leg (pictured), but they also have the Ribcage with other leg silhouettes. I have since incorporated this pair into my top three pairs of jeans on rotation, because I love them so much. The wider leg feels fresh and relaxed compared to a straight leg, but I love that it still has the super tight, high-rise top block that lends some sexiness to the look. These jeans play incredibly well with a cute crop top, and made my butt look shapely, but in a more relaxed way. This exact pair isn’t available yet, but the straight-leg version is shoppable now, which has the same top-block.
Levi’s Take: The Dad Jean is different from the Mom Jean, which is high and nipped at the waist with an extreme taper. The Dad Jean is inspired by how cool girls in the ‘90s wore their 501s upsized with just the right amount of slouch.  The Dad Jean is made for today with a rise that sits just below the waist, relaxed through the hip and thigh, and extends into a loose straight leg.” — Karyn Hillman, Levi’s Chief Product Officer. My Take:                             The Dad Jean definitely has a slouchy cool-girl effect. They’ll probably be your comfiest jeans you own, because they’re not made to fit your body like a second skin. If I was to pick a pair to wear on a flight, they’d definitely be these. They’re not available yet, but will be launching soon. 
Levi’s Take:“We love a good vintage inspired short pair of shorts a la the High Rise 501 Short. However, we also have been feeling for a slightly slouchier fit with a longer length, hitting around mid-thigh, which is why we created the super easy and effortless Slouch Short.” — Karyn Hillman, Levi’s Chief Product Officer. My Take: As someone whose job it is to identify trends before they blow up, I can say with confidence that Levi’s is smart for getting in on the long short. All the cooler denim brands are offering their take, and it’s poised to give short shorts a run for their money. I liked that this pair is just loose enough so they’re not like denim bike shorts, but are still tight enough to make a long short flattering on me.
Levi’s Take:“Of all vintage jeans, the iconic Levi’s 501 are the most sought-after jeans in the world. If you want to try another vintage cut, we are also obsessed with the 517, a classic bootcut popular in the ‘70s. Bootcuts are universally flattering, and we’ve introduced several bootcut and flares into the line, from a sexy Ribcage Split Flare and Ribcage Cropped Flare to our beautiful 715 Bootcut.” — Karyn Hillman, Levi’s Chief Product Officer. My Take:If you are looking for the classic body-hugging vintage jeans that are super popular now, 501 is likely the Levi’s jean fit you’re after. You can see from the rear-view shot that it makes my butt look the most lifted and full of any of the styles. Although full disclosure, I have had this pair altered to custom fit my body. If you’re in L.A., the geniuses at Denim Revival are experts at this. You can see how they took in the jeans in the back, making the back pockets closer together for an ultra-snug fit. This pair has been my ride-or-die vintage jeans for several years now. And although they definitely make the booty pop the most, this also means they’re so tight that I won’t wear them when I want to be super comfortable. After trying the Ribcage style, I had the realization that my go-to vintage 501s were perhaps trying a bit too hard for that perfect butt-hugging look. It’s obvious they are tight with a capital T. Perhaps that’s why the slightly subtler, though definitely still appealing, rear view the Ribcage provides has become my new favorite.
Next up, check out the new trends everyone is wearing with jeans. 

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Fashion

Shop 23 of This Week's Best New Arrivals

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It’s Wednesday, which means it’s time for our weekly installment of new arrivals. For today’s roundup, I’ve searched high and low to find the best in designer and fast-fashion pieces—all of which just hit stores—so that you can be the first of your friends to wear them. After all, if you’re going to buy something, why not beat everyone else to it?

From summer tops to dresses for parties, brunch, and everything in between, there was a lot to love this week (not to mention something for every style type and price point). Now you just have to narrow down your favorites and make room in your closet—sorry! So what are you waiting for? Shop my picks of the week below and don’t forget to check back next Wednesday for another batch of fresh fashion finds.

This will become your favorite summer top, mark my words.

Leave it to Urban to make the perfect affordable floral top.

Just the right amount of sheerness and sparkle.

Never underestimate the power of a good ribbed tank.

Fruit prints are having a major moment.

Whether it’s with a pair of shorts or a satin skirt, this top is your brunch outfit solution.

Of-the-moment tie-dye is too good to pass up at this price.

You need this top and a vacation to wear it on.

Can Ganni do any wrong?

Did you know Anine Bing makes amazing bags, too?

The bag everyone will be Instagramming very soon.

The cage detail really has me intrigued.

I couldn’t settle on just one color.

Not your average wedding guest look, but it should be.

If a dress makes you feel like you’re in the French countryside, do you have to buy it?

The rainbow dress for the edgier girls.

Your summer LWD.

A throw-on-and-go dress for your rushed mornings.

Can you tell I’m here for party dresses?

Yes, you do need another white dress in your wardrobe. It’s summer, remember?

I don’t typically wear pants that aren’t jeans, but these are really speaking to me.

Your new non-basic work pants. 

Would this roundup really be complete without a strappy sandal?

Want more? Shop last week’s new arrivals.

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This Miami Fashion Girl's Look Is Screenshot-Worthy (and Under $100)

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When I daydream about Miami style, I get excited: I immediately think bright colors (and even brighter whites), bold prints, and evening-ready looks that seem synonymous with both the tropical climate and electric vibe of the city. That being said, I actually find it even more exciting to discover someone who stays totally true to their unique personal style, no matter their location. Take Miami local and fashion girl Bianka Walker, for example. “I’d say I’m more a New Yorker soul stuck in Miami,” Walker tells me. “I’m not a dress-and-heels type of girl. I’m all about sneakers and platforms.”

Originally from Ecuador, Bianka has lived in Miami on and off since she was 16, and she feels at home in the city thanks to its large Latina community and gorgeous weather. When I noted that her personal style differs from her fellow locals, she conceded that the city definitely has a style that everyone follows, and she sometimes feels the pressure to conform.

Ultimately, though, she feels that it’s important to stay true to herself when creating an outfit. So what does a Miami girl with an NYC soul (and a knack for affordable finds) want you to buy this summer, you ask? For starters, this perfect straw bag and these platform dad sneakers, both of which she scored at Walmart. Scroll to shop her entire look, see her favorite summer trends, and discover the one touristy spot in Miami she actually enjoys.

What’s your summer vibe in one word?

Sneakers.

What are the top trends for summer you’re looking forward to trying?

I’m looking forward to including bright colors in my outfits. Usually I wear nudes and blacks, but I’m ready to go out of my comfort zone this summer. I also want to try mixing textures more, like I did with the straw bag and jeans here.

Tell us a bit about the outfit…

This outfit screams my name. I love the black denim (especially the detailing), and the hat and shoes are such cute accessories. Plus the jacket. Fringe and metallics are two trends we’ll see a lot of this season, and what better way to display that than in this jacket? The top is super simple but cute, and while the shoes were originally a little crazy for my taste, I wanted to get out of my comfort zone. I chose this outfit because these pieces feel versatile enough to pair with other looks in my closet as well.

Do you believe in mixing high and low fashion?

Yes, I’m a big fan of mixing high and low! I think it’s the perfect combo. I tend to splurge most on staples like purses and shoes.

Name the one tourist destination that’s actually worth seeing in Miami.

Calle 8! Love the vibes, and the food is amazing. It’s the perfect mix of Miami and Cuba.

Next, 8 Basics That Deliver, No Matter Where in the World You Live



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The Affordable Cult Brands That Will Be All Over Your Instagram Feeds in 2019

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The word “affordable” is one I’m always wary of using within my fashion writing, as one person’s bargain is always going to be another person’s splurge. The pieces I’m about to talk about below certainly aren’t cheap, however, unlike many of the brands on Net-a-Porter and MatchesFashion, they are potentially accessible to those of us who normally shop at Zara and Topshop

The contemporary market is one which has been growing significantly over the past two years. Back in 2017, I wrote about how brands like Ganni, Rixo, Staud and Réalisation are fighting to make your wardrobes brighter, better and more affordable. Instead of diffusion lines that mimic the aesthetic of a bigger design house at a lower price point, this new breed of labels are independent selling direct to consumer, with their own instantly identifiable design. Over the past two years, most of the cult buys that we have written about at Who What Wear are by these designers and priced around the $200-$350 mark.

This direct-to-consumer contemporary bracket is one that’s still hugely growing, and these are no longer just small Instagram-led businesses but a key priority for leading luxury retailers. In fact, buyers now scout for brands by scrolling. Net-a-Porter this summer is launching seven brands that were previously only direct-to-consumer, taking niche brands to a global audience. Keep scrolling to shop the new affordable cult brands that we at Who What Wear are championing in 2019.

Faithfull the Brand was founded in Bali in 2012, but this year, it has gone from an under-the-radar beach brand to a mainstay on our Instagram feeds. It specializes in holiday clothing with a zesty color palette and playful prints, but the dresses look just as good in your city as they do in Positano.

Kalda was founded three years ago by London College of Fashion graduate Kata Alda, however, this year it has really cranked its business up a notch, launching its own e-commerce site. These shoes are as comfortable as they are Instagrammable. 

The Frankie Shop has tiny stores in Le Marais and New York, however, this boutique is widening its reach this year, as it just launched on Net-a-Porter. This brand is getting a lot of love from power influencers and street style stars—the pleated skirts and boxy blazers are particularly popular.

Influencers are often responsible for items reaching cult status, and the Line by K was created by fashion blogger Karla Deras. This is another new name to Net-a-Porter, and it sold 500 items in its first week on the site. The lime-green slip skirt has been particularly popular with the Instagram crowd.

Rotate was launched by Danish fashion influencers Thora Valdimars and Jeanette Madsen last year and creates beautiful ’80s-inspired dresses, with bold colors and Dynasty-worthy shoulder pads.

Art Dealer is one of Net-a-Porter’s new direct-to-consumer brands that launched this year. It creates elegant co-ords for grown-ups and consist of printed blouses and matching pencil skirts. As the name would suggest, this brand creates beautiful prints with a nostalgic vintage feel. 

Sandals brand Studio Amelia only launched this year, but it made its debut on Net-a-Porter. Quite the entrance…

Next up, see our guide to the key trends for spring/summer 2019.

This post originally appeared on Who What Wear UK.

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