History in the making
Bringing back the pegged-up boyfriend jean
By Karol Ann Bergman 08/28/2008
They are not called boyfriend jeans because you’ll catch a man while wearing them. You could do that, of course, but we aren’t necessarily here to teach you how to lure a man with power bait. We are here to school aspiring fashionistas on the origins of this month’s megatrend.
They’re called boyfriend jeans because you steal (or borrow) them from your significant other, which is precisely what celebrity trendsetter Katie Holmes did while strolling the streets of Los Angeles in her husband Tom Cruise’s favorite denims. Holmes paired jeans with stilettos and her infamous mega-black shades in order to achieve the ultimate tomboy look.
But not only has the “Dawson’s Creek” star been spotted in this über-chic trend; her BFF Victoria Spice has been seen in the pegged-up style as well.
While polling some local fashionistas recently, we ran into the ever-so-hated attitudes, with people saying things like, “It’s not ladylike to wear these baggy jeans,” or “They’re so unflattering,” and our personal favorite, “You can’t wear these to work and then out on the town for happy hour.”
In response to all of these statements we say: 1) To each his or her own. Own the look and you will always look stylish; 2) If you can’t feel ladylike in a burlap sack then you need a class in confidence and sex appeal; 3) Unflattering is wearing a tube dress tight enough to be called a sausage casing; 4) If you can’t pair these pants with a smart tucked-in blouse and a pair of peep-toed heels, then honey, your job sucks.
The trend originated in the 1950s, when working women needed something they could move around in and be comfortable. The jeans were most commonly worn with a tucked-in blouse and a colorful handkerchief wrapped around the head. We saw them emerge again in the ’80s, this time with those oh-so-terrible elastic waistbands and bloomer-like fits.
Today, there are some need-to-know basics on executing the perfect peg or cuff.
• First and foremost, the fit should be delightfully loose, just grazing your thigh. Proportion is very important, so make sure it fits your hips loosely (and wear a great leather belt). Avoid at all costs the bloomer or diaper butt.
• Secondly, when pegging or cuffing the leg, pull tight at the hem and use the guideline of a one- to two-inch cuff. Roll this up until it hits mid-calf. If you are petite, this is going to emphasize your small frame. But this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Just play up your size with peep-toe heels and a cute fitted blouse. If you’re tall, try a pair of flats.
• Third, absolutely do not roll up the cuff or peg so tightly that your calf turns purple.
Now all you need is the right pair of jeans. If your boyfriend just won’t part with his, a few of our favorite designers include the iconic Levi’s and stylists-turned-designers Current/Elliott, well known in the industry for introducing reconstructed vintage denim to mega-celebs like Nicole Richie and Mandy Moore.
Meticulous attention to detail makes their re-constructed vintage jeans something special, even historical. Plus, the denim is super-worn-in by what they call a love wash. Check out their ultra-feminine pieces at singer22.com.
If shopping on the web makes your eyes twitch, there’s always Lucky Brand, which has been pumping out solid denim pieces for years.
All in all, this is a fashion trend to get behind.