By Melissa Magsaysay Los Angeles Times
For those who love the sleek look of a skinny jean but can’t stand the leg-sucking compression, impossibly small openings at the ankles or rigid denim digging into skin, jeggings could be a worthy alternative.
The denim legging is the next frontier in the skinny shape that won’t seem to go away in the denim industry.
“The skinny silhouette is so prevalent in fashion right now,” J Brand creative director Susie Crippen said. “The big sweaters, high boots and skinny jeans are all a part of the silhouette of the season.”
Premium denim brands such as GoldSign, Citizens of Humanity and J Brand all have denim leggings in their spring lines, and Crippen is certain the trend will move forward into next fall.
Who’s buying them? The same customer who has been wearing the skinny jean for years — celebs such as Jessica Simpson, Ashley Tisdale and Rashida Jones, and twenty- and thirtysomethings who are trend-conscious and comfortable with the popular silhouette of skinny bottom and more voluminous top.
For those who have shunned skinny jeans because they’d rather not squeeze themselves into what feels like sausage casing, trying out denim leggings can be a scary experience.
But the jegging fabric is much more forgiving and the waistbands are higher than in previous skinny jean styles, which can help minimize or even eliminate unsightly muffin tops.
If you are willing to experiment, Crippen has advice on how to make the look work. “Make sure your shirt comes down to your midthigh, and if you feel squat in the look, wear heels or ankle boots,” she said.
Jeggings have the stovepipe shape of a skinny jean plus the wearability and comfort of a legging but without the overtly casual look and gradually saggy bottom of the latter.
One main difference between denim leggings and regular leggings is the jeanlike waistband with a proper button closure and zipper, which gives the top more structure and adds flexibility to the way they can be worn.
The stretch and weight factor makes them feel and move better than a rigid pair of denim skinny jeans.
“It’s a very Jean Seberg, late ’60s vibe,” Crippen said. “I just watched ‘Bye Bye Birdie,’ and everyone is wearing little cropped leggings — they were high-waisted of course — and short shirts.