The Chic List: Dream jeans? These fit and flatter

Fashion columnist and influencer Joanne Hegarty shares her advice on finding the perfect jeans.

What is the most likely piece of clothing you will reach for this weekend to become the most relaxed version of you? The thing you slip on to go and fetch your takeaway caffè latte?

Jo Hegarty jeans
In my trusty flares from & Other Stories, blazer by Chloe, bag by Elleme.

I bet it’s your favourite pair of jeans. The pair that require the least effort, give you a good bum and have become a little faded over time – which makes them feel all the more ‘yours’. But if you feel you haven’t found a pair quite like these yet, you’re not alone. We all know the pursuit of the perfect jeans can last a lifetime.

First designed as workwear for labourers on the farms and mines of America’s Wild West in the late 19th century, jeans have outlasted everything else in fashion. Amazingly, they are still one of the most worn pieces of clothing worldwide today.

Net-a-Porter reported a 25 per cent increase in denim sales year-on-year in 2020 and original denim brand Levi’s keeps reinventing itself and is thriving. Ask anyone why they wear jeans and you’ll get a range of answers. For some, they’re comfortable and easy. For others they’re a fashion statement, sexy and chic.

Jeans mean different things to different people. But happily shopping for them is a whole lot easier this year as the unforgiving leg-hugging jean got the heave-ho in favour of a more flattering looser look. RIP skinny jeans.

The favourites in my wardrobe are a pair of vintage 501s with a straight long leg, which fit better now after several wears; a cropped, soft dark-wash pair called Piper from Frame that I picked up in Paris, and a high-waisted flared blue pair from & Other Stories. Here are my tips on finding the most flattering up-to-date denim shapes for winter and how to style them…

★ Straight leg jeans are an easy staple and, while they work cropped, there has been more demand for the longer leg with high-waist. This shape is flattering as it makes your legs look longer. Tuck your favourite chunky rollneck into the front waist or team with a white tee, a belt and a stylish blazer. If the leg is slightly too long, just give them a little snip with your scissors to readjust. Denim looks even better with a small fray.

★ The bootcut jean is back and this 1970s classic looks great with loafers, a shirt, heels and ankle boots.

★ White denim is not just for summer. A cropped pair looks fresh and crisp in winter, teamed with dark knitwear and coats.

★ Flares work well with a fitted top and a structured blazer to balance out your silhouette.

Knits and jeans are a match made in heaven. Jumper, See by Chloé, £125,

Long leg, high waist: the season’s most popular shape. Jeans, Frame, £255,

Team this cropped style with winter coats. Jeans, Totême, £220,

The original 501s are still popular. I wear them with a white shirt. Jeans, Levi’s, £100,

Back in, the bootcut looks chic with blazers. Jeans, £29.99,

My go-to ankle boot to team with jeans. Boots, Acne Studios, £410,

Follow me on Instagram @thestylistandthewardrobe