This is one 2009 fashion trend that I’m still really hesitant about. And to clear from the outset I’m not hesitant as to whether or not the boyfriend denim jeans trend is going to be popular, it is. Rather, I’m more hesitant as to whether people are going to get it right or not.
Katie Holmes certainly hasn’t.
But it was on Katie Holmes that the look first became obvious to me. There she was, leaving rehearsals for yet another attempt at a post-marriage career, wearing denim jeans so oversized she had to turn them up at the bottom.
“It looks like she’s wearing Tom Curise’s jeans,” thought I.
And so ‘boyfriend jeans’ was coined. ‘Couch-jumping husband jeans’ simply didn’t have the same ring.
The trouble is that Katie Holmes’s look is a terrible one. They’re so oversized she simply seems swamped by them; and her insistence on wearing a pair with enough gashes and patches to qualify them for the ripped jeans fashion trend simply means too much is going on.
But just because Holmes has got them wrong, doesn’t mean you have to as well. After all, there have been times when the actress has got it right; and she’s not alone. Consider both Reese Witherspoon and Rachel Bilson in the above photos – they’re channelling the trend, but not with the same homeless-finesse of Katie Holmes.
Elle Canada's take on denim (8 Apr 2010)
How To Wear The Boyfriend Jeans Trend
There are a few simple rules to follow, and some even simpler choices to make:
- Choice: The jeans don’t have be your boyfriends. Not because you mightn’t have one, but because you’re soon going to be able to find jeans made for women that channel the look. But if you’re after real authenticity hit your local denim store and shop in the men’s section. Holmes herself is wearing jeans by PRPS.
- Choice: If you are going to buy a pair, don’t feel the need to buy new. A vintage pair from your local charity shop will have more authenticity.
- Rule: Look for a straight leg. Bootcut or flared jeans aren’t in the least bit flattering for this trend.
- Rule: Turn them up at the bottom. Remember, this is a Spring-Summer 2009 look so you’re not going to get cold from a bit of exposed ankle. And you’re not going to communicate the ‘oversized’ message unless your jeans are turned up.
- Rule: When you do turn up the bottom of the jeans, they have to sit just above the ankle.
- Choice: Yes, all the celebrities in the above photos have gone for jeans which include the ripped jeans trend. You don’t have to.
- Choice: Consider what you’re going to pair them with. One thing Kate Holmes did get right most of the time was to pair her boyfriend jeans with an overall feminine look. That’s the one I’m preferential to; there is nothing, however, stopping you from pairing it with a tight fitting tee or hoody and really playing up the masculine role.
- Rule: If you do choose to pair your boyfriend jeans with other masculine pieces make them tight. You have to show off your feminine features otherwise you’ll come off looking like a bum or, worse, a stoner.
The End of the Trend
Having been with us since 2008 we can update the boyfriend jeans fashion trend in late 2009 to say that this is a denim trend that has had its day. Yes, boyfriend jeans will be with us for some time yet (they featured in the Ralph Lauren Spring 2010 collection) but they’re no longer a major fashion trend.