6 Reasons to Get Excited About Jeans

6: Skinny
Photo: netaporter.com; Humberto Carreno/Startraks Photo

6 Reasons to Get Excited About Jeans

01 of 08

1: Distressed

1: Distressed
Nigel Cox

Ripped up, worn out, busted at the knees-the hard-livin' look is the latest in haute dungarees. Read more on it and the five other styles in our guide.

Left to right: Cotton Lazy Boyfriend, Goldsign, $312; buy online now at

shopbop.com. Cotton Rail straight in Bedrock wash, Madewell, $200; madewell1937.com for stores. Cotton the Skinny, Current/Elliot; $255; buy online now at intermixonline.com.
Cotton Lehla, Diesel, $300; 877-433-4373 for stores.

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02 of 08

Find the Right Pair

Find the Right Pair
Nigel Cox; Bill Davila/Startraks Photo

Get your beat-up jeans straight off the rack or ravage a pair yourself. "We used to take drills to ours, shoot BBs at them, or go crazy with patches," says Emily Current of Current/Elliott, the brand largely responsible for the now-ubiquitous boyfriend jeans. Either way, play with contrasts. "I love the look of dressing up our Trash wash with black stilettos and a tiny black blazer," Current says. Cameron Diaz (left) played it perfectly in a pair by 7 for All Mankind.

Far left: Cotton skinny leg with ankle zip, American Eagle Outfitters, $50; at

ae.com.

03 of 08

Make Your Own

Make Your Own
Time Inc. Digital Studio; Marie Valentino/MCV Photo

Christophe Decarnin filled Balmain's spring '09 runway with models in jeans in various states of disrepair (left). Inspired by their cool look, resourceful InStyle fashion assistant Katie Casamassimo used some bleach, sandpaper and an X-acto knife to make her own interpretation (far left).

STEP 1: Bunch areas on old black jeans and pour a bit of Clorox on each. "When you're happy with the color," Casamassimo says, "rinse out the bleach."
STEP 2: Sand the knees and the fronts of the thighs with heavy grit paper.
STEP 3: Slice the areas you want ripped and pick apart the fibers in the weave.
STEP 4: Machine wash and dry your version-twice. "That distresses clothes even more," she says.

04 of 08

2: Polished

2: Polished
Time Inc. Digital Studio; David Gadd/Globe Photos

Of all the adjectives you could use to describe denim trousers, "glamorous" is probably not the first that springs to mind. Until you see Donna Karan's design (far left), adorned with discreet brass rivets by her longtime collaborator, jeweler Robert Lee Morris. "My whole quest is how I can make myself look longer and leaner," says Karan, who figured out a simple way to do just that through a bias cut. "When clothes are done on the bias, they wrap around and move with you," she says. "They're also extremely flattering." Good news: You can mimic the sleek effect of Karan's pair by selecting a style in deep indigo with a minimum of embellishment, the way Kate Winslet (left) did with her J Brands.

Far left: Cotton Sculpted Bias, Donna Karan New York, $595; at Neiman Marcus.

05 of 08

3: Stitchless

3: Stitchless
Time Inc. Digital Studio

Purists will love the smooth, clean Tonga (left) from 7 for All Mankind. Its seams are heat-welded closed, not sewn-and last just as long as those done with a needle and thread.

Cotton Tonga, 7 for All Mankind, $345; at

7forallmankind.com.

06 of 08

4: Rock'N Roll

4: Rock'N Roll
Time Inc. Digital Studio; Startraks Photo

Even if the closest you come to the stage is a session of Guitar Hero, there's no shame in indulging your love of studs and faux leather. Just leave the concert souvenir in the drawer. "No band Ts!" says Michael Ball, founder of Rock amp Republic. Swap out your Cheap Trick top for a simple sheer blouse like the one Leighton Meester (left) wore with her Stella McCartney skinnies.

Far left: Cotton with faux-snake finish, Rock amp Republic, $215; at Neiman Marcus.

07 of 08

5: Acid Wash

5: Acid Wash
Time Inc. Digital Studio; Nick Harvey/WireImage

No sense resisting: The bleached-out finish synonymous with the '80s is back, and we like it. "But don't combine your pair with a colorful, patterned top like they used to," says Orjan Andersson, founder of Cheap Monday. "Stick with solids." Kate Bosworth (left) looked flawlessly modern in Topshop jeans and a navy T-shirt.

Far left: Cotton the James in Black Stone, Genetic Denim, $198; at Barneys New York.

08 of 08

6: Skinny

6: Skinny
netaporter.com; Humberto Carreno/Startraks Photo

One common misconception when it comes to slender cuts: You have to have dimensions approximating a toothpick to look good in them. In fact, "skinny" refers to the leg opening, not to the body that should go in it. The rules for a perfect fit are universal. "You always want a pair that's flat around the tummy, has the right amount of stretch, and just enough give at the knee-with no sagging," says Victoria Beckham, creator of DVB Denim. Get inspired by Beyonce in a dark wash (left).

Far left: Cotton the Super Slouchy Skinny, Current/Elliott, $250; buy online now at

net-a-porter.com.

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