My jeans are making me think (ETA new BF pics added at bottom)

My casual outfit today made a lightbulb go off for me. As you know, I've been struggling to make the boyfriend jeans work and my faded, flared jeans made me realize why. The jeans I'm wearing today FIT - they fit my waist, they hug my backside and they caress my thighs.

I don't have a lot of physical attributes but I certainly want to show off the few I have and flatter my figure as much as possible. The BF jeans don't do that and clearly that mattered more to me than I realized. The BF jeans make me look bigger than I am and who the heck wants that???

I'm moving "figure flattery" to the top of my list of what I want out of a clothing item.

(Pic 1 are BF jeans and pic 2 shows today's jeans - just a visual comparison)

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • sarah replied 8 years ago

    Man oh man, you and that BF sure have a complicated relationship - it's worse than my 6 year old and the two boys in her class that both want to marry her. Yep, BF jeans are NOT about figure flattery, and if you want to have your figure flattered, then ditch that dude.

  • texstyle replied 8 years ago

    I agree for me also fit comes before trend. My own BFs are pretty regular fit to me. Just slightly comfier, and more faded, but not baggy. It's usually pretty clear to me if something is working I FEEL good wearing it, if not then it's not working for me.

  • replied 8 years ago

    I agree completely. I want my jeans and slacks to fit me.

  • jumpingfrog replied 8 years ago

    I have to admit, I returned the pair of BF jeans I bought for the same reason. They were very comfortable, but the back was not flattering. At all.
    I could probably look around and find a better pair, but I'm now thinking with winter coming I might want something longer and warmer instead.

  • replied 8 years ago

    I get it, but please don't throw them out! If you're anything like me, there are days that you will still want to wear them, maybe after being in tight pants all week? Maybe they'll morph into more of a weekend look for you. They are still a super cool and stylish look even if they don't flatter in the same way that your flares do. But you're allowed to have figure flattery at the top of your list. No crime in that!

  • Brain of Jen replied 8 years ago

    Totally agree! My BF jeans are nice & comfy for wearing around the house, but I got another better fitting pair for going out. The BF jeans just make me feel frumpy.

    I think your 2nd pair look great on you, very flattering :)

  • Echo replied 8 years ago

    I still love the BF jeans on you, and I think that with a tailored top (like the white shirt you just bought) it can properly offset the baggier fit and still be flattering. I think you look great in BOTH outfits!

  • Zapotee replied 8 years ago

    I know exactly what you mean. The one pair of BF jeans I have are super fun, I think fit me OK, but yes, I look bigger and that is not my style goal. I think is OK to make one exception from time to time. However. That's why I don't see myself moving forward to more relaxed fits on pants or trousers. Nope, my bum needs restraint.

    I'm team figure flattery all the way, come join:)

  • Jules replied 8 years ago

    Yup - this is the reason I haven't tried BF jeans. On me they won't look fashionable. More like "dad jeans" or "the plumber's jeans" maybe.

  • replied 8 years ago

    I'm with ya on this one. My figure doesn't do any type of exaggerated style well, whether it be body hugging (read: skin tight) or baggy. I have to have the proper fit. Otherwise, I look dreadful. I appreciate the BF jeans on those who can pull the look off. It just doesn't work for me.

  • Mona replied 8 years ago

    Shannon, I know what u mean. The second pair is definitely more figure flattering. But I agree with Claire, don't throw them out yet. You can use them on weekends etc. it is still a cool look.

  • Reneeb replied 8 years ago

    I am with you on this. I sent my BF back to Gap. I am too short and old. But I do like the BF jean on others. You look cute in you BF but the 2nd pair does look better.

  • Vicki replied 8 years ago

    I'm still laughing at Sarah's comments about your "complicated" relationship, but I have to agree with Claire and Mona in that YOU were one of my first inspirations to go grab a BF and now I have two!!

    I think you look amazing in BOTH and, yes, they are completely different looks, and while I will always go with "figure flattery" first, to me there's just something that lends a bit of attitude with the BFs. In fact, it was with your Doc Marcies (which I now also have), that made me fall in love and know that I needed a BF. Have I kept the relationship alive with this counseling session?

    I do think you could be "friends" with many types and still look like spectacular Shannon.

  • Gaylene replied 8 years ago

    Well, Shannon, I've followed your trials with those boyfriends and, the entire time, I kept wondering why you were ditching that perfectly nice fellow who fit and flattered your curves for some trendy guy who was giving you nothing but grief.

    I have to admit I did try on a pair of BFs earlier in the season but quickly came to the conclusion that, if comfort was my thing, a pair of sweatpants looked just as good on me as those jeans. After seeing others model their BFs on the forum, I think that the BF is one of those styles that can really look good on some shapes while doing absolutely nothing for others.

    So, here's to those of us who are ditching those boyfriends who don't love us back and staying with those guys who love to flatter our curves and who make us feel like a million dollars. Boyfriends--who needs them!!

  • catgirl replied 8 years ago

    Too funny, Shannon. I think you look great in your ex-BF, but you need to feel great. This is what I felt like in that red dress. Just not happy. But I will NEVER be parted from the boyfriends!

    This raises the question to me of whether you think the BFs are flattering on others, or whether you are willing to go with the sacrifice of flattery for the overall look, as long as it's not you wearing it?

  • Marley replied 8 years ago

    You look so cute in both of these styles - I certainly wouldn't ditch the BFs! Would you mind posting pics of both pairs with you standing in the same pose and with the same top and shoes, so that we can really *get* what you're talking about? IMO, just looking at the 2 pics above - you look better in the BFs! Am I crazy?

  • Transcona Shannon replied 8 years ago

    Claire & Vicki - you are both so sweet and you certainly make a good case for keeping my BF around. I might try them with the new white shirt I just got and the Marcies and see what I think. Maybe I'm just having "one of those days".

    Una - I DO find the BF's flattering on many others, yourself included - just not on me. I feel like I have too much "pooch" in the front for them to sit right and the legs just are too much fabric for me and my short limbs. Maybe a different style of BF would work better (Kut for Kloth Catherines come to mind) that has slimmer legs, I don't know.

    If I do look fine in the BF's, why don't I see that???

    Just saw your post Marley - really??? I'm not digging for compliments or anything, but would you mind explaining why you see that? I'm very curious.

  • annagybe replied 8 years ago

    I think I've worn my BF's what, once this summer. I guess I'm getting conservative in my dowdage because all I seem to wear are skinnies.

  • cheryle (Dianthus) replied 8 years ago

    Anna, you could never be dowdy or conservative.

    Shannon, I hope my comparison to the BFs on the other thread didn't cause angst. I really do love this look on you and think the more streamlined hip and thigh area on the non-BF jeans is extremely flattering on you. They also seem to be less work.

    How did you feel when you wore both pairs? Did you feel fab? Did you have a bounce in your step? If you said yes to both, they are keepers. Life is too short to waste any of it on anything less than fab.

  • catgirl replied 8 years ago

    Our eyes are tricky - all I see when I wear the Bailey 44 dress is a brick shaped block. But everyone else looks fabuliciously slim and curvy.

  • Echo replied 8 years ago

    In my eyes, Marley is right. I actually like the BFs on you better. It could be because I've never been that fond of boot-cuts, but boot cut jeans have a tendency to make many people look largish all the way down to the floor, which is a less-than-flattering look, IMO. I've always felt straight legs are a more flattering alternative to boot-cuts. But this may simply be due to my poisoned eye for boot cut jeans.

    Without a profile of the BFs, I don't think anyone can guage how flattering they are. I like they way they taper and then expose the ankles, though, as it creates a better silhouette to my eye. But with the number of people completely against BFs, I understand that I might be in the minority!

  • catgirl replied 8 years ago

    Echo, honestly I feel the same way about bootcuts and always feel frumpy and stumpy in them.

  • Transcona Shannon replied 8 years ago

    I love reading all the various opinions - it's always fascinating and a learning experience. if you're not sick to death of me and my BF problems yet, I've got another couple of pics for you to look at. I quickly decided to try the new white shirt I just bought (pardon the straight from the package wrinkles) with my other BF (ssshhhhh...I have two...naughty me). These BF's are actually the one size up and seem to be a slightly darker wash. For the life of me I can't figure out why I like them better. I've paired with my Doc Marcies for some heel height and a simple black belt. Can you please critique this for me and let me know if it works and why or why not? Hopefully I can learn from your wisdom.

  • replied 8 years ago

    I always loved boot cuts but haven't worn then in a couple years. I just ordered some bootcut cords and they are going right back. I hated how tight they felt on the back of my thigh and knee and felt comparatively huge at the ankles!

    It's really funny how we can become calibrated to particular styles. I really like you in the BF jeans, I think they are really flattering, especially as you wlk because they hint at the shape beneath. But, the most important person to listen to is you, and if your body says it likes bootcuts, then make it happy :)

  • replied 8 years ago

    I like the larger of my two BF because they are bigger, the style looks intentionally oversized. It is as much of a statement as a tighter fitting jean. I think you like it better because it isn't making you think that they just look ill-fitting as opposed to intentionally oversized. I like them with the crisp shirt too!

  • catgirl replied 8 years ago

    Shannon, I actually find the BFs more flattering than the bootcuts as well. I don't think it's just my issue with bootcuts. Lisa rocks her bootcuts and is the reason I bought a couple of pairs that I do like on me.

    On you, I think the boyfriends are saucy and the shape at the bottom (tapered without being skinny) is not so different from your slouchy Anne Kleins. It's not just that they are not unflattering (which is enough for me anyway!), they are actively flattering IMHO!

  • Gaylene replied 8 years ago

    Of all your BF pics, I like the ones with the darker wash and Docs by far the best. I think it's because of the longer leg line that this variation creates. With this outfit, you've created a outfit that fits that 1/3 top to 2/3 bottom proportion that is much more flattering. Wearing a white shirt with an open neck also works because of the vertical lines created by the V-neck and the front placket. The white also draws the eye to your face and your amazing smile.

    Some of your other variations seem to create a number of horizontal lines that bisect your body into 3 or more sections-- that, to my eye, creates a proportion that is not nearly as flattering.

    Anyway, for what it's worth, that's my take on why this outfit works. I think it's more about proportion than it is about the slouchy fit of the boyfriend jean.

  • Transcona Shannon replied 8 years ago I just need to adjust my eyes?

  • rae replied 8 years ago

    I guess I must have a blind spot for BF jeans, because I honestly don't think they make you or anyone look bigger. I still think that sagging those puppies a couple more inches, to get some sag in the waist, would make a big difference. But hey, if you don't feel fab, you don't feel fab, but you were so excited about them initially that I'd hate to see them gone so soon.

  • replied 8 years ago

    I love the darker wash on this larger pair Shannon. What do they look like if you unroll them completely and allow them to scrunch? That might even be *more* lengthening.

  • Angie replied 8 years ago

    As long as you keep your BF jeans outfits feminine, I love you in both styles! I really do.

  • Transcona Shannon replied 8 years ago

    Claire - check out pics 6-8 in this post about the houndstooth blouse. I have the BF's full length in these outfits.

    Angie - thank you.

    Rae - am I right in that you think I should tug them down a bit?

  • replied 8 years ago

    Okay, I'll look on your blog.

    ETA: Help. I need a link.

  • Zapotee replied 8 years ago

    OMG, I feel like I have put my foot in my mouth all day. Shannon, I hope you did not take it as if I was "casting out" the BFs from your life. I just feel like the BF is a fun style to try on, but generally speaking, there are other cuts that are more flattering to body types like ours. Just the same way BFs seem to favor and balance the lovely ITs.
    ... I'll go hide under a rock now...

  • Transcona Shannon replied 8 years ago

    Sorry Claire - forgot the link - here it is

  • Transcona Shannon replied 8 years ago

    Get out from under that rock Zap - and anyone else who feels like they said something they shouldn't. Goodness gracious - I appreciate all comments on my posts as this is how I learn. Please, please do not feel bad Zap (or anyone else for that matter). I stated how the jeans were making me feel and asked for feedback.

  • replied 8 years ago

    Shannon, I agree with Rae, they look best lower, just around where your hip bones flare out. Then they kind of drape like your hips are the hanger as it were.

  • Suz replied 8 years ago

    This is such an interesting discussion!

    You know, Shannon, I truly like you in both looks. TRULY.

    But you have to FEEL great to make it work.

    And if you don't, why sweat it? No need to wear the trend.

    My personal faves are the looks with the Marcies, and as you know, I am hoping madly to copy you with those as soon as it gets cooler here. I may have to acquire a SECOND boyfriend in a darker wash to match you, though. Heavens!! What will my husband say. He was cool with one BF but I don't know how he'll feel about two.

    I have a love/hate thing with bootcuts. I used to love them (on myself and others.) Now I quite like them on others...and like them on me but only for a deliberate change...with heels. Not without. Hell no. I don't know what that's all about.

  • Transcona Shannon replied 8 years ago

    My hubby has just commented that I'm completely neurotic and need to learn how to relax!

  • shiny replied 8 years ago

    Seeing you in the white shirt and longer/darker bootcuts, penny has dropped for me, but realize I may be totally projecting, if so ignore...

    It's not about fit or flattery. The two BF outfits are different in that the second is slightly less casual. I mean, yeah, it's still BF jeans but they are darker overall. And you are wearing with a crisp shirt rather than a tee. It all reads a little more dressy. I want to use the word polished... but that's not quite right because you can look polished in a casual outfit too.. . this is really about where you are landing on spectrum of casual ---> dressy.

    Again, I may be projecting here. As I move my own eye towards more dressy outfits, even "smart casual" doesn't quite feel dressy enough or right to me these days. It's a gradient, of course. ...

    And I LOVE LOVE LOVE the white shirt version on you. I want to see it with leopard belt and the new red booties.

  • Marley replied 8 years ago

    Hey Shannon - just checking in on the forum before I hit the bed and I want to answer your questions - so, I'm trying to think how to explain why the BFs look better to me. I think that part of it may be the tops you are wearing with the bootcuts - you've got two different hemlines there - thus, 2 horizontal lines which are cutting you in half. Also, In general, I think that bootcut jeans need to be worn with higher heels in order to keep one from looking stumpy/frumpy.

    To me, the BFs look purposely slouchy and baggy - we get an idea of your bootyliciousness underneath the fabric, but its not outlined by the fabric like it is with the bootcut jeans. Also, there appears to be a bunch of fabric just behind your knee on the bootcuts (it may be from the way that you are standing), but my eye went there - if they were the BFs I don't think I would have noticed that.

    I think that the BFs can be more slenderizing on you if you wear them as low as possible on your hips, IMO they need to be just barely hanging onto your hips - other wise it just looks like you t got a size that's a little too big for you, but you're trying to "make do."

    To me the white shirt looks better than the striped one - but not necessarily because its white or non-patterned - but rather, because it is more tailored to your body - the red striped one almost looks too baggy or boxy for the BF silhouette!

  • jayne replied 8 years ago

    Sorry, a downer here....this sounds like alot of work to make a look (i.e. BF) work for you. I don't see anything wrong with deciding it isn't for you and letting yourself wear what you feel fab in. Your energy can be better used for other things, heh?

    Unless you really love it, of course!

  • Diana replied 8 years ago

    Shannon, I truly like you in all three outfits - my favorite is the one with the white shirt and the BFs though. I think that for me, it comes down to: I wear a ton of jeans, and I would be really bored if I could only wear one style. Each style has its strengths and weaknesses and you sometimes have to be OK with making some compromises. I think it might be interesting for you to write down some pros and cons for each style, and ways to make them flattering enough to wear.

    So, for example, my list would be (keeping in mind my fit issues are totally different than yours):

    skinnies/straights: pro: shows off leg shape, can be lengthening if worn with scrunch, shows off shoes, good for snow/rain with boots
    con: (a big one for me): emphasizes big hips and thighs
    solution: wear longer tops, tuck into boots, make sure there is scrunch

    BFs: pro: looks cool and slouchy, oddly makes hips/thighs appear narrower, really comfy, shows off cool shoes
    con: leg shortening (and I don't wear heels), can look too boxy/masculine, can run the risk of looking like a poor fit
    solution: sometimes wear platform shoes, but honestly leg lengthening is not a big priority for me since my legs are pretty long; wear something fitted or feminine to balance and show a little body shape; wear the slouch deliberately (low slung, belted, with attitude!)

    bootcuts: pro: long line, bottom balances out hips
    con: need to match PPL perfectly, hides shoes, better with high heels (which I don't wear), needs to have knee break at the right place, a bit too "safe" and boring, dirty, wet hems in bad weather
    solution: wear low heeled shoes; pay close attention to PPL and knee break; be OK with the fact that they are flattering but maybe a little boring; don't wear in snow/rain.

    jeggings/really skinny skinnies: pro: looks good with boots, comfy, shows off legs
    con: really emphasizes hips and thighs, looks a bit too tight/bootylicious for my taste, too stretchy and shows too many lumps and bumps
    solution: wear boots to balance ice-cream cone effect, longer tops to hide hips/thighs

    wide legs (I don't wear these as jeans at least): pro: ??? they do look elegant and sophisticated on others
    con: needs heels, hides shoes, looks stiff/boxy, and I HATE the shoe-eating look of really wide legs
    solution: not worth it for me!

    Anyway, hope this helps!

  • Transcona Shannon replied 8 years ago

    Marley/Diana - these are EXTREMELY helpful comments and I appreciate you taking the time to write them down for me. I'm going to mull these points over for a bit.

    Jayne - that's what I'm beginning to wonder!

  • Deborah replied 8 years ago

    Interesting thread and I am not sure I have much of value to add:). I think you look "good" in your BF's particularly the darker wash ones. However I dont think they are your best look. I agree with comments that the dressier BF outfits look more "you". For me, how I feel in an outfit or garment is as important as how it looks. I think we have already established that BF jeans are not about figure flattery but Shannon perhaps figure flattery is more important to you than you realise (though it sounds like you are realising this). I wont be wearing BF jeans because figure flattery is one of my top style goals, and I am short and have a tummy and a wide, flat bottom! I see no way that this look can be flattering on me. The wide legs rolled on the BF's are leg shortening and some figures can carry that, others can't, mine can't:). Also I agree with Jayne that perhaps having to work so hard to make a look work may not be worth it. If you really like the general vibe of the look, why not try it with a straight leg jean that creates a slimmer more fitted look but can mimic the BF look with the right styling? My thoughts for what they're worth:)

  • crutcher replied 8 years ago

    Just saw your picture in an "ad" from Pinterest sent to my email...You are in the boot cut (?) jeans and you look just adorable...That is your look...
    As for BF...IMO this is one of the worst looks going for women...A very few look ok but mostly this is just not a figure flattering look...I realize that I am in the minority...
    I hope you will concentrate on the jeans that look so cute on you and not on these that are just too hard a look for most women to pull off...
    I can't wait for us to say...Remember when..we wore BF...

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