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That Extra Half an InchHair, Heels and Everything in Between
By Victoria Beckham
HarperEntertainmentCopyright © 2007 Victoria Beckham
All right reserved.
Chapter OneJeans & Trousers
Jeans are the obvious place to start. They have become not just the backbone but spinal cord, ribcage and, for some of us, the whole skeleton of a woman's wardrobe.
So it's a real jolt to think that this has really only become the case in the past decade or so. Remember how bad they used to be in the 80s and 90s? Unflattering, and almost always with that hideous tapered cut that makes everyone look like they have drumsticks for legs. Definitely the less-cool element of 80s fashion.
But, in the past decade, jeans have become hugely important in women's wardrobes and it's hard to think back to how we coped without them. I mean, what would we wear when going straight from work to a cool bar in the evening? Or when playing with the kids in the park without having to worry about looking frumpy or getting our clothes dirty but still wanting to look half-good? I honestly can't remember. No other piece of clothing can be worn in so many different situations and always look good.
More than any other piece of clothing, jeans can show off your figure to its best.
Jeans have always had a chequered history in the cool stakes. When they were invented, they were just there to provide sturdy clothes for hard-working cowboys out on the plains. It was really in the 50s that they became cool-when James Dean hooked his finger through his denim belt loop, instantly making them the symbol for sexy teenage rebellion-and original Levi's Red Tab are now real collectors' items. Nowadays they are made to complement a woman's figure and it's hard to imagine they'll ever fall out of fashion's favour again.
And even though I love getting dressed up, everyday clothes do have to be practical. I pretty much live in jeans and T-shirts-jeans are flattering but easy to just throw in the washing machine, and T-shirts, as every mum knows, are great for mopping your children's noses.
Best of all, there is no age limit on jeans. A sixty-five-year-old granny could wear jeans and she'd look good, as long as it was a pair that suited her shape. That is something to bear in mind: we all change shape as we get older and so you'll almost certainly need to change the style of jeans you wear every few years instead of automatically still buying the same sort you were wearing when you were twenty-one. That's not depressing, it's just doing something that will make you look better.
It is only through years of wearing jeans that I discovered what really works for me. It was through this experience that I decided to design my very own collection of denim under my own label, dVb. The range itself offers different styles, cuts, fits and colours to suit the varying demands of the discerning denim-lover. Whether you love straight legs, boot-cuts, drainpipes or even shorts, there is definitely something to suit most shapes and sizes. I wanted to create a collection of denim that essentially combined both style and comfort whilst looking desirably gorgeous and glamorous. It gave me the competitive edge to produce something equally good as the other top designer denim brands but with my very own signature style and I must admit I'm really pleased with the whole range.
Just because jeans have improved in style and quality in recent years doesn't mean that they are fail-safe. To be honest, it's actually become trickier because there are so many possible jeans styles around, and magazines that tell you everybody should wear this style or that style, when the truth is-obviously-no one style is going to suit everyone. More than any other piece of clothing, jeans can show off your figure to its best, but if you get the wrong cut or style they will do you absolutely no favours at all.
If you have the time and money, it's worth buying your jeans from a specific denim store or a knowledgeable boutique. Matches, Harvey Nichols and Selfridges all have excellent denim collections. One way of telling whether a jeans shop is any good is by the mirrors in the changing rooms: any denim shop with a bit of nous will have multi-way mirrors so you can see every possible view of yourself, particularly your bottom. Actually, all changing rooms should have these but getting the full perspective is especially important when it comes to denim.
I wanted to create a collection of denim that essentially combined both style and comfort whilst looking desirably gorgeous and glamorous.
Although it is definitely a good investment to buy a pair of well-cut jeans, it's surprising how few there are out there. I will not spend my money on something that doesn't make me look good, and nor should you.
Check the waistband
A common problem is that if the jeans are tight enough around the leg then they're too tight at the waist. And speaking of the waist, the waistband shouldn't be too thick and heavy because it will dig painfully into your hips and that gives everyone the hated muffin-top look. Check that the waistband doesn't do that annoying gaping thing at the back, either, as you'll end up with a weird wind-tunnel effect. Look for jeans that are cut higher at the back so not only do they not gape but also they don't give you builder's bottom every time you sit down.
Look for jeans that are cut higher at the back so not only do they not gape but also they don't give you builder's bottom every time you sit down.
Jeans that bag around the knees or bottom are another fashion disaster and it's amazing how many designers don't pay attention to this, considering a major point of jeans is to make those parts of your ...
Excerpted from That Extra Half an Inch by Victoria Beckham Copyright © 2007 by Victoria Beckham. Excerpted by permission.
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