By: Mary M. Alward

Denim has made a U-turn in the fashion industry and is once more becoming refined. Trends are calling for waists that are slightly higher than the naval showing hip-huggers that have been vogue in recent years. The drooping crotches are moving upward and styles are featuring narrower legs. Washes are taking on a new look and moving from the dirty to a deep, darker indigo.

Yes, jeans are hot and denim is undergoing a major make-over. Jeans are moving from dress-down Fridays to Friday night dinner dates. Theyre striding off the runways and onto the red carpets of the fashion industry. Recently, Jennifer Lopez unveiled a pair of blue jeans at her Sweetface fashion show that had a price tag of two millions dollars US. Halle Berry is having a love affair with Juicy Couture jeans, while Uma Thurman stole the show at a Louis Vuitton fashion show in Paris, when she strolled down the runway wearing blue jeans and an ivory, silk coat.

Today, women are opening their pocketbooks and dolling out anywhere from $100 to $250 for a pair of designer jeans. Some admit to having as many as twenty pair in their wardrobe.

Boot cut jeans are all the go at present. They flatter the figure of all shapes and sizes. From the very petite to plus sizes, jeans are available in a wide variety of styles and prices. They can be worn with spike heels, cowboy boots, hiking shoes, or the popular timberland boot that is so popular.

Patricia McCune, trend and fabric manager for Lee Jeans explains that its easy to take denim from day to night. There are so many ways to prettify your denim," she stated.

The darker the denim, the dressier it looks, especially if it has a thin crease. Wear jeans with blazers, jackets, sexy V-necks, cashmere sweaters (even college sweaters if you are a recent graduate), silk blouses or T-shirts. Jeans go with everything, depending on the look that you want.

Ms. McCune also said that you should keep in mind that pockets angled toward the center back seams give the back view a lift." Boot cuts balance hips and pockets that sit lower on the behind help with curve appeal. Lycra or stretch yarns flatter the figure and go a long way toward comfort. Lightweight denim is in and chunky textures are desirable to add vintage appeal. She also said that darker washes are fresh and flattering and look dressier than light or bleached-out washes.

Jorge Ramon, fashion editor for Teen People, advises that you should avoid a fit that is too low, too tight or has too much going on. He suggests that you should choose a denim you can use with ease. Too many bells and whistles cause detractions." He went on to advise wearing denim that fits and, stretch helps with fit."

There are many different styles of blue jeans - from Levis to Wrangler. As mentioned earlier, boot cuts are versatile and flattering. Cropped styles are great for warm weather. Buy ankle-length cropped, or those that fit a few inches above the ankle. Capri denims are great with a pair of flip-flops for a casual look.

Cuffed jeans are perfect worn with slip-ons and a T-shirt, and if you must wear those naval showing low-cuts this season, wear an extra wide belt with a cap-sleeved top that shows just a snippet of skin.

For the mature woman, stretch jeans with a straight leg worn with a tunic top made of slinky jersey will flatter the figure. Women with slimmer figures will look fabulous in stretch jeans and a camisole top, or an off-the-shoulder top. Peasant blouses look terrific with stretch blue jeans for a well-fitted look.

Whats red hot in blue jeans for the coming year? Blue Cult, Rock and Republic, Notify, Salt, Loomstate, Citizens of Humanity and Seven for All Mankind are designer trends that are keeping blue jeans red hot this season.

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