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The Denim Diaries: Five great pairs of jeans you need now

The Denim Diaries: Five great pairs of jeans you need now

News_Merritt Beck_Denim Current_Nov 2011
Printed - Current/Elliot Snakeskin Jeans Photo by Merritt Beck
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Colored - Rich & Skinny Sangria Jeans Photo by Merritt Beck
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Coated - J Brand 912 Pencil Jeans Photo by Merritt Beck
News_Merritt Beck_Denim Bells_Nov 2011
Flared - Les Halles Corduroy Bell Bottoms Photo by Merritt Beck
News_Merritt Beck_Denim Kate_Nov 2011
Forever Fit Skinnies - DL1961 Kate Jeans Photo by Merritt Beck
News_Merritt Beck_Denim Diaries Jeans_Nov 2011
News_Merritt Beck_Denim Current_Nov 2011
News_Merritt Beck_Denim Kate2_Nov 2011
News_Merritt Beck_Denim Coated_Nov 2011
News_Merritt Beck_Denim Bells_Nov 2011
News_Merritt Beck_Denim Kate_Nov 2011

Denim, denim, denim. Everybody has a pair they love.... The dilemma? Your favorite pair is all stretched out or you need to catch up with the times and trends. With so many designers and pairs to choose from, I've pulled together the five jeans you need in your closet this winter to assist you in your denim endeavors.

Whether you put them on your Christmas list or wear them out of the store, jeans are a wardrobe staple and you need to make sure you're getting the best (and most stylish) pairs. From hip bell bottoms to wild prints, here's my list of must-have denim this year:


I'm ripping the Band-Aid right off for you fearful fashionistas with the edgiest trend so far in the denim world. Printed pants are everywhere. Some are hideous, some are hilarious and some are hot, hot, haute! 

I'm the kind of gal who likes to take risks every once in a while, so these pieces don't scare me, but if you're not a fan, just move right along to the next pair. Powerful prints are on the scene and they aren't going away this spring, so I suggest stocking up!

 Powerful prints are on the scene and they aren't going away this spring, so I suggest stocking up! 

For an easy to wear pair, I'd go with the galaxy-printed jeans by Rag & Bone. Wear with a flouncy black tank and blazer, statement necklace, and some piping-hot heels.

For a more relaxed look, go with these Current/Elliot leopard-print jeans (also in camel and Burgundy) that you can wear with flats and a slouchy sweater. The leopard is very popular, as it's been seen on famed fashion blogger, Leandra Medine of The Man Repeller, among other style icons.

For the brave and the bold, try out these Current/Elliot snakeskin pants with an oversized blouse, pointy-toed pumps and an envelope clutch. Whether you're a timid buyer or love to test the limits of fashion, you can find the print that's right for you!


You may already be familiar with the denim trend that has been all the rage for the last year. If not, crawl out from under your rock and read this paragraph! From neons to deep, rich hues like plum or forest green, you can choose from all the colors of the rainbow - and I mean that literally.

In my colored-denim repertoire, I have a blood-orange pair by Rag & Bone, a burnt orange pair from J Brand, and another J Brand pair in a camel color. All have been very useful and a much easier to style than you might imagine. I'm now in the market for a deep red pair likes these from Joe's Jeans, as well as a vivid yellow or green pair for spring.

Colored jeans are a great way to add more color to your wardrobe if you tend to be more on the bland side. If your closet is filled more with black than with neutral hues, branch out and try wearing your best black on top of a bright hue like these Rich & Skinny's or these royal blue J Brand's. Eye-catching and totally on-point.

It's also a very simple way to incorporate your school's colors into your outfit for game day (like my burnt orange J Brand's for UT games)!

Want the inside scoop? Red denim is the hot hue for fall/winter, so get a pair while the getting's good!


The newest and most-gravitated toward trend happening now is the look of coated or "treated" jeans. These pants have a somewhat wet, shiny look, adding a new dimension to the typical skinny jean. Coated jeans often take on the look of leather, so for those of you who can't afford the real thing (or prefer animal-friendly pieces), try on some coated denim and see what you think! 

 Coated jeans often take on the look of leather, so for those of you who can't afford the real thing (or prefer animal-friendly pieces), try on some coated denim and see what you think.

 Also coming in a variety of colors, you can get any hue that works for you. Metallic prints have also been mixed into coated denim, as is seen in this Mother pair and these Helmut Lang jeans. I recently just received these coated jeans courtesy of J Brand - can't wait to style them!

Another fabulous thing about coated jeans is the fact that they tend to look quite a bit dressier than regular denim. The sheen they give off adds an extra hint of glamour, allowing you to wear them at a number of holiday parties. Dressed up or down, coated jeans are a definite need for your closet this winter. Neiman's has a huge selection of coated pieces, so head over to The Galleria (or The Domain for you Austin folks), and get yourself some stunners today.


Feeling nostalgic for the 70's? Well so is the fashion world, with denim designers creating a variety of high-waisted flares and comfy corduroy bell bottoms in a plethora of colors to please every palate. Get your retro vibes with a pair of classic flares. Tuck in a button-down blouse, add a large tote, floppy felt hat and some chunky platforms and you'll have traveled the cutest time-machine of all time.

Not a fan of high-waisted pants? If you don't want to wear what some people call "mom jeans," you can still get the throwback look with a pair of colored bell bottoms like the J Brand Lovestory cords. Personally, I love high-waisted everything. Superbly flattering and very unique to other silhouettes out there. Check out how I styled my J Brand Lovestory cords here.

Forever Fit Skinnies

I'm throwing in this last pair for good measure, but only because they are the best jeans I have ever purchased. The DL1961 Kate's are my new obsession and will soon be yours. Designed not to stretch out over a long period, these truly are worth the investment!

Unlike other jeans on this list, these are actually on the lower end of the pricing spectrum. The fit is incomparable to any other denim duds I own and I wear them with everything. They are just as easy to wear with sexy stilettos as they are to tucking into over-the-knee boots. Get a pair of the DL1961 Kate's here, you won't regret it!

If you've tried the DL1961's and they aren't for you, I've also heard the J Brand 901 Jeans and Citizens of Humanity Avedon Jeans are amazing.

Bottom line: Get some dark skinny jeans that fit you to a T. Don't be surprised if you hear whistles when you wear them.

Beck is the editor of fashion and personal style blog, The Style Scribe.