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Shopping Tips

Lani’s Denim Makeover (and how you can have one too!)

When your husband tells you to go shopping for new jeans, you know it is bad. It isn’t that I didn’t have some good, designer jeans hanging around, it was more that the field was a little too crowded in my closet and my daily workhorses had suddenly lost any and all of their former glory. Keep reading for how I gave myself a denim makeover and you can too.



I knew that I needed a straight leg pair of jeans to wear with ballet flats and slip-on sneakers; a dark, longer pair to wear with heels or boots; and a black pair for a more sophisticated look. I also wanted a faded, flared pair to update my denim wardrobe. What I needed most out of these workhorses? Comfort! Maybe it is my lingering mini mommy belly, or just lack of sleep, but I refuse to feel my jeans digging into my waist at all these days. I also know it doesn’t make sense to have a pair of jeans, especially expensive ones, that I don’t feel comfortable in while with my boys. I think this is why I hung onto my previous “mommy jeans” for so long. They were just so comfy and I didn’t care how much oatmeal or yogurt got on them (See Instagram post from last night).



Citizens of Humanity Ava Straight Jeans (Past Season, Similar Here and Here)



Citizens of Humanity Amber Bootcut Jeans (Past Season, Similar Here and Here)



J Brand Jeans High-Rise Flares in Ashbury




This is where I set strict rules for myself, which were sometimes hard to follow. Anything uncomfortable had to go, which included the 2 pairs of black jeans which I was thrilled to rediscover from my pre-pregnancy wardrobe this fall. I’d been wearing them a ton lately but all of a sudden the fabric started to feel too constricting and after a VERY long day in New York and a train ride back until midnight in them, I pretty much never wanted to see them again. These, plus the 2 pairs of blue denim ones that originally alarmed Mr. Real Life Style, added up to 4 pairs gone. The 4 pairs I wore most though! Funnily enough, I’m having a harder time letting go of my J Brand Love Story jeans, which I don’t wear that often.



What did I discover during my edit? I only needed to buy one pair of jeans and alter another to complete my ideal denim wardrobe! Pretty silly then that I was walking around in unflattering or uncomfortable jeans for the last few months, right? See me below in the dark, dressy Citizens of Humanity Amber jeans I already owned but kept getting shoved to the back of the closet behind my “everyday” jeans and the straight leg Citizen Ava’s I bought a few years ago in a fashion emergency/wardrobe malfunction moment at Barneys in NYC (my leather jeans split down the side while I was shopping for a client!).



Once I shortened the Ava’s I already owned, they became the perfect straight leg jeans I thought I needed to buy. I also decided that I had so many pairs of cool and comfortable black legging pants that there was no need to replace the black jeans I had edited. Not wanting to take the time to actually go shopping for myself, I took a leap of faith and ordered ONE PAIR of J. Brand high-rise faded flares online and… they are perfect! All of these jeans have so much stretch that one, they are not going to bag out like my former favorites, and two, they feel like sweatpants.

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My altered straight-leg Citizens of Humanity Ava jeans


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My bootcut Citizens of Humanity Amber jeans I found in my closet!


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My new J Brand High Rise Flares (after getting a foot hemmed off the bottom!)


Step 4. ENJOY!

Just like when I finally  organized and edited my own jewelry, I can’t believe what a difference it has made to get control of and put order into this one area of my wardrobe/life. If you don’t have a whole day to put aside to edit and organize your own wardrobe, try the one category at a time approach.

This is a great reason to hire a fashion stylist or a professional organizer, by the way. If you make an appointment and pay for it, it will happen. Someday could be today, especially if you participate in our RLS contest and win 4 hours with Kyle!


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P.S. My J Brand high-rise flares are now on sale for $83!!! What?!!!! I’m not bitter or anything…


Lani Inlander is a personal stylist, working with clients who want to feel their best and look put-together every day. You can find her in the Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia and New York areas.

You can find Lani Inlander and Real Life Style on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

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