The jean, defined by the tapered
or “skinny” leg, has inspired many jean designers.
7 for all Mankind, J Brand, and True Religion all include a
pair in their jeans collection, and many retail chains have
jumped on the bandwagon, as well, providing an array of the
skinny jean for all consumers.
Local skinny on the skinny
Does the mainland fall trend have a place in
Many of the trends for fall seem right on the streets of New
York City: oversized cable-knit sweaters, piles upon piles of
layers, luxurious furs. These all prepare the fashionista for
the wailing winds of winter, but none can stand up to the heat
and humidity of Hawai‘i. Is the skinny jean the exception?
I think it’s about location,” said Crystal Artacho,
22. Believing that trends begin on the East coast and slowly
make their way west, Artacho said that Hawai‘i is often
the last stop for the latest trends.
It’s more local here,” said Ashley Monden, 22. “People
don’t have time to even wear jeans. All they want to
wear are slippers and surf shorts.”
Perhaps, but the jean that has been seen on such celebrities
as Sienna Miller and Mischa Barton has popped up in many stores
Everything always comes back around,” said Heidi Kama,
store manager of Guess Factory.
Fashion designers like to pull [past] fashion trends and make
them new again,” she added.
The tapered leg, a trend that was thought to have gone out
of the window with shoulder pads and tie-dye shirts, often
it hard for women to get into the jean. And that’s only
one element of the jean that can make it challenging to even
try one on.
Still, Guess Factory at the Waikele Premium Outlets began selling
their version of the skinny jean in July, and today, the store
carries four styles.
I don’t see skinny jeans in Hawai‘i,” said
[I look for] the length. I don’t like [jeans] too long,” Lorraine
Lizardo, 20, said. “Most of the time it’s too long.”
I don’t think I would match with skinny jeans,” said
Artacho, “since I’m too short. I think it would
throw off the proportions of my body.”
The skinny jean’s name gives the misconception that they
are for thin and tall women. However, many designers consider
real women’s measurements, and they make a skinny jean
for every body type. Citizens of Humanity and Levi’s
have both made skinny jeans that allow for room in the hips
And women can style their skinny jean any which way they want,
according to some designers and outlets.
In their Back-To-School campaign, Guess Rocks, Guess Factory
offers customer products such as black-and-white striped tunics,
pointed pumps, and big watches clad with Swarovski crystals to
rock out their skinny jeans.
Basically, anything would match with a skinny jean: tanks, t-shirts,
halter tops. Match [it] with some flats or pumps,” Lizardo
Lizardo added, enthusiastically: “Boots would look good
A brief history
The skinny jean has traveled through decades of poodle skirts
and polyester and made its way onto the racks of hundreds of
stores and into the closets of thousands of women. But its origins
In the 1950s, despite the fact that women rarely wore pants,
celebrities such as Audrey Hepburn popularized the trend in black
in the film, Funny Face. Scenes from which have been used, recently,
in a Gap advertising campaign to reintroduce the skinny jean
to their customers.
With the rise of punk rock culture, a product of rebellion
and anarchy in 1970s London, the skinny jean once again made
appearance. The jean has graced the legs of Pat Benatar (Blondie),
Crissie Hynde (The Pretenders), and David Bowie – which
shows its androgynous appeal.
The 1980s saw the skinny jean’s slow rise to mainstream
fashion. Accessorized with leg warmers or fitted with a high
waist, the indelible denim did not see its best days during
this decade, and for those who lived through it, a mention
skinny jean still conjures up images of Jordache apparel hidden
away in a parental closet.
After a hiatus during the 1990s, the jean found its way back
into fashion repute at the beginning of the millennium. Still
a steep slope away from mainstream fashion, the skinny jean was
nonetheless seen sporadically at the runway shows of Stella McCartney
and Rock and Republic in 2002.
In fall 2006 the skinny jean bombard the fashion-hungry minds
of women everywhere, but in Hawai‘i, the verdict is still
Maybe Monden said it best: “Why torture myself?”