In the category of Uniform Dressing, Los Angeles stylist Jessica de Ruiter is a regular all-star. Her jean, we knew just from having seen her in pictures and in person over the years, would be cropped and higher waisted, veering more toward timeless than trendy. That’s how Jessica dresses. That’s how she always dresses.
Cut to: Jessica opens the door to her sunny home in Silverlake wearing a white t-shirt and perfectly cropped Levi’s 501s. Bare feet. Gold bracelets. Blond hair. See? Just as we had imagined her.
“Working in fashion I think you intuitively feel things,” de Ruiter said in response to our toughest question: Why this jean now? “It’s hard to explain. But Levi’s, and light washes, and legs that are a little less tight just feel right again.” And because a stylist is always, in fact, a great place to go when looking for a fresh pulse, we asked Jessica to break it down for us. Between jumping on the bed and bathing in the Southern California sunshine (audible sigh from those of us in snowy New York), she gave us the not-so-skinny on how to wear – and what to look for in – the fit she will probably forever love truly, regardless of whether or not we follow her lead…
What Jessica says about:
1. THE DENIM – “No stretch! If a jean that’s tight like this in the bum and thighs has too much stretch it’s going to hug everything and look more like a legging. Supertight stretch doesn’t look good on me – or I don’t like it on me, personally. When I think of jeans I think of this and not a showing-every-curve-in-your-leg kind of thing.”
2. THE LENGTH – “It’s not a capri, it’s just a little crop, one or two inches above the ankle bone. I like to see an ankle. It’s flattering on every body type, especially if you have curves, which most women do. The scrunchy ankle just doesn’t look right. On me. (But maybe it does on a lot of people.)”
3. THE LEG – “It’s not a boyfriend – it’s not baggy – it’s just straight enough so that it doesn’t hug your ankle or your knee. If it’s too tight at those two points then it looks like a skinny. I love the way a straight leg pulls away from the back of your leg below the calf. It’s like a little kick, and it looks great with a loafer, ballet, or brogue.”
4. THE WAIST – “Technically, it’s a high-rise. But it’s not too, too high. It should sit just above the hips and hug you a little. I love wearing a jean like this with a belt, braided or flat. Mine are all leather with brass or gold hardware to match my jewelry. You can see – the top button has ripped a little because I buy them too small in the waist and squeeze myself into them. I like them that tight. Eventually they loosen up, but in the beginning I have to use force to get them to button!”
5. THE WASH – “Lighter blues just feel right to me right now. It’s not too distressed, no holes, just a good, really worn-in indigo. I’ve started to think I need a pair like these ones I’m wearing that are darker and maybe a little looser in the leg, but still very tight on top and at the waist. I don’t know why. It’s just in the air.”