Have you ever wondered about what goes on behind the scenes at J.Crew? Seriously, who are the lucky people that get to work on the creative teams under Jenna Lyons and Tom Mora, VP of women’s design? And, more specifically, who gets to do the denim? My gosh, what jeans does she wear?
As luck would have it, I got to find out. Her name is Aubrey Fry, and on the day we met at Crew HQ in New York she was wearing spring’s new Point Sur Shoreditch Straights in the Warnell wash, a gorgeous rip-and-repair style made of non-stretch Japanese selvedge. As the senior designer behind all of the J.Crew (and Madewell) denim collections, Aubrey not only designed the jeans she had on, she designed all of what’s in this season, from the main line’s new wide-leg crop to the culottes I can’t wait to try (wait for it, they’re coming soon!), and the high-rises that are having a moment. “Everything is coming up and up and up,” Aubrey told me about the trend. “Lately, it’s like I can’t get a jean that’s high enough!” Here, I ask her how to wear this waist-y look (hint: you become what’s called a “tucker;” read on), what makes the jeans she’s wearing so special, and why we shouldn’t give up on our skinnies, just yet.
Let’s start with the Shoreditch Straights you’re wearing – what do you love most about them?
The shade of the Japanese selvedge fabric is really beautiful and perfect for spring. I also really love that they’re made of 13 oz. rigid denim – it makes them feel like authentic vintage. The hardware is from Italy, they’ve been hand-washed and repaired in Los Angeles… I’m so in love with this jean and can’t stop telling people about it!
They have a high rise, which you said you love right now…
At the moment I want any and all leg shapes in a high rise – high-rise flares, high-rise skinnies, high-rise straight leg, high-rise rigid mom jeans… For me, rises can’t get high enough!
Any tips for how to wear it?
I think the secret is to show your waistline. I’m a tucker. That is, I tuck in everything: t-shirts (yes), button downs (sure), sweatshirts (most likely), cable-knit sweaters (really, I do!). I can’t help it. However, if you’re not tucking in, then I’d try to wear a top that’s cropped.
HIGHER AND HIGHER Aubrey’s favorite trend for spring: the high rise. Shop the style she’s wearing and more at J.Crew.com.
Who do you know that needs a pair of Shoreditch Straights?
Jane from Jean Stories!
[For the record: Jane agrees]
Tell us one thing you are certain you could do in them.
Well, earlier this year I wore them walking around Chelsea with my husband, Adam, and that was pretty perfect. We went to the Outsider Art Fair and stopped in a few other galleries. These jeans can for sure take in a little art.
Tell us one thing you think you maybe shouldn’t do in them.
The splits. Not that I can do them to begin with…but these jeans wouldn’t help.
What do you and your jeans have in common?
They’re not too serious. I’m pretty easy going, and I like that they’re on the same page.
CITY BLUES The view from J.Crew headquarters in New York.
Let’s talk a bit about what’s coming soon from J.Crew for spring. Denim culottes are so important – how do you recommend women wear them?
I think culottes look best with heels that elongate the leg. Also, don’t forget to pay attention to the length. Make sure they aren’t stopping at the widest part of your calf.
Are skinnies over? Should women who love them move on?
Not necessarily. When people speculate that the skinny is dead, I think what they’re saying is that a skinny isn’t the only fit that women are wearing right now. We have other options, but that doesn’t mean we’re completely walking away from our skinnies, just yet.
Any denim do’s? What’s the rule that always applies to jeans for you?
I would say you should always have a good mix of new jeans and vintage jeans in your closet. Do go digging at your local resale shop and vintage stores to find those beautifully worn-in pairs.
Any denim don’ts? What would you say women should stay away from?
Don’t try to squeeze into a size that’s too small, or try to hide in a size that’s too big. Know your size (and remember that size is just a number on a label). You should wear what feels comfortable and looks flattering to you and your body type.
What’s the best possible ending you could imagine for your Shoreditch Straights?
A movie ending. I’m picturing a Thelma and Louise-type of situation. But if I had to be more realistic, I’d love to see one of my children wear these jeans someday. They’d have even more patches from years of wear, and they’d fit my kid perfectly. (Mind you, I don’t have kids yet, but I’m starting to manifest them in my head!)
Fill in the blank: Only my jeans know _________.
The little dance I do to get into them.
Last question: My jeans are to me what _________ is to _________.
Garth is to Wayne!