casual outfit: jeans, blazer and heels


Michael Kors collection tan tote bag with classic casual outfit

large tan leather tote bag by Michael Kors Collection

In fashion terms, I’m what I think of as an “in-betweener” – and no, I’m not referring to the TV show of that name, although that would make this post a little more interesting, it has to be said.

No, I’m talking about sizing – or, more specifically, about height. At 5’4″, you see, I’m just slightly too tall for the petite ranges, but much too short for the regular ones: which makes me an in-betweener. It also makes it pretty damn difficult to buy jeans and trousers that are the right length. It’s not too much of an issue with other items of clothing (Top tip: if you’re around about my height, and like wearing midi skirts which aren’t super-long, the petite section is your BFF, seriously…), but jeans? Forget it. And yes, I DO know I could just buy regular length and have them tailored, but the fact is… I just don’t want to.

I never feel that jeans look quite right when they’ve been taken up, so rather than just having them tailored, and getting on with my life, I prefer to spend hours and hours of my time, endlessly browsing online retailers, in a bid to find jeans that are exactly the right length. I’d like to be able to claim I do this in the name of research, and in an attempt to help my fellow 5’4″ friends, but I actually do it because I’m a bit anal about stuff like this, and I genuinely have nothing better to do with my time. But you knew that already.

Jeans shopping might be hard, then (Although probably no more so than it is for anyone else, I suspect. I mean, I don’t think I know ANYONE who’s all, “Oh yeah, I can just pluck a pair of jeans off the rails, and know they’ll fit perfectly every time!”, no matter WHAT size they are…), but over the last few months I’ve put in some extra hours, and I’ve managed to track down a few pairs which work for my in-between height, without having to be altered. I’ll do my best to feature all of them at some point, but these are my favourites so far: the Citizens of Humanity Avedon Ankle Ultra Skinny – which might be ankle-length on someone a little taller, but which work perfectly as full-length jeans on the likes of me. Round of applause for CoH, everyone!

Don’t let the name of these jeans mislead you, though: although they call them “ultra skinny”, one of the things that appealed most to me about them is the fact that they’re NOT, in fact  ultra skinny. Actually, they’re more of a slim-cut jeans, so they’re narrow all the way down, but not even close to being legging-like – so the holy grail of jeans, in other words.

Size-wise, I’m wearing my regular size in these, and I’d say they’re true to size, with just a little bit of stretch to the fabric, to make them more comfortable, and help them hold their shape. As for my car-creased shirt, on the other hand, as you can see, it DIDN’T hold its shape, because being trapped under a seat belt will do that to a shirt, and you’ll only realise when you look back at the photos you took of it, a few hours later. Clothes and cars: they just don’t really mix, do they? At least the jeans worked out, though…

[P.S. Although most of the time I wear sunglasses in my posts because my eyes are almost vampire-sensitive to daylight, in this case I’m just going to hold my hand up and admit that I’m wearing them here purely because it was the only way we could get photos I didn’t look totally stoned in. One day I will learn how to keep my eyes open in photographs: this wasn’t that day, though, unfortunately…]

Citizens of Humanity Avedon Ankle Ultra Skinny Ankle Jeans*

Topshop chambray shirt (similar)

Zara blazer (similar)

Michael Kors Collection tote bag* via Shopbop

Office On To Point Heels (on sale!)

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  1. I love this whole look and the jeans are great. I’m an in-betweener in a different way. I’m tallish, 5’7”, and all regular jeans are too short on me, but talls are often too long (sometimes not though, which makes me feel for people that are actually tall?). I’m scared about short jeans from watching too many people in high-waters so I always opt for slightly too long.

  2. Jeans for me doesn’t exist in my world, I’m either too short (I’m 4ft10) or too fat (my husband, charming as ever call me a squash jellybean!). So I gave up and just wear legging. I’m the outsider of the in-betweeners – I belong to my own area, don’t quite know what to call it.

  3. I’m 5’3″ and have the same problem. In France, petite sizes simply don’t exist (never understood why – it’s not like French women are all 20cm taller than me). Fortunately I go to Germany quite a lot for work and they do amazingly good jeans in different lengths, so I get the 26″ or 28″ length jeans there which are cropped or ankle length on everyone else and full length on me. I’ve found the best brands are Mac and Angels Jeans.

  4. I am exactly the same height at 5ft 4. I have found cropped jeans a godsend as they usually fit me as a full length jean would (perhaps a little shorter) but as they are styled to be a cropped jean they don’t look strange.

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