Tim Gunn on the Right Jeans for your Body and Seattle’s Notorious Jeans-All-the-Time Style

Meet fashion expert Tim Gunn this weekend at The Bellevue Collection

Hey Seattle, someone has validated your bad habit: Fashion guru Tim Gunn says it’s okay to wear jeans to work. Well, sometimes. This weekend, Gunn will explain why (plus give other great tips on how to work your denim) at a Lucky Brand denim fashion show in center court at Bellevue Square (Saturday starting at 1 p.m.; more info here). Shoppers can soak in Gunn’s tips while watching a fashion show (featuring real people!), then head up to Lucky to snag their own pair and meet the man himself.

The day before announcing his next big move (Gunn will debut a day-time show on ABC next year), the man himself kindly gave me some advice on what to look for in the perfect pair of jeans, why jeggings are never a good idea—and dished on the “Can I wear jeans to work on a Tuesday?” style conundrum.

KC: I’m petite, yet curvy. What styles should I look for and maybe what shouldn’t I wear?

TG: For petite women usually the most flattering style is one that falls straight from the hip, and believe it or not, if you are curvy, a lower rise jean that sits at the hip can do wonders and will fit you better than a jean that hits higher. However, this doesn’t mean you have to stick with this silouette; skinny jeans can work as long as you objectively assess how it looks on your body…They make a myriad skinny options and cuts, you can find something…But I have to say, one look that needs to be avoided are jeggings! That’s hard to pull off.


KC: Seattle is notoriously casual, so I have to ask, when is it okay to wear jeans? And when isn’t it? Full disclosure: it’s Monday, and I’m totally wearing jeans.

TG: I am wearing jeans too! I don’t think there is a hard and fast rule, or day of the week for that matter, for when you can and cannot wear jeans, you do have to be aware and mindful of the style though. A nice dark wash can be appropriate for work when paired with a blazer; it’s more about the style and the quality of the textile. But a dark jean can be dressed up and will look more sophisticated and polished than a faded or distressed version. It’s about your personal style and how you pull it off.

KC: But maybe not to the opera, right?

TG: Well, perhaps not then.


KC: The wide-leg trouser is everywhere this spring. What tips do you have for wearing the trend with style?

TG: Well, the first question is: How wide is it? You have to consider volume-- you can have too much of it very quickly, there is a big difference between dressing on-trend and looking like you are swimming in your clothes…make sure your wide-leg doesn’t also flare or it will give off the granny skirt effect. And of course, try it on, it could work for you if it fits your proportions


KC: Okay, let’s face it: shopping for jeans is semi-tortuous. Any tips on making it a more enjoyable experience?

TG: It is difficult for find jeans! I have to say, I’m a Lucky Brand convert and was before I started working with them. I was doing a TV piece for Parsons and Lucky was the sponsor, so I needed a pair of their jeans for the segment.  I had a pile to try on, and one of the sales associates stopped me and said, “You really need to try a different style on.” I admit, I gaped at him! But he was right, they fit beautifully. They are fit experts and know what jeans work best on your body, they can turn it into a fantastic experience. Another thing is many of us have size confusion and don’t actually know what size to buy. Getting some side by side help up front can make the trying on process much less painful.


KC: So, what can people expect from the fashion show this Saturday?

TG: I am excited to co-host the event; I’ll be chatting about the looks as they come down the runway, but it is very interactive and we have very spontaneous commentary about proportion and fit. On the runway, we’ll also show different ways to style your look and show different Lucky Brand jean styles on different women. The event is about embracing your style, and hopefully you learn something to take into your next shopping experience.