I can’t even count the number of times I’ve stood, wide-eyed and underwear’d, in the middle of my studio with a “statement” top on that I am determined to wear yet have absolutely no clue what to do with, pants-wise. In these scenarios, I’m late, of course, and usually about four seconds away from blowing an airhorn to alarm the world (or at least my neighborhood) that I am ready to panic — until I remember my closet’s saving grace: a pair of black high-waist jeans.
Black high-waist jeans solve everything, truly. They act as a neutral base for holiday party shirt shenanigans, New Year’s Eve sequins, February red velvets. They cool-up white tees and black turtlenecks. They can go fancy, or causal, and with every pair of shoes you could throw at them. They don’t always read as “jeans” either, which, depending on the dress code you’re following, can be crucial. They’re so solutions-oriented I don’t know why I don’t let them project manage my life — except for the curious reason that I have a bad habit of forgetting about them. I think it’s because my wardrobe’s would-be black high-waist jeans season begins while I’m still in my summer-isn’t-over-even-though-it-snowed-in-October denial phase. Not this year, though. This year I am prepared. I’m ready!
Man Repeller has partnered with Warp + Weft, a size-inclusive line of denim known for its curved waistbands that don’t dig into belly buttons, to explore the rare delight of comfortable, well-fitting jeans. (Another great thing about this brand: their mill is eco-friendly and they’re dedicated to mindful manufacturing.) First, Harling helped three women attempt to find their perfect jeans. And today, I’m focusing on black high-waist jeans — champions of the dressing-is-hard-in-the-winter game — to see how three different women might style them.
Let’s get to it!
Imani Randolph, Editorial Assistant
Imani explained that the blank slate nature of her Warp + Weft JFK Plus Skinny “Jackson” jeans made it easy to load on all of her favorite trends of the moment: white cowboy boots, a voluminous organza blouse, and green “in pretty much every shade” (note her top and eyeshadow). She told me that the black denim base made her feel free enough to select a handful of pieces that make her “heart sing,” that she might not otherwise pair together.
As for the fit, she said, “These jeans felt like a lovely butt and leg hug; they’re really snug, but don’t squeeeeze me. Also, this style came in three different length options — bonus points for an inseam that can stand up to the challenge of my extra long legs.”
Emily Zirimis, Visual Manager
Emily likes to err on the side of casual-classics when it comes to her day-to-style. “I need to be comfortable but still want my outfits to look ‘cool,’ like I put thought into what I’m wearing.” She knew she’d be starting today’s outfit with CDG High-Rise jeans in Ember, so she wanted to jazzercise them up with a colorful tee designed by our very own Edith Young. The pointy black boots were a no brainer (made for each other!) and she added a black and white houndstooth blazer to “tie the whole thing together,” as the elves who work in package-wrapping say.
“Finding jeans in my size has been a struggle for as long as I can remember,” she told me. “I love the look but it’s not often that I find a well-fitting, stylish, and comfortable pair. This pair is all of those things; I like that they have a bit of stretch in them. The length is great, not too short and not too long. The fit is also good: not too skinny at the ankles, no sagging. And I really love the feel of a button-up fly.”
Starling Irving, Social Media Assistant
Last but not least, Starling Irving, who wears wear three top layers minimum during the winter, as you can see demonstrated here. “As the mornings get darker, the number of times I hit the snooze button on my alarm clock increases, which means I give myself very little time to get dressed in the morning. A comfy pair of jeans act as a canvas so that I’m able to throw them on as a no-brainer before layering up my top half with vintage sweaters and blazers.” Once again, proof of their works-well-with-anything ability.
Her first thought when she pulled on the Warp + Weft JFK Tall Skinny Eclipse jeans was that she could do yoga in them. “I won’t, but I could,” she said. “I hate when jeans dig into my stomach when I’m sitting. The worst thing is hunkering down at work in the morning and realizing I just signed myself up for a day spent counting down the minutes until I get home and can finally unbutton my pants. These jeans are comfy and stretchy enough that it felt like wearing a soft pair of leggings.”
There you have it, which leaves me with one important question: How do you/would you wear high-waist black jeans? And if you’re in need of a pair so you can start styling, well today is your lucky day: Warp + Weft is offering 30% off to readers who use the promo code MR30 at checkout. Hooray!