One of the things I say a lot is “Gosh, if I don’t stop eating that, I won’t be able to zip up my jeans.” I say that a lot because who can pass up fresh double-fudge chocolate cake? But also because jeans are a go-to staple I’d wear everyday if office dress code and Southern summers did not interfere. However, the last time I said that — lovely blueberry scones with actually real authentic clotted cream were involved (thank you, Laura at SoCo Bake Shop in Corinth, Mississippi) — I realized it’s simply not true. Oh, I still wear jeans as much as possible. And I probably would have trouble zipping them up IF I ZIPPED THEM UP. But I don’t. Instead, I pull my jeans up. And, yes, I know you’re picturing something horrifying like the thumbnail on the right that you can order from the back pages of Parade, three pairs for $12.99. There is a place in the universe for those and if that place is in your closet, then it’s all good. But we all can agree that these lack a bit of, uh, style, perhaps? And maybe they’re not the most flattering? Or comfortable? There’s no doubt pants like these have given the words “pull-on” a negative image. On the other hand, the new pull-on jeans are true hidden fashion treasures. They are indistinguishable from zip-up jeans (as long as you don’t want to tuck in a blouse), fit perfectly, never ever ever dig into your waist and — for the best magic trick of all time — smooth you out and make that muffin top completely disappear. Poof! Gone! Nowhere to be found! So come with me while we explore the new pull-on jeans — stylish, comfortable, flattering and NOT available in the back of Parade. I’ve got three favorites:
- Liverpool Jean Company — Inspired by Beatles music, this company offers some of the best jeans around. The regular zip-ups are soft and — bonus! — have pockets lined with song lyrics. Love those, too. But Liverpool excels at pull-ons. Its version is the Sienna Pull On Leggings. Don’t let the word “leggings” scare you — these are definitely wear-everywhere jeans. A skinny cut, they feature functional back pockets with mock front pockets and a fly. The waistband is a bit bulky since it’s obviously a wide elastic, so they’re perfect for loose-fitting and body-skimming tops. Available in dark and light rinses, white and black. Usually around $75 or so. Runs true to size.
- Tribal Jeans — Tribal is headquartered in Quebec. That’s all I know about this company. (Those secretive Canadians!) But what I do know is that Tribal pull-on jeans & pants are amazing. The “Dream Jean” is a bit lighter-weight than the Liverpools, with a waistband that seems to stretch on its own without elastic for a slimmer fit. Also, Tribals are a bit slimmer cut and may fall into the jegging category, although they’re still wearable outside of your house in front of, you know, people. Difficult to find in stores and online — I stumbled across them at a discount store in Winchester, Tennessee — but try ordering here if you can’t find them. Also, grab any of the non-jeans pull-on Tribal pants you can find. I wear a navy/”ink” pair to the office about twice a week and have a white pair just waiting. Priced about $50-$75. Runs true to size.
- Margaret M — This is the best-of-the-best when it comes to chic and comfortable pull-on pants. Another Canadian company (what is with these Canadians and their pull-on pants? Why do they know how to design & produce such treasures?), Margaret M makes highly coveted jeans, cropped pants (called Margaret M Emers) and basic black pants (called the Slimming Pant). Lightweight, flattering and comfortable, these pants have stretchy waistbands so sleek and smooth you don’t even notice them. In online clothing trading/selling groups, a Margaret M listing lasts for, maximum, about five minutes. This may be because you can’t just run down to the store or click through your favorite website. Margaret Ms are sold through a Canadian shopping channel that DOES NOT SHIP TO THE U.S. — so basically Canada taunts us with these great pants and then does not let us have them. You can order here for a premium, sign up for the clothing subscription service StitchFix, which has an exclusive deal with Margaret M, or take your chances on Amazon. Well worth it, though. Once you try a pair of Margaret Ms, you will never want to take them off — except to replace with a Liverpool Sienna. Runs true to size. Retail around $95 but I’ve found on Amazon for $35-$55.
So the only question now is this: What are you going to do with all of your belts?
Remember — “Southern” isn’t a place. It’s an adjective.”
South by South Style focuses on Southern style in fashion, food, entertaining and decor. All opinions expressed are my own because, sadly, nobody else will admit to them. I’m not paid or compensated or sponsored or affiliated by anyone for anything — although my husband wishes I were.