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Choosing your best pants top stitching and distressing

As you know, I've been doing a LOT or research about style lately. It isn't going to make me suddenly more stylish (sorry). But it...

As you know, I've been doing a LOT or research about style lately. It isn't going to make me suddenly more stylish (sorry). But it has given me some really great insight.

The most important thing I've learned is that what looks stylish and fashionably "correct" just isn't objective. So I've decided to ignore all the advice for my body type. Yup, completely toss it out the window. The only information I'm taking from those books is how to highlight or camouflage perceived body imperfections.

I'm calling them perceived body imperfections, because if you have a body, it is perfect. But, there may be times you want to camouflage or highlight a body part.

Today we're going to talk about pants. And not style either. We're going to talk about top stitching. As seamstresses, we have the option of top stitching our pants any number of ways. And you might not know it, but this is a great way to camouflage or highlight body parts!

Most RTW jeans these days have top stitching on the inner leg and then the waistband, yoke, pockets, and crotch curve and fly. So, let's talk about the inner leg first. Did you know that we top stitch the inner leg to prevent chafing from riding horses? Let me point out that I don't ride horses with any regularity. Actually, I haven't ridden any horses since I can even remember. One of my favorite jeans from the past had bright pink topstitching on the outseam! So, if you want to try something "Crazy" you can use a decorative color to topstitch your outseam. Please keep in mind that this will draw attention to the width of your hips. If that is something you feel uncomfortable about, stick with only top stitching from the hip to the waist band on the outseam and use a blending color. That is to prevent chafing on the outseam against your body.

As I was saying, topstitching on the inner leg is strictly to prevent chafing. This can be a great place to add some color. BUT, if you feel self conscious about the way your legs come together (ie thigh gap, which I've never had, even when I wore a size 0) then opt for a blending color. That doesn't mean identical to your jeans. That just means keep it toned down. Gold is the traditional jeans top stitching color. Other easy to wear colors include gray, navy or white.

Next, we're going to talk about the back of the pants. This would be the pockets, yoke and waistband. Again, if you want to draw attention to your butt, this is the place to do it. Pocket flats, sparkle thread, elaborate designs all go here. All of those things will draw attention to your butt. If you want your butt to look bigger, you can use flaps and extra stitching (especially raised stitching) to really add to your look. However, if you're self conscious about how big your butt is, tone it down. I'm not saying do nothing (that would be boring!). But keep the details simple and neutral.

There is one other trend that is making a come back and it seriously makes me a little squeal-y. We're talking about applique on jeans. I just got rid of a pair that was all "blinged" out last year, thinking they weren't cool anymore. <sigh> They wouldn't fit now anyway, so it is ok (at least that's what I keep telling myself). So how can we use this type of "stitching" to play up our pants?

If you are self conscious about your hips, butt or waist, don't put the fun details there. Put decorations on the hems, up to around the knee. If you are ok with highlighting your thigh, then that's a great place to put a decoration. And of course, on your actual hip, pockets or waistband will all draw attention to those areas.

And of course there is still distressing. Keep in mind that distressing has the same affects on your body. All the same rules apply! Whiskering on the hips will make them look wider. Color fading on thighs can draw attention or even make them look thinner depending on the width and depth of the fading. A torn knee will draw attention there.

So, draw attention with bright stitching, color variations, big bold applique. Tone it down with blending colors to your jeans. Enough contrast to be noticeable, but not so bright that all you see is your top stitching. It seems logical, but sometimes, we have to actually write it down! And for your inspiration I of course have a pin board. I'm not telling you to wear or not wear any of these styles. But when browsing and trying to decide if something will work for you, really think about how what you are seeing is drawing attention toward or AWAY from a body part. Then consider whether that is something you would feel good about. Be sure to read my details as they help clarify what I see in the photos.

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