...and to think of them instead, as the title suggests, as a girdle you can wear on the outside without looking like a schizophrenic hobo or Sienna Miller. If you have a bit of a belly (or a lot of a belly), lowrise jeans are not your friend. They have the power to create a "faux muffin top" (I learned so much from that frog email, seriously), and they lead, inevitably, to this. Seeking out a pair of jeans with the waist even a few inches higher can have wonderful results, for you and for the world.
In response to my highfalutin' claim, reader Beth posted the following comment:
Do a post on cute, semi-normal looking (not the super fashiony ones, nor the mom ones) higher waisted jeans, please!
Alright, alright, if you insist!
Here are the top 3 that I've come across so far. All are fairly expensive, but--not to worry!--also easily found at discount stores and on ebay. ("Ebay, friends, not retail," says wise reader Nadarine.)
A few of you mentioned your love for Joe's in the comments of the Frog post, and I, too, have experienced the glorious revelation of trying on a pair. They're seriously amazing, and many styles have a rise high enough to be seriously slimming as well.
However, I do not own a pair, and here's the most random story ever to explain why: I went to Nordstrom a few months ago, fresh off the enthusiastic advice of no less than five friends and acquaintances that "You MUST try Joe's! Seriously
Me: So, I hate buying jeans. They never fit me cuz I have a giant belly.
Saleswoman: Oh my god, I totally understand! I have the same problem!
Me: DAMNED LIES! (OK, I didn't really say that, but I wish I did.)
Saleswoman: I have the perfect thing for you, you're gonna love 'em. They're a "curvy" style--
Me: Wait, here's the thing, though. I'm not curvy in the normal curvy way. Curvy jeans are for hourglass figures, but I'm more like...an urn. (I so wish I could have used the frog body analogy, but alas, I was not yet enlightened to the concept).
Me: What about Joe's?
Saleswoman: YES! Joe's! You MUST try Joe's!
And so she sent me into the dressing room with a pile of Joe's jeans. I slipped on a pair of the Muse style, and they were so comfortable and flattering and belly-containing that I literally almost cried. Then I tried the Provocateur, which were even more comfortable and flattering and belly-containing, and I believe I did shed a tear (jean shopping is an emotional experience, you know?).
This model may be a frog, but you'd never know it.
Joe's Jeans "The Provocateur," $179, shopbop.com
The jeans were fairly spendy (Joe's can run up to $200), but I decided that any piece of denim that could make me cry, in a good way, were totally worth it. I was on my way out of the dressing room to make the purchase when I stopped.
In the time I had been admiring how good my ass looked, the store had totally changed. An extremely douche-y DJ had appeared between the racks of $60 t-shirts and was spinning extremely douche-y R&B. Streamers were on the floor. Candy bowls were on the shelves. Weirdest of all, the Nordstrom salespeople were ignoring me. Excitedly swarming around something about a hundred feet away, they were completely oblivious to me and my impending purchase. Jesus, how long had I been in the dressing room? Had I actually fallen through the mirror into some sort of shopping Narnia, where customers dance to Chris Brown in the aisles and Nordstrom employees aren't paid on commission?
I finally tracked down my saleswoman and asked her what was going on.
Rushing over to join her coworkers, she squealed, "It's Joe! From Joe's Jeans! He's here! It's him! He's signing denim! It's an event!"
And then I saw him. Joe. From Joe's Jeans. And he was a douche.
I know, I'm totally judgmental, I need to get to know him, blah blah blah, but good god, his hair was tied back in a long, shiny ponytail, he had a DJ playing the soundtrack to his life, and, worst of all, he was wearing a giant pair of polarized sunglasses...inside. The entire Nordstrom staff was flitting and buzzing around him, complimenting everything he did and asking if he needed anything at all, and he wouldn't make eye contact with any of them, looking absolutely above the situation. He actually looked like he was smelling a vaguely foul odor, and while we were in range of the store perfume sniper, Joe, come on, you're charging us $200 for cotton, how about a smile?
As much as I loved the jeans, I couldn't bear the thought of my money funding another pair of indoor sunglasses for Mr. Joe, so I put them back (longtime readers may recall my similar issues with Jessica Simpson shoes). When I left Nordstrom (or Narnia, whatever), I felt a little righteous, a little richer, and sadly, still shaped like a frog.
Moral of the story: Joe's Jeans rock. Joe does not. And wow that story got long.
Lucky is such a great company and, as far as I know, their CEO does not wear sunglasses inside. Most of their jeans are made in the USA, the quality is excellent, and I want to be best friends with all of the girls who work at their Portland store. I've found their classic rider and easy rider styles to be quite effective at holding in the midsection, and I've found them at discount chains like Marshalls for thirty bucks.
Not Your Daughter's Jeans
I'm so in love with these jeans, especially the aptly named "Tummy Tuck" style. As the brand name implies, they're aimed more at my mom's generation than mine, which made me feel a little nervous buying them, like the cashier would ask for my ID and then glare back at me, declaring, "You're just a daughter! Security!"
Luckily, I was able to purchase them without incident, and I wear them quite often (by "quite often" here I mean "every day of my life and sometimes to bed").
I bought a pair like this on sale for $12 at the Rack (I swear they're out there!), and they look so adorable when you don't tuck in your shirt (I repeat: do not tuck in your shirt) and add cute shoes and a bright top.
NYDJ Tummy Tuck Rhinestone Roll Cuff Stretch Capris, $118, nordstrom.com