It Must Be In the “Jeans”

I had a wonderful, unexpected happening this week! I had a chance to talk to my best friend from kindergarten/first grade (and 4th grade, long story), Teresa! Though, friends on Facebook, it’s probably been at least  30 years since we’ve actually spoken to one another.

Teresa and I met when both of our fathers, who were in the Air Force at the time, were stationed in North Dakota. (Brrrrr….) She dared to ride her tricycle into our driveway while I was swinging around a bike lock/chain. (why was I allowed to do this???) I swung dangerously close to her, as a warning to other wayward 4 & 5 yr. olds who might dare enter my domain and, for my penance, my mother forced me to apologize and invite her over to play. From there was born almost nightly sleepovers and what has become a friendship that has spanned the decades.

I loved talking with Teresa – catching up with family happenings, exchanging interests and just general chit-chat. As we talked, of course, my fashion interests couldn’t help but come into play. Teresa shared that she is basically a “jeans and t-shirt girl.” Nothing wrong with that. After I got off the phone, I thought about this and how so often my closest friends have been “jeans and t-shirt girls”. That led me to today’s post.

Of course, we’ve done the jeans and tee thing before. You might recall if you’ve read along for a while the white tee and jeans challenge where I made 5 distinct looks all using the base of a white tee and jeans. You can see that post here. But when I thought about that post in relation to Teresa and many of my other friends who are strictly jeans and t-shirt girls (and usually sneakers, as well), I realized that a lot of what was done in that post was beyond the scope of what they would feel comfortable doing. It was just too… fashionista-y for them.

So, for this post I took it way down. Simplified. Every base is jeans, t-shirt and sneakers. (I wanted to avoid all embellished jeans because I wasn’t sure any of them would buy them, but sorry guys, my drawer is FULL of embellishments! What can I say, I’m a bling girl!) Basic rules: keep it simple: bling to a minimum. For all my “jeans-tees-and sneakers” girlfriends… You all rock!


With the first look I went with a pair of basic boot-cut jeans. (amazingly no embellishment!) I chose a black Betsey Johnson baby-doll t-shirt with some red decorative print. The tee is cute all on its own, but to bring it to life just a tad more, I added a red cami underneath and scrunched the tee up. By allowing the black tee to end at my waist and the red to hit my hips, I’m giving the illusion of more of an hourglass than I actually have, making my waist go in and my hips draw out. For extra interest, and because it’s freakin’ cold here in PA, I gave the option of another layer with the long red cardigan. This will hide a multitude of sins if you’re self-conscious of any bumps or bulges with a fitted tee. (The cami will also work to help create a smoother surface under your tee.)

True to my word, I kept with sneakers for shoes, though I rarely wear them with boot-cuts. To give a little of my personal style, I used my favorite Betsey Johnson sneakers that have a girly graffiti print.

Bling is kept very minimal. Earrings are simple black crystal flower studs. I’ve added a stack of black/red/silver plastic bead stretch bracelets, and for the final touch, I used a twisted and knotted small red silk scarf as a choker. This is a great way to make a necklace that isn’t too “bling-y”. Any small square scarf will do – even a men’s hanky!

For the second look I switched to a skinny jean with small embellishments on the pocket trim. (There’s also small trim on the back pockets.) I went with a long sleeve, royal blue tee and added a distressed denim vest for both added warmth and interest.

Again, we’ve kept accessories simple and minimal. As with the first look, we’ve gone very tonal, which is easy on the eyes and easy for the average person to throw together. The earrings are a small simple drop stone in an aqua blue color. I’ve casually thrown a simple cotton scarf around the collar of the vest in a coordinating blue with added pops of raspberry and golden-yellow. A few stretch bracelets in the same color family are on my wrist.

The belt was a necessity since these jeans are a tad too big. I did go a little “wild” there with a zebra print belt. Of course, any simple belt would work just as well. Finally, we’ve finished off with a pair of joggers in the same brilliant blue with pink swooshes. (Oh, and you can’t see them, but I’ve also got on adorable royal blue Betsey Johnson socks with white polka dots! You add the fun anywhere you can!)

The third and final look continues the tonal look on the top with shades of red/cranberry and then pumps up the fun with splashes of leopard print and glitter!

I’ve taken a basic long sleeve cranberry red tee and added it to plain skinny jeans. (NO embellishments!) Over the top I’ve added a soft hi/lo plaid cardi in similar shades of red.

Though in some ways this look seems the most simple, when you get up close, it’s all in the details here. I’ve not added a scarf or necklace because the tee has a nice satin trim around the neckline. As you can see, my high top sneakers are statement makers in their own right with gold glitter on the toes, leopard “fur” on the heel and black ribbon ties. I’ve picked up the gold from the shoes by using a gold metallic belt, which is once again, a necessity with these jeans. Foregoing bracelets, I used another small square scarf, this time in leopard print, and wrapped it around my wrist. Finally, for a finishing touch, I’m wearing cranberry red hoop and drop earrings that have a little bit of a sparkle to them.

And so my salute to the “jeans and tee” girl is complete. As I look back over these looks, adding bling and accessories makes a difference, but there was really one key to making each look pop. Color! But not just any colors –  MY colors! An uncomplicated, basic t-shirt can come alive by simply knowing the correct colors for your hair and skin. I really encourage you, if you haven’t before, take some time and do some research into what your colors might be. If the task seems to daunting, find a colorist or a stylist. They’d be glad to walk you through the process. It may be the best thing you ever did for your wardrobe!

Thanks Teresa for the inspiration!

Until We Meet Again!


4 Replies to “It Must Be In the “Jeans””

    1. Thanks Jodie! It’s easy for those of us who deal with fashion all the time to forget the basics and get too caught up in the “wild” side and the experimentation we like to do and forget that that’s not for everyone. We need to make sure we keep it accessible for everyone. You do a great job of that on your blog, as well! 🙂 Have a great weekend!


    1. Thanks Amy! You’re right, jeans are the ultimate versatility piece. I could just have easily done a piece on how to use jeans for “dress up”. (Hmmm…. my next post????) I’m glad you enjoyed it. You always do jeans so well! Have a wonderful, blessed weekend – Ronnie


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