The first rule? There are no rules. But there is a look: well-worn (think sun-faded) with strategically placed holes and frayed pocket edges. Hot styles are cropped and deconstructed. The fit is "below the belly button but not too low," says L.A. stylist Joey Tierney.
R.I.P.: Anything with cargo pockets.
Cropped Stiletto jean
GREAT FOR: All figures.
WHY: Low rise and slim leg.
UNITED COLORS OF BENETTON
Acrylic knit poncho
TED BAKER LONDON
Wool Cypher jacket
Sheepskin shopper bag
Pink suede city boot
GREAT FOR: Most body types.
WHY: Stretch waist, flared leg offer comfy fit.
$460 (Blue Genes, 404-231-3400)
GREAT FOR: The petite, small-waisted.
WHY: The low rise, and sizes run small.
Hot New Line
Jean Paul Da'mage brings his custom-made designs to the masses. His mission: to make a jean that fits all body types, from curvy to stick-straight.
Angela low-rise jean
$179 (Atrium, 212-354-5740)
Fresh, fitted, slightly funky
ELLE MACPHERSON pairing jeans with low-heeled boots for a day of shopping in London.
attending a World AIDS Day event in London in Miss Sixty jeans.
SARAH JESSICA PARKER
strolling Manhattan in tapered jeans and flats.
heading out on the N.Y.C. talk show circuit in Blue Cult jeans.
Many Wall Street firms are still holdouts, but jeans with a jacket or cardigan work in most offices, says Terrence Bogan of Barneys Co-op. Look for: Washes that are darker (no whisking), with tailored, not tattered, details; jeans that fit more like trousers, with a flared or slightly tapered leg; and lengths that are long enough to work with a pump.
TREND ALERT: "Customers are requesting a higher waistline," says Bogan.
SEVEN FOR ALL MANKIND
Lulu trouser-cut jean
GREAT FOR: Most bodies.
WHY: Trouser fit and wide waistband minimize butt.
Wool pinstriped blazer
Vest ($68), shirt ($54) and belt ($28) (expressfashion.com)
Suede bag $158 (888-T0MMY-4U)
Faux-croc Berga pump
20X BY WRANGLER
Houston low-rise trouser jean
GREAT FOR: Curvy and athletic builds.
WHY: More room in hips and thighs.
Low-rise, classic-fit Tulipa jean, $265 (Bloomingdale's, 212-705-2000)
GREAT FOR: Slim, boyish figures.
WHY: Straight up-and-down fit and low rise.
Hot New Line
Henry Duarte, famed for pricey leather designs loved by pop stars Christina Aguilera
and Sheryl Crow
, launches a line for the rest of us.
Bootcut mid-rise Claire jean
$170 (Barneys New York, 212-826-8900)
Cool, clean and coordinated
topping a flared pair with a fitted jacket and shirt in Beverly Hills.
working the red carpet at a N.Y.C. benefit in high-waisted Chloe jeans.
taking in Richard Tyler's spring 2004 show in his jeans.
CONNIE NIELSEN accessorizing Miu Miu jeans with pearls and a cinched jacket for a N.Y.C. premiere.
Nighttime is the right time for sexy: Go for the tightest fit, a lower cut. Though jeans aren't welcome everywhere (New York City's '21' Club bans them), celebs are turning the red carpet blue, dressing them up with glitzy accessories. Office jeans go uptown; ripped jeans go downtown.
SEXY TIP: Cuffing jeans is a great way to show off fabulous shoes normally hidden under long hems.
Extra-low-rise bootcut Ty jeans
$119 (Blooming dale's, 212-705-2000)
GREAT FOR: Curves and long legs.
WHY: Contoured waist and stretch cotton hug curves.
Wool blazer with tulle trim
$442 (Barneys New York, 212-826-8900)
Pink cashmere halter
Cracked-leather metallic clutch
Metallic Holly heel
Palmer Starlet low-rise, straight-leg jean
$145 (Jasmine Sola, 617-867-4636)
GREAT FOR: The slim-hipped.
WHY: Fitted silhouette lengthens legs and flattens butt.
Medium-rise flare-leg jean
GREAT FOR: Curvy and boyish figures.
WHY: Higher rise and flared leg balance proportions.
Hot New Line
Former Paper Denim & Cloth designer/cofounder Scott Morrison created the frayed and ragged jeans to celebrate the concept of beauty in Imperfection.
Bootcut Hefner 02 jean
$180 (Bloomingdale's, 212-705-2000)
Sleek, sexy, sizzling
ANGIE HARMON striking a pose in cuffed jeans at the Fall 2004 fashion shows.
EVAN RACHEL WOOD shining in Seven jeans at an L.A. premiere.
glitzing up a New York City benefit in Citizens of Humanity jeans.
grinning and baring it at an L.A. premiere in Abercrombie & Fitch jeans.
Jeans Tips from a Pro
Model Karolina Kurkova loves her jeans and explains how you can live in yours
TIP 1 Not sure which style?
"Go for bootcut jeans. They give really good shape to your leg. They even make your legs look longer and slimmer."
TIP 2 Check the rear pockets.
"If they're too long, they'll hang below your butt, which can make your butt look bigger, longer and wider."
TIP 3 Think about proportion.
"If I'm wearing tight jeans, I'll probably wear something loose on top—maybe a great cropped jacket with a turtleneck. With baggier jeans, something tighter on top to balance the look."
TIP 4 Don't go too low.
"It looks trashy. Even if you have a beautiful body, you don't need to show it to everyone. Jeans can be low, but not so low that your butt is showing."