Never underestimate the importance of a really good pair of black jeans

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First of all, they’re quite versatile—they can skew anything from punk to polished depending on what you wear them with. And they’re more flattering, I think, than blue jeans, especially those with a very light wash, which so many jeans have these days. I’ve got more pairs than I can count, but am always searching for the new Perfect Black Jean, and my quest led me to dig up the following (quite excellent) pairs.

These are classic Levi’s 501s, but tailored for a more current fit; and here’s a pair of Levi’s Wedgies, which I know many of you swear by, but which look like hell on me.

Everlane’s just-introduced Super-Straight Jean comes in two lengths—regular and ankle—and has a nice amount of stretch, but not too much.

I’d like to try this wide-leg cropped pair when the weather warms up a bit.

Here’s a coated denim pair, which looks so much like leather that it’s almost crazy to splurge on the real thing.

I like the cropped, frayed hem on this pair from Mother Denim.

A nice skinny jean with a perfectly clean wash from Madewell.

The waist on these from L’Agence is high but not too high, which works for me.

 

The denim on these is quite rigid and they have no stretch whatsoever, which I know is what a number of you go for.

And I thought I’d just throw in these overalls too, because my thinking on overalls after 40 is evolving—I think if they’re cut cleanly, as these are, that they’re highly acceptable.

This kicky pair is from Universal Standard, which means it comes in every size imaginable.

I just think these look rather laid-back and weekendy.

And finally: this high rise stovepipe pair is so clean-lined and perfect that I could see wearing it constantly.

 

 

 

Winter whites are best when they’re not all white

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Full-on white from head to toe white feels a little Snow Queen to me; I love this hue in winter, but prefer to mix things up with light grays, beiges, and taupes. I’m showing a mix of all those colors with a bunch of white pieces here, starting with this glorious fuzzy Lauren Manoogian sweater, which I am coveting hard.

I’ve been looking for a good white denim jumpsuit, and this one from Lee might be the winner, though I quite like this one too.

Some high-waisted cropped wide-leg trousers that look right on trend and very wearable too.

And here’s a pair of mid rise jeans that aren’t too tight, which is how I like white jeans to be. I also like winter white jeans (and, come to think of it, all winter white clothing, period) that are off-white, or almost white—I just think that’s cooler looking, and much more flattering than full-on glaring optic white.

A cool camel coat with a white sweater and jeans underneath is a good look.

I’m pretty crazy for this wool utility jacket: so spiff and designer-y looking, but it’s from & Other Stories.

Here are some wide-leg jeans for those brave enough to revisit the aughts; if that’s not so much your thing, try these classic  (but clearly updated)Levi’s 501s.

I like a roomy sweater if I’m going for a winter white look, and this one is pretty good: nice and cozy-looking.

Off-white chinos with a nice cropped cut—the better to show off your boots.

And here’s a well-priced alpaca and wool blend sweater that just looks so excellently huggy.

Pull-on pants are so easy, and this pair is really nice and crisp.

I almost didn’t include this skirt because it’s not purely white, but I think the splatter print is so nice and graphic.

I love the subtle hits of red and blue on this marled knit sweater.

And here’s a very cozy-looking oversized hoodie.

A well-priced fleece coat that would make a winter white look very easy to pull off.

I wish I looked like something other than death itself in taupe, because I really like this nifty puffer.

 

A bunch of colorful sweaters

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Things are getting pretty drab out there, weather-wise, and we still have so much winter to get through, and so why not throw on something bright and cheery instead of succumbing to the relentless grayness of it all? This asymmetrical-hem sweater is a good starter piece if you’re not used to wearing brights.

I like the unexpectedness of the yellow on this cool cashmere Breton-style sweater from Kule.

The fuzzy texture on this Theory alpaca sweater is fun, and the color combination of the stripes reminds me of a Pendelton blanket.

The spacedye on this short-sleeved sweater reminds me of Missoni, but it’s actually from Cos.

Just a nice, rich green on a well-priced alpaca-blend sweater.

I am loving the combination of stripes and tie-dye here.

A nifty, oversized colorblock cardigan that looks mighty cozy.

I like the loose knit on this one, and how the stripes sort of fade into each other.

The purple stripes here really pop against the more neutral-colored ones.

A half-zip sweater with a very sportif feel.

This pink zebra-stripe number is not left in a lot of sizes, but it’s so good I had to include it anyway.

Thick rainbow stripes give this one a playful vibe.

A super-inexpensive cashmere V-neck in a nice rich blue.

This purple leopard print reminds me of sweaters I owned in 1985.

Just a nice deep red turtlemneck that’s way marked down.

Vertical stripes against a chevron-stripe knit make this one nice and statement-y.

I always like rainbow stripes on a black background, and they look especially chic on this wool and cashmere number.

A deep fuchsia hoodie for kicking around on the weeekend.

I’m just a fan of the cool color combination here.

A  green zebra print that’s loud in a really good way.

I love safety orange, and think it looks especially great on this waffle knit recycled cashmere sweater.

 

 

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Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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