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  • Writer's picturekathrinkim

Updated: Sep 6

There are so many denim choices out there that when I wrote my first review of "Flared denim" two weeks ago, I didn't think four pairs of denim was enough to make comparisons. And even with adding these few more to consider, there's still a sea of brands and cuts in many different shades of blue, black and white. But we've got to start somewhere. I chose to review bootcut and flared jeans, since we're seeing a rise in their popularity again this Fall. I also chose a bit lower price point than the jeans I reviewed in the last post.

Remember, just because a brand works for one person doesn't mean it will work for another. Our bodies are unique, one-of-a-kinds, and that is why there are so many denim brands out there. I truly believe jeans are as personal in fit as shopping for swimwear. But, when we find our go-to brands that tend to fit us well, the search gets a bit easier.

I pick up a new pair of jeans every Fall but, if you haven't updated your denim in awhile, I suggest a good refresh every five years. Denim is a staple that we can wear from toddlerhood to beyond retirement. As our bodies change and evolve over time so we need to let our denim evolve with us; it's best to let the old denim go and freshen our looks.

I am a consistent size 8 and that is what I ordered all these jeans in. I have a mom tummy and I am straight like a board; I have no curve indent for a waistline. I'm an "Apple" shape.

One thing great about bootcut jeans is their versatility; they can be worn with heels, boots or flats. I love pairing them with sneakers. Length is important though, we want the hem to graze the top of our shoes.

I love the way bootcut jeans look on my legs but, for the curvy girl, bootcuts flatter their hips.


Women's Boerum High Rise Flare Leg Jeans

Price: $79.00

Where: Macy's

Comments: I felt I needed a little less waist to wear these comfortably. The high-rise was a tad too high for my body and I felt my "mom tummy" wasn't camouflaged enough. But, they would be a great option for those of you with long torsos and have more curve than me. Worth a try!

2. Democracy

AB Tech Itty Bitty Bootcut Jeans

Price: $44.97 (marked down)

Where: Nordstrom Rack

Comments: I love the feel of these jeans. I've got a couple other pairs of Democracy jeans that I purchased when Nordstrom carried them. Because I'm straight from waist to hip, I have to wear belts or my pants just keep sliding down. It's annoying! But, the Democracy brand denim has thick, heavy duty elastic inside the waistbands that hold them up. For the first time in my life these allow me to wear jeans without a belt. Hallelujah! I love the look of the leg and the dark denim gives a slimming appearance. I'm keeping these! (And for this price, I don't have to think twice!)


Genevieve High Waist Flared Jeans

Price: $99.60 (marked down from $249.00)

Where: Nordstrom

Comments: Oh, what to say? These are definitely meant for a curvier body shape than I have. They are a 32 inseam (way too long for me). The waist was tight and the legs were too full. These are simply meant for women with hips, thighs and a smaller waist.


Flare Jeans

Price: $148.00

Where: Nordstrom

Comments: These do not have a zipper or waist button or pockets; it's all seams for looks. There is a two-inch waistband of elastic on the inside of the denim of 91% cotton, 7% polyester, 2% Lycra® elastane. I was surprised there wasn't more Lycra in these because "Woah" they felt like I was wearing a girdle. They looked GREAT but, I think I like breathing more than this pulled in look. They are sized from XS=0 to 3x=26W-28W; I tried a size Medium. If I went a size up, the knees would have had too much fabric. I did debate about keeping these because, they did look good but, whenever I wear body shape wear, I feel ill after an hour or so. I think these could give that same feeling.

Once again, I think these would fit a curvier girl better than me.


725 High-Rise Bootcut

Price: $69.50

Where: Macy's

Comments: This does not surprise me. These are my favorites. Levi's have always been a go-to brand for me. They just fit my shape better than most. It's easy to find a fit in Levi's for me. I pulled these off the shelf and didn't realize that I had pulled an "8 short". But, I like them. They will be the perfect length with a sneaker or flats. I won't need to hem them. And...I like the way they look on my bum! That's always important. These are keepers!

I'm pleased with the jeans I'm keeping (The Democracy pair and the Levi's). They ended up being better priced and were the ones I liked the fit and comfortable feel.

Maybe a bootcut or flare jean aren't your thing. That's okay. Know that when you find something that fits your shape well, nobody will notice if you're wearing what the current trend is, they will just notice how polished you look. And...that's the goal.

Happy Wardrobing!

Twin Cities Wardrobe Stylist Kathy Banta

Kathy Banta

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  • Writer's picturekathrinkim

I looked through my denim. I have plenty. But, I do not have a flared jean. I do. But, the pair I have has less flare than what we're seeing on-trend right now. So, I decided to do a flared denim review. I ordered a number of choices and started writing this review as they were delivered.

On this "No Makeup Monday Morning" I began to try these on. I'm a very consistent size 8 in pants and denim. So, that's what I ordered these four pairs of denim in.

1. The first pair to arrive were the High Rise Kick Crops from Loft. Originally $79.95, NOW on sale for $28.00 in limited sizes.

I liked these. These were comfortable. I felt cute in them. I love the High-rise; it gave my tummy pull-in support and I liked the step hem (a raw edged hem longer in back). But, I already have a couple ankle cropped jeans so, I don't need these.

2. Next, I tried on these Good American Modern Flare denim with extra tummy control fabric. These have considerable amount of stretch in the fabric which made them very comfortable. They have a one inch hem, a fun detail that gives these a little more personality. They are running long in length and if I were to keep them, I'd need to have the length taken up.

Price: $149.00

Where: Nordstrom

I liked these jeans until I looked in my three way mirror and saw my back side. Good American states "Good Legs Flared Jeans - Designed to fit every body". They fit alright but, they made my butt look square. I'll pass. For $149.00 these need to be flattering from every angle.

3. After disliking my back side in the Good American jeans, I looked right away to see if it was any better when I put on "The Perfect High Waist Flared Jean" by Madewell. I could see a positive difference. I love the structure of a high rise. These Madewell Flared jeans have a little less lycra in them and have a thicker fabric feel reminding me of the way denim use to be in the 1980s; I liked it. They felt sturdier and the length was perfect.

I returned these but, I've been debating about going back for them. But, I found myself wishing I could have the front look of the Good American Jeans with the backside of these Madewell jeans. I guess I'll wait to find the perfect pair for me.

Price: $128.00

Where: Nordstrom

4. Lastly, I tried on these black Tailorless Coated Ultra High Waist Skinny Bootcut jeans by 7 for All Mankind. They were tight, stiff and uncomfortable. If I were interested, I'd need to size up. But, I'm not interested. The back view was horrible, giving my derriere that square look again. Nope, I'll pass! For this price, I should feel like Cinderella at the ball, not the step-sister.

Price: $248.00

Where: Nordstrom

I'll keep looking for that perfect flared pair of jeans for this Fall. Watch for another "Flared Denim Review" in the next week, featuring more brands and cuts that you can find in stores now.

Happy Wardrobing!

Twin Cities Wardrobe Stylist Kathy Banta

Kathy Banta

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  • Writer's picturekathrinkim

Living in Yellow Grand Opening Door Sign

Last week I travelled to Ft Wayne, Indiana to spend a week with my brother and sister-in-law, Dan and Susan. We spent the weekend in Michigan at their cabin. It was pretty chilly and rainy, making it the perfect weather to avoid the lake and attend the grand opening of Erin Schrader's "living in yellow" boutique.

I had never heard of Erin but, my sister-in-law was a big fan and when I went to Erin's Instagram page, I saw that she had more than a casual following. We drove from the cabin deep into Amish country. We passed beautiful country homes with sturdy barns and horses grazing in fields while clothes hung out to dry on front porches. We arrived in Middlebury, Indiana and stopped at the town's central stop light. Across from us was a horse and buggy that, like us, was waiting for the light to turn. We began looking down streets for the yellow and white balloons Susan had seen in a photo on Instagram. Sure enough, there they were!

113 E Warren St. Middlebury, IN 46650

Walking in the front door of the boutique we could sense the excitement and hear the chatter of fun conversations. This was the second day of the opening and the buzz was still strong.

Summer Styles and Great Price Point

There was a patriotic themed table at the front of the store and I was drawn to a red dress and a pleated sun top. I wondered would they be fairly priced? This ruffled necked red tiered midi dress was priced at $79.00 and this tomato colored pleated cami was priced at $44.00. I was immediately excited! Good pricing and fun styles; I began to shop.

Here's Erin in a pink pleated cami and a staff member modelling the red tiered dress. If you follow Erin on Instagram, you will see Erin show-casing many items from her store and how to pair them plus she shares blogs on style, life and travel. She shares her favorite curling iron from Nordstrom and her favorite lotion from Target and everything in-between. Her tips and secrets are practical and fun.

Adorable Tiered Midi Dress

Erin in Pink Pleated Cami Top

Walking through the store it was fun to take in the accessories and gifting displays . Shoes and candles, earrings and necklaces, stationary and slippers; There was a wide variety of unique and fun options.

Accessories and Gifting Items

I shuffled through each rack of clothing on the main floor and then made my way upstairs to the loft where two long walls had racks of clothing hanging along them. This section was called "Erin's Closet". This area sold items that were from Erin's personal closet. I found a black faux leather extra long bomber jacket with fleece lining. I had not brought enough warm clothing with me for this trip and when I put it on I knew I needed it, not to mention it was cool and priced at only $40.00.

Gonna be FUN to wear this "Rock & Roll" Shirt Jacket
I'm loving this top for Summer

I bought a white tie front button up shirt that I've already worn with my cropped denim and red Blow Fish sneakers; super cute for Summer. The last and third item I brought home with me was a black shirt jacket with white letters on the back saying "Rock and Roll". The musician in me had to have it! What a fun shopping experience!

Follow Erin on Instagram and Facebook

I realize that many (most) of you are not going to travel to Middlebury, Indiana to Erin's store. But, you can find out more about Erin on Instagram, Facebook and shop from afar at

If you do find yourself in Middlebury, tell Erin I said "Hi" and check out her sister's home decorating store

"JOYFULLY SAID" just a block over at 402 E. Warren St.

Amish Country

Kathy Banta at Living In Yellow Boutique

Shopping is what I do and I'd love to shop with You!

Twin Cities Wardrobe Consultant Kathy Banta

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