The Dark Side
Fashion pros Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine say the lighter the denim, the heavier you will look. A darker wash will create the enviable slimming effect.
Joseph Hallak, vice president of Hallak Cleaners in New York, has a trick that will help stabilize the dye in dark colors and keep your jeans from fading. Add a quarter cup of salt along with detergent to a large basin of water and soak the garments overnight. Follow with a short wash cycle using cold water and a gentle detergent. "Jeans, the first time around, will bleed no matter what you do—but this will help stabilize it," Hallak says.
To help your jeans maintain their color and shape over time, wash them inside out on a gentle cycle with cold water. "If using a dryer, we advise drying on the tumble dry low setting inside out," says Chana Taft Schuman from True Religion Brand Jeans.
Step into the White
Although dark denim is slimming, O magazine's creative director, Adam Glassman, says white can be ultra-flattering. "White jeans freshen up anything you wear, from a navy blazer and striped tee to an embellished tunic top or bright twinset. They also tend to feel a bit dressier than blue jeans. As for the fear factor, if light-colored pants fit well, they will not make your butt and hips seem bigger."
For the best fit, Glassman prefers boot cut or straight legs over extreme skinny jeans for extra stretch and comfort.
If you white denim gets dirty, Glassman says to dry-clean or just toss them in the wash. And while white denim is a summer staple, Glassman says they're more than okay to wear post–Labor Day.