It’s high time I mentioned this great company, which I’ve purchased from before in years past. I just got a new order from them recently which reminded me how great they are. Style J (also known as DenimSkirts.com) fills a sorely-needed gap of loooong skirts. As I mentioned in my recent review of SHUKR, it can be hard to find skirts that are really floor length on me. I’m not a big fan of the whole ankles-hanging-out look. If I’m wearing a skirt, I want it to go down to my shoes.
Although I’m only 5’9″ (which unlike where I grew up, is not freakishly tall in my current location), it’s rare for me to randomly come across a skirt off the racks that’s really long enough. When I do, I tend to snap them up. The trends of course change every year, depending on the crazy winds of fashion, some years I find a lot more options, other years there’s absolutely nothing to be had. I still have a very long tie-dye rayon skirt (great for hot weather) that I bought ages ago, albeit somewhat faded from the sun. It’s great for things like strolling on the beach. However, if you’re not going for the super casual bohemian look (which tends to favor long flowy clothes in general), the options become quite a bit more limited.
In years past, I frequently made allowances for this issue by buying skirts that were several sizes too large, so they sat fairly low on my hips instead of at my waist, and as a result appeared several inches longer.
Now, with the less-smooth-tummied body of a mother (all for good cause, I’m not saying I begrudge the puckers!) I found that the low-rise fit of many of my pants and skirts of yore, emerging dustily from the closet as I gradually shrink back to my former size, was no longer my best friend. I sought out more options that sat comfortably where they belonged at my real waist. However, in this case they needed to actually be the right length. (Another problem of course, with skimming by on too-large skirts, is if you lose a little weight they get to the point where they are in danger of falling down). Stepping on the edge of my skirt and inadvertently disrobing was not part of the plan.
Enter my old friend, Style J. I’d ordered skirts from them years ago, which no longer fit, and had been very impressed at that time, so I thought I’d give them another go. Unlike most websites that sell skirts, they don’t just have one “full length” size (which on me usually turns out to be mid-calf… it’s very hard to search for and find truly long skirts online), they sell skirts by the length in inches, so you can measure from your natural waist (or wherever you want to wear the skirt) and choose an exact length. Their lengths range from 17″ to 43″! (They also carry shorter skirts and petite sizes). I was delighted to find that their “extra tall” section had some of almost the exact styles I’d ordered previously (which had held up in excellent condition and had been much worn).
The skirts are not limited to “blue jeans” styles either, there are many different colors, several shades of standard denim blue, to a more business like beige, to black and white. Aside from the handy ability to filter the site by both length and waist size (simple sizing… measure your waist in inches, then measure from there to the ground in inches), they also provide a very useful dimension in skirts, the “bottom width” which is basically how big around the skirt is at the hemline. Thus you can get a good idea if this is a skirt that’s relatively slim cut or one you can really stride out in when walking. I rarely see this dimension included on skirts, and I frequently don’t like narrower cut skirts because I have a long stride and I’m usually going somewhere (and of course I don’t want a slit in it either just to allow me to walk).
The skirts are made out of stretch denim (yes, the kind I was recently bewailing in my SHUKR post and every time I try to buy jeans), however, since they’re skirts this does not bother me as much, as they only part that’s touching me is the waist band, and breathability is not as much of an issue because there’s plenty of airflow with a skirt, even a denim skirt.
Where this does come into consideration is sizing. I can only assume that this is WHY stretch denim has become ubiquitous in women’s jeans… because it relaxes the need to tailor it nicely. Just as rubber medical gloves only need to come in 3 sizes and stretch to fit, so too adding some stretch to jeans does in fact make it go on some people who otherwise might be harder to fit. Unfortunately, it also makes the pants squeeze you like a sausage and ease into positions where they don’t belong instead of staying where you put them.
I’m not saying the Style J skirts aren’t tailored nicely though, they are. They have a lot of attention to detail, their own decorative metal buttons, seam rivets as seen in regular jeans, multiple pocket styles and cuts, and very good quality stitching and workmanship. But with the stretch fabric, you do have to be careful in sizing. In my most recent order, I actually ended up with too-large skirts because of the amount of “give” that stretch denim allows. If you want the skirt to sit at your natural waist, you really should size the waistband to the exact dimensions of your natural waist’s narrowest part. Since it’s stretch, it’s not going to constrict or feel too tight there when you didn’t allow “fitting” room, and if you do allow fitting room, it will slip down from where you measure (making the length measurement you took inaccurate).
Another reason I went up a size when I probably shouldn’t have was based on the hip guidelines on the site (since my hips were larger than the estimate for that waist size). As it turned out, I needn’t have worried, the stretch denim probably also helped here in that it fit easily without worrying about hip size or squeezing me. This would vary by style of course, but I got one style that was slightly slimmer (the faded ink blue jean one) and one A-line (freer in the hips) and both of them fit great.
After my miscalculation and subsequent exchange, Style J proceeded to execute what may be the fastest exchange turnaround I’ve ever had by mail. I got the skirt order on a Monday, popped it back in the mail the next day (with the exchange form filled out for a smaller size), and received my new skirts which fit perfectly in the mail that Friday! This was after already super fast shipping on the initial order. I was pretty pleased with that.
The skirts come with tissue paper wrapped around the metal buttons, which keeps them looking pristine and new, nice touch. I did wash and dry before wearing, and as my previous skirts, they smoothed nicely out of the dryer without requiring ironing (always a plus for me… nothing that requires a lot of fiddly care is going to get worn much in my closet :P). They didn’t shrink at all either which can sometime be a length factor.
Despite the name of the website, they also carry a variety of non-denim skirts in other fabrics (though not in the very longest lengths), to fill all your modest skirt needs :). Personally I really do like the denim ones, they are cool in hot weather as well because of the airflow, and one advantage of denim, since it’s a thicker fabric, is it doesn’t blow up in the wind so your legs actually stay covered. The skirts are all quite reasonably priced (especially for excellent workmanship and lengths you won’t find elsewhere, especially without slits up the sides), but they also have regular sales and coupons, so if you’re keeping them in mind I would suggest signing up for their email list and buying next time there is a sale or coupon. I bought on sale both times.
Another thing I forgot to mention! They have some different rewards programs. One of them is a referral program where you can get 5% cash back off friends purchases if they use your link (if you’d like me to send you an email with a referral link, just let me know). Another program is their “loyalty” program where each purchase earns you points on their site. It’s pretty simple, each dollar spent equals one point, and once you earn 250 points you get a $10 coupon (or you can keep saving up for more dollars off, I imagine) . Despite the fact I only signed up for this on my most recent order (if it existed before I forgot about it or didn’t pay attention :P), it still remembered and credited points to me from my purchase from several years ago (based on the email address I used, presumably).
All in all, there’s really nothing bad to say about this company! They’re great, fast, professional, the site is clear and easy to use, and they fill a niche that is sorely lacking, with great products. What more can I say! Order today! (or whenever the next sale is ;).