WIW: balloon jeans

I jumped on the balloon jean bandwagon with this mauve pair from Madewell. These are right up my alley: I love the wider leg, the fabric (all cotton, but so soft), and the color! I got them last week, have already worn and washed them and am wearing them again today.

I am unsure of the fit; perhaps I could have gone a size down, but I didn't try, and it's too late now. These are the smaller of two sizes I usually wear in jeans, and the sales associate told me they do run large. I was able to try them on in store, but in blue, and I ordered these based on that try-on, which was perfect. This color may run a little bit larger than the blue ones. Anyway, they feel great; flattery is another matter.

The outfit: Balloon jeans in vintage petal (Madewell); asymmetric drawstring-hem cowl-neck top in a lightweight sweater knit with a Venice scene print (made by me), black Chelsea boots (Pikolinos).

I thought I would give you all views, even the less flattering back view, just fyi. I welcome any thoughts you may have.

P.S. I don't know why the Find photo doesn't show up. I've tried several times to "collect" the item, and it keeps showing up with no picture, even though there are plenty of them on the website. :(

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Angie replied 2 years ago

    KILLER look on you! WOW! 

    Absolutley PERFECT for you in that colour, and the way you styled it, Sharan :)

    I see the Find needs fixing. Will let Greg know. Here is the link: 


  • LaPed replied 2 years ago

    A pair of these just arrived in my mailbox today! I did a quick try-on and loved them instantly; no pics yet. Very excited to be balloon jean twins with you! :) 

    (I tried and failed several times to make a Find with an image; so frustrating!)

  • Bonnie replied 2 years ago

    These look great. Now I want a pair.

  • Irina replied 2 years ago

    Love, love these jeans! You look terrific!
    What size are they?

  • Firecracker (Sharan) replied 2 years ago

    Thanks, everyone!
    Irina, I tried to address the sizing in my post. I usually wear one of two sizes, and I got the smaller of the two sizes I wear. These are a size down from what I wear in the similar Levi's Wedgie style. Hope that helps.
    LaPed, I saw you had collected them and you mentioned them in the blog comments. It's so fun to be jeans twins! Glad you like them, too.

  • suntiger replied 2 years ago

    Great color- and wow to that top!

  • Kate replied 2 years ago

    Fabulous jeans, and I love your sweater. You look wonderful in that outfit!

  • Laurie replied 2 years ago

    Perfect example of me loving jeans on you that I could never pull off! These are fun. This is a great outfit - every aspect. Color, style, boots - you've got it all! And you made that amazing, asymmetrical top.....

  • Stagiaire Fash replied 2 years ago

    Well, look at you! The jeans are perfect and that is a great outfit. Thanks for showing all sides.

  • Suz replied 2 years ago

    I love them!! This is a style I'm eager to try so I'm grateful to you for modelling them! 

  • replied 2 years ago

    I agree with Angie, and I love it when my first impressions are proven wrong.  I wasn't at all sure I'd like these, but I really do. You have the right overall look for this ,and the artsy top and boots are perfect choices.  Imagine this top with a pair of skinny jeans in the same colour, and the vibe is totally different and not at all as interesting and current .  Nicely done!

  • replied 2 years ago

    Very cool color! Admire the styling with the top and boots!

  • Tanya replied 2 years ago

    The jeans are super cool and the whole outfit is amazing.  I love the top you made.

  • slim cat replied 2 years ago

    Cool look - love the colors!

  • Angie replied 2 years ago

    Sharan, I love your '90s round specs too! 

  • Style Fan replied 2 years ago

    I love them!!!!  I am ordering the ones from Everlane.  The top is so right with the jeans.

  • Sal replied 2 years ago

    These suit you Sharan, really fun and modern and cool.  Great colour palette too.

  • Jenava replied 2 years ago

    Love it!  I feel our styles are often similar; I am wearing my J. Crew tweed bubble trousers today (in purple).  I love these jeans!  They would be nice for warmer weather...

  • kkards replied 2 years ago

    Ok...now i see, i bought a pair of barrel leg jeans and something was off, they just make me feel really short and stumpy...but now i think i see what the issue is. Mine are WAY long, and so i cuffed them, but yours short but with the high shaft boots make them leg lengthening 

  • Firecracker (Sharan) replied 2 years ago

    Thanks, all!
    Oh, Laurie, never say never! haha! Thank you.
    Thanks, Suz. Glad to be your model! They are a pretty high rise; I can't recall if that's something you like?
    Lisa, thanks for that insight. I hadn't thought at all about the difference between wearing this top with skinnies or this silhouette, and your point is a good one. I was also kind of thinking only shorter tops would go with these jeans, so I'm glad to find this one works.
    Aw, thanks, Angie!
    StyleFan, I look forward to seeing yours from Everlane.
    Jenava, I have admired your purple J Crew lantern pants, too. I agree we have simpatico styles.
    kkards, thank you! I was playing around to see if I wanted to change the length (decided not), and I tried cuffing these. I didn't like the effect at all. Just didn't work for me with this leg shape.

  • Janet replied 2 years ago

    Those suit you well! And again, I’m impressed with your seamstress skills — the top is great!

  • LaPed replied 2 years ago

    I also meant to say — they look so good on you and I can’t believe how differently they fit your legs compared to mine! And your gorgeous sweater has inspired me to put together a whole black/white/grey capsule around these jeans. I’d mostly been thinking of pairing them with dark greens and burgundies...

  • Firecracker (Sharan) replied 2 years ago

    Thanks, Janet!

    LaPed, I like the idea of dark green and burgundy with this color, too. They will also go well with navy, stone/off white. I think I have lots of things that will go with them. I realize I wore them with black/gray the other time I wore them, too (with the sweater in the Finds below; the rainbow colors are a bit more vivid in real life).

  • rachylou replied 2 years ago

    Lovely colour and indeed styled perfectly!

  • Jaime replied 2 years ago

    Perfect on you and styled beautifully!

  • Brooklyn replied 2 years ago

    Wow! Love the whole outfit. I’m so impressed with that colour. So unusual for jeans.

  • Bijou replied 2 years ago

    Stunning on you too - I loved these on LaPed and they are equally gorgeous on you.

  • Star replied 2 years ago

    You look fabulous!  I love everything.  I thought I was not into balloon jeans but you changing my mind.

  • Liesbeth replied 2 years ago

    After the success of my aubergine pair I'm on the lookout for a summery mud-blue pair too. I love how these fit on you and the great styling with the fluid top & partial tuck.

  • RobinF replied 2 years ago

    Love these on you! Great fit and color. Love your top too, it's great how much you wear the items you make. I have assumed this style pant could only be worn with short, fitted tops so nice to see how good it looks with your longer drapey one. 

  • unfrumped replied 2 years ago

    Wow, tgat color is great, and the print you chose for the top— just perfect.
    Wondering if the all- cotton and looser fit makes them more wearable if warmer temps than straight- er cut jeans.

  • kellygirl replied 2 years ago

    Wow, can you ever pull these off. The color and the styling are just gorgeous on you. If I was taller, I'd be tempted. Love this!

  • Firecracker (Sharan) replied 2 years ago

    Ha ha, Star!
    Thank you Liesbeth. This color jumped at me, and I hope you find your mud blue.
    RobinF, me, too. I was surprised how Iiked the top with them, style-wise. I think the asymmetry helps.
    unfrumped, I don't know how long into warm weather they would work. Certainly for Seattle summers, where 60s and 70s are more typical than 80s, yes. The fabric is pretty much a medium weight. Not the heaviest  in my wardrobe, but not the lightest either.
    Thanks, Kelly! I think you could certainly wear them! There's even a review by a petite woman who was pleasantly surprised.

  • lyn67 replied 2 years ago

    Wow, this IS killer in all therms, fit, color and styling!!! What kind of a topper willl you layer over?-just curious. Love the top, too!!:-)

  • Glory replied 2 years ago

    These are so so so great on you - all the things: fit, colour, rise. 

  • ChristelJ replied 2 years ago

    Ooh, they are so very hip and cool on you! The whole outfit is great. And that color is divine, probably very versatile.

  • smittie replied 2 years ago

    These are great pants on you!

  • Joy replied 2 years ago

    I like the style and colors and that print on you. I like the way they fit but can also imagine that a size smaller would also look great on you.

  • Firecracker (Sharan) replied 2 years ago

    Thanks, all!
    Lyn, I didn't go out of the house, so I didn't wear a topper! (Also wore slippers all day instead of the booties, sadly.) But I will wear my grey tweed-print puffer (oops, I guess I don't have a find), or blush jacket or wine windbreaker over these jeans.

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