Caroline Style - Earnest Sewn Harlan Patch Zip 672 in Valen CRmain1.JPG

The leaves are changing, the air’s turning crisp, tweeds and elbow patches are coming out of hibernation and it’s officially time for fall clothes. The East Coast may have been layering up for the past few weeks but here in San Francisco, the Indian Summer has just come to a close. This weekend saw the arrival of chilly evenings, blazers, puffy vests, and of course, lots of denim. And this week I’m reviewing the Earnest Sewn Harlan Patch Zip 672 in Valen.

First off, a little background on my love affair with Earnest Sewn. Growing up I hated wearing jeans (my how the tides have changed…). I was tall and slender, and a devout follower of the cult of the stretchy pants. Finally in high school, when everyone fell hard for the skinny jean trend, I went on the hunt for the perfect pair of jeans: a pair that was truly skinny, kept it’s shape and didn’t stretch out, wasn’t too low rise, and had a classic wash. After weeks of looking I ended up on eBay and found the perfect pair of medium wash skinny jeans from a brand I wasn’t familiar with, by the name of Earnest Sewn. I wore those jeans all through high school, and straight through college, buying multiple pairs of the same size, style, and wash on eBay as the style was no longer in production. So when I ended up working with the team at Earnest Sewn as a denim buyer in New York, I was excited to see that the brand had evolved into a full collection for both men and women (and that my beloved Harlan Skinny was now available in a range of washes and colors).

At their core, Earnest Sewn is known for their craftsmanship and beautiful “true denim” styles in a range of indigo shades. If you need “the perfect pair of jeans,” this brand is the place to go. Their shop in New York’s Meatpacking District is a treasure trove for any denim lover. It’s a place I could get lost in forever (there’s even a coffee bar in the back corner).

Given that menswear is a major trend for Fall, I was very excited when I opened up a package from the team over at Earnest Sewn. The jeans I am reviewing are called the Harlan Patch Zip 672 in Valen. When I pulled them out of the box I was surprised since I had never seen a jean designed for women that so immediately called to mind classic menswear details. I was drawn to the front patch pockets right away- they reminded me of something you would see on a conductor’s trouser. The jeans have a lot of these special little details (I included some close up shots below so you can see) like hidden zippers at the ankles and a beautiful wash detail behind the knees.

The wash on these jeans is really unique- the entire pair is washed in a medium indigo with lighter washed down details across the pockets, thighs, and backs of the knees. Usually this wash is a bit too light for me (I’m not really one for lighter washes) but I like that the light and dark wash techniques have been carefully applied to make the jeans really flattering, and less contrived. I hate when jeans have glaringly obvious wash variations and distressing. Instead, a pair like these Harlan’s looks like I’ve been wearing them for months and slowly broke them in naturally.

I also sincerely appreciate that these jeans fit perfectly, not only through the waist and legs, but across the seat as well. I love the shape of Earnest Sewn pockets- they have this magical way of flattering your bum without drawing too much attention behind you. They are also the perfect length- with the ankle zippers I was able to wear the jeans slung low on my hips and with the bottoms slightly unzipped to fall right over my shoes. I felt like a chic European lady (these jeans are so Jane Birkin, right?) and was very happy to be wearing a skinny that did hit me below the ankle bone. At 5’9″ I have a hard time finding skinny denim options that fit me without looking cropped. These Harlan’s definitely pass that test.

For this look, I paired the Earnest Sewn Harlan Patch Zip 672 with a few other menswear inspired pieces: a Rag & Bone blazer, BCBG silk tee, scarf from BIRD (Williamsburg), jewelry from Sweet & Spark, Ray Ban aviators, and a pair of Italian leather moccasins. How would you style the Harlan? Are you experimenting with menswear trends this fall?
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Caroline Rooney is a San Francisco based stylist and model. Following internships with American Eagle Outfitters, Diane von Furstenberg, Parfums de Christian Dior, and Condé Nast, Caroline launched socially conscious clothing line The Bearon, in 2008. The Bearon was named one of INC. Magazine's "Coolest College Start Ups" in 2009. In 2011, Caroline joined the buying team at, buying both men's & women's denim. She fell hard for menswear, and grew particularly passionate about the denim industry. Throughout, Caroline has been signed as a print and runway model and has appeared in campaigns for Dodge, Ford, Ella Sven, & Bloomingdales, and worked with Neiman Marcus, Chanel, Donna Karan, and Miley Cyrus. After spending years on sets she developed an eye for styling and in the fall of 2013, moved to San Francisco to launch her career as a menswear stylist. Currently, Caroline is launching the menswear blog Bearon & Brothers, and works as a stylist for menswear e-commerce brand Bonobos. She is also an instructor of fashion styling at the Academy of Art University, and contributor to the denim blog "Denimology".