We visited Utah recently, and despite careful packing decisions, it was colder in Park City than what was forecast when I packed for our trip. I adore the heat, but am miserable in the cold, so I needed to shop for an emergency pair of full-length jeans that I could wear with nude knee-highs, loafers, and under a dress. 

I headed to Nordstrom in Salt Lake City, which was in walking distance from our hotel. I began looking for long black skinnies because they would work best under the dress. Madewell’s 10 Inch High-Rise Skinnies caught my eye right away and I tried them on first. They are thick, substantial, don’t bag out, and aren’t overly tight. They are an inch short of full length — just as you see on the model — but close enough. Miraculously the high rise does not dig into my waist, and I was very comfortable. The black denim is uniform with zero distressing, giving them a dressier integrity. They followed me back to the hotel.

I tried the jeans under the dress-jeans-jacket-loafers outfit I had in mind. I prefer the dress without the jeans, but liked this combination too. Wearing dresses over jeans is an acquired taste, but when in-house fashion stylist Greg gave a thumbs up, I was good to go. Most importantly, I was an insulated happy camper.

Here are the exact items of the outfit I wore out to dinner on a chilly evening.

Here comes the double wild card: Black jeans are not my thing, and high-rise skinnies were not on my radar. Yet I enjoyed wearing the full-length high-rise skinny jeans so much that evening that I wore them with a fully tucked and semi-tucked pullover and knitted top for the rest of the trip! The high rise showcases the natural waist, and I like that type of structure. It also elongates the leg line from the hips upward when paired with a tucked top, which comes in handy when you wear flats 99% of the time like I do. Full-length jeans are a fab change from a closet full of crops.

Sometimes, you hit on a look or silhouette that you like by accident and your style evolves from that point. These style surprises are fun. I’m not sure whether I’ll get another pair of high-rise skinnies, but I’ll wear these like a wardrobe essential and enjoy the change.