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Prana Kara Jean

I travel to Europe often, but have never packed jeans before because I didn't think they'd be comfortable for a nine-hour flight or fashionable enough for Paris or Zurich. Then I discovered Prana's Kara Jean.

New for 2012, the Kara Jean is versatile, lightweight, and fits like a glove. In fact, it's the best-fitting jean pant I've ever tested, thanks to the stretchy denim fabric (79% cotton, 19% polyester, and 2% Spandex). It has enough stretch to hug but not squeeze my body and to allow freedom of movement. And I have to admit that the Kara Jean looks great on me.

The pant has skinnier legs than typical straight leg jeans, but not so skinny that they look tight or like I'm trying too hard (I'm 40, after all!). The tapered legs are very flattering and the stretch denim keeps them very comfortable. I can sit for hours, I can go dancing, I can stroll through museums...and the Kara Jean never binds. Because the Kara Jean is made out of lightweight denim, the tapered legs fit easily into tall boots and they don't bunch at the knees or anywhere else.

I love the simple styling of this jean, too. There are no embellishments or appliques on the back pockets, just traditional stitching, the requisite belt loops, and a few small rivets in the usual places. The Kara Jean comes with the pant legs cuffed, which turns it into a sleek capri pant. It's ideal with a pair of flats for spring and summer outings. Since it's still winter, I've been wearing the Kara Jean uncuffed with heels for a dressier look at night and tucked into my boots for day-time urban outings. I like getting two pairs of pants in one!

I'm always conscious of the fact that Europeans seem to have a slightly more formal dress code than Americans. Their attire seems less casual and more fitted, so I try to take dressier clothes when I travel. The Kara Jean is the only denim pant I've ever packed. Because the pant is thinner than regular jeans, it takes up less space in my suitcase and is easier to wash by hand in my hotel room.

The Kara Jean comes in two colors, white and dark denim, which I have. Since the pant is not 100% cotton, I don't have to worry about it shrinking or losing its shape in the wash.

Available in sizes 0 through 14.( I wear a size 4 and I found the Kara Jean very true to size.)

Bottom Line: I was looking for a stylish, dressier all-purpose jean, and Prana's Kara Jean fits the bill. --N.S.. (Dec. 2011)

BUY ONLINE: $75, click to shop. Shop at


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