Every girl wants to find that perfect pair of jeans. A pair of jeans that hugs her curves in all the right places, flatters, fits perfectly, goes with everything, and is comfortable. Unfortunately, many women think that it would be easier to find the Holy Grail than those coveted jeans. I hear it all the time: “I’m made funny”, “My thighs are too big for jeans”, “Jeans make my butt look saggy”, “All jeans highlight my love handles”, etc. etc. Even more unfortunate is that women think that their jean problem is caused by them or their bodies. Nothing could be further from the truth!
If you don’t take anything else away from this how-to, please remember that there is nothing wrong with your body. If the jeans don’t fit, it is the jeans fault not your bodies.
Understanding a few basic terms from common jean lingo can really help you better understand what type of jean is right for your body. Something first to consider is the fit. Now, contrary to popular belief, the fit of the jean has nothing to do with leg openings (i.e. bootcut, flare, etc.). Instead, fit is how a jean will fit from the hip through the thigh and down through the knee. Some words that commonly describe fit are: curvy, slim, relaxed, and straight (this will vary from retailer to retailer). It is important understand that each fit is going to be different. You might be a 5 in one fit but a size 7 in another. So trying each pair on is crucial. How do you find which fit is best for you? TRY THEM ON! Never ever buy jeans without trying them on.If you find a fit you love ask the sales associate if that same fit comes in multiple colors. Retailers often offer numerous washes in the same fit which makes jean shopping so much easier! Another mantra I hear over and over is “I’m a curvy girl! I can’t wear slim fit jeans!” Yes! Yes you can! As a matter of fact, slim fit jeans can sometimes be much more flattering than a more relaxed fit! The name of a fit should not discourage you from trying them on!
I’ve preached this before in my “How to Manage Muffin Top” post but this could seriously be the most important aspect of jean shopping so it is worth mentioning again: pay attention to the rise. The rise of a jean refers to the length of the pant from the crotch to the top of the waistband in the front and the back. Finding the right rise for your body is crucial to finding a comfortable and flattering pair of jeans. Most retails will have several different rises from low rise all the way to high-waisted varieties. Trying on several rises is so important and remember when the rise changes there is a good possibility that the size you will need will change too. Consequently, don’t be afraid to try take several different sizes with you to the fitting room. Getting the perfect rise can really be the difference between a jean that causes severe muffin top or is otherwise unflattering and a super slimming, “I want to wear you everyday” jean.
Another thing wise and informed jean shoppers do is check the labels. See how much cotton, spandex, and other fabrics are in the jeans. Obviously jeans with a high percentage spandex or elastic are going to have a lot of stretch which makes them very forgiving and curve-hugging. Jeans with a lot of cotton are often very soft and good quality but slightly less forgiving because of their lack of stretch. A 98% cotton 2% spandex blend is a good medium however you must find what is most comfortable for you.
Something else to consider is the wash of the jeans. Wash refers to the color and amount of distressing/lack of distressing on the jeans. There are TONS of washes to choose from: dark wash, light wash, medium wash, and endless variances. Not to mention blasting, baking, whiskering, and other ways of detailing jeans. All of these can really impact how the jeans look on; even if the fit is perfect, these details can make or break how slimming and how the jean looks on. Generally, dark washes are the most flattering however this does not mean that trendier, lighter wash jeans are always a no-no. Instead of shying away from lighter washes completely, pay attention to where the lightest area of the jean is. These lightest areas are practically a spotlight. Consequently, if your thighs are not your favorite body part, avoid any wash that goes lighter at this area.
Believe it or not, the leg opening on a jean really is all about personal preference and has little to do with the overall fit. Whether you purchase a bootcut, flare, straight leg, skinny, or boyfriend jean is really all up to you. Though there are some fits that flatter certain body types more than others, choosing the best leg opening is all about what you prefer.
When jean shopping you really need to be prepared to just buckle down, hit the fitting room, and try on numerous options. Finding the perfect apartment, car, or even boyfriend can take a lot of work and finding the perfect pair of jeans is no different! Making sure you go to a denim retailer with numerous options and knowledgeable sales associates is also key. They are experts on their product and most likely know what will fit your body better than even you do! So, listen to them and be willing to try on their suggestions. It never hurt to try and may ultimately be the difference between you leaving the store frustrated or exiting in denim bliss! Don’t forget that having a good tailor can also really increase your chances of finding denim perfection. If you find the perfect fit but they are just a tad long or have some other minor problem, it could be just a quick, inexpensive fix for a tailor and the end result will be your custom, fits-like-a-glove jean that you will wear forever.
I hope these tips have not only encouraged you to go try on some jeans but also help you find that perfect pair! Any questions about jeans, buying jeans, fit, or jean lingo? Just ask!