How to find the perfect pair of jeans
So I get told all the time that one of the hardest things to buy is a pair of jeans. Well fear not, your Fairy Clothes Mother is here to help you find Denim perfection.
Everyone needs at least one pair of great fitting jeans whatever your age, shape, size, lifestyle or budget. The important thing to always bear in mind is your body shape rather than the latest denim trend or brand.
I have a few top tips that I will share with you, follow them and you’ll end up with a pair of jeans you’ve been searching for all your life. No more nightmares, just plenty more fabulous outfit options because let’s face it, jeans go with almost everything!
Understand your body shape
Do you even know what body shape you are? Or is it just a load of ‘fruit jargon’ to you? When searching for jeans you need to concentrate on getting a great fit. Understanding your body shape is key and will help you determine which style of leg will suit your shape. If you are unsure of your body shape, please feel free to tweet or email me a photo of yourself and I can tell you.
Choosing a leg style
Once we know your body shape we can pick the most flattering leg style to suit you. This is the foundation for great fitting jeans. It is simply about proportions and balancing out your body shape.
- Apple: Skinny, Straight leg
- Curvy, Hourglass, Pear: Boot cut, Flare, Straight, Wide leg, Boyfriend
- Fuller figure: Boot cut, wide leg
- Petite, Athletic: Skinny, straight leg
- Long & Leggy: Lucky you, you’re able to wear all leg shapes!
Let’s ditch that muffin top
I always get told by my ladies that they hate their muffin tops squidging out the top of their jeans. This is most common with my pear shape and hourglass clients as they have trouble with getting jeans to fit around the hips. If you go up a size you then end up with a gape at the back of the waist.
The waistband is always an important factor when shopping for your shape. Be sure to go for a wider waistband or higher waist jean, this will solve the gape problem and will give a streamline silhouette to your shape. Take a look at the rise of the jean too, a little tip is if you have a favourite pair of jeans and want the same rise again, lay the jean flat and measure from the crotch seam to the top of the waistband to get the measurement. No more muffin tops!
Some of my favourite jeans are great for this particular problem. Levi’s have specifically created a Curve Id collection for women who have a smaller middle versus a bigger hip and thigh area. They offer different fits depending upon how curvy you are. There’s a couple of styles from Jbrand and of course NYDJ. Whistles also do a great skinny which is a good quality denim and higher waisted than a lot of the high street alternatives.
This truly is the last thing you need to worry about. Don’t rule out a pair of jeans just on leg length as they may be a great fit everywhere else. I would personally get them altered professionally as you can then ask them for an original hem.
The reason I love skinny jeans (not on me unfortunately, but for my clients) is because one pair works with both heels and flats. Any other style and you need different pairs for different shoes. So always take a selection of shoes with different heels to determine what you will wear with your new jeans. Heels obviously elongate the leg and gives you even more confidence when wearing a pair great fitting jeans. However for practical everyday living a pair of gorgeous little pumps look fab with some good skinnies or a straight leg.
If you are tall then you may struggle buying jeans on the high-street unless they come in a specific long length such as Topshop’s Tall range. Instead you may have to invest in a designer pair as they are generally more generous with length.
Now this can be the tricky part! Unfortunately most denim brands tend to work with their own sizing. So not only have you got to figure out how their sizing works, generally you’ll have to do this with all the other brands too. So this is where the importance of buying your jeans from comes into play. If you’re trying on jeans in a boutique or department store be sure to ask the sales assistant how the sizing works. If you haven’t got me on your arm when shopping then know that knowledgeable staff and customer service is the key to successful jean shopping. Always try on the same style in two sizes to check the fit.
Jeans from the US tend to work on vanity sizing to make the customer feels great about buying 4 sizes smaller than what you would normally pick in the UK (i.e. a UK size 14 would be a US 10). Always check the Lycra content on the label inside the jeans so you will get a good idea if the jean will stretch when worn. Ideally you need a little stretch in them such as 98% cotton, 2% lycra. A higher Lycra content will stretch at least one size bigger, so always bear this in mind when trying them on. I have ladies on the floor in the fitting room doing them up as there are certain styles I know that will grow and there is nothing is worse than your jeans going baggy, especially when they’ve cost you over £100! So make sure you move around the fitting room, sit down in them and do some star jumps! If your chosen jeans don’t fit well, consider that it might not be the size but the style or brand that needs altering. Always ask for help where you can.
Where to buy
As an independent image consultant and personal shopper I recommend the following stores for the pure reason that they understand the needs of different body shapes, have a great knowledge of the brands they are selling and fantastic customer service. They are Donna Ida, Trilogy and if you get a good member of staff Selfridges. There are also a number of small independent boutiques such as Mimi Noor in Bath and Morgan Clare in Harrogate to name but a few. With thanks to the likes of net-a-porter and my-wardrobe you can also buy jeans on-line. They have created specialist denim area’s to give much needed help to make a successful denim purchase. Stylists are on hand via email or by phone to answer your denim dilemma. If you’re purchasing jeans online a good e-tailer will give size & fit notes of the style so you will know if the jean is true to size or to go down a size. If you are unsure then just call or email them and ask!
I could also not leave out Ilovejeans.com. Created in 2006 it has become the no1 denim portal, taking the hassle out of buying jeans as the customer can see all the styles available whatever their budget, body shape & size. They partner 100’s of retailers, websites and stores to give you the best choice of denim available.
Taking care of your jeans
Once you have found your perfect pair you need to take care of them. A little tip I always tell my clients is if you have purchased a pair of brand new dark indigo blue jeans, before you wash them take them to be dry-cleaned. There’s something in the process that makes them keep the colour for longer. Then always wash jeans inside out on a 30degree cycle with Persil colour and you can’t go wrong!
If all this is still too much for you to take in, you haven’t got the time or even a clue where to start and just want to invest in some professional guidance and advice, either for yourself, or a loved one, you know where to find me.
Remember we all need help because looking good doesn’t just happen, and it’s the stylish ones that ask for it!
For further information regarding this post, please contact Cleo or Eden Hall to arrange a consultation.