I’ve spent the last decade of my life explaining to women the secret of finding jeans that fit. And the secret is… there is no secret. More than anything else, what it boils down to is: Get your butt in the dressing room and try on a bunch of jeans, then try on a bunch more, and a bunch more after that.
My average client has to try on about 20 – yes, two-zero – pairs of jeans before she finds the perfect pair. I will not put up with any whining, complaining or moaning about how unfair life is until you’ve tried on at least 40 different pairs. Listen, nobody said this was going to be easy. And why should it be? Your body is different from your best friend’s body, which is different from your next-door neighbor’s body, which is different from your mother’s body. Put your logic cap on and ask yourself, “How could one brand or cut of jeans possibly work for everyone?” Sounds frustrating, I know, but after you do the work, you’ll have the jeans that fit and flatter you.
With that said, let’s begin.
Know your washes. Simply put, dark wash jeans are just more sophisticated. Sure, light wash jeans have a place in the world. And distressed jeans have made a comeback. But get the dark jeans before the others. They’re a wardrobe staple that can be dressed up for nighttime, or even a denim-friendly office, as well as for the weekend. Lighter or distressed jeans are better suited for casual situations.
Scope out different silhouettes. Without question, skinnies are one of the most popular style of jeans out there today. Does that mean you have to wear them? No. You don’t have to wear anything that makes you uncomfortable just because it’s a trend. If you’re uncomfortable because of your age, I say, get over it. Skinny jeans can work whether you’re 18 or 88, depending on whether they fit and what you pair them with. I’ve seen older women rock a skinny jean with a flat boot and softly constructed blazer — and look fierce! However, the skinny silhouette does put more emphasis on the hips, thighs and butt than other styles, so you have to be comfortable with that. If you don’t want your lower half to look curvier than it already is, stay away from the skinny.
A straighter leg will usually take the emphasis away from the hips and thigh. The term “straight-leg” in the denim world really only means that the jean is as wide at the ankle as it is at the knee. In my opinion, that labeling doesn’t do the average woman too much good, because it doesn’t tell you how tight or loose the leg is, just that it is a uniform width halfway down the leg. All the more reason to try them on!
If you carry your weight in your mid-section, you’re better off with a slightly higher rise. That means that when you have the jeans on your body, the top of the waistband should hit about two fingers’ width below your navel. Depending on how much weight you carry in the tummy, you might have to go higher – up to the bellybutton. Don’t get freaked out by this. The alternative is that your tummy will roll over the waistband, or your jeans will keep slipping down your body. The higher rise should provide you with a little peace of mind. Note: If you have to go with a higher rise to camouflage a tum-tum, do NOT tuck your tops into your jeans. That could be tragic. Instead, look for tops that float away from the body and hit around mid-hip.
Buy two of your favorite kind. I always tell my hard-to-fit clients: When you find the perfect pair of jeans, buy two pairs! Hem one for flat shoes and another for heels. (You can’t wear the same jeans with flats and 4-inch stilettos. In one case, your jeans will drag on the floor; in the other, they’ll be too short).
Ok, I hope that helps. Now get out there and put on some pants! And when you’re trying on your twelfth pair of jeans, remember you are not alone. And don’t blame your body… blame the jeans!
Oh, but before I go, be sure to catch me on Facebook next Tuesday, September 3. I’ll be answering all your questions LIVE from 2 -3 p.m. so get ready to fire away. Trust me, you won’t want to miss it. Talk to you then!