A  lot goes into buying the perfect jeans but once you’ve got it right, it will take the stress out of getting dressed! imgres

1. THE  SIZE

I find that a lot of people really have a hard time buying the right size! Most denim nowadays is made with some stretch, or in the case of a “jegging” a lot. Even though they look like the perfect fit or a comfortable fit while you’re trying them in the store, remember to keep in mind that they WILL stretch! There’s nothing more uncomfortable than pulling up your jeans all day because they’ve stretched from wear, and truthfully, no one wants to look like they have a saggy tush!

Its also important to ignore the #’s!  Keep in mind that different brands have different sizing guides. You WILL NOT be the same size in every brand.

Tip: If you can fit in the next size down, that is the size to buy!

2. THE FIT

Different cuts (the width of the leg opening at the bottom) are more flattering on some body types than others. Knowing what the right fit is for your body can really make a difference balance and proportion are key. The 5 general cuts are : skinny, straight, boot, flair and wide.  Both the straight and boot cut are pretty universally flattering and stand the test of trends and time.

The rise should also be kept in mind…Low, mid, or high are your options. Low rise has the possibility of flashing plumbers crack at some point, or a muffin top. And high-rise, unless skillfully done can look like “mom” jeans.

Tip: A good mid rise/ straight cut denim will keep you feeling controlled, comfortable and current. 

3. THE HEM

This is sooooooo important and often an after thought. A lot of denim is cut very long to accommodate the tall women of the world, so the rest of us have to adapt. I advise that you get the hem done if possible, by the store where it was purchased (if the store has in-house alterations). Take them home, wash them and then have them hemmed – this will allow for any shrinking. Ask for the original  bottom to be put back on or a “tricky” stitch – this will help keep the integrity of the look and stitching. For skinny jeans they should be hemmed at the ankle. For Straight leg, Bootcut, and Flare, take the highest shoe you plan to wear with them and have them hemmed accordingly. These styles should be skimming the floor – 1/4 inch from the ground.

The job of a great jean is to make us look as long and lean as possible no matter the cut! The right hem will streamline the look helping accomplish just that!

Tip: If you really find great fitting jean, buy 2 pairs – hem one for heels and one for flats.

4. THE GAP IN THE BACK

There are times when jeans are the perfect fit in the body but too big in the waist…therefore leaving you with the gap in the back. Have them taken in at the waist – it is a quick fix!

Tip: Or try the invisibelt – it keeps the pants up and not gapping with out the bulk of a real belt.

5. THE WASH

Whether it’s a dark or light wash there is one common detail to avoid,  whiskers — the lighter faded detail that mimics whiskers in the crotch and thigh areas. The light area become a focal point and that’s not an area where attention should be drawn!

Also avoid a lighter wash detail on the thighs (front and back). Lighter details give the  illusion that areas are larger than they actually are.

Tip: A good solid dark denim (with minimal detailing) is a must have in every womans wardrobe!

6. THE POCKETS

The pocket placement on jeans is the ultimate optical illusion – they can make your bum look curvy and cute or long and flat. Make sure to check the pockets as you’re trying on jeans, they can be the reason they just don’t work. Again, it’s all about proportions and different pocket placements look better on some bottoms than others.

Tip: Generally speaking, smaller pockets that sit a bit lower are more universally flattering.

7. THE QUALITY

I’m all about finding reasonably priced brands that still have a great look and fit, but in the world of denim, quality is important. A good quality/designer denim will have a long life span.  I can assure you that a good pair of jeans is an investment from which you will immediately and lastingly reap the benefits.

Tip: Think of the price of the jeans in cost per wear terms- it makes the investment more practical. 

8. THE CLEANING

Be careful not to wash your jeans too often – this KILLS your denim! Too much washing has an effect of the fit, and wash of the denim. Typically I advise spot cleaning and recommend washing only when they really need it. If you must wash them, turn them inside out, and hang dry. For darker denim use a detergent that is specifically for dark colors.  There is also denim spray that not only refreshes your denim but kills bacteria– see here for both. 

Tip: Only wash you denim every 4-5 wears.

Denim is a true workhorse in your wardrobe – feel great and look great in your jeans and do not let them stress them you out! If you have any tips or tricks that help you have a stress free relationship with your jeans, SHARE THEM HERE! We would love to know.

Author

Cleveland-based personal stylist and fashion blogger.

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