The thought of buying a new pair fills most of us with dread. Trust me, I know.
I’ve impulsed purchased before (just because I work with fashion daily does not mean that I’m not prone to an emotional, feeling-ugh about myself kind of purchase!!!) and wound up with a pair that I’ve never worn (I had convinced myself I was as skinny as my skinny friend who was with me) AND a pair where I spend more time shoving my wobbly tummy into it, only to watch it spill out over the waistband again, than I do actually wearing it!
So what are the tricks to picking jeans? Here are some of my essential tips on how to choose jeans that flatter your body shape.
What’s your shape?
If we’re going to flatter your body shape, you have to firstly know what your shape is.
First – what’s your overall body shape? (If you need a quick way to find out, watch this video with my two-minute quick way to tell what shape you are)
Once you work out your shape, you’ll have a feel for whether we need to add or remove the illusion of width to your hips (to balance out your shoulders as Rachel and I mention in the video above).
Then, take a look at your legs. I know this sucks because we often don’t like looking at our bodies, but to get jeans that flatter, we need to know what we’d like to highlight! Is it your derriere? Or your small ankles?
Now that we’re clear on your shape, use my guide below for tips on styles of jeans to suit your body shape.
If you’re generally well balanced between your hips and shoulders, with a defined waist then look for straight or subtle bootleg jeans.
You don’t want anything too wide or flared (as it’ll throw your shoulders off balance). If you are happy with the shape of your legs you could try a skinny cut as well.
Note: If most of your weight is in your thighs (vs your derriere) then choose a slightly wider boot leg style (instead of the straight or skinny leg).
Becca Bootcut Jeans from True Religion
If most of your weight is carried around your waist and tummy, then the best style of jeans is one that has no pockets or zippers. A flat waisted, pull-up jean will keep your tummy area lean and smooth, as well as being more comfortable.
You’ll want a jean with a bit of stretch, so look at the label for jeans with at least 2% elastane (this is the magic ingredient that makes denim stretchy and comfy).
Depending on your legs, you could rock a straight or slightly skinny jean. With your shape, your ankles are likely to be delicate so cropped or rolled up jeans will show off your ankles nicely.
Straight Leg Bengajeans from Blue Illusion
Our rectangles have very even hips and shoulders and carry weight evenly throughout the body. The key is to create an illusion of a waist so avoid super straight jeans which have no curves.
Look for bell or flared jeans which have curves to soften the look and / or avoid really high rise jeans which tend to de-emphasise the waist further.
Mid-rise Baby Boot Jeans from Gap
With shoulders broader at the top, you need jeans that are wider legged to balance out your shoulders.
You get to play with embellishment and details on your jeans so have fun!
Wide Leg Lounge Pant in Deep Blue from 7 for all Mankind
With wider hips than shoulders, we want to keep the details to a minimum – so look for clean lines, little embellishment and a darker indigo wash to minimise any lumps and bumps across the hips / thighs.
You do want to look for straight or SLIGHTLY boot legged jeans – this is to balance out your hips.
Tummy Trimmer Slim Bootcut Jeans Brushed Indigo from Jeanswest
Other tips for buying jeans
- If you think you’re carrying most of your weight in your hip / thigh or bottom area, avoid jeans with lots of details eg tabs, buttons, pocket flaps or details on the back pockets.
- Jeans in a dark, all-over wash (vs distressed or faded) will help minimise and slim the look of your jeans.
- If you are petite, watch out for boot cut or wide legged jeans – you’ll need to wear them with a heel or a wedge shoe to look more elongated.
- For maximum comfort: look for jeans with 2% elastane in the fabric (minimum). This is what helps give jeans “stretch” and makes them hug and feel comfortable.
- Low-rise jeans sit a little below your natural waist and are great for someone with a shorter torso and / or have little weight around the tummy.
- Mid rise jeans sit under your belly button and are great if you want a little extra coverage for your tummy.
- High rise jeans are great for those that want to tuck in a “muffin top”. If you have a long torso these are also perfect. Beware, however, that they do flatten your bum slightly.
Until next time, wishing you lots of wardrobe happiness,