Finding the perfect pair of jeans can mean the beginning of a long (and intimate) relationship, so it’s essential that you find the ‘one’ when investing in denim. But with so many options available on the market it can be a bit of a minefield out there, making it feel nearly impossible to find a pair that ticks all the boxes – and boy, there are a lot of boxes.
Does it fit your waist? Is your size available in a style that you actually like? Does it hug your bum, thighs and the length of your legs properly?
To relieve some of your jean-buying stress and have you mentally prepared, here are eight of our top tips that’ll help you navigate the world of denim to make the shopping process less daunting and more fun.
1. Know your measurements
It’s a common conundrum: you’ve always been a 12, so why can you barely squeeze into a size 12 when it comes to jeans? That’s because each brand has their own sizing guide so they won’t all be sized identically. Size can also vary depending on the style and cut of jeans too, so by knowing what your exact measurements are it’ll make finding your perfect fit (in a world of inconsistently sized clothing), quicker and easier. Then you can have a look online at what sizes your measurements are in your favourite brands.
2. Wear your current go-to pair
Wearing your favourite jeans while on the hunt for a new pair will help you narrow down your options significantly. You can easily reference the size, fit, colour and wash when browsing new options. From the shape of the pockets to the stitching of the seams and distressing on the legs, you can compare everything you like (and don’t like) when searching for a new iconic wardrobe anchor.
3. Bring a friend with you
Get a trusted (and brutally) honest friend to go with you shopping. Have them tell you which styles flatter your figure and which ones to avoid, and it’ll save you a lot of time and money in the long run. They can also help you find alternative sizes and suggest styles that you normally wouldn’t pick out for yourself while you’re still trying stuff on. Plus, nothing beats shopping with the bestie and grabbing lunch after a successful spend.
4. Find your rise
Rise is the distance from the middle of the crotch seam to the top of the waistband. Easily overlooked, it can make or break your overall silhouette as it emphasizes and helps balance out the proportions of your figure. From low to mid and high-rise, here’s a quick guide to see which rise works best for which body shapes…
Low-rise works well for ladies with curvier hips, just make sure that the jeans fit snugly at the hips and upper thighs to avoid the dreaded waist-gap problem. Low-rise jeans hang a lot lower, so they also work for girls with athletic silhouettes as they creates the illusion of wider hips.
Oh-so comfortable and flattering for almost every body type, mid-rise jeans are arguably the most figure-friendly choice. Not only do they go with just about any top length, they can also help those who want to add a little bit of ‘structure’ to their midsection too.
Hourglass and athletic-shaped girls will love how high-rise jeans hug and define a silhouette. With the correct fit, high-rise jeans cinch in at the waist and are perfect paired with a crop or tucked-in top.
5. Look from all angles
Granted, fitting rooms have to be the most unapologetic places on this planet – and often soul-destroying – but it’s essential that you give each pair of jeans a 360-degree look. You may find that they make your derrière look amazing from behind, only to be disappointed that the pockets add extra width at the front are making your hips look wider than they are. Which leads us to tip number six…
6. Take them out for a test run
Next thing to do before you decide to commit to a pair of jeans based on first impressions is to take them out on a test run. Most fitting rooms have a small stool which you can use to determine whether the jeans are too revealing when you sit down, or even do a squat to ensure that there isn’t any discomfort. Step out of the changing room and take a walk to get a real feel for the fit, length and the denim itself while it’s in action.
7. Try on different styles and sizes
Cast a wide net when shopping and don’t be afraid to bring a varied haul of different styles, washes and even sizes into the fitting room. You’d be surprised with just how many types of jeans are out there, and a pair that may not seem to have much hanger appeal could be the ultimate pair that you never knew you were looking for.
8. Make them last
With all that done, when you finally find ‘the one’ (hurray!) it’s time to learn how to make them last. Take note and follow the care instructions to keep them looking as good as they did when you bought them. The good news for those who aren’t too keen on doing laundry is that jeans don’t have to be washed often. In fact, you should only wash them when they absolutely need it, but always remember to turn them inside out before doing so to keep them from fading.