Guide to finding the perfect jeans

Jeans are as far from one size fits all than any clothing item can be.  Even when you find a brand and cut you love, you may not have such luck in the following season.

What’s a girl got to do to get the perfect jeans?

Seriously, why is it so hard?  Pouring myself into 30 pairs of pants that don’t fit or look right on me is the absolute last thing I would like to do with my day off.

Follow these guidelines and you’ll have better luck

Saggy Butt Problems

There is nothing less flattering than unintentional sag.  If you’re constantly suffering from saggy butt by the end of the day, take a look at the percent of Lycra, Spandex or Elastane that your pants have.  It takes at least 2% for your jeans to have excellent stretch recovery.  G-Stars are the best jeans I’ve found for recovery and mine, which are my fave pair, have 2% elastane.  They have also maintained their shape for going on three years now.

Pockets big or small?

In general, smaller pockets create lots of negative space and make your butt look bigger.  Go for larger pockets to reduce size.

The caveat to that rule is that large pockets sometimes don’t look as nice on a petite frame.  If the pockets are running down your thighs, you can look a bit swallowed by them.  Take a glance in that awful three way mirror (after you’ve got your pants on) every angle matters, but don’t torture yourself by looking at your naked back side in terrible lighting.
Washes: light or dark?

Solid colors will be particularly slimming.  If you are looking to highlight a feature, lighter areas will draw attention.

Take a look at how the details catch your eye.
 Squat test

Have you ever purchased a pair of jeans and found that you simply could not wear them all day?  Make sure they are comfortable by sitting on the stool inside the dressing room.  Have a seat, relax and see if they work out.  Do take a peak over your shoulder to make sure they don’t give anyone a show.

buy more than one

Love the pair?  Consider buying a second pair, so you can tailor one to wear with flats and a second pair for heels.  You’ll be surprised at how often sizes and fit are tweaked.  They may work for you, but based on feedback and sell-through, designers change the fit as needed, so you aren’t guaranteed the same fit for years to come.

Size is just a number

Don’t worry if you have to adjust your size from brand to brand.  I did a whole post on how sizes have changed over the last century.  If you have to choose between sizes, always size down.   I have gone down in size a few times and wondered if my pants would forever be too tight.  They were not.  The truth of it is that no matter how well they fit, all pants eventually stretch out.  They will stretch to become more comfortable, but nothing is worse than investing in perfect jeans and only getting one season out of them because they stretch and sag on you.

know your brands

It’s tough to know what racks to rummage by body type, but no matter what your hang-up I’ve got you.

long legs

Lucky duck!  Best brands to try for longer inseams are: Gap (tall shop)Notify, and Habitual.  Don’t be afraid to let the hem out.  You’ll look much more polished.

short legs

At 5’1″ I hear you.  Brands that feature shorter inseams are: 7 For All Mankind, Joe’s Jeans, Hudson, Citizens of Humanity, Paige Denim, and J Brand.  Don’t be afraid to hem.  As long as your jeans aren’t flared, a good tailor should be able to hem your jeans with the same hem (using the same hem with the same wash details) and stitching as the original.

tummy troubles

Brands that will help hide your midsection are: SevenPaige PremiumLevi’s, and ck.  Go for a mid rise over high rise or low rise.  The trick is meeting the belly right in the middle instead of above or below it.  Flare legs also help balance the look.

big booty bummer

Brands that flatter a larger backside with smaller waist (I know, impossible to fit) are: Seven, J Brand, G-Star (mostly because if you can find a well-fitting pair, they will retain their shape).

Small booty blunder

Try True Religion and Joe’s Jeans.  Remember, smaller pockets create negative space and will give you a little extra back there.

Good luck on your next shopping trip!  Comment below if you have more fit questions.


Kate Thakkar

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