There are few things more comforting than pulling on the perfect pair of jeans — the ones that go with everything from a basic tee to that sequin kaftan you bought on a whim, or that compliment your figure no matter how many extra forkfuls of potato salad you had at that barbeque yesterday. But there are also few things more traumatising than shopping around to find them.
Luckily it’s not a lost cause, just a matter of knowing what will work with your body. Consult our guide to find your denim dream match, and remember the cardinal rule of jeans shopping — if the rules say your favourite style doesn’t work on you, screw the rules. Fashion is all about having fun anyway.
Jeans might not be able to magically whittle your thighs down to Elle Macpherson size, but they can make them appear slimmer. Go for a tapered fit, and if your waist is substantially smaller than the rest of your body, a fabric with a bit of stretch. This style from Mavi ticks both boxes. And while darker colours are usually more slimming, don’t be afraid to make a statement. Seed Heritage’s boyfriend jeans in crisp white are not only the perfect cut, but one of this season’s hottest denim styles full stop.
#Blessed with the figure of Marilyn Monroe? Lucky you, but unfortunately jeans are not normally made for ladies who are. Straight lines or classic wide leg cuts will flatter and balance curves, while skinny — but not aggressively so — styles will emphasise your best body features. Stretchy fabric and a high or mid rise will also help eliminate muffin top. Our two best picks for hourglass ladies are the Ice Queen dark blue skinnies from Embody Denim, and these chic mom jeans from River Island.
The struggle is unexpectedly real when you have a longer-than-usual torso. Your best bet is anything that isn’t super tight — contrary to popular opinion, stretch denim slips and sags more quickly — and a higher waistline that won’t leave you flashing unexpecting café patrons when you sit down. These high rise skinnies by Calvin Klein would make Marky Mark do a 180, and this girlfriend style from Forever New is a vintage distressed steal at $89.99.
Lucky long-legged ladies could get away with wearing embellished denim culottes, provided they had a substantial enough inseam. Keep it classy in a sleek high rise dark denim flare, or über cool in a subtly distressed boyfriend style.
Skip the Apple Bottoms if you’re bottom heavy, despite what Flo-Rida and T-Pain said. Instead look for styles with a wider waistband and higher rise rather than attention-grabbing embellishments, and boot cuts, wide legs, or flares to balance out your shape. Tapered legs generally make hips look wider, but straight cuts rather than skinny can work well. Check out these slouch flares from ASOS or dark wash slim flares from River Island for a subtle dose of ’70s cool.
If you aren’t already familiar with ASOS ‘Curve’ line, you’re missing out on life. Or at least on really good jeans. These baby kick flares in faded black will balance curvy hips and a full bust, while the darker rinse denim is super flattering. Embody Denim also knows what works with your body, as evidenced by these curve-complimenting skinnies in dark indigo denim. And try to avoid anything with whiskering, as it will only draw attention to your thighs.
It’s not just too-long jean legs that can throw shorter ladies off the path for perfect denim — it’s the feeling that you’re literally drowning in your clothes. If you’re sick of your standard skinnies, ditch the black and blue in favour of something spray-on and white hot. And while these more casual cuffed skinnies by Le Garcon look cool with trainers, they’ll look even better with your chunkiest winter boots.
No backside? No problem. Add some padding to your posterier by opting for a mid rise style in a classic boot cut, à la these black baby flares with more than a touch of downtown edge. Opting for slit pockets over flat ones will also give you a bit more junk in the trunk. Though the pockets are hardly the only thing to love about these super sleek wide legs by MNG.