A lot of women complain that they can’t find jeans to suit their body shape, or they find them uncomfortable.
Here we profile what styles of jeans suit what body shapes.
Jeans are an essential item in any wardrobe. It’s worth investing in a pair that are really comfortable and are going to last the distance. Keep in mind cost per wear and that will help you justify the expense. Having said that, you don’t need to spend a fortune on jeans to get the look.
Key Style Definitions
As you’d expect, these jeans are figure hugging all the way down to your ankle. They’re generally made of a stretch denim to assist with the snugness and comfort.
Shown here: Max - Skinny Powerstretch Jean - $99 - sizes 6-18
These jeans have the same width at the knee as they do at the hem. A good universal fit for lots of women. Many women prefer this style because they give a slender look without being so figure-hugging as the skinny style.
Shown here: Max - Straight Leg Jean - $99 - sizes 6-18
These are in between skinny and straight. They give you a fitted, tapered look but without being tight.
Shown here: Zebrano - NYDJ Marilyn Slim Leg - NZ $325 - sizes 14-22
These jeans are designed to wear over boots. They’re straight through the leg and flare out slightly at the bottom.
Shown here: Max - Bootcut Jean - $99 - sizes 6-8
Wide leg jeans typically give you the most room in the leg area. They usually go straight down from the hips to the floor, or occasionally even wider. They are a good option for women with thicker thighs.
Shown here: Virtu - Boston Jean - AUD $89.95, NZD $109.95
The rise is the distance from the crotch seam to the top of the waistband.
- Hi-rise - sit on the waist
- Mid-rise - sit just below the waist
- Low-rise - sit on the hips. These are not advisable for women who are long-waisted, it will only accentuate it further. You’re better with a hi or mid-rise. Also, if you’re carrying a little extra weight around your middle, low-rise can give you the ‘muffin top’ look, though it depends what you’re wearing on your top half. Hi or mid-rise can also often be more comfortable as they won’t start to fall down after a few wears.
What style will suit my body shape?
Bottom Heavy shape (triangle, pear)
If you’re bigger in the thigh, the bootcut is a fabulous jean for you because it will help to balance out your look. Straight jeans will also look good on you.
Wide leg jeans are also an option, as this style hangs from the hip and goes straight down. Be careful the style’s not too full because it could make you look bigger than what you really are.
Low-rise jeans work well on your shape.
Dark coloured jeans will also help give a slimming look. Avoid bold-patterned or coloured jeans and embellishments as they draw attention to your bottom half. Also avoid baggy jeans, these will do you no favours at all.
Remember, for your shape you need to balance up your bigger bottom half with your smaller top half. You would do best to add attention to your top half with the likes of shoulder pads, wide collared jackets, jewellery, colour, patterns and textures.
Wear a heel with your jeans when you can, this will help to lengthen the appearance of your legs.
Top Heavy shape (inverted triangle, apple)
Generally women of this shape are slim in the hips and thighs, have great legs and a flat bottom.
What you need to do is balance up your bottom half with your top half, which is bigger. If, for example, you were to wear skinny jeans, they might look fab on you but will look out of proportion with your bigger top half. The key is to balance up your top and bottom.
The bootcut style of jean/trouser is fabulous for your shape. It flares out slightly at the bottom and, as we say, will help to balance things out with your top half. The slim fit and straight will also work well on you.
Also, because your bottom half is your key asset, you can afford to wear jeans/trousers with added detailing and embellishment e.g. studs, bling, embroidery, patterns, textures, etc. A heel will help to accentuate your fab legs and your overall look.
Your shoulders and hips are about the same width and you have a defined, smaller waist.
If you're bigger in the hips or thighs, the bootleg will help to balance out your shape. If you're slim in the hips and thigh then the slim fit, straight or even the skinny will be good for you.
Jeans that have a defined waist are good.
You have no definition between your top half, waist and bottom half. Your size is fairly even throughout. If you put on weight, it generally distributes itself evenly across your body.
Straight and bootcut styles will look good on you.
If you’re slim, then the skinny and slim jeans are great. Be careful if you’re super slim though because this style will only accentuate it. You can wear jeans with added detailing like flap or detailed pockets, embellishment, patterns, textures, etc.
Avoid the wide leg or any other baggy style, they’re likely to swamp you.
Achieve that long leg look
Wearing a heel with jeans can really help dress them up and gives the leg a lovely long line. My cousin recently told me she started to get loads of compliments about the way she looked, the only thing she’d done different was wear a heel with her jeans! Ankle boots are fab with jeans.
Dress jeans up
Wear a blazer and/or shirt, accessories and heels to get a dressier look. It looks fab.
Max - Skinny Powerstretch Jean - $99
EziBuy - Urban Jeans - $49.99
Zebrano - Skinny Leg Jeans - NZD $159 (store only)
If you’re buying stretch denim jeans or something like velvet or cord, you may need to go down a size because the denim stretches further over time and they can get quite loose and baggy. Washing them after each wear will help to bring them back into shape.
Be careful with dark denim the first few times you wear them. Wash separately and turn inside out when washing. Avoid wearing light-coloured shoes, especially something like suede where the colour from the jeans can rub off on the shoes, and similarly be careful what you sit on. My sister sat on a friend’s new cream coloured couch in her new jeans and yes, the colour rubbed off!!
Ask for help. Specialist jean stores are experts in fit and style. They’ll be able to guide you on what will look best.
Don’t just choose the first pair you try on. Try different styles even if you’re in doubt, you’ll soon work out what looks best.
Avoid looking at the price tag first. Go for comfort and style, then cost. Remember, a good pair of jeans is investment buying.
WHAT’S OUT THERE FOR ME?
Check out Part Two of our focus on jeans, we tell you what's currently in stores, including Just Jeans, Not Your Daughter's Jeans and maternity jeans.
cover image: pinterest.com/pin/456763587177832109/