For a wardrobe basic, jeans are mind-numbingly tough to shop for. And you can add a dozen more difficulty points to that if you, like us, are curvy.
How many times have you found a pair that skims your body from thigh-down, only to be a hot mess at the waist? Or one that fit perfectly all over but had your calves in a deathlock?
Well, it’s time to put those problems to rest - here are some jean-shopping tips that will save you a whole lot of pain and money.
1. Look for jeans made specifically for plus-sized or curvy bodies
By searching for retailers and brands that manufacture jeans specially for plus-sized or curvy bodies, your job is basically half-done. Thankfully, there are plenty of brands that offer them now, including Levi’s, Dorothy Perkins and ASOS.
2. Don’t go a size up
It’s hard to find jeans that will fit a booty-licious bod comfortably, but never compensate by going a size up. It may feel comfier and roomier, but too-large pairs of jeans can result in ruching around the ankles and at the thighs, making you look wider. As far as possible, find a fit that’s true to your size, especially from the thighs down.
3. Get waisted
One common issue many of us curvy girls have is getting a pair of jeans to fit and look amazing not only on the thighs and calves, but also at the waist. All too often, something that fits through the legs will bag at the waist.
There are many ways to fix this, though: You could tailor the waist to fit you, pick something with an elasticised waist, or get yourself a removable waistband, like this one from Hollywood Fashion Secrets. Another way to solve this is to get high-waisted jeans - they help prevent muffin tops too!
4. Stretch is key
Put that pair of raw denim jeans away - jeans with stretch are the true curvy girl MVP. While shopping, look out for pairs made with a percentage of lycra or elastane. These are the ones that will hug and shape your curves for the most flattering fit.
We also have friends who swear by jeggings (the super stretch ones from UNIQLO are comfy and surprisingly accommodating, even if the brand’s other models seem to be made for smaller figures). Just be sure to get a pair that’s not too thin…unless you like camel-toes.
5. Balance it out
A great pair of jeans will balance out your proportions and skim your body shape. While the best cuts for curvy girls are often bootleg or straight-cut options, this doesn’t mean you have to give up on other silhouettes like boyfriend jeans or flares. Just be sure to try on different designs (high-waist, low-rise, subtle or dramatic flare, ripped, etc) to find The One for you.
6. Try it on
Jeans are the sort of thing you should try on before buying, no matter your size. Go for brands with tangible brick-and-mortar boutiques, or if you’d really rather shop online, pick places that have a good return and exchange policy so you can easily swop out an ill-fitting pair with zero extra cost.
7. Learn how to wash your jeans
After finally finding your perfect pair of jeans, the next step is caring for it. Denim is notorious for losing its shape in the wash, so the best way to preserve your jeans is to not wash them at all for four to six months. (Yes, really.)
If they start to smell, put them in the freezer to kill odour-producing bacteria or spray on some fabric freshener, like Febreze. When it’s really time to wash, do it by hand with cold water, and air-dry your jeans instead of using a dryer to prevent shrinkage.