Finding the best fitting jeans: 10 scenarios & answers

Learn how to choose the best fitting jeans according to fit and your bodyshape in this comprehensive guide. {Choose best Denim according to your bodyshape}

You may have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find that one perfect Prince and the same goes for buying the right kind of jeans. Jeans shopping is always a challenge. Good jeans cost a lot and buying what everyone else is buying is the recipe for looking the worst. You will have to know some, try some and go out and buy some to get it right finally. 

most popular jeans - relaxed fit with mid rise

Most of the people buy relaxed fit jeans with a mid-rise (the standard) and are happy with their purchase. But when it comes to other styles that suit their body shape particularly, they are confused. They are right to be confused, there are so many different styles.

Checkout this related post : All the names of jeans types. ; Different types of fit in jeans

Tips to go shopping for jeans

Some people go jeans shopping and find that one good pair with just that one little flaw – the rise may be way too low or way too high, the waistband could gap while it fits everywhere else, the length could make you look stocky and short, the cut of the leg is not to your liking, it could be too long, too short, too flared, too baggy, too tight, or whatever. If you end up like that, look more. Do not buy with the intention of altering this one aspect – it doesnot work that way. You have to get it right as you take it out of the showroom.

Get it right at the hips, waist, and leg length – if it is a minor issue like length you can alter it -may be the shop itself will do it for you. But major issues like a misfitted waistband is not worth the trouble to alter it.

Important factors to take into consideration other than the above concerns are the quality of denim fabric it is made of, the strength of its stitching, the finishes done on it like distressing and washes done on it to make it what it is and ofcourse the brand name. 

Go shopping in comfortable clothing which can be taken off easily and in tops that will go with the jeans you intend to buy. This includes wearing the shoes you intend to wear with the jeans.

Does this all seem like a tall order ? Anything for that right pair of jeans.

If you have a perfect figure you can buy any jeans and look good in it. Let us be honest, only the models who advertise the jeans brands have perfect bodies. What we have is an ok figure with many flaws; And you can buy jeans that can de-emphasize these flaws and make you look fabulous.

This post may guide you in finding that perfect jeans that is comfortable and fitting and just right for you.

Related post : Which body shape are you ? 

The most important things to look out for in a jeans are your waist and hip size (does the zip close comfortably without you sucking in the breath), the cut of the leg opening (depending on your bodyshape), length of the jeans (does it skim the top of your shoes) and the length of the rise (see if you can sit without revealing your underwear) and overall fit.

How to get the Fit of the jeans right?

Measure yourself first. Using a flexible measuring tape, Measure around hips and waist (loosely). You need to measure the natural waist and low waist measurement (some jeans brands have this). Measure the inseam length (from crotch to down). You need to get a jeans which fit you where you are the largest. If it doesnot, the jeans is of no use to you.

Jeans fit terms

Slim fit (an overall good fit without being too figure hugging)

Skinny Fit (a body hugging fit tapering towards the hem) which is almost the same as Tapered fit (fit comfortably till the thigh and taper to a narrower ankle) 

Regular Fit (standard fit of jeans) which is almost the same as, Straight Fit Jeans (straight from the thigh to the hemline).

Then there is the Boot-cut (the leg flares from knee to hem) which is the same as wide leg jeans (wider at the bottom). 

How to choose your jeans size?

Try on all the jeans in the style that suits your bodyshop in the shop. Get that one that fits well and be comfortable in. Wear it and sit with it in your dressing room – then you will know if you truly like it or not.

can you sit in your jeans quite comfortably?

If you are looking for a stretch jeans with lycra content choose one in a smaller size than you normally would as the size usually expands after a wash or two.

If the jeans you love is a little long do not worry – you can hem it at home to the length you want . But you have to wash your jeans before hemming. Check out this post on hemming to shorten jeans -4 ways 

Choosing the right rise

High rise jeans, mid rise jeans and low rise jeans

You also need to know your preference in rise (this is distance from crotch to waist). A standard pair of jeans has a rise of 10-12 inches where as a low rise can be as low as 3 inches.

You cannot buy a jeans by looking at the size alone. You will have to try your jeans on your body to get it right. If you are short-waisted choose a low rise jeans ; if you are long waisted choose mid-rise.

Which jeans is best if you have a top heavy body shape ?

If you have a figure with an inverted triangle shape, that is, more width around the top portion of the body including shoulder and bust, you will have to take attention away from there to the bottom part. You may want to flaunt the good shape of your legs.

A boot cut shape (with a very slight flare at the hem starting from the knee) is the best for a top heavy figure. This will balance the figure. But if the flare is too wide, you will look like you came back from the 70s. 

bootcut style jeans

Light colored jeans can add volume to the lower portion of the body. Light colors include white, lavender, ice blue – all fashionable colors. 

Buy jeans with some embellishments on the pockets. This can make the flat bottom common to top heavy figures look curvier.

Avoid Straight leg or tapered jeans.

You can find more detailed tips on how to dress an inverted triangle bodyshape (top heavy) here.

Which jeans is best if you have a bottom heavy body shape ?

This describes a Pear body shape with wide hips and thighs, when compared to the top portion of the body including narrow shoulders and bust. Straight leg jeans are said to be the most flattering for anyone with such a bottom heavy figure as they can balance the body proportions.  Eg of jeans perfect for a bottom heavy shape – Levi’s original 501 Straight cut jeans. Go for one with a moderately low-rise.

straight leg jeans are suitable for heavy lower body pear shaped bodyshape

Some width at the hem will balance out the width of the thighs/hip. But do avoid those wide-leg jeans. 

Wear these styles with fitted tops. 

Slim fit or tapered jeans are avoided in favour of the loose styles. The slim fit style jeans with the jeans hugging you closely at the thighs, knees and ankle can overemphasize the fullness at the thighs and hip more.

As already discussed, a relaxed fit is preferred over a figure hugging skinny fit. But if you want to wear the skinny style choose a cigarette style. (In cigarette jeans the cut is straight from knee to hem)

You can look for a jeans with a contoured waistband which is curved and is higher in the back. This will be a better fit for your small-waist-and-bigger-hips body.

If you want to downplay your lower body, opt for dark-colored denim. Never opt for very light-colored jeans or ones which are sanded to a light color near the thigh. And do not choose ones with embellishments, embroidery, whisker marks, and other very distinctive looking distressed and faded styles. An overall distressed look is alright. 

Avoid jeans with pockets with contrast coloured stitching and other embellishments. No curved pockets either. No big embroidery designs or sequins work. No pockets with flaps. They all bring the eye to that area where you want the least attention.

Choose pockets that sit lower on the back rather than high up. A rear yoke can be a good look.

If you have large hips you can opt for stretch jeans with lycra. Do not choose crop jeans / capri jeans if you have a really wide hips or thighs as the short length can make your thighs look even wider.

If you have a big backside, look for pockets with vertical top stitching.

You can find more detailed tips on how to dress a Triangle bodyshape (bottom heavy/pear shape) here.

Which jeans is best if you want to look taller ?

A straight leg jeans or skinny jeans in full-length is always preferred to get a long lean look. Narrower legs  of these jeans can create an illusion of length.

High-waisted skinny jeans can make you look taller. Stay away from low-rise jeans. Do not choose a tapered leg though.

skinny jeans

Choose dark colored jeans. You can also opt for jeans with long lines along the outer seams to give an elongated look – as embroidery or as  stripes of fabric.

Do not select jeans with cuffs – they can shorten the leg.

If you are wearing long jeans the hem should be no more than 1 inch off the floor – this can make your leg look elongated. The hem should ideally skim the top of your shoes. For tighter-fitting jeans (skinny jeans, tapered jeans, etc) the right length is below the ankle bone. The shorter length is cute but can make you look shorter.

If you have a short waist, you can lengthen the look of the torso with a low rise waist. A high rise will make the torso look stockier.

Wear heels with jeans to look even taller.

You can find more detailed tips on how to dress  if you are petite here.

Which jeans is best if you want to conceal a tummy?

For a person with a tummy, the worst is to buy a low rise jeans. If you have a prominent tummy, Wear mid-rise jeans or a high rise jeans to conceal unwanted belly fat. A mid-rise jeans has its waistband resting just below the belly button. This tucks in the love handle and tummy fat nicely. An 8.5-inch rise or higher is ideal. You can look out for terms like ‘Tummy control’. 

A jeans with a straight cut is better but all styles can be worn so long as the waistband is up. Choose a jeans without pleats – a flat front jeans is obviously the right choice.

If you are opting for a jeans with an elastic waistband you can wear hip length tops to cover the unsightly band.

Check out these tips on dressing to conceal a tummy.

Which jeans is best if you want a curvier figure ?

If you are straight up and down with a rectangular body shape and you want some curves, buy stretch jeans with lycra in them- they mold the body and bring out hitherto un-noticed curves. Slim fit jeans and skinny jeans and Slim fit Crop jeans or ankle-length jeans can give a curvy look.

Fitting stretchy denim styles are better than looser styles like baggy jeans / boyfriend jeans. The relaxed fits will only make you more shapeless. 

Boot cut jeans with a close fit along the waist and thighs but flares slightly from the knees can also work well to give you a good shape.

Wear high waist jeans instead of low waist jeans as the high waist jeans have waistband at the narrow portion of your body and emphasizes the waist more than a low waist one would. High waist jeans look really good on tall thin women. High waisted jeans can also give a flat back some curves. It is a good thing high waist is in fashion again.

Choose jeans with whisker marks along the hips and thighs. These curvy lines emphasize curves. Choose jeans with curved pockets that sit on the bottom curve of your body. 

dark jeans with distressed marks

Jeans with light colors is better for making you look curvier.  Or you can get jeans with a distressed look with fading around the thighs – this can emphasize those areas and make you look curvy. 

You can find more detailed tips on how to dress a rectangle bodyshape here.

Which jeans is best if you want to look overall thin?

If you have a round figure and would like to look slimmer choose a mid rise jeans or high rise jeans in a thin and straight cut style in a dark color and wear it with a dark colored top. Dark colors generally are slimming. And look for a solid color, avoiding accents like horizontal whiskers. 

As always a bootcut style suits most people and can make you look slimmer.

Check out the tips to make you look slimmer by dressing properly.

What is the Right Length for Your Jeans?

The inseam length of jeans can range from 34 inches to 37 inches. For tall women and ones with long legs you will need to look for the higher range – one with a longer inseam (36″ minimum). 

The length is very much dependent on fashion trends. It is also dependent on whether you will be wearing heels or flats. But usually, If you are wearing full length jeans with wide leg ( boot cut, flared, baggy etc) the hem should end no more than 1 inch off the floor. You do not want to look like a bohemian with the length pooling around the floor.

Which jeans is best if you have a flat bottom ?

jeans for a flat butt

Low rise is better to bring out the shape. A tapered jeans or skinny jeans or stretch jeans can make your flat bottom look curvier.

The flat bottom can be made fuller with curved lines like curvy pockets. Get jeans with embellished pockets or interesting details like colored stitching embellishment. Any eye-catching back pocket details, like flap or button pockets also helps to emphasize this area and make it look better and shapely.

Which jeans is best if you have a shapely hourglass figure? 

An hourglass figure is very shapely with a narrow waist and perfect hips. This figure can wear straight-cut styles and even skinny jeans with great elan. Low rise waist styles are good on them. High waisted jeans with the waistband sitting on their narrow waist can also bring out their curves. Show off your curves.

Buy jeans with a contoured waistband as this waistband will fit a narrow waist. These jeans will have a contoured high waistband in the back and will accommodate wider hips and thighs. You can also buy stretch denim as these styles will fit the narrow waist and wider hips without any bagginess.

Related posts : History of jeans ; Jeans elements that make them famous ; Things to make with old jeans: 10 easy projects ; How to hem jeans :5 ways ; How to cut and make shorts from old jeans

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Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

2 thoughts on “Finding the best fitting jeans: 10 scenarios & answers”

  1. I don’t usually comment on anything. But this article was SO helpful prior to jeans shopping. Thank you for all the info! I’m way more at ease now armed with “what to watch for.”

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