December 2, 2009

Jeans: It’s a Love / Hate Relationship

I have a love-hate relationship with jeans. It seems that as my weight fluctuates, the one place I notice it the most is in the fit of my jeans. This I hate. But then there have been rare times I have found the perfect jean. Nothing can make a girl happier than a perfect fitting jean – one that I am convinced makes me look tall and thin. This I love.

Finding the perfect fitting jean is something we are all searching for. Here are some tips for you to consider as you set out on the search for the perfect jean:


  1. The smartest investment you can make into your closet are in a good pair of jeans; and investment in time searching for the perfect jean, and a monetary investment.

  2. If you can get them zipped without lying down, it doesn’t mean they fit. The most important fit component in jeans is the rise. The wrong rise will set off the fit of everything else.

  3. Look for softer weaves and washes that will drape your lower body and move with you rather than stiff denim that moves against you.

  4. A slight flare looks good on just about every body type because it balances hips and shoulders. If the goal is to create an hourglass silhouette, start with a jean that has that silhouette (i.e. boot cut).

  5. The darker the denim, the thinner you will look. Period.

  6. Lighter washes (and distressing) can create a visual highlight on areas of your bottom half you might not want a spotlight on. When trying on jeans, back up from the mirror at least 8-10 feet and see where the visual attention is.

  7. Look for a waist that buttons or snaps easily (laying down on the bed to do it doesn’t count). Also, a waist band that is a little higher in the back than the front is the most flattering. This is called a contour waist.

  8. For low or mid rise, make sure the jeans don’t create a "roll" effect over the top of the waistband. Some like to call this a ‘dun-lap’ or ‘muffin top.’ Whatever your pet name for this look – it isn’t a good one! The way to check this is to try on the jeans without a top – this will clearly show you if you’ve dun-lapped!

  9. The waistband of jeans (and all pants for that matter) should fit ON your ‘area,’ not below, not above…for heavens sake, not above! The area is that portion of your waistline that you hold weight, generally about an inch below your belly button.

  10. Back pockets are very important! The size, the angle, the detail – all key to the look of your jeans. Your best bet is to look for a jean that has a back pocket that sits lower on your booty, whose shape isn’t a perfect square (one that is somewhat a hexagon shape).

  11. Make sure the jeans are long enough to wear with whatever you have planned to go with them, including boots or heels. There are a lot of schools of thought on hem length; my opinion is that longer is better. The back of your pants should skim the floor when you have your shoes on.


  1. Junk In Your Trunk - Avoid skin-tight styles and any extra embellishment on the back side. Choose pockets that are proportionally sized and spaced (too small and wide spaced will make your backside look even broader). Styles with a slight flare will balance out your curvy figure. Low-rise jeans can also flatter your booty (Jennifer Lopez uses this trick often).

  2. Ample tummy - Never, ever buy pleats. Choose five-pocket styles or jeans with slash pockets on the diagonal. The worse cut? Baggy that completely covers up your shape.

  3. Heavy thighs - Go for a style that skims (but doesn't hug) your leg. Flares and boot cuts are good because they elongate the leg and balances out the proportion of everything above the knee. The worst? Cigarette or super straight leg stretch jeans that fit skin tight.

  4. Tall & thin - Try a skinny leg (very narrow ankle opening) or extra low-rise styles to show off your flat tummy and slim hips.

  5. Short legs – Straight leg styles with a slight flare make your legs look longer. Avoid cuffs and peg legs.

story from the November issue of Michiana Family Magazine

Photo from

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I found the perfect jean one time and one time only. The jean is no longer made, so now my search is on for another perfect jean. When I find it, I'm going to buy all of them in my size!

I'm tall with a booty and a belly -- for now. I don't want "mom" jeans that are too high-waisted and too light in color. I love them to sit just below the waist and a dark wash that is permanent.

Another secret to keeping your dark wash jeans dark. Don't wash them a lot and when you do, use a Woolite for dark clothes. It really does help keep dark colors dark.

Thanks for your tips, Kathy.

Valerie Sheppard
The South Georgia Gal