( from the February edition of SASSY Magazine)
What is it with our obsession with finding the perfect jean?
JEANS! They are the source of our frustration, the backbone to our wardrobes, and the thing we can’t seem to live without. They are also the one thing in our closets that can be absolutely perfect…or not so much.
I’m sure we’ve all been with our girlfriends and the topic has come up. One of your friends will say “oh my gosh you HAVE to try XYZ jeans! They are amazing!” So you run out to the boutique and try on the magic XYZ jeans. Your conclusion? You must me immune to the magic.
What is important in a pair of jeans? Here are some basics…
1. FABRIC – Lycra or Spandex needs to be a part of the fabric content. These fabric “fillers” hold you in and smooth things out.
2. WAISTBAND - The waistband should fit just below the belly button, you should not see muffin-top (spillage, fluff – whatever you want to call it) over the top of the waistband. If you do, try the next size up (and refer to #4 below). The waistband should be contoured. In other words, the back should be higher than the front.
3. STYLE – The truth is most body types can get away with wearing just about any cut of jean…if worn correctly. The 2 cuts of jeans that are constantly no-fail are the boot cut and the straight leg. The boot cut would be a jean whose ankle opening is (at least) 1” larger than the width of the knee. The straight cut jean has an ankle opening that is the same width as the knee.
If you carry your weight in your hips and thighs, then you will want to be sure the jeans (and other pieces you wear with your jeans) distract from your problem area.
Make sure any distressing is in an area that you want people to look at. Do the 6ft mirror test: Try the jeans on, step back at least 6 feet from a mirror and take a picture of yourself (in the mirror). You will see where the distressing is and where people are looking when they see you.
4. IT IS OK TO ALTER! - We are all friends here, right? I will let you in on a little secret…I have NEVER purchased a pair of jeans I haven’t had altered! Seriously! If there is one secret to a perfectly fitting jean, this is it in one word: ALTERATIONS!
Now let’s talk pockets. What do you do when you try on jeans? I bet you instantly turn, look over your shoulder and check out your back-side. Right? OF COURSE YOU DO! The back pockets make or break the jeans. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried on a great fitting pair of jeans, then turned to check out the back and said “yea…BUTT!” Here are some things to commit to memory:
The placement of the pockets is CRITICAL! European fashioned brands have long pockets that extend down past your, well, butt. These low pockets will make your rump look flat. This is OK if you have more than enough junk in your trunk – but is a slippery slope.
Make sure the bottom of the pocket aligns with the top of your thigh. Back pockets need to be centerd at the fullest part of your booty.
The pockets should be set at a slight inward angle. The angle can create an optical illusion that offers a great little round rump. The angle should be from the top down (or the pockets should be closest at the top near the waistband).
Size DOES matter. The higher the pockets sit on your booty, the bigger your booty will appear (remember Lee jeans from the 70’s?) . Likewise, the larger the pockets, the larger your backside will also look (ala Mom jeans); but this isn’t to say that back pockets should be small either – it’s all about balance and proportion.
To Bling or not to Bling. If by birth you have a flat back-side, you will need to wear a back pocket with a ‘lil somethin’ goin’ on. Flap pockets or over-the-top bling will give the illusions of a fuller booty.
If you have some junk in your trunk, you will need a jean without any bling or embroidery on the back pockets. Simple is best for you.
Bottom line truth is you need to take several styles, cuts and yes SIZES into the dressing room with you. First determining what you want to enhance (and what you want to camouflage) will make that time in the dressing room much easier!