For many of us, shopping for jeans is just slightly more enjoyable than shopping for a bathing suit. But the change-room struggle becomes worth it when you put on that perfect pair. You feel sexier, more confident and, most importantly, more comfortable. We talked to Jason Trotzuk, creator, owner and designer of Canadian label Fidelity Denim, and Joel Carman, owner of 31-year-old denim boutique Over the Rainbow in Toronto, to get their tips on shopping for jeans that will flatter your figure. Just choose your body type from the menu below to find the best style and cut for your body – and don’t skip the eight laws of jeans shopping.
A mid-rise, dark denim boy-cut style that is looser in the thigh with a slight flare at the bottom will balance out a rounder figure. Stay away from decorative bleaching across the hips and thighs – it will only make you look wider.
Citizens of Humanity, $ 213
A low-rise flare cut narrower through the thighs and looser through the knees will add the illusion of a smaller waist and curvier hips.
Seven For All Mankind, $215
A mid-rise, dark denim five-pocket boot-cut that comes straight off the hips and is cut a bit narrower through the knees will flatter your womanly curves.
Belladonna, Fidelity Denim, $155
A mid-rise classic trouser style with a slight flare and a contoured waistband will flatter your curves and stop that unsightly gap at the back. Stay away from decorative bleaching across the hips and thighs – it will only make you look wider.
The Dream, Fidelity Denim, $170
A low- to mid-rise flare cut narrower through the thighs creates a long, lean and balanced look for any shape. Pair jeans with heels for added height and elegance. Stay away from styles cropped at the ankle – these will only make you look shorter.
A style that is cut narrowly throughout accentuates a tall, slim figure. For a fuller figure, look for a boot-cut or trouser-style.
1. Go for the good stuff The old saying “You get what you pay for” holds true for jeans: if you wear them often, splurge on a reputable high-end pair. You’re paying for the fabric and the finishing, so they’ll fit better and last longer.
2. Shop with confidence When shopping for jeans – whether you’re a size 2 or 20 – it’s important to leave your body issues at home. Women often buy jeans that are too big because they’re self-conscious. The truth is, you’ll look smaller if you buy a pair that are close-fitting.
3. Get the right help and take your time Shopping for jeans is just like buying a bathing suit or a bra. You need someone who understands fit and body shape, and who will offer you lots of choices. It can take eight or nine tries before you find the exact pair you want, so it’s important to have patient, professional help.
4. Pockets make the booty Pocket placement is crucial when it comes to a fabulous back view. They should be centred on both cheeks for balance. Higher placement means a perkier bottom because pockets that are too low lengthen your backside and shorten your legs. Pockets that are too small can make your backside appear bigger, while oversized pockets are overpowering and unflattering.
5. Get to know the yoke The yoke is the piece of fabric that sits between the pockets and the waistband and extends across from seam to seam. Look for a narrower, V-shaped yoke, which raises the pocket and curves out the backside nicely. A yoke that’s too wide will cause flattening and sagging.
6. Check the outseam The outseam sits on your outer thigh and contributes to how thin your legs look. It should gently hug and shape the thigh so there is no bulky excess fabric. An outseam that sits more to the front of the thigh also adds to the slimming effect.
7. Feel the fabric Good-quality denim will hold its shape and resist wear and tear. As long as you’re not wearing them every day, a quality pair of jeans should last at least a year. Look for stretch denim that’s 98 per cent cotton and 2 per cent Lycra or spandex, which has all the properties of cotton, with a little bit of stretch. With such a small quantity of Lycra, throwing your jeans in the dryer won’t cause damage – although it isn’t recommended for after every wash. Dark jeans should be washed in cold water to preserve the dye.
8. Avoid back gap Look for jeans that are cut lower in the front and higher in the back with a contoured waist band that will stay snug to prevent unsightly gaping. Also, if your jeans are too tight at the knees and thighs, they will pull down at the back when you sit. A looser knee and more relaxed thigh will help keep that from happening.