We all know that looking for the perfect pair of jeans is a daunting task that can take hours on end, often resulting in leaving the mall with an ill-fitting pair that will more than likely end up at the back of your closet.
A timeless style staple, jeans are the most versatile item of clothing in our closets and can be dressed up or down.
But with all the different styles and cuts on offer, finding the right pair of jeans can be confusing and frustrating. The good news is that the same principle when buying other clothing should be applied to your search for the right pair of jeans – and that’s knowing your body shape.
Which body shape are you?
Your chest, hip and waist measurements are relatively the same from top to bottom.
You have full, rounded hips and bottom with narrow shoulders and a small bust. You tend to gain weight in your bottom, hips and thighs and are prone to saddle bags while your stomach remains relatively flat and your waist small.
You have a balance of curves and angles: straight shoulders, defined waist and curvy bottom. Your bust and hips are of roughly the same proportion. You have shapely legs and are usually fine boned. You tend to gain weight in your stomach and thighs.
You have broader shoulders and bust with narrower hips. You tend to gain weight in the stomach, chest and face.
Your body type is smaller and often naturally toned. You have broad shoulders and short legs.
Now that you know what your body shape is, read the following style options to determine your perfect jeans style.
Skinny and Straight-leg jeansThese styles look best on long-legged boyish or petite figures.
Apple shapes should avoid skinny jeans as they accentuate the top half of the body. Due to their clingy nature, they can also accentuate big hips and a big butt.
If skinny jeans make you look extremely thin, some careful camouflaging with shaded denim does wonders.
Straight legs are ideal for elongating short legs.
Flared and Wide-leg jeansFlares are ideal for balancing out hips and thighs for a streamlined look.
They look great with fitted tops and skinny sweaters that can be tucked onto the waist. Chunky platforms balance out the flare. If its comfort you are after, flared jeans tend to make you look slimmer and gives you a sexier silhouette than slouchy boyfriend jeans.
Wide leg jeans are ideal for tall and curvy types; this cut merges casual and trendy.
Wide-legs are popular for their comfort and versatility. They are kind to pear shaped women as they balance out large hips and thighs. High-waisted, wide-leg styles can make you appear taller, slimmer and leaner.
Bootcut jeansThe bootcut is the most universally, flattering style – suitable for all body shapes!
The wider hem deflects attention away from ample waists, hips and thighs. They also disguise large calves and make legs look leaner.
This classic style is best for the fuller figure, particularly if it has clean lines with minimal detailing and embellishments, which add unnecessary bulk.
Worn with high-heeled boots to create extra height, these jeans have a very slimming effect.
Boyfriend jeansBoyfriend jeans are ideal for looking effortlessly sexy, as the relaxed cut works on all shapes.
Boyfriend jeans are baggy, worn and distressed. The style is usually rolled up at the hem and worn with heels for a feminine touch.
The loose leg, slouchy waist and large pockets are flattering on bigger sizes, especially larger butts.
Tone down the masculine effect with a feminine, fitted top or add a blazer.
High-waist jeansThese are great for those with athletic, boyish or hourglass figures.
Stay away from a high waistline if you have a large derriere that you do not want to draw attention to.
Wear a high waistline to hide a thicker stomach.
Go up or down a size if your usual size does not look quite right on you.
Wear high heels for the most flattering effect – heels help to give you a lean shape in high-waisted jeans.
Choose a top that fits your style and works well with the high waistline. Tuck in your shirt to emphasize the high waistline. Wear a pussy-bow blouse, flowing sleeves or wide sleeves. You can also wear a double-breasted jacket or a blazer.
Flat BumTry a tapered leg or skinny jeans to make your bum more noticeable.
Wear heels to add curves to your profile.
Flap pockets will add dimension.
BootyliciousLook for a stretch denim with a fitted waist.
Stick to darker washes that have an all-over slimming effect.
Many denim manufacturers make a specific style to flatter a shapely butt with a narrower waist. Find out which cut is right for you in the brand you desire.
Petite and chicIf you are short and want to minimise curves, choose a straight, wide-leg trouser cut. Jeans that fit like a tailored pair of trousers will give you an over-all sleek and polished look. Finish off the look with a great pair of heels.
Pretty pearLook for a dark, clean wash. Too much fading and distressing will widen your shape.
A straight leg or slight bootcut will keep legs looking lean. Stay away from a tapered or pencil leg.
Skinny jeans can work, just choose cigarette and straight-leg cuts.
Wear a heel to add height and lengthen legs. Also balance out the thigh with a substantial shoe like a great boot.
High waist or low waist?
Your jeans should fit your waist so that the waistband does not cut into you. Allow jeans to just skim over your curves rather than constrict them. The problem with low-rises is that for the average-sized women with a little extra weight around the stomach, a roll of flab is pushed up over the waistline causing a ‘muffin top.’ Wearing fuller smock-style blouses is one solution to the problem and avoiding cropped style tops. A curved waistband is the solution to unsightly ‘butt-cleavage’.
Wide waistbands do wonders for minimizing a fat stomach and high-waist jeans are ideal for lengthening the leg. If you are short, opt for a mid-waist rather than high-waisted jeans, which has the effect of creating an even shorter torso.