Like most women, I have trouble finding a pair of jeans that fit really well. When I buy my usual size, I find that they stretch a lot and I end up with a baggy pair of pants with a huge gap in the waist. Recently, I purchased a pair of jeans that fit a little tighter than I usually buy, thinking that they too would stretch out like the others (I always opt for denim with a little stretch) and be snug rather than overly loose. But now these smaller jeans just make ghastly rolls and gather around the thigh/butt area. Do you have any tips for buying jeans or breaking them in? Thanks! Esther
As many of you have commented in previous posts, shopping for jeans is far more painful than shopping for swimsuits. My best advice is to try as many brands and styles as possible to find which pairs look and feel good on you. There really is a jean for every body, the key is shopping around. In my experience, I've found that once you get closer to the $100 point, the quality of the denim and the cut often improves, but you should only pay what you can afford. That said, don't assume that expensive equals better. Old Navy has a new denim line that has gotten rave reviews (I haven't tried them yet). Also be sure to check out discount stores like Loehmann's, which often carry designer brands marked down anywhere between 25-75%.
One big mistake that a lot of women make when shopping for jeans (or anything else for that matter) is fixating on the size. We've all experienced "vanity sizing" and have seen how much sizes can range between brands (my closet has everything from sizes 4-12). If you're trying a new brand, bring 3-4 sizes into the changing room to try, and don't be swayed by the number on the tag.
In the process of shopping for jeans, it's also easy to discount a brand because one style doesn't fit or flatter your body type. Try on multiple styles (and sizes) before you move on to a new brand. I wear the Lola Boot jeans by Lucky and I can't even squeeze into some of their straight leg and low rise styles in the same size.
When you've put on a pair that looks good, do a quick test by sitting, squatting, jumping and dancing around the changing room. I like to think I put on a fun show for the people who monitor the changing rooms for shoplifters. It might feel a little silly, but if you notice that they're pinching anywhere, that it's hard to lift or squat your legs, or that your butt shows at any point, you need to go up a size or try another style. Checking the rise is important, because as jeans stretch out, they'll hang lower and you can end up showing far more than you wanted. Personally, I've had the best luck with mid-rise jeans, which hit just at the top of my hips. I can bend over all I want and nobody is going to be seeing my butt.
In regards to your question about jeans stretching out or shrinking, my advice is to find a pair with some stretch. My favorite pairs have 96% cotton and 4% lycra, which helps them keep their shape and allows me to move without being skintight stretchy. I've found that jeans with spandex and elastene are too stretchy (my old pair had 3% spandex and they stuck to me like glue). If you find a pair that fits, take note of the fabric composition, as it'll help you find other pairs that will keep their shape and size.
Anyone else have tips for Esther or would like to share their favorite denim brand?
Tuesday, September 04, 2007