Finding your perfect pair of jeans can be a chore, to say the least. Few are unfamiliar with the frustration of spending an hour in a fitting room trying to find the right shape, cut and colour; only to leave empty-handed (and not wanting to look in a mirror for the foreseeable future). However, buying jeans that make you feel great shouldn't be complicated or tiresome. We’ve collated the most important aspects of denim shopping to help you find a great fitting pair of jeans that you won't want to take off.
STEP #1 – The Cut
There are a lot of different cuts of jeans, and each grows and wanes in popularity depending on the current trends. Each one has the potential to change the proportions of our body and will feel completely different to wear. You can utilise the cut to highlight or detract from different areas of your figure.
Skinny Jeans – These are very tight jeans that will follow your exact figure; accentuating your natural body type. This fit is great for taller people who are straight up and down because it will highlight the curves you do have. If opting for this style as a shorter person don't go for a cropped pair, the extra ankle will make you look overly shorter than you are.
Slim Jeans – These are slightly wider than skinny jeans particularly at the shins and ankles. These are perfect for anyone who likes a skinnier style but doesn’t want such a skin-tight fit.
Straight Jeans – Straight jeans are slightly wider at the ankle than slim jeans. These are a flattering fit for most body types because they balance out your figure running more directly down from your hips, as opposed to tapering in. Straight leg jeans are great, no matter what your height.
Bootcut – A bootcut jean kicks out at the ankle which creates a flattering silhouette, which can balance out wider hips and thighs. If wearing this style as a taller person, opt for a mini bootcut (one that flares out less) to prevent the look becoming bottom heavy, particularly if you have small hips. If you have a curvaceous figure a bootcut could be your staple.
Wide Leg – This style of jean is noticeably wider than a straight leg and fits much more loosely. Wide leg jeans are great for several body shapes, however, if you’re petite, make sure to choose a pair that are the right length as it will make you look shorter if there’s any bunching at the ankle.
STEP #2 – The Rise
The rise is another crucial part of finding the perfect jeans, and it is an aspect of the denim buying process that is often overlooked.
High rise – High rise jeans finish just below your waist, and they help to avoid a ‘muffin top’ and, as such, are flattering for most figures. High rise jeans are particularly great for shorter or more curvaceous people.
Mid-rise – Mid-rise jeans are flattering for almost every body shape: they are comfortable and easy to wear. If you have a considerably narrower waist than hips try to find jeans that account for the extra curve.
Low rise – Low rise jeans will end below your belly button – this fit is best for taller, slimmer figures or anyone with narrow hips.
STEP #3 – The Colour
Choosing the colour of your jeans is up to your own discretion, and it pays to have a few options in your wardrobe to match with different pieces. Unlike the rise and cut of the jeans, the colour of your jeans seldom has a certain body type it will look best on. Here it’s best to think about the rest of your wardrobe and the kind of colours that you wear.
Raw Denim – This is the ‘classic’ dark blue denim, raw denim is unwashed and unfinished, straight from the factory.
Acid Wash – Popular in the late 80s, acid wash jeans have a unique contrasting colouring that is achieved by soaking pumice stones in chlorine and adding them to the wash process.
Rinse Wash – One of the most basic and also common washes of jean where residual dye is removed to stop the colour running.
Mid Wash – A mid wash is another popular choice, this colour of denim will have undergone a longer washing process to remove more of the dye.
Light Wash – Light wash jeans have been washed for longer than both mid and rinse wash and the result in a lighter shade on denim (perfect for summer).
Bleach Wash – This process creates a faded, much lighter denim that makes more of a statement.
Black/Grey – Black and grey denim are created in a similar way to the traditional blue denim, but using different colours.
STEP #4 – Aftercare
Caring for denim can be a little more complicated than looking after your other everyday clothes, but it ensures your jeans will last for longer.
Size Down – Denim grows as you wear it in. Size down if your jeans have no elastic in the fabric as they need to be worn in. This can be uncomfortable at first, but it’s worth it in the long run as your jeans will eventually grow to fit your frame: creating a completely bespoke pair that fits only you.
Limit Washing (When You Can) – Washing breaks down the fibres of the denim, and they are stiff and tight straight from the wash. Not washing your jeans for months at a time isn’t always practical (although this is what some denim brands recommend) however, wearing your jeans approximately 10 times before washing is generally a good rule. Try spot cleaning your jeans if you’ve spilt something rather than putting the whole pair through the wash.
Make it a Cold Cycle - When you wash your denim opt for a cold cycle or handwash. A hot wash will only further the breakdown of the fibres and cause them to become misshapen, as well allowing further leakage of the dye – making your jeans look faded faster.