The Secrets to Stress-Free Jeans Shopping

Before you throw out your back carrying dozens of pairs of denim into the fitting room, read this guide to find the right jeans for your body.
Woman putting on jeans

It’s like the Catch-22 of style: We love to live in jeans, but we dread buying them. It can take hours of shimmying into and out of different pairs in order to find just one that has the right fit, color, brand and price.

One way to ease the dressing room drama: Know some basic fit tips before you start shopping. NYC stylist Maria Concepcion has heard every fit complaint, body issue and style question – and has answers for every one of us, no matter what our problem. Keep her expert tips in mind the next time you head to the mall.

The fit issue: “I hate the way my butt looks in jeans.”
No two backsides are alike: some are round, some are wide, some are flat. And whether you’re in the process of losing weight or already at goal, your butt shape is likely to stay that way. The one thing you can do is tone your tush. And follow the style advice below.
Maximize a flat butt: Flap pockets and/or small pockets give you the appearance of having a curvier a backside, creating distinction between your butt and your thighs, says Concepcion.
Minimize a bigger butt: To draw attention away from your backside, look for pocketless trouser jeans. Love pockets? Go for it – but make sure they don’t start too low on your tush (which makes your backside look longer) and steer clear of rhinestones, flaps, or other eye-catching details.

The fit issue: “I can’t find a pair that fits my hips, butt, thighs and waist.”
It may seem high-maintenance, but for a true custom fit you can get jeans altered. (It’s cheaper than you might think!)
Flatter your thighs: Buy the pair that flatters your biggest body part – no sense cutting off circulation to your thighs just because the denim glides perfectly over your tummy. A straight-leg or bootcut style will create a long, straight line from hip to ankle, says Concepcion. Trouser jeans are another flattering option.
Flatter your waist and hips: Look for jeans with a curved waistband at the back to eliminate gapping.

The fit issue: “Ever pair I try on digs into my belly and side!”
Nobody likes a muffin top — except maybe at breakfast. Toning your core will help in the long run, but there’s an instant style solution that you can try right now.
Smooth your middle: Jeans with a mid-rise will keep extra flesh in check and create a lean line from waist to hip says Concepcion. Or try a high-waisted jean (the waistband should start one finger below the navel) for a comfortable, streamlined fit.

The fit issue: “I’m short and want to look taller.”
No matter what your shape or size, if you are a petite height, make a beeline to the Petite section of the store to find clothes with the correct length and rise for you.
Lengthen your look: Stay away from cropped or ankle length — they visually shorten legs – and choose a narrow leg that doesn’t overwhelm your frame. Stick with dark wash jeans, says Concepcion. Whiskering, fading or any other distressed look tends to break up the lines of the body, making petite women look shorter.

The fit issue: “I’m a ‘pear’ – I have very wide hips and I’m smaller on top.”
Everyone looks and feels best when their clothes fit their shape – no matter which fruit you might identify with.
Flatter your curves: You’ll get the best fit from jeans with a curved waistband that’s slightly higher in back than in front. A wide boot-cut leg evens out the leg line.
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