How to Buy the Perfect Pair of Jeans: Men & Women

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Buying the right pair of jeans for your needs and body type is not an easy task! Slim, skinny, straight, relaxed, classic, standard – the name of jeans can sure be confusing! For many of us, jeans are the one item most worn in our wardrobe. They are so versatile – they can be worn from around the house, to work, to dining out or on a casual outing. When searching for the perfect pair of jeans, there are a few key tips to remember.

  • Price: The price of jeans can range from approximately $40 to $200+. Price does not always equate to better quality. I love the pair of skinny jeans I purchased at Old Navy, and I also love my 7’s from Nordstrom. The Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy all have great options with good price points. The designer brands sold at Department Stores are great if you favor a specific label or styling, but that choice is up to you. The key is that the manufacturer uses denim that is high enough quality to not be scratchy and that the fabric keeps its shape. Some of the lower priced styles simply stretch out and you will end up with a saggy butt and knees and a rash on your skin from the abrasion!
  • Fit: As much as comfort is important it is never flattering to have too much fabric hanging under the butt area – I see mostly men with this issue. Comfort and creating a good-looking butt are the two goals in jean selection. The next thing to decide is where you want to wear your jeans. Are you going to wear them to work or are they simply for your leisure time. If you are going to wear them to work, the fit needs to be a bit more conservative. Three words of caution – “no muffin tops”!
  • Straight leg – A simple, straightforward design means these classic jeans are very versatile. They can be dressed up or down. These are great for taller figures with a medium-rise. If you are thin, opt for a lower-rise style to maintain proper proportion.
  • Bootcut/flare – This cut has a very flattering leg lengthening effect and was originally designed to fit over cowboy boots. The slight flare at the bottom also balances larger hips. These are not the best choice if you do not have hips.
  • Relaxed fit – These laid-back slacks are cut fuller from the thigh to the hem, allowing ample leg and hip room for maximum comfort. Caution, some of the styles are simply too roomy and create a sloppy appearance. These are great for stocky shaped men or men with muscular legs.
  • Skinny (ladies) – These are a body hugging style from the waist to the ankle. They can look good on most body shapes as long as they are worn right. If you are slim then you have no problem rocking a great pair of skinnys. If you are curvy, you might want to wear a longer tunic and a great pair of boots or heels.
  • Trouser (ladies) – These are cut like a slack and are great for work environments. They are very flattering on ladies with larger thighs. The darker the jean finish, the better.

Pocket Placement: A great fit in jeans equates to making your butt look good – yes, this goes for both men and women! The pocket placement is the secret to making your butt look great, we never want the butt to look like it is sagging. The pockets should frame your butt like a perfectly framed piece of art. The back pockets should be in the center on either cheek. Not too close to the middle, not too high, and definitely not too low. Pockets should almost never sit so low that they cut into the seat crease, where the cheek meets the legs. This makes the butt look too long and the legs too short.

Pocket size should be in proportion to your butt size. Pockets too small can make the bottom look bigger, while a pocket that is too big will also make your bottom look bigger.

Flat butts or want to add some “junk in your trunk”? Opt for flap pockets or ornamentation/stitching on the pockets.

Want to minimize your “junk in the trunk”? Stay away from pocketless jeans. You’ll want medium-sized pockets without any extra embellishments or stitch design. The pockets should fall in the center and tilt toward the butt, not away from it.

Finish: The “finish” refers to the color, wash and distress. Color is very important. In most all cases a dark dyed jean will be most flattering, versatile, and current. For the work place dark jeans are a must. Wash refers to how faded the color of the jean is and where the jean is faded. Some are faded at the knees, some at the back of the pants, some all over and some nowhere. You will look larger wherever the jeans are faded so keep this in mind with your selection. Distress, are the stretch marks lines or scrapes on the surface of the fabric.

Dark or medium-dark blue is the best choice for most people as it can easily be transitioned from casual to classic to dressy by changing your shoes and shirt. Lighter colors will be more casual looking and can look dated if the right balance of vintage is not achieved. Fun colors, exotic washes, and excessive distressing can be trendy but they certainly are not timeless.

Care: The first time you wash your jeans, wash them alone or you might end up with blue socks! The second time, wash the jeans inside out. This is the best possible way to maintain their color. Ideally, it is best to not put your jeans in the dryer or if you must – just for a few minutes. Then pull the jeans out and lay them on a towel to finish drying or better yet hang them up with clothespins. For your favorite pair of jeans, dry cleaning is the best option to maintain their overall look. Jeans do not need to be washed after every wearing, only when they are actually dirty.

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