For many of us, even bathing suit shopping is preferable to trying on jeans. At least your choices are limited: one piece or two, tankini or bikini, padded or ruched top. And when was the last time you couldn’t pull a swimsuit up past your thighs?
If winning the lottery seems more possible than finding a pair of jeans that fits, you’re not alone.
New York-based fashion stylist Sharon Haver has grappled to find the perfect jeans for years.
“My weight fluctuates, but no matter how skinny I am, I can’t wear jeans without Lycra,” says the editor of FocusOnStyle.com. “I have thighs and a tush, and I can’t pull them up without it.”
For her, Ann Taylor’s jeans, which have a bit of stretch, fit well. And for women who no longer have the body of a teen or 20-something, she suggests taking a look at jeans from NYDJ, which stands for Not Your Daughter’s Jeans.
“They’re built more for a woman than a girl, and our bodies do change when we age,” Haver says. “It shows up most in a pair of jeans. You might still look great in a dress, but the jeans must hold you and lift you up.”
A few tips from the guru:
Molly Bingaman, a personal stylist in Kansas City (ladybirdstyling.com), says her top tip is to be sure you’re shopping in the correct department. If you’re shorter than 5 feet, 4 inches, the petite section will be your destination, no matter how curvy your shape.
“Next, you’ll need to know your body-shape, and to recognize that the goal is usually to make your legs appear as long as possible, and to balance your top and bottom halves,” Bingaman says.
“Picture the hourglass shape and note that both the top and bottom halves are balanced in relation to each other. Now picture your own shape. Where do you need to add width to balance things out? Your size is not important here, it’s the shape you’re creating with your jeans that counts.”
A few tips from Bingaman to create that sought-after look:
And if all this advice has your head spinning, Sofia Wacksman, vice president of trends for Kohl’s department stores, has some soothing advice.
“When looking for the perfect pair of jeans, there are no hard and fast rules. With the breadth of denim styles available, have fun and experiment with different fits and washes until you find one you feel amazing in,” Wacksman says. “A slimmer-cut leg looks great with a voluminous top or long jacket. If you love your tried and true boot cut jeans, freshen up this look with an updated wash or color.”
Whether you tuck perfectly into a pair of Levis, or you’ve found a great pair at your favorite boutique, we offer one more bit of jeans advice: If you find some you love, stock up.