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How to Choose a Perfect Pair of Jeans

January 16, 2010

Daily Digest

How to Choose a Perfect Pair of Jeans

By AnnMarie Proudfoot

If you had to think of one item in your wardrobe that you couldn’t live without, that you’ve had in many shades over the years and that you’ll have for many more, I am sure you would say your Jeans. They are a staple item in our wardrobe so why do we find it so hard to find the perfect pair?

Before we get straight to trying to find the perfect pair for your body type, remember the two Fs when you’re on the hunt for Jeans – Find a pair that Fits and Flatters.


No cheating now when trying on the dream pair – sucking in and holding your breath before closing the top button doesn’t mean they fit! Equally, letting them rest on your hips will probably end up with you having a builder’s crack after a while when they stretch out!

Be sure to get the correct waist fit, this can be tricky enough so try on several brands and styles to get ‘em just right. The rise (crotch length) is also key to the fit. Make sure they are not too tight or they will end up pinching, and excess fabric will end up looking bulky around the crotch area. is a great website that lets you choose from a variety of styles and gives you the measurement detail of each brand. The Diesel range, for example, is available in 1 inch increments for anyone who is in between the standard sizes.


When we talk about Jeans that flatter, this covers a variety of areas from the length to the cut (bootcut, straight, flared) and finish. So if you’re thinking you weren’t gifted with “Gisele genes”, you can still make it into that perfect Jeans category by following some rules of thumb.

Jeans to suit your body type


Go for mid rise Jeans as low rise and hipsters will just push your tummy up and over the waistband, creating the muffin top. Choose Jeans will lycra; they will also help suck you in a little.

Not Your Daughters Jeans do a tummy tuck range. They are available from Pamela Scott. They recommend you buy a size smaller than your normal for a really supportive fit.


For the ladies with wider hips choose a style with a flared leg to balance out your proportions. The problem you find is usually that in order for them to fit your hips the waist tends to be too big. Firetrap Jeans are one of the better brands to cater for this.

Bigger Booties

Flared styles suit your figure best, again helping to balance out proportions. Avoid small pocket detail, this is just going to make you bum appear bigger. Heavy embellishment and distressed detail on the back also draws unwanted attention. Be sure the pockets are proportional with not a lot of added detail.

Low rise can also work well for you, making your rear appear shorter. Be sure they fit comfortably to avoid the builders crack with your g-string peeking out! Not Your Daughter Range will also suit your figure.

Flat Bum

If you have a flat bum don’t panic: there are jeans that can give you that lift you need. Look for Jeans with embellishment or flap pockets; they can give the illusion of a fuller behind. River Island’s – ‘sexy bootcut Jeans’ with flap pockets is a good style to go for.

Larger Thighs

Go for bootleg or flared styles, this gives width to the hem helping balance out your proportions. Avoid Skinny Jeans; they are just going to end up hugging you in the wrong places.

Gap has a good wide leg Jean with distressing around the knee area drawing attention away from the thighs.

Long and Sleek

Go for the skinny style, they will compliment your long legs. You can also wear low rise to show your midriff and slender hips. River Island has a good range. For the extra tight look, go for skinny with lycra in them. Pepe Jeans do a great range with lycra and also cater for long legs.

Short Legs

Slim fits with a little flare (but not too much) will make your legs appear longer. Avoid cropped and turn up jeans, they will just make you look smaller. You can also wear the skinny Jeans style, just be sure to get the fit right. Topshop have a petite range of bootcuts and skinny Jeans.

Key tips for choosing jeans

  • Dark washes will make you appear slimmer.
  • Avoid the distressed look in areas that you don’t want to draw attention too.
  • Bootcuts will balance out your figure.
  • The hemlines should sit at the end of your heels.
  • You are better off with a little excess than Jeans that are too short.
  • For your flats, you need to get yourself a second pair with the shorter length.

So are you ready? – Let’s get jeans shopping!

Related posts:

  1. Ask the Stylist: White Jeans
  2. How to wear rolled up jeans
  3. Top 5: Florals
  4. Win a pair of Rockin Reptile shoes
  5. Winter Wardrobe Essentials
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28 Responses to “How to Choose a Perfect Pair of Jeans”

  1. mis jo-jo Says:

    Am giving Jeggings a go this season. cross between leggings and jeans.. so comfy and elasticated top .. yeah! Almost like jodhphurs so good for those knee high boots .. I bought ‘Gold sign’ brand from BTs @ € 150 (yeah I know,.. expensive), but Cost per Wear will be very low.. I live in them !
    they are available online in the US for $$$ 120 so will be ordering more from here, in black and a denim colour….

  2. AnnMarie P Guest Contributor Says:

    Good on you, give them a shot! They will look really good with knee boots and long chunky knitwear when it gets colder and are a little thicker than leggings so they will keep you a bit warmer.
    I like your ‘cost per wear’ anaylsis! If you get loads of wear out of them it’s worth it.
    Topshop also carry a range in a variety of colours –

  3. aoifs Says:

    Great article – as a jeans fanatic, I worry that they are too much of a wardrobe staple. Now I’m tempted to go out and look for a new pair! Though I do like the sound of jeggings so might check them out first.

  4. AnnMarie P Says:

    Don’t worry you can never too many pairs! If you are not 100% sure yet about jeggings River Island have a great range at affortable prices. They are also stocking treggings. Yes, it is correct!
    A cross between trousers and leggings.

  5. KatyIrish Says:

    Love your article… have “jeggings” that I bought a while ago thinking they’d be a wonderful idea… and they look great – but spend their life slipping down! they are driving me mad – everytime I get out of the car I have to hoosh them up – not terribly ladylike…
    I tend to get this quite a bit – have great legs and a neat bum, but sadly a tummy that is more generous than I’d like – its really difficult to buy for that shape! So – is it just me – its kinda put me off buying jeggings again… I also got great leggings in French Connection, and same thing is happening with these… if I bought bigger size, they’d be hanging off my butt! Please help :)
    Thanks again for a great article

  6. Annmarie Says:

    thanks, glad you like it. I do find this problem too sometimes with having to constantly pull up each time you stand up!
    I would recommend a legging with a high polyamide (nylon) content. The shape stays in them and allows for a really tight fit. Try Marie Claire 100 denier which are available in Arnotts for €10. have a fab pair of jeggings. A little pricey but very nice! – Apple Bottom jersey leggings. A brand by the rapper Nelly. Pepe Jeans in Exchequer Street I believe carry this label.
    Let us know how you get on.

  7. Janine Says:

    Hi, always reading articles on ‘best fit jeans’. Nobody has a pair for me yet. Narrow hips, flat bottom, very slim thighs! Leggings and jeggings look wierd because then the hip and tummy area look huge and out of proportion – yes, am out of proportion. Help! Please. Need very narrow straight cut jeans – narrow all the way to the bottom to be almost skinny leg jeans. Any suggestions?

  8. AnnMarie P Says:

    I would recommend stretch skinny jeans. The stretch will allow you to get the tightest fit possible. You also need some pocket detail to draw attention away from your petite rear.
    7 for All Mankind have a slim fit skinny jean(Gwenevere in Gummy Denim) They are pricey but worth trying on because if they fit great you will get alot of wear out of them.
    River Island´s dark rinse skinny jean have adjustors on the side so this should help pull in the hip area a little.

    Another option is to have a pair made!
    You choose the style, fabric and enter your measurements or send in a pair of jeans you would like to replicate.

    hope this helps, let us know how you go.

  9. Janine Says:

    Thanks so much Annmarie P – am looking at the Makemyownjeans website and will go in search of them in River Island. Fingers crossed. Janine.

  10. Annemarie Says:

    Not your daughters jeans (aka the tummy tuck and bum lift jeans with 4% lycra)are also available at the Kilkenny Shop for €119-€160

  11. Fi Says:

    Yeah saw a review Not your daughters today, they look amazing. Just the thing for hiding my muffin top! or at least my knickers when I bend down..

  12. Sinead Says:

    Not your daughters jeans (aka the tummy tuck and bum lift jeans) are also available in Sheba Boutique, Dundalk. They have a great range of colours and styles to suit everyone!! I am going to get a pair as I am a skinny size 10 with not much bum and have the little muffin belly from having twins so these will be perfect :)

  13. Jenny Says:

    Never thought I’d get into a pair of skinny jeans (am sadly the owner of LARGE thighs!) – but I got a pair of “Joe’s” when in New York recently, and they are great!

  14. Annemarie Says:

    Id never heard of Joes but great to know now that there are skinny jeans for those with big thighs, thanks Jenny!

  15. Sam Says:

    Thank you for the website article as I am quite skinny I tend to go for jeggings or skinny jeans other jeans do not suit my figure, my boyfriend brought me a pair of flairy jeans for my 18th birthday but I do not wear them cause they are too big and flary.

  16. Sarah Says:

    I’m sorry to ruin the moment but I HATE jeggings! I believe one should either wear real jeans or leggings not leggings with pockets and denim effect printed on (jeggings). I think jeggings also look tacky. I always love to be on trend but this is one trend I don’t see myself getting into.

    Sarah 12 years old

  17. suzi Says:

    jeez don’t apologise, everyone’s entitled to their opinion! I just saw a blue “denim” pair of jeggings on Xpose, think they were Pepe, looked nice, 85 yo yos

  18. patrese Says:

    are skiny jeans set to stay around this year?

  19. AnnMarie P Says:

    H Patrese,

    Yes skinny jeans are set to stay with additions like the cloudy wash (a spin on acid wash or tie dye).Also for me, if they are a style that suits you and you really like them they can stay around for as long as you wish!
    Check out to see a variety of skinny jeans available by brand.

  20. cleansheets Says:

    purchased 2 pairs of jeggings in Vero Moda (big choice of colours) , can’t remember price but not expensive and I am happy with the fit, I also tried leggings on but the jeggings made me feel less wobbly, I am lucky not to have a tummy but quite concious of my thighs – can I blame thighs on pregnancies?! Delighted with them for long knitwear with boots.

    Looking good in the Examiner on Saturday Annemarie! We were away for a week and flew into Cork on Sat, delighted not to have missed the article, the first thing we bought was “de paper” and the feature was great.

  21. Annemarie Says:

    Thanks Cleansheets!
    Thats great about Vero Moda, I didnt know they did jeggings and good to know there are other colours besides black out there. I have dabbled in their clothes from time to time and like the place I have to say. They did scoop neck tops with ruffle (strong) shoulders before anyone else, back in 2008!

  22. cleansheets Says:

    Lots of good basics like long cardigans and scoop neck tops in Vero Moda too at the moment, in a choice of colours.

  23. Miriam Says:

    Fantastic article on jeans, thanks a lot !

  24. Annmarie P Says:

    thanks, glad you liked it.


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