Jeans – a curvy gal’s dilemma
A few years ago when the designer jeans trend was at it’s height, I went to Nordstroms with a few gift cards in the hopes of finding a cute skirt to add to my Spring wardrobe. As I rode up the escalator I was shocked to see myself surrounded by a sea of jeans. I am not exaggerating. The store was selling nothing but denim pants along with a few colorful tops to wear with them. There was not a dress nor a skirt to be found on the whole floor. This was a big problem Jeans are an ongoing dilemma for me. It doesn’t matter how trendy they are, or how many there are in a store, the probability of finding a pair that even fit me is low and finding a pair that look great is nearly impossible. Until recently I really didn’t know how to look great in jeans. Then one day, that all changed…
Finding A great Pair of Jeans
The stars must have been aligned correctly the other day when I happened upon a great pair of jeans while shopping with a girlfriend. I had found a cute jacket and wondered how it would look over jeans, so I asked the salesperson to bring me a pair. Imagine my surprise when they looked like this:
Not only did they look cute, they were actually comfortable. I’ve spent much of my shopping life searching for jean nirvana. If I can do it so can you! Here are a few tips on how to look great in jeans, starting with the shopping.
Shopping for jeans – tips for curvy gals
- The number on the tag is a guideline, nothing more. For years I would cry when I had to pass on a 12 and go up to a 14. I now realize the number is really irrelevant. Sizes vary from brand to brand, sometimes even within the same line. (When I purchased the J-Brand jeans above, I tried on a few other styles in the same size, but the other options didn’t even make it over my hips.) European sizes are different from American sizes. If the number really upsets me I go home and cut it out. What’s important is how the garment looks on you!
- Try lots of different styles, colors and brands. I’d been thinking about a pair of skinny jeans for years when I finally decided to try on a pair at Target. I was pleasantly surprised at the results, but they were about the 10th pair I dragged with me to the fitting room. Often one cut will fit well and look good, but others won’t. The only way you’ll know is to try them on.
- Shop with a friend. Not only is shopping more fun with a girlfriend, they can also tell you how the pants look from behind. Thankfully not all stores offer those horrifying surround mirrors that show you every angle under glaring, harsh, dressing room lighting. It’s much nicer to have a friend’s opinion.
One of the reasons I rarely wear pants is because of the the back view. My girlfriend assured me this pair looked great, which gave me the confidence to buy them.
- Sit down, bend over, and walk around. If the jeans aren’t comfortable you won’t wear them. One of my biggest problems with jeans (pants in general actually) is they often are too tight in the crotch. If they are I won’t wear them – ever. It doesn’t matter how nice they look.
- Check the length. Less expensive jeans tend to have shorter inseams. They also tend to vary a bit in cut within the same style. Look at all the same jeans in your size and check to see if one is longer than the others. The skinny black jeans I found at Target last year were about 3/4″ longer than the others hanging with them.
- Dark Jeans are slimming. Yes, I know – yawn – but dark jeans are also versatile. You can wear them during the day or dress them up at night. As much as I would love, love, love a pair of white jeans, I’ve yet to find a pair that look as good as I want them to.
- If it doesn’t look good on you, don’t buy it. I know there are some people who feel we should wear a trend even if it isn’t flattering on our figures. I am not one of those people. My experience tells me that there are times when the current trends all look awful on me, but I know if I’m patient a new trend will come along that will look good. For instance, skinny jeans have been the thing for a while, but they are a challenge to a woman with my kind of figure. Now I hear that flared jeans are back “in”. Yea for me!
-You win some and you loose some. There have been times in my life when I’m itching for something new and nothing looks good. I have purchased things I don’t love just because it was so much work trying everything on, but I always wish I hadn’t in the end. Leave the store and try again another day.
Wearing your jeans – tips for curvy gals
- Wear your jeans with the right shoes. Heels make your legs look longer and long legs are sexy. Ballerina flats can be cute with skinny jeans. I’m on the fence about the Converse sneakers with skinny jeans look. It’s the uniform of the local teenagers. I find it looks really cute on the less curvy girls, and really unflattering on curvy girls.
- Let your shoes be the guide to the length of the jeans. The hallmark of designer jeans is their length. My new flared jeans had a 35 1/2″ inseam. That’s long, even on my 5’9″ frame. In my highest heels they still draped on the floor. Still, their long length is one of the reasons they looks so slimming. Since I plan on wearing them only with high heels and platforms I took off about two inches, just so they break on my toes and cover a bit of my heels. I won’t be able to wear them with flats but I have other jeans for that. (Warning, if you take your jeans to be hemmed, and you want to wear said jeans with high heels, wear your heels to the tailor, otherwise they might hem them too short.)
- Camouflage the dreaded muffin top! I have fat on my hips that spills over the tops of my jeans. Not pretty. That’s where a loose knit top like the one I’m wearing in these photos comes in so handy. Other options are woven shirts that skim the area rather than cling to it. As cute as my regular tight t-shirts look when I’m standing in the mirror, after about a minute of moving around they’ve scooched up and the results are really unappealing.
- Wear a belt. The materials used in today’s denim often includes lycra, a strechy fiber that allows our modern jeans to be tight and still move with our bodies. But it tends to strech out when we move. A belt will keep the pants from sagging in the back.
- Wear undergarments that don’t show through. Wear thong-style panties with your jeans to avoid pantyline.
And finally, my most important piece of advice for looking great while wearing jeans:
- Flared Jeans – J Brand “Martini”
- Black knit top – Barney’s Co-Op
Shop J-Brand Jeans!
J-Brand are my personal favorite denim brand for the fit and overall quality. Here are some of my favorite styles. Click on an image to check out the jeans at the online store. Disclosure: There are affiliate links in the images. If you click on one I will receive a small commission. Thank you for your support!
What do you think of jeans? Love them? Hate them? Do you have any other tips for looking great in jeans?
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