Hi.

I'm Kristin! A short & curvy girl seeking clothes that fit. Originally from the South, I'm now taking on NYC! My blog is dedicated to providing style and fit guides for petite-pear shaped women.

6 TIPS TO MAKE YOUR DENIM SHOPPING EASIER

6 TIPS TO MAKE YOUR DENIM SHOPPING EASIER

 

I'm convinced that every girl's and woman's worst nightmare is shopping for jeans. It often feels like a impossible quest to find a pair that fits you just right. While I can't guarantee these tips will help you magically find the perfect jeans (a la Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants), but I hope they will make the shopping process less overwhelming. 

1. Determine your ideal front rise - In general there are three types of front rises you generally will see when shopping for denim: high-rise (10'' rise or greater), low-rise (7'' to 9'' rise) and mid-rise (9'' to 10'' rise). Depending on your body type, you might find that one of these rises generally works better of you. Since I'm pear-shaped I tend to gravitate towards high-rise jeans. I find that this style generally fits my waist and hips better than low or mid-rise denim. When I try on low or mid-rise jeans, I find that once a pair of jeans fits over my hips and butt then they are way too loose around my waist (since it's the narrowest part of my body). Then I'm left with the unfortunate waist gap problem. High-rise denim on the other hand, hugs my waist and doesn't leave me with a waist gap. Also this style makes me feel more comfortable because I'm not worried about them falling down. 

Photos by: Sam Kelly Photography
 

2. Know your preferred inseam - If you have a favorite pair of jeans in your closet, you can use these to determine your preferred inseam. So you might be wondering how do you take the inseam measurement? All you need is a measuring tape and a flat surface! First, lay your pants out on a flat surface. Place one end of the measuring tape below the rise seam where the pant legs are sewn together. Next, continue following the inside seam of the pant leg with the measuring tape until you reach the bottom hem. Finally, take note of where the measuring tape hits the bottom hem of the pants. Usually, I prefer to wear jeans with a 27'' or 28'' inseam since I'm 5' 2''. If you're taller than me I would recommend trying jeans with a longer inseam like 30'' or 32'' and if you're shorter than me you probably will need jeans with an inseam of 26'' or less. Ultimately the ideal inseam for your body also depends on the length of you torso relative to your legs, which is why I recommend measuring a pair of your favorite fitting pants from a length perspective. 

 

3.  Understand how different brands fit - All brands fit differently, which is as much of a frustrating thing as it's a good thing. Since there is no one size that fits all bodies, it's crucial that all brands do not fit the same. However, this can also be annoying from a shopper's perspective because it means you have to spend tons of time trying out different brands. I definitely think it's worthwhile to spend a few hours going to the store or ordering styles online from a few different retailers to figure out what brands work for you. Personally, I'm a fan of Levi's, J. Crew, American Eagle, Rag & Bone and Style & Co. I've found that these brands tend to have more generous sizing for women who are curvy. Additionally, they offer shorter inseams to cater to petite customers.

Photos by: Sam Kelly Photography
 

4. Curvy vs Non-Curvy - In recent years, brands have begun offering curvy fit denim. Generally, curvy is defined as a woman with a waist to hip ratio less than 0.75 (Source: Fashion-Incubator). For example, my waist is 28'' and my hips are 40'', which means I have a waist to hip ratio of 0.70. The farther apart your waist measurement is from your hip measurement the lower your waist to hip ratio. If you have a waist to hip ratio under 0.75, I think it's worthwhile to try curvy fit denim. Again though, not all brands will fit the same so you'll have to do some research to figure out which curvy-fit brands are best for you.

Photos by: Sam Kelly Photography
 

5. Stretch or No Stretch: That is the question! - Since I'm curvy, I'm fan of denim with stretch (spandex or elastane) because I find it more comfortable and forgiving. However, just because you are curvy doesn't mean that you can't wear 100% cotton denim. If you do buy denim made of 100% cotton fabric, there will be period of time needed to break them in (aka make them feel softer). Cotton denim can be a stiff fabric, but after multiple wears and washes it will soften up and feel more comfortable. One way to bypass this process is by buying vintage denim, which is generally already broken in. You can find my tips for buying vintage denim here.

Photos by: Melanie McLemore
 

6. Choose Your Leg Shape - As if you didn't have to make enough decisions already! I swear that choosing a leg shape is the last major decision that you have to make. My go-to silhouette is skinny leg denim because it pairs back well to many different styles of tops. But don't be afraid to go outside of your comfort zone and try new things. Just because you have certain body type doesn't mean you can't wear a certain leg shape. In the past, I've been hesitant to wear boyfriend jeans and flared denim because I thought they would look too baggy or bulky on me. The key I've found is finding a pair that fits well and then the rest follows from there. 

Photos by: Brittany Plummer
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