The perfect pair of jeans.

The holy grail of a man’s casual wardrobe.

Denim can be dressed up…..

….dressed down….

…..and worn to pretty much any event short of a black tie gathering.

And even then, wearing black jeans and boots can get you by in certain areas of the Southern US!

So if jeans are so great, why do some men wear jeans that make them look bad?

Why do so many men find it difficult to find the perfect jeans?

3 Reasons

  1. A lack of understanding of what jeans look good on their body
  2. A lack of suitable styles available when they make the selection
  3. Confusion about the style details such as weight, wash, and detailing.

Well in this article – we help you solve these issues so you can find the perfect pair!

Curious as to which jeans I find to be the most comfortable on the planet and sharp enough to wear with a sport jacket?

Click here to discover Mott & Bow. I really love their approach to denim, especially their commitment to helping you find the perfect fitting pair of jeans.


5 Common Denim Fits Available For Men

Jeans are marked with labels like skinny, slim or straight – these are an indication of the body type the jeans are designed for.

  1. Skinny – The latest addition to the jeans family, this style is a tighter fit with a tapered leg opening. Generally low to mid-rise with a zipper fly. Skinny from hip to hem.
  2. Slim – Not too tight, not too loose. Generally mid-rise with a zip fly. Straight through the hip, slim through the thigh with a narrower leg opening.
  3. Regular – Straight leg jeans, generally with a mid-rise. The trouser leg falls straight from the knee to hem, with a fairly large leg opening. Straight through hip and thigh.
  4. Relaxed – A loose fit from the waist to the leg opening, a relaxed cut denim is not going to hug any part of your body.
  5. Loose – A baggy fit. The roomiest fit of jeans, provides plenty of space in the thighs, legs and butt for men who need it.

Apart from picking the style, two other important consideration for purchasing the right denim pants are the rise of the jeans and sizing.

The rise is the measurement from the crotch to the top of the waistband. The basic rises in men’s jeans are – high rise, mid rise, low rise and low crotch.

  • High rise jeans are great for bigger guys. It’s best to avoid tucking in your shirt with high rise jeans. Worn above the belly button.
  • Medium or mid rise jeans are great for men who prefer to tuck their shirts into their pants. The waistband skims the belly button.
  • Low rise jeans offer a casual fit and appear a more relaxed appearance. Worn below the belly button.
  • Low crotch jeans are worn low on the waist. These are drop-crotch pants, a style is saggy at the hips, seat, and rear.

The sizing on a pair of jeans refers to two measurements.

Sizing example – 32×34

  • 32 refers to the waist size.
  • 34 refers to the inseam length (the measurement from the crotch to the floor on the inside leg of the pants).

Choosing The Right Jeans For The 5 Body Types

To find the most flattering style of jeans requires trial and error, but the following tips will help you find what fits best on your body type.

The Perfect Jeans For Thin Men

Men who are slender from top to bottom. Sometimes referred to as ectomorphic, this kind of body has a light build and is characterized by a flat chest, small shoulders and lean muscles.

This body type has a fast metabolism and finds it difficult to gain weight.

What To Wear

  • Straight leg jeans with a low rise that flatters your slender build. They are roomy without drawing attention to your undefined legs.

Styles To Avoid

  • Wide leg and baggy jeans will look too loose on you.
  • Skinny jeans make you look even slimmer. They tend to be too roomy – creating a sloppy appearance and draw attention to your skinny legs.
  • High rise jeans will make your bum look flat.

The Perfect Jeans For Athletic Men

The athletic man has a slim waist with muscular legs and buttocks. Justify the hard work in the gym by wearing jeans that accentuate your toned body.

What Fit To Wear

  • Slim fit, straight leg and boot cut jeans suit athletic men.
  • Low rise styles are better than high rise ones.
  • Pockets on the jeans should be small and wider set – to show off your toned bum.

Styles To Avoid

  • Baggy jeans that hide the form of your body.
  • Regular fits with wide legs are going to create an imbalance by making your legs appear larger in comparison to your upper body.

The Perfect Jeans For Muscular Men

Stocky men who frequent the squat rack at the gym have much bigger legs. A pair of straight leg jeans ends up looking like skinny jeans on them.

What To Wear

  • A regular fit with a wider leg looks best on muscular men. This style accentuates the toned body.
  • Pockets should be large, close together and deep. These pockets will make your behind look smaller.

Styles To Avoid

  • Boot cut jeans – the flare will make you look heavier.
  • Too tight, skinny jeans that leave nothing to the imagination and make your muscles appear bulkier.

The Perfect Jeans For Men With Wide Hips

Men with large hips require an equal leg width from hip to hem. The typical soccer player body – thick and wide legs with a hip that is wider than the waist. whereas having them sit a bit higher creates a more even, streamlined look from the bellybutton on down.

What To Wear

  • Relaxed-fit jeans one size up to get a comfortable fit so your jeans don’t stretch across your groin.
  • Straight-leg jeans with a high rise maintain an equal width from the hips to the hem.
  • Loose jeans with a wide leg and seat offer a comfortable option for a casual appearance.

Styles To Avoid

  • Skinny or tapered jeans are going to create a feminine silhouette.
  • Low rise jeans that sit on the hip accentuate the wide hips.

The Perfect Jeans For Men With A Large Waist

The plus size man has a wide midsection as well as large thighs, buttocks and calves. High rise jeans flatten the midsection and tuck in buttocks and thighs.

What To Wear

  • Loose fitting jeans are best – straight cut with a wide leg.
  • Relaxed jeans

Styles To Avoid

  • Avoid skinny and slim fit jeans. A slim leg silhouette creates an exaggerated imbalance in your appearance. Your upper body will loom large over the tight-fitting pants.
  • Flared or boot cut jeans they will make your legs look wider.

Selvedge & Raw Denim – What’s The Difference?

Selvedge or selvage refers to the clean and finished edge on denim fabric.

The self-finished edges prevents the fabric from unraveling. The narrow fabric, woven on traditional shuttle looms, results in premium quality jeans – the quality is reflected in the steep cost of selvedge jeans.

Raw denim refers to denim that is unprocessed, untreated and not pre-washed.

Sometimes called, dry denim, raw jeans are indigo denim made straight off the looms.

With wear and tear, raw jeans develop a unique look.

Other Factors To Consider While Purchasing Jeans

  • The weight of the denim material affects breathability and how the jeans drape on your body. Stick to a material in the 8-20 ounces range.
  • Acid wash, stone wash and vintage wash are common treatments to produce a pattern and hue on denim pants. Jeans in a classic wash are a staple – these are not substantially faded and are a wardrobe staple for men who wear jeans on a regular basis.
  • Dark blue is the most versatile color for jeans. A pair of dark blue jeans can be dressed up or down based on the occasion and can be worn with the most number of outfits in your wardrobe.
  • Ask for a length alteration. Most brands offer free length adjustment on jeans.
  • Denim pants tend to stretch about a full size during the first 10-20 wears. Always size down when buying a pair of jeans.

Don’t be discouraged if your body type won’t allow you to fit into the latest trend in jeans. Stick with a classic cut that complements you.

You can’t go wrong with a pair of jeans that fit you perfectly.

Mott & Bow handcrafts premium jeans for guys in a family owned facility. They source the highest quality denim and make great looking jeans, with simple aesthetics, that are extremely comfortable.

Their free home try-on system lets you try a few different sizes before you make a final purchasing decision.

The denim science page on the Mott & Bow website is packed with information on the mechanical processes used for the construction and design of a quality pair of jeans.

By making the jeans themselves and selling directly to the consumer, they’re able to eliminate the retail markups that drive up the cost of typical designer jeans and offer these high quality jeans at a fair price point.

The most beloved section in my closet belongs to my stack of jeans. There’s nothing I can’t conquer with the perfect pair. You know, the kind that just fits in all the right places. I recently revamped my LC Lauren Conrad denim collection not only because I have a not-so-secret obsession with jeans, but because I want every woman to look and feel her best when wearing the right pair. So whether you’re tall, petite, curvy, or somewhere in between, the perfect pair is out there waiting for you. In today’s Style Guide I’m breaking down different body types and making a few fit recommendations based off of what I’ve learned while creating my new collection. Let’s get to it…

If you’re petite…

Petite ladies, this one is for you. Petites can go for almost any cut, but a wide-leg pair may leave you looking like you are drowning in fabric. It’s a good idea to try for a pair of jeans that gives you as much length as possible. A classic pair of high waisted trousers is pretty fool-proof, or this pair of LC Lauren Conrad midrise skinny jeans will make your legs look as long as possible. These jeans are as classic as they come and provide a soft stretch to keep you comfy and not restricted.

If you’re curvy…

Show off your curves by choosing a pair of jeans that hugs your assets and flatters in all the right places. A lot of denim brands have fits that are marked specifically for curvy women, including my new LC Lauren Conrad denim collection. All of my new jeans are made with a 4-way stretch fabric that won’t become baggy or ill-fitting by the end of the day, plus they even come in six different washes. This pair of plus size midrise skinny jeans are bound to be your new faves. If you’re a curvy girl with a small waist, a high waisted style will accentuate and flatter your shape.

If you’re tall…

If you’re tall with a more athletic or lean build, let’s show off those long legs. A low-rise pair of jeans will give you more proportion and a high-rise style will make your legs look like they go on for days. Don’t be afraid to try different styles with your height like this slight bootcut or this perfect jegging.

If you’re hourglass…

If you have the curvy but balanced body type we call “hourglass,” this one is for you. This figure can wear almost any cut, but skinny jeans will almost always help to highlight your curves. Opt for a high-rise pair of jeans that will hug you in all of the right places. A mid-rise pair may leave you with that dreaded gaping at the waistline.

If you’re pear shaped…

A pear shaped body type tends to carry weight in the hips, rear, and legs. A midrise, balanced style will flatter your shape because it will elongate your legs. Ideally, you should search for a pair of moderate skinnies with straighter legs.

The best advice I can ultimately give you is to go and try on jeans in order to find your perfect fit. And since we have so many styles, why not stop into somewhere like Kohl’s to try out my new line of denim? Just saying…

What are your favorite pair of jeans?

Let me know in the comments!

XO Lauren

Shop This Story…

Photos: Yoni Goldberg for LC Lauren Conrad
Affiliate links may have been used in this post.

Every woman is on the quest for the jeans. The dream jeans that flatter every line and curve of her body and make her look her absolute best. To help you find those perfect baby blues, we have a guide for all shapes, sizes, and budgets.

A Note on Length: No matter how tall or short you are, your body type will fall into one of the categories below. Begin by finding your body type and the jeans that flatter it most, and then go online and order the same style in short or tall lengths. No, it’s not convenient, but it’s the best way to find jeans that will flatter your body and give you the length you need. If you’re shopping in-store, try on the straight size, and then ask the salesperson if you can order the same size in the length you want.

Hourglass // Contoured Waistband

1. 7 For All Mankind, $149 / 2. Levi’s, $55 / 3. White House Black Market, $78 / 4. Old Navy, $27

If you’re an hourglass shape, the biggest complaint I hear about jean shopping is “waist gapping.” This is when everything about the pant fits your body—except the waistband, resulting in a gap effect above your rear. Because hourglasses are known for their small waists and full hips, the key to finding flattering jeans is to find a pair with a contoured waistband. This means the waistband was cut on a curve, not a straight line. In other words, the waistband is cut to mimic the natural shape of your waist.

Luckily for you, hourglasses are proportionate and have the ability to rock any jean style, so long as you find the right waistband. Steer clear of waistbands that are boxy or low rise—they are cut straight across. Many women with a smaller waist and full hips and rear love jeggings because the fit is stretchy, contouring, and hugs every curve. If you’re not a fan of jeggings, just make sure you find a pair of jeans with slight stretch and a mid rise. Avoid low rises that hit below your hip bones; they will exaggerate this wider point of your body. Choose rises that hit at your hip bone or just below your belly button, naturally following the narrowing of your waistline.

  • Common Problem: waist gapping
  • Styles to Avoid: low rises, straight-across waistbands
  • Styles to Buy: contoured waistbands, mid rises, denim with stretch
  • Where to Buy: 7 For All Mankind contoured-waist jeans, Levi’s curve jeans, Old Navy curve jeans, White House Black Market curve jeans

Pear // Higher Rise

1. Gap, $50 / 2. Levi’s, $50 / 3. Madewell, $115 / 4. Old Navy, $25

Pear-shaped women often have similar waist-gapping issues as hourglass women, so many of the same rules apply when finding a pair of flattering jeans. If you’ve got a lot goin’ on in the hips, thighs, and rear but have a smaller waist and narrow shoulders, then you are a pear shape. Pear shapes struggle the most when finding a pair of dream jeans because the hips, thighs, and butt are highlighted the most in form-fitting denim. But have no fear, there are styles that flatter.

To make the experience easier for yourself, begin by forgoing all low-rise jeans, light washes, rigid denim blends, and destroyed styles. The low-rise jeans will cut across the widest part of your body and have you fearing plumber’s crack all day. Light washes and destroyed styles will also create the illusion of having more volume on the bottom. Rigid denim blends will not move with your curves, and you’ll be feeling restricted all day. Stick to mid-rise or high-rise jeans that have a contoured waistband that hits at the hip bones or the belly button. This waist will keep your hips and rear compact while seamlessly blending into your natural waistline (yes, please!). You will also find that darker and stretchier fabrics are the most flattering because they elongate the legs. Consider flared styles that will balance out the volume of your hips, thighs, and rear to give you an overall hourglass silhouette.

  • Common Problem: waist gapping and overemphasis on hips, thighs, and rear
  • Styles to Avoid: rigid denim blends, light washes, low rises, and destroyed
  • Styles to Buy: mid- to high-rise dark denim with slight stretch, flared
  • Where to Buy: White House Black Market curve jeans, Levi’s curve or high-rise jeans, Gap high-rise jeans, Madewell high-rise jeans, Old Navy curve jeans

Heart + Apple // Mid-Rise Straight Waistband

1. Ann Taylor Loft, $80 / 2. Levi’s, $55 / 3. American Eagle Outfitters, $45 / 4. Lucky Brand, $129

If you have a heart, apple, or inverted triangle shape, your denim concerns are vastly different from an hourglass or pear shape. Instead of needing optimal booty coverage, you need tummy coverage. Select a mid-rise jean that hits just below your belly button so that it will give some structure to this area. You want to have a little give in the waistline in order to avoid any uncomfortable digging in, so pick a pair of jeans that have some stretch.

A heart shape typically has skinnier legs and narrow hips, so you also want to show off your legs while creating some curves. While a skinny jean is a classic staple for any wardrobe, try out a straight or bootcut fit in order to give your leg silhouette a little more volume and to balance out your torso. Also, look for jeans that have smaller pockets placed higher up on the seat to give your rear end a little lift.

  • Common Problem: not enough tummy coverage, digs into waist
  • Styles to Avoid: high-rise jeans that emphasize your midsection
  • Styles to Buy: mid-rise jeans with a straight-cut waist (not contoured), light washes, lightly distressed, bootcut
  • Where to Buy: American Eagle mid-rise jeans, Levi’s mid-rise bootcuts and skinnies, Lucky Brand mid-rise jeans, Ann Taylor Loft modern fit

Rectangle + Athletic // Low Rise

1. AllSaints, $160 / 2. American Eagle Outfitters, $40 / 3. Ann Taylor, $89 / 4. Levi’s, $50

Rectangle and athletic shapes have the most freedom when choosing jeans. Because your body type is often described as “straight up and down,” you will be selecting jeans to play up or create the illusion of curves instead of downplaying. Your instinct might be to choose high-waisted jeans in order to force the illusion of having a smaller waist, but a high rise will actually only emphasize your boxier waistline. Rather, choose a waistband that cuts straight across your hips to create the illusion of width. This will give the appearance of having more variation throughout your silhouette, thus more curves.

As for styles, choose jeans that are fitted around the thighs and rear but also have a flare. The flare will balance out an otherwise boxy silhouette by creating volume. Of course, a leg-hugging skinny jean will also look fantastic on you, so try on as many pairs as it takes to find your dream fit.

  • Common Problem: looking boxy
  • Styles to Avoid: contoured waistbands, extreme high rises
  • Styles to Buy: straight-across waistbands, light washes, lower rises
  • Where to Buy: AllSaints low and mid rise, Levi’s low and mid rise, American Eagle low and mid rise, Ann Taylor modern fit

I hate shopping for jeans. In fact, the last time I even stepped into a store to go denim shopping was four years ago. The pair of dark wash Levi’s Curve ID Supreme Curve jeans that I bought that day are still my go-to favorites now.

And even though I’ve gained about 10 pounds in the last four years, I’ve somehow managed to squeeze into the same denim thanks to a well-choreographed dance. Feet in first. Then, pull the pants up to the knees. Hop around to get the thighs in just right. Finally, lean on the bed to button the jeans and do a few squats. It takes a few minutes, but I was good with that process. I figured as long as I didn’t put my Levi’s in the dryer, I’d be able to last a few more years.

Then, my thighs went Hulk on the denim fabric, and I discovered a hole right at the crotch (most likely from my thighs rubbing together and wearing the thread bare). I frantically searched online to buy the exact same pair (in a bigger size, mind you) and realized that my favorite jeans were discontinued (NOOOO!!). These jeans hugged my curves perfectly, and now I would have to hunt for another pair.

Trying to find a new pair of jeans as a woman with curves can be a demoralizing process. While my boyfriend can stroll into any clothing store and find the correct size immediately, I have to grab at LEAST three different pairs to hopefully find a match. I never know which size will work because every brand has a different fit model. And most jeans aren’t cut to accomodate thick thighs and a voluptuous derrière. With every pair I try on, I have to ask myself: Will these pants get over my thighs? Will these show my crack when I sit down? Will shimmying into these skinny jeans cause them to rip? Are these jeans supposed to be this tight? Typically, I go in, take one look at the denim options, and turn away in frustration.

But it shouldn’t be this complicated! So, I set out on a mission: Find a pair of comfortable jeans that work with my butt and make me feel totally awesome. First, I did a lot of testing. I tried on about 20 pairs of size 29 jeans (SO many gratuitous bathroom mirror selfies). The majority of them were mid-rise or high-rise because putting my ass in low-rise is just ASKING for crack. And the cuts included skinny, straight, and boot styles.

As a curvy girl who loves fashion, one of the most dreadful experiences for me has always been going shopping, but not just any shopping — looking for cute, well-fitting jeans. Not only do today’s brands have lots of different sizing that can leave you feeling puzzled as to why you’re wearing two sizes bigger than your normal size, but the fit is never quite right either. The struggle is real and speaking from experience, I get it.

Whether you want a pair of jeans that fit your thighs and waist without leaving a huge waist gap or you want to find a pair of boyfriend jeans that are perfectly slouchy without having to go three sizes up, there’s so much that goes into buying the perfect pair of jeans for someone with curves that sometimes it just feels easier to opt for your favorite dress in the back of your closet.

But your style doesn’t have to suffer because certain brands don’t cater to your curves. While it might take some effort to find ones that actually make you feel good, I already did some of the leg work for you. For two months, I tested out a few brands including American Eagle, Good American, and Levi’s, experimenting with how the fit changed throughout the day, figuring out how accurate the brands’ sizing was, and examining what companies had styles for every girl. It was a lot of trial and error, because sadly a lot of brands still don’t get it, but there were five that blew me away.

From the fit to the quality, these jeans not only boosted my confidence, but they also made wearing denim fun and not a hassle. This experiment proved to me that it is possible to find denim that both fits and flatters my curves. Check out the best ones I wore below.

Note: I normally wear between a 12 and 14 in denim, a 10 when they have extra, extra stretch, but I don’t like the painted on look. All of the jeans worn for this post were a 12 or 14.

Photographed by Marta Skovro McAdams

I’ve always been opposed to white jeans because they’ve never been quite flattering for me. They either make me look bigger or they just plain don’t work. I’ve heard a lot of people rave about Topshop’s Jamie jeans, but never anyone who was super curvy. The brand has a lot of different washes and great stretch for the girl who loves a tight, skinny leg jeans and their white jeans made me feel the opposite of how I usually feel; they were flattering and while they were definitely tight, they were still breathable. The high-rise denim is a signature skinny style for TopShop that sits perfectly on the waist without being overbearingly high waisted. They don’t go over a size 14, but if you struggle with finding the perfect skinny jeans for your curves these are a great option! Note: though Topshop US stores are in the process of closing, you can still purchase these jeans online.


White Super Rip Jamie Jeans

$40 Shop Now

Photographed by Marta Skovro McAdams

The Best Plus-Size Jeans According To 8 Fashion Influencers

The perfect pair of jeans is the holy grail for most women. It’s a never-ending quest to find The One: a pair that has good pocket placement, doesn’t gape in the back or cut in at the waist, and is just the right length for your legs — preferably without needing to be tailored, because who has the time for that? Sadly, the pursuit of perfect-fitting denim more often results in discouragement and emotional exhaustion than any semblance of a satisfying purchase. Such elusive blue jean gems are few and far between, and the options are even more limited if you’re a curvy or plus-size woman seeking your best jeans. And, many brands fail to offer a complete size range to accommodate all body types, and even fewer dedicate the extra attention to customizing details and fit specifically for fuller figures.

The fashion industry has been regrettably slow to get on board, but things do seem to be shifting towards greater inclusivity. The cult-favorite brand Reformation, for example, has recently taken steps to cater to more women by adding extended sizes (14 to 24) in some of their most popular jean styles. Khloé Kardashian’s denim venture, Good American, taps into cool-girl trends like lace-up details and slit hems, with all styles available from size 00 to 24. Warp + Weft is another label that sizes its entire collection for petite 00 through plus 24. The sustainable fashion brand tests each style multiple times on women of all ages and sizes, and incorporate their feedback to ensure the best possible fit and the most flattering design details.

As anxiety-inducing as jean shopping can be, it’s helpful go into it knowing which brands are doing it right when it comes to designing for all shapes and sizes. Ahead, eight of our favorite body positive style influencers share their go-to brands for size-inclusive denim that checks all the boxes: comfortable, well-fitting, and cute. Arm yourself with this list before you so much as think about buying another pair of blue jeans.

Katie Sturino


“I love Warp + Weft because they make classic styles, but they are also on trend for things like wide-leg jeans. It is female-owned and the price point is good too! Good American fits really well. It’s hard to find jeans with stretch in them that don’t feel cheap, and I love their jeans. Worth it!” — Katie Sturino

Gess Pugh


“I’m a huge lover of LOFT denim, everything from their design to their fabric selection is amazing. Their jeans are perfect year round — not too thin for the winter or too thick for summer. I also appreciate that they provide a variety of styles to keep up with current fashion trends. Most importantly, they are comfy.” — Gess Pugh

Rochelle Johnson


“My favorite size-inclusive denim brands are Warp + Weft and Madewell. Both carry great quality denim that is also comfortable. A lot of brands compromise style when it comes to the extended size offerings, and neither of these brands do that.” — Rochelle Johnson

Ali Tate Cutler


“My fave jeans brand is Levi’s — always has been, always will be. They’re classically cool, and although the sizes really change from style to style, once you find your jean, that’s you forever. My day-to-day outfit is a Levi’s mom jean, a crop top, and some vegan Doc Martens. Effortless and cool.” — Ali Tate Cutler

Essie Golden


“I have three favorites: Old Navy, Lane Bryant, and Good American. Old Navy’s Rockstar jeans are incredible and super adorable. No gapping and hug every sin god curve. Lane Bryant jeans are simple but the quality is amazing. They go up to a size 28 — most jeans stop at a 24. Good American jeans are worth every single penny. They have a sculpting and lift technology that’s really awesome. They make my butt look like I do squats everyday.” — Essie Golden

Kelly Augustine


“My favorite brands for denim are Lane Bryant, Warp + Weft, and NYDJ. I find that these three brands in particular really care about fit, and really, really care about the plus customer. And their fabrics are top-notch. I have jeans from each brand that have lasted me forever.” — Kelly Augustine

Bree Kish


“My favorite brand of jeans are honestly Fashion Nova. Anyone who knows me, knows I live in dresses and skirts, but if I am going to dig into my closet for some jeans, it’s going to be Fashion Nova. They have an incredible size range, style selection with various washes, and most importantly, they’re HIGH WAISTED!” — Bree Kish

Ilianna Ayala


“For a long time, jeans were very uncomfortable for me, therefore I sticked to leggings. But when brands started extending their sizes, I gave jeans another try. I love brands like VIM Vixen, Forever 21, JunaRose, and Charlotte Russe. They offer the perfect fit as a plus-size woman. I prefer skinny jeans with a slightly high waist — it allows me to show off my curves.” — Ilianna Ayala

How To Get Perfect Jeans for Your Body Type (Men’s Jeans Fit Guide)

The 4 Features That Make a Great Fit, Plus How to Find a Flattering Fit For Your Body Type

We’ve been wearing jeans for almost 150 years. They’ve become ubiquitous; everyone wears them! So how come it’s so difficult to find a pair that fits?

Small differences between sizes, fabrics, measurements, treatment and a host of other factors can make big differences in the way two pairs of jeans look on you. And that’s not even taking you and your body type into consideration.

In this third article the series about buying jeans, I look at why fit is the most important criteria for finding jeans you’ll love and wear. It’s not just my opinion, consumer research says so too! This free in-depth jeans fit guide for men will help you find jeans that actually fit you.

The four episodes of the series about buying jeans are:
  • How to buy “perfect” jeans
  • How to wash your jeans
  • How to find the perfect fit (this post)
  • How to repair your jeans

It’s More Than Your Waist Size and Height

The average European guy is about 178 cm tall and probably wears something like a waist size 31 or 32 in jeans. If that’s you then congratulations, most jeans will (probably) look great on you. That’s because jeans are usually designed based on the measurements of average guys.

But as someone who’s actually 178 cm tall and usually wears a size 31 (give or take), I know from first-hand experience that even us average-sized guys have issues finding jeans that fit. There’s so much more to it than the measurements of our waistline and our height.

Finding perfectly fitting jeans presents different challenges for the two sexes. Women usually want jeans to accentuate or hide their curves. That’s not (as much of) a problem for most men. In this free jeans fit guide, I look at it from a man’s perspective—but much of the advice works for women as well.

How Jeans Should Fit

Back in the good ol’ days, jeans were workwear: everyday apparel that had to be durable. How it looked was less important. That meant fits were generously cut, and jeans had to fit any body type. When blue jeans became big business and a fashion item, designers began improving the fits to get specific looks. These days, patternmakers are developing techniques and ways of sewing that create the perfect fit.

Jeans are often described as a second skin. And because we wear our jeans virtually all the time, they see their fair share of wear and tear—and you usually have to shell out a good deal of cash to get into a quality pair.

That’s why you’ll want them to fit you well, and show off your good sides. There’s no definitive answer to how jeans should fit, but the goal is to find something that balances out your proportions and highlights your best attributes.

As a rule of thumb, you should always be able to answer “yes” to these two questions when you’re trying on jeans:

  1. Do you feel comfortable?
  2. Are you convinced you look good in them?

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the four tangible features you should consider when you’re shopping for jeans.

The 4 Features That Make or Break the Fit

All too often, we’re being dictated by trends, what your friends wear, or even a particular fabric or look when we shop for jeans. Instead, look for jeans that suit your body.

Many consumers buy the fit that is prescribed by fashion (probably a skinny). If you look at the matter from a tailor’s point of view, or from the technical side, a skinny would (almost) never be recommended,” says Paul Kruize, who makes bespoke jeans.

To find a pair of jeans that makes you feel comfortable and look good, consider these four features of the fit: the shape of the leg; the rise; the length (also known as the ‘break’) and; the fabric.

The Shape of the Leg

The shape of the leg is what gives you the different types of fits. It’s determined by three measurements: the thigh, the knee and the leg opening. All are measured with the jeans laying flat, and the figures are then doubled.

The thigh is the top of the leg, and it’s measured at a right-side angle just under the crotch. To get the full width of the thigh, you need to include a bit of fabric from the back of the leg, and not merely the width of the front of the leg. The knee is measured 35 cm (or 14 inches) down the inseam from the crotch. The leg opening is the measurement across the hem.

Here’s something that would normally be defined as a loose fit.

The combination of these measurements gives you the shape of the leg. But there’s no standard for how brands and denim designers combine the measurements to create different fits. So in one brand, the leg shape of a loose fit might be similar to that of a regular fit from another brand. And, obviously, the actual measurements vary depending on the size of the jeans.

What this means is that, to find jeans that’re both comfortable and look good, you cannot simply shop for jeans based on what fit they’re labelled as. You need to try them on or carefully measure them against a pair of jeans you already own. The exception would be a fit you already know, but even then you can have discrepancies between production runs, fabrics and washes.

The most common fit categories include: super skinny, skinny, slim, regular and loose. And except for skinny fits, they can all have a straight or a tapered leg.

The Rise

The rise is the distance from the crotch joint to the top of the waistband. That means you’ve got both a front rise and a back rise. Unlike trousers and slacks, the back rise of jeans is curved. That means it wraps around to the front of the jeans. This is what gives jeans their figure-hugging fit.

The rise is important because it determines where the jeans sit on your body. To make sure you get a fit that’s comfortable and looks good on you, the rise should follow your contours.

Generally, there are four categories of rises: low rise, mid rise, high rise and drop crotch (where the length from the base of the fly to the crotch seam is extended). Like with the shape of the leg, brands have different definitions for what each rise category entails in actual measurements—and they vary from size to size. So you should use the rise as a guideline only.

The rise is part of what’s called the ‘top block’ of the jeans (in other words, the section from the waist to the crotch). In addition to the length of the rise, you should also consider the angle of the yoke as it determines the curve of the back rise.

The Length

When it comes to the length of your jeans, the golden rule is that you want the break (where the legs end) to be just where your feet begin. Worn without shoes, this means the front of the hem will rest on top of your instep, and the back will kiss the floor.

With trends like cropped legs, cuffing and stacking, the length of jeans has largely become a matter of personal preference. But the length of your jeans is important for how they look on you—and you can use it to your advantage to create optical illusions.

Some guides will tell you that cuffs make your legs look longer, but as this comparison goes to show I would argue the opposite.

The length is the measurement of the inseam, starting from the crotch and then all the way down to the leg opening. Compared to the shape of the leg and the rise, the inseam is a somewhat more universal standard. Still, play it safe and try on the jeans or compare it to a pair you already own. And don’t forget to factor in shrinkage; even sanforized denim shrinks a little bit.

A tip before your shop: get your inseam measured. You get a long way by measuring a pair of jeans you own with a perfect inseam. Otherwise, your girlfriend or your local tailor can help you get your actual inside measured.

The Fabric

Denim has traditionally been made from 100% cotton, in which case it’s known as ‘rigid denim.’ However, as fits have been slimming down over the past couple of decades, and as spinning technology has evolved, stretch denim is becoming the norm for many fashion denim makers.

The ‘elastomer’ (that is, the stretch material, usually some form of spandex) is spun into the core of the yarn. That’s why stretch yarn can only be ring-spun. Technically, the stretch yarn is ‘core-spun,’ meaning the cotton is wrapped around a strand of spandex. This way, you maintain the soft touch and fading capabilities of cotton while adding ‘stretchability.’

The key advantage of having stretch in denim is well-known to anyone who has tried it; the jeans become immensely more comfortable. Even with a few percentages of stretch material, you can get stretchability up to 30-40%, meaning the denim will stretch 1.3-1.4 times its actual size.

The problem with adding an elastomer to the fibre mix is that the fabric often loses (some of) its authentic denim look. Because stretch yarn makes the denim more compact, the characteristic twill lines become less pronounced.

Another common problem is that stretch denim gets saggy with wear. It lacks ‘recovery,’ as denim insiders call it. To combat that, yarn makers are adding a strand of polyester to the mix and spinning yarns with more than one core. This makes it dual core-spun. Or they mix the two synthetics together in top secret ways to create two-component fibres like Lycra T400 or Candiani’s Sling technology (which gives you as much as 75% stretchability).

Whether you like it or not, stretch denim is here to stay. While denim purists stubbornly argue that stretch denim is not as beautiful as rigid denim, the spinning industry is now making high-stretch denim that is visually more or less identical with rigids. If you can’t tell the difference, you might be willing to trade in a little authenticity for the increased comfort of having stretch. After all, a pair of skin-tight jeans made from rigid denim is practically unwearable. But the choice is yours.

If you are looking for something contemporarily lean, stretch denim will probably do the trick. Just make sure it still looks like denim! If you prefer wider authentic fits, you’ll want to opt for a rigid denim instead.

Now that you know the four features to consider when you’re shopping for jeans, let’s look at how they work with the five most common body types.

A Flattering Fit for Your Body Type

These days, even die-hard denimheads wear contemporary slim fit jeans. After all, a slim fit can look very flattering if you have the body for it. The problem is that not all fits fit every body type—yet many people still follow fashion trends instead of wearing jeans that fit them.

When we’re talking about fits, we’re not talking about the size of the jeans. The fit is how the right size fits your body. A good fit should balance out your proportions.

That means the best way to shop for fits is to base your decision on how you’re built. Let’s take a look at the five most common male body types and what kind of jeans work best for each of them.

(I’m using myself as an example here to show how different fits create different looks. I’d consider myself an average build, but my thighs are a little beefy. And I’ve got a bit of knock-knee going on. That influences the fit a lot!)

Average-Sized Guys

If you’re blessed with an average-sized frame, shopping for jeans should be a breeze. Whether the fit is slim and loose, it’ll probably look good on you. That means you’ve got plenty of styling options.

Any kind of rise will do, but steer clear of the extremes. The most obvious choice for leg shape is a slim straight fit. And, even though you can, don’t wear skinny jeans if you want to look like a man—women think those skinny jeans makes you look like a teenager, and that’s not turning them on!

Here’s what a tapered fit looks like on my average-sized frame and beefy thighs. This is the Levi’s Vintage Clothing 501ZXX.

However, for average-sized guys with beefy thighs, tapered fits are usually more flattering than slim straights. And be aware that slimmer fits have a tendency to accentuate bowlegs and knock-knees like you’ll notice in the fit pics of yours truly. But that goes for any kind of build.

Average-sized guys should go for
  • Any rise
  • Slim straight or straight leg (if your legs aren’t too chunky)
  • Tapered fit (if you’ve got beefy thighs)
Average-sized guys should avoid
  • Skinny fits (unless you actually are a teenager)
  • Slimmer fits (if you’ve got knock-knees)

Shorter Guys

This is the guy who’s below average height but has an average build. What you (usually) want from a fit is to have to make you appear taller than you actually are.

To do this, you want to avoid anything with a low rise. Instead, opt for a mid-rise that adds balance to your proportions.

In terms of the shape of the leg, you’ll want something that is straight as it has the wonderful effect of making your legs look longer than they are.

This is a classic slim straight leg. (Indigofera actually classifies it as a regular fit, but on my chunky legs it looks more like a slim.)

And you want to steer away from loose fits and overly long jeans if you’ve got short legs; they make your legs look even shorter than they are. Wearing your jeans low-slung only makes it worse. And don’t believe the hype of skinny fit jeans; they’re certainly not for you!

Short guys should go for
  • Mid rise to add balance
  • Straight leg fits that elongate your body’s frame
Short guys should avoid
  • Low rise
  • Relaxed and loose fit jeans to make you look smaller
  • The unforgiving skinny fit

Taller Guys

For tall guys—meaning anyone who’s above average height but has an average build—the issue is usually that you don’t want your jeans to make you look even taller.

To achieve this goal, you should generally avoid high-waisted jeans as they make your legs look even longer. Instead, pick something with a mid or a low rise. However, if it’s your torso and not your legs that’s long, a higher rise can elongate your legs. But be cautious.

In terms of the leg shape, you’ll be best off with a slim or a regular fit. You might be tempted to try something skinny, but it looks ridiculous in anything that’s bigger than a waist size 32. Lengthwise, the jeans should rather be on the short side than too long.

Tall guys should go for
  • Mid or low rise (if your legs are long)
  • A higher rise (if it’s your torso that’s long)
  • Slim or regular leg
Tall guys should avoid
  • Skinny as it draws attention to your long legs
  • Jeans that are too long

Big Guys

The big guy body type is the broadest. This is the guy with a big frame; you might have massive thighs or it’s the belly that’s taking up most space. Often it’s a combination of the two. And when we’re talking about jeans fits, it doesn’t matter that much if the mass comes from muscle or fat. That means the advice is valid for big, muscular guys too. Think Schwarzenegger.

Go for something with a lower rise. Especially in the front. It may sound counterintuitive not to try to have a high waist hide your belly bulge (if you’ve got that), but the exact opposite happens, and you’ll be sure to get the infamous muffin top.

When it comes to leg shape, you’ll want a tapered fit with plenty of room in the thigh area. The important thing here is not to go too tight! You’ll almost inevitably get a spray-on look. On the other hand, picking something that’s too loose will make you look even bigger. And steer clear of lightweight fabrics as they drape more which makes the jeans more revealing.

For big guys with an athletic build, regular fits can also work. They give a slimming appearance as your rear and thighs are hugged by the denim while the rest of the leg is straight. The regular fit is a good match for guys with hips that are narrower than their shoulders.

Big guys should go for
  • Mid or low rise
  • Tapered leg with a relaxed thigh
  • Regular fits (if you athletic and want a slim look)
Big guys should avoid
  • Skinny, slim and loose legs
  • Lightweight fabrics

Differences between sizes, even within the same brand and fit, means that it’s paramount for big guys to try on the jeans.

Skinny Guys

If you’ve got the body of a fashion model, most jeans will look good on you. That gives you room to play.

Essentially, any rise will work. But a lower rise works best to build up your stature.

You can also pick your favourite among leg shapes. This is the only body type that a skinny fit can indeed look good on, especially if you’re not too short. But you want to avoid anything that’s super skinny as it gives you chicken legs.

You might want to try something made from a bulky fabric as it’s perfect for not drawing attention to the size of your leg (or lack thereof).

Skinny guys should go for
  • All rises and legs shapes
  • Bulky fabrics
Skinny guys should avoid
  • Super skinny (because there’s a limit!)

5 Things to Consider To Get That Perfect Fit

Once you’ve found a fit that makes you feel and look good, consider the following before you hand over your pile of cash or your credit card information.

Go the Extra Mile to Try On the Jeans

When you have found a fit you like, try it on. If that’s not an option, measure it against one of your favourite jeans to see if the fit works for you, and what size you need.

Don’t buy jeans that are too big. (Here I’m talking sizing, not fit.) Because denim stretches with wear, you’ll get the best result if you buy a size that fits snugly when you try them on for the first time. Just don’t go overboard and buy them two sizes down! And never ever blindly follow size tags; especially if you don’t have any experience with the brand, fit or the fabric.

Most jeans are pre-shrunk. If they’re not, you’ll most likely be told by the brand or the store that you’re entering the land of shrink-to-fits and unsanforized denim that shrinks up to 10%. In that case, you should pick your size according to what the brand prescribes. The actual shrinkage varies from denim to denim, so consult the seller before you buy (they should be able to give you a straight answer about how much the denim shrinks, ahem!).

If the jeans are made from stretch denim, and especially if they’re on the slimmer side of fits, it’s growth you should be concerned about—in other words, what happens when the denim lacks recovery. Again, ask the seller about this.

When you’re not able to try on the jeans—if, for instance, you’re shopping online—and you’re not sure about what fit or size to get, try ‘bracketing;’ buy the size you think you are, and then one size up and one size down. Just don’t forget to return the jeans you don’t need. And make sure to check if the retailer actually allows you to return only part of the order (some don’t!).

Don’t Be Intimidated by the Waist Size

The waist measurement of a pair of jeans is (in most cases) not the same as your natural waist (at your belly bottom).

While the two measurements used to be more or less identical back in the days when only cowboys and workers wore jeans, the waistline has been creeping down over the decades.

That means we no longer wear our jeans at our natural waist—which would require an ultra high rise. These days, we wear our jeans somewhere on our hips, where we’re usually wider than at our waists. But the waist sizes have stuck around.

Part of the explanation might also be that we’re getting bigger. Any jeans maker who’s watched Seinfeld knows that no one wants to admit they’ve gone up in size. So they just alter the sizing chart and make the jeans bigger.

This supports my argument that you shouldn’t blindly follow what the size tag says. It’s not uncommon that you’ll be a size 30 in one brand and a size 33 in another. It all depends on the shape of the leg, the rise, the fabric, your body type and possibly many more factors. Just go and try them on, for Pete’s sake.

The pull of the three layers of folded fabric that infamous chain stitching on hems creates is what results in beautiful roping. This particular hemming job was done by Rivet and Hide.

Enlist the Help of A Professional to Get Your Jeans Shortened

If you need to have your jeans shortened, leave it to someone who knows how to operate a sewing machine. It takes practice to do a good hemming job. And be aware that shortening slightly alters the fit if the jeans are tapered.

There are a few common ways around it, but if your jeans were washed and distressed when you bought them, you get the best result if you preserve the original hem.

Most tailors don’t have the sewing machine that can make the iconic chain stitch (unless you’re in Japan where any self-respecting jeans store has it). If you want your jeans hemmed with an original chain stitch, here’s a list of tailors and stores that can do it for you: Indigo Proof, Denim Repair, Self Edge, Rivet and Hide, Iron Heart and Nifty Jeans.

Back Pockets – Friend or Foe?

On top of the four features I’ve listed above that can make or break the fit, you need to consider the back pockets as they influence what the jeans look like on you.

Firstly, there’s the placement. The closer together the pockets are placed, the smaller your rear will look. “The attitude of brands can sometimes impact the placement of a back pocket,” my friend, Klas Dalquist, who used to design jeans for Lee, told me.

Then there’s the size of the pockets. It’s not necessarily intuitive, but big back pockets also create the optical illusion that your rear is smaller than it actually is. (I’m starting to sound like a girl!) Lastly, there’s the amount of “noise” they make. Back pocket signatures draw attention to them, so if you don’t want that, no matter the reason, go for something that’s as clean as possible.

Think Twice About Whether the Fit Is Age-Appropriate

When you have found a fit that ticks off all the boxes, think about whether it fits your age. It’s not necessarily your biological age I’m talking about, it’s more about where you are in life.

Some things don’t transcend age very well. Skinny jeans are one such thing. If you’re in your forties or fifties, it doesn’t matter how lean you are. You want to look like a man, and skinny jeans don’t help with that.

This is going to sound very generalising, but the younger you are, the tighter your jeans can be.

Want to Learn More About Denim?

If you want a heads up whenever I post new stories, you can sign up for the Denimhunters email newsletter.

If you have a question you’d like me to answer – maybe in a future blog post – send it to me here. I also offer freelance consulting, which you can learn more about and request here!

The research I did for this jeans fit guide led me to the following sources: FashionBeans, The Idle Man, Men’s Fitness, AskMen, Refinery29 and, of course, Blue Blooded.

Introducing a little something fun and different on Ambitious Kitchen: the best jeans for fit women! OR HECK ANY LADIES OUT THERE WHO JUST LOVE JEANS.

We decided to call this ‘the best jeans for fit women’ because Abra and I both have athletic body types, but we also have two very different body types. Abra’s has a smaller waist and curvier bottom, and I’m more straighter with longer limbs and a non-curvy butt.

Since we’re both always on the hunt for and sharing our finds for amazing pairs of jeans with each other. We realized how unique our styles are just based on what works for our different body types. For example, I purchased a pair of Madewell jeans and they were a bit too stretchy for me in the bottoms, but fit Abra perfectly. We’re about the same size but jeans just fit differently for us!

We thought this would be a great post for all of the ladies who are in need of a new pair of favorite jeans to rock your bod or venture out and try something new and different.

Take a look at our picks below and then don’t forget to tell us your favs in the comments! xoxo!

Watch our jean try-on video (and watch til the end):

Monique’s Picks:

I have a very long limbs, a short torso and a small booty. Abra calls me a ‘celery stick’ so that’s what my body type is if we’re comparing them to fruits or veggies, ha! Anyway, I’m very particular about the jeans I wear because they need to be both comfortable and stylish. The brands I tend to love are: Agolde, Grlfrnd Denim, Madewell and Mother Jeans. For reference, I’m 5’6″.

What Monique look for in jeans that are stylish:

1. Distressed, cropped & 90’s anything: this is essential for me right now. I’m a huge fan of the cropped jean look with frayed ends and basically anything that doesn’t look like it, I have a tough time wearing. I’m truly someone who follows jean trends. Although, I can say that I will never EVER wear long jean shorts ‘jorts’ no matter how ‘in’ they become.

2. High waist: nothing will work for me if it’s not high-waisted. In fact, the higher the better! I prefer a 10 inch rise which are most of my Agolde and Mother jeans.

3. Light jeans or black: I prefer light jeans because those are the jeans that are in right now and I love the classic look. I also LOVE black jeans because you can dress them up or down and they’ll go with just about anything.

Abra’s Picks:

Finding the right jeans for my body type can be tricky, but I’ve found a few brands and pairs over the past couple of years that I LOVE. I have a smaller waist with a bigger butt and thighs, so if we’re comparing fruits you could say I’m a “pear shape.” With my shape a lot of jeans that fit my butt are too big in the waist and make that annoying gap in the back. For reference, I’m 5’7″.

What Abra looks for in jeans for curvier thighs:

1. Stretch: this is key for me because stretchier jeans give my booty some room and fit nice and snug around my waist at the same time. It’s like magic. I often look for a “curvy” fit in traditionally stiff jeans like Levi’s.

2. High waist: God bless the high waist jeans & pants trend (and please never come back low-rise jeans). Personally I think high-waisted pants are the most flattering for so many body types, and I like how they show my natural shape.

3. Medium to dark wash: unless I’m wearing white jeans I almost always go for a darker wash with my jeans. I find darker wash jeans more flattering for my shape and easier to pair tops with. But that’s just me!

Monique’s Pair #1: 10″ Madewell High-Rise Skinny Jeans in Hayes Wash $128 or these ones are super cute in a lighter wash with fun buttons.

These were my first pair of Madewell jeans and I absolutely LOVE them. I can wear these jeans at least 5 times without washing them and they stay the perfect size. They’re stretchy, hug me in tall the right places and are my go-to skinny jean when I want to be comfortable yet cute. Usually I wear these with flats or mules.

Here is the top I’m wearing.

Abra’s Pair #1: Madewell 9″ Mid-Rise Skinny Jeans: Rip & Repair Edition on sale for $79, or these in more sizes!

Funny story – I actually bought these jeans off of Monique because they were a bit too big & stretchy for her. They’re labeled a mid-rise but to me they are a comfortable high waist jean, and I love the different wash patterns for a little edge. They have a released hem for a fun fringe on the bottom, and are slightly distressed in the knees without the worry of busting through them.

Here is a similar top to the one I’m wearing!

Second looks:

Monique’s Pair #2: Mother Jeans High Waisted Looker Ankle Fray$238 or these Mother jeans that are a different wash and a little cheaper. This go-to pair from H&M is also amazing and super affordable!

Mother jeans are simply incredible. I was hesitant at first but after a trip to Nordstrom to try them on, it only took me a second to make a decision to purchase. These jeans are extremely stretchy in all the right places, make my butt look good, and of course, are pretty high rise. I like to wear these with heels or boots.

Find my adorable pink top here!

Abra’s Pair #2: Paige Transcend Vintage High Rise Jeans $225 Paige Jeans were the first pair of nice, quality denim that I ever owned. The brand has tons of washes & styles that are great for thicker thighs, and I liked experimenting with their lighter wash here. I mostly wear these ones in the spring/summer with sandals and casual tops, but they can easily be dressed up or down. Similarly I’d also recommend these lighter wash Frame jeans on sale for $129, or these distressed Madewell jeans for $75.

I paired them with this fun adidas tee!

Third looks:

Monique’s Pair #3: Mother The Hustler High Waist Ankle Fray Jeans $198 this pair from H&M comes in a bunch of different washes for a super affordable option!

These are probably my favorite pair of jeans. They’re so stretchy and comfy and WONDERFUL. I seriously can’t express how much I love them! These high-waisted black jeans are cropped and frayed which means they’re perfect for pulling off a trendy look during the day with a pair of platform sneakers or dressing them up at night with heels or booties. Plus, they’re the most comfortable jeans on the planet.

I wear these and they fit like a glove! Great with a crop top like the one I’m wearing.

Abra’s Pair #3: Agolde Roxanne Super High Rise Skinny Jeans $138

I discovered these jeans last year and they quickly became one of my favorite pairs of all time because they have an 11.5″ rise. AKA they go above my belly button and I LOVE IT. Most high rise jeans are between 9-10″ rise, so as you can imagine these babies go above & beyond (literally). They have a slight stretch so that they don’t gap in the waist, but are a bit more snug throughout the leg than most of my jeans.

I love pairing them with a cute crop top (you can’t see my belly button!) or this $20 bodysuit that I’m wearing.

Fourth looks:

Monique’s Pair #4: Agolde 90’s fit jeans aka the most comfortable jeans you will ever own. I ACTUALLY OWN 3 PAIRS, ha! I have them in white too (as I’m sure you’ve seen on Instagram) $188

If you’re not into this loose of a look, try the Grlfrnd Helena Jeans! They’re another favorite of mine, but a little tighter in the thighs, yet still loose, comfy and straight. I call them my badass bitch jeans. I actually wish I would have included them in this list because they’re another absolutely favorite every day jean of mine!

Anyway, am I glad that the 90’s are back in full swing or what?! These boyfriend-style baggy 90’s fit jeans are a mix of trendy and uber comfy thanks to their high-waist and loose fit. Highly recommend pairing these with booties for a boss look. Quick note: it is important that you go one size down in the 90’s fit as they run a little big.

Pair these with a crop top or a cute vintage inspired tee!

Abra’s Pair #4: Madewell Curvy High Rise Skinny Jeans in Black Sea $128

Another great Madewell find. I actually thought they would be all black when I bought them but they turned out to be this dark charcoal color which I really like. They have some distressing in the knees and a release hem on the bottom. I bought the curvy fit of these ones and they’re super comfortable without stretching out too much after a few wears.

Pair with a cute tee like this twist-front one, or this one and give it a little tie in the front!

Fifth looks:

Monique’s Pair #5: Agolde Jamie High Rise Classic Jean $168

These Agolde jeans are a nice cotton fit, which means they don’t have much stretch and can be a little stiffer but hey, that’s the trend and I LOVE these for how high-waisted they are — plus the Jamie comes in a wide variety of denim colors, from light to darker. I think I’m getting this light version for summer!

Highly recommend pairing with a crop top or a lace top tucked in + a leather jacket for a date night.

Pair #5: Levi’s Mile High Super Skinny $98

After my Agolde jeans these Levi’s are probably my second favorite. They’re SO comfortable and stretchy without feeling too much like jeggings/pjs, and are my favorite wash. These have a 10″ rise and sit pretty high up on my torso, so crop top it is! Because Levi’s are a more vintage brand, a lot of their jeans can be pretty stiff (that’s their “look”). I read about these jeans when I did some Levi’s research and they’re a great pair for ladies with curvier bootys.

Pair them with literally everything, even this crop top!

I hope you loved our jean review for women. Honestly Abra and I are both jean hoarders, so we’ll definitely be updating this list as time goes on. For now, we’d love to hear from you below what your favorite jean is and why you love them! Shop all our looks below – xoxo.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. I may receive a small commission should you decide to purchase from a link. Thank you!

Men’s Fit Guide

For over 100 years, fit—and the comfort that comes from a great fit—has been at the forefront of all the men’s jean styles we design. From the waist and hips to the backside, undercarriage, and length—our design team sweats the small stuff to make the ideal jean fits for men’s body types.
In addition to considering your shape and dimensions, we think about how your body will move while wearing the jeans to maximize flexibility and minimize limitations. We also pay special attention to the way our denim feels on your skin so you’re always comfortable in any of the Lee men’s jean styles. We spend the time and effort on great design because that’s what it takes to get garments that fit this well.
Use the men’s jeans fit guide to learn about our variety of fits for men and choose the best options for you.

For over 100 years, fit—and the comfort that comes from a great fit—has been at the forefront of all the men’s jean styles we design. From the waist and hips to the backside, undercarriage, and length—our design team sweats the small stuff to make the ideal jean fits for men’s body types.
In addition to considering your shape and dimensions, we think about how your body will move while wearing the jeans to maximize flexibility and minimize limitations. We also pay special attention to the way our denim feels on your skin so you’re always comfortable in any of the Lee men’s jean styles. We spend the time and effort on great design because that’s what it takes to get garments that fit this well.
Use the men’s jeans fit guide to learn about our variety of fits for men and choose the best options for you.

My worst fitting-room experiences have always involved denim. It’s not because of a lack of options: I wear a size that’s abundantly stocked in most stores and online. (Normally, it’s a size 10.) Rather, it’s because of my body shape.

Not to fall into the old-school trope of comparing myself to a fruit, but I have what some would considered a pear-shaped body: small waist, big hips—but not in a proportional way. This means that, usually, jeans that fit my thighs and butt are too roomy at the waist; if I size down, though, they won’t make it past my knees. Over the years I’ve gotten used to settling for jeans that are too big at the waist, just so my legs don’t feel trapped, and I’ll tuck in my shirt to fill in the gap that forms around the back. But I’ve never been able to walk up to the register with a pair I knew would fit just right. Instead, I’d take the waist gap as a given.

Last month American Eagle launched a new style in its Ne(X)t Level 360 collection, which is made from a stretch fabric that’s meant to hug and conform to the body, with a tailored waistband that doesn’t sag or gap. Available in sizes 00 through 20 online, these so-called curvy jeggings come in a range of washes, fits, and finishes. They started to generate some positive feedback on Twitter. I was intrigued.

American Eagle Ne(X)t Level Curvy High-Waisted Jeggings, $44.95 $37.46, American Eagle

American Eagle Outfitters

American Eagle sent me its Curvy High-Waisted Jeggings, which retail for just under $38. My immediate impression: Though they’re called jeggings, this pair looked and felt a lot like skinny jeans—the fabric was just stretchier.

The main difference between these and all the other jeans I’d tried (and been disappointed by) in the past was how they sat on my waist after I had zipped and buttoned them up. The high-rise lands just above my belly button, without space leftover in the back; my thighs and butt, meanwhile, are hugged by the fabric, not choked. The waist gap I’ve come to expect? Nowhere to be found.

Courtesy of Halie LeSavage

I wore the jeans for a few days, and even after multiple #OOTDs, the waistband held its shape. (I’d always feel frustrated when I thought I’d found denim that fit in the store but would be totally stretched out by the second wear.) It’s a relief to find jeans suited to curvy-on-the-bottom bodies that don’t require tailoring or other compromises—and at a store that I’ve shopped at since middle school.

Courtesy of Halie LeSavage

Skinny jeans are, admittedly, not my favorite cut, so I’m hoping that American Eagle will expand this line into other silhouettes, like straight-leg jeans or kick flares. For now, though, I’m feeling pretty satisfied with this fit-to-my-shape pair.

Buy it now: American Eagle Ne(X)t Level Curvy High-Waisted Jegging, $44.95 $37.46, American Eagle

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Women’s Fit Guide

For over a century, we’ve perfected the craft of designing the best jeans for women. We love the art of combining quality denim material with timeless classic and trendy modern styles to make the Lee women’s jeans you know, love, and trust. Because of the time we put in at the design phase of the jean-making process, we’re able to offer a variety of fits to suit every woman’s preference and style.
Use our women’s fit guide to learn more about all your fit options, from the ultra-formfitting to more relaxed styles. Choose from three types of rises and a variety of lines from the legs to the ankles, including tapered, straight, and flared.
You deserve jeans that feel as good as they look. Explore the large selection of the best fitting jeans for women here at Lee.

For over a century, we’ve perfected the craft of designing the best jeans for women. We love the art of combining quality denim material with timeless classic and trendy modern styles to make the Lee women’s jeans you know, love, and trust. Because of the time we put in at the design phase of the jean-making process, we’re able to offer a variety of fits to suit every woman’s preference and style.
Use our women’s fit guide to learn more about all your fit options, from the ultra-formfitting to more relaxed styles. Choose from three types of rises and a variety of lines from the legs to the ankles, including tapered, straight, and flared.
You deserve jeans that feel as good as they look. Explore the large selection of the best fitting jeans for women here at Lee.

Women’s Curvy Jeans

Shop Gap Curvy Jeans for Women

Discover the perfect fit and fashionable look for your frame with curvy jeans from Gap.

Curvy Ladies’ Denim

Are you tired of searching for fashionable jeans that look great on your frame? The search is over with curvy fit jeans from Gap. Shop our versatile and stylish selection of denim made specifically for curvy women. Check out curvy style jeans in all the chic looks, from boot cut and super skinny to distressed, acid wash and everything in between. Discover comfortable denim fabrics that hug your body in all the right places for a flirty and fun look, and hold their shape with comfortable stretch for all-day wear. Choose comfort, style and fashion for your womanly shape with curvy ladies’ jeans from Gap.

Cool, Curvy And Comfortable

Never settle for anything less than the perfect fit with curvy women’s jeans from Gap. Our super selection features jeans designed with your feminine shape in mind. Contoured hips and roomier through the waistline, each pair of pants hugs your curves in all the right places for a flattering yet streamlined look. Shop a wide range of choices and styles like skinny, bootcut, mid-ride, high rise and more. Check out curvy skinny jeans in premium stretch denim with all-American five pocket styling. Or, go for a pair of curvy bootcut jeans with a zip fly and button closure for comfort and ease. Choose from a variety of washes like acid, dark, classic, faded and more without guilt as each pair is made with Gap’s smart wash techniques that have helped save 60 million liters of water.

Denim Looks For Your Frame

Elevate your outfits with curvy fit women’s jeans from Gap. Versatile and comfortable, you’ll want to wear your new pair again and again. Slip into a pair of bootcut jeans with platform heels and a blouse for date night, or roll up the cuffs to match the pants with sneakers and a tee for running errands. Show off your sexy side with curve-hugging skinny jeans and a blazer for girls’ night out, or with a cardigan and flats for a lunch meeting.

Shop curvy women’s jeans from Gap today for classic and fashion-forward looks and styles.

Jeans for body types

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