Finding the perfect pair of butt-enhancing jeans can be a pain in the you-know-what. But with modern fabrics, clever cuts, and optical illusions, denim design has come a long way—and O creative director Adam Glassman’s team tried on more than 150 pairs to select the most flattering styles out there. You’re sure to find a pair (or two, or three) to love, along with plenty of tips and tricks to maximize your assets. Booty school is now in session.
Kerry Hensch, 42
You can squat your way to a high, round rear—or you can pick a smart style that does the lifting and plumping for you.
The problem: This mom of four’s bottom is on the flat side, and she goes for roomy fits that tend to create a pancake posterior.
The upgrade: The high rise and stretch in these Veronica Beard skinnies give her a bubblier bottom and the comfort she craves.
The result: “I didn’t think it was me when I looked in the mirror—my waist was small and then boom!” says Hensch. “They’ve changed my outlook from behind.”
Jeans: Veronica Beard Debbie High- Rise Skinny, $248; veronicabeard.com, Blouse: A.L.C., $365; alcltd.com
Sure, things like pockets, stitching, fading, and fabric construction are important, but here’s the secret weapon for a great-fitting pair of jeans: the yoke. What is a yoke, you ask? It’s the part of your jeans located right under the waistband, often V -shaped, and carves out your curves.
O’s Creative Director Adam Glassman shares trusty tactics to help you make the most of your dressing room experience.
- Start your shopping journey in the morning: You’ll be fresher and less likely to lose steam and buy impulsively.
- Take an honest friend along. Another perspective will only aid you in your decision-making process.
- Have that buddy take pictures of you from different angles in all your prospective pairs. You’ll get a 360-degree view and can then zero in on your faves.
- Don’t let panty lines cloud your judgment. Wear seamless underwear so your silhouette is completely smooth.
- Move around to see how the jeans look and feel. Walk a bit to check for bunching, bend over, and sit to be sure nothing is spilling out.
- Bring heels or the shoes you’ll pair with your jeans most often. Then you’ll know whether the hem needs any tailoring.
- Stick to something basic on top so the focus stays on the jeans. A solid tank, tee, bodysuit, or button-down won’t distract you.
- Grab three sizes for the fitting room. Brands size differently, so don’t get stuck on a particular number.
Tatyana Edouard, 27
The problem: There are days when Tatyana wants to embrace her butt and days when she wants to downplay it. Her old baggy jeans do neither: They hide her shape and make her look bigger than she is.
The upgrade: Eloquii’s fitted jeans cradle Tatyana’s frame from front to back thanks to extra-resilient stretch.
The result: “They smooth me out, work with my hips, and give me the flatter stomach I want,” she says.
Jeans: Good American Good Waist, $85; goodamerican.com Bodysuit: $30; eloquii.com Heels: $875; bergdorfgoodman.com
Slim Fit Jeans
Kimmie Straight Jean 7 For All Mankind nordstromrack.com $89.97
Look lean in comfy curve huggers with shading down the thigh.
Slimming 5 Pocket Jean soma soma.com $26.99
Forget muffin top: A front control panel pulls you in, refining your shape.
Slimming Girlfriend Jean Chico’s chicosofftherack.com $44.96
Hidden fit technology minimizes your stomach area but won’t smush your tush.
Nina High Rise Flare Jean Rag & Bone shopbop.com $157.50
This high rise elongates, plus pockets play up your behind.
Tighter Tummy Boot Jean Lane Bryant lanebryant.com $12.39
The flare is subtle, and the special fabric in front flattens your belly.
Sava High Rise Flare Jean Universal Standard universalstandard.com $90.00
In sizes 00 to 40, they have both structure and stretch.
Rockstar Jeggings Old Navy oldnavy.gap.com $22.00
High rise with slimming waistband jean.
Pull-On Jeans Nic & Zoe nicandzoe.com $69.00
Mid-rise with four-way stretch jean.
Cropped Flare Jeggings SPANX® bloomingdales.com $128.00
High rise with tummy-shaping panel.
Whether you want extra padding, defining support, or a lineless look, these elevated undergarments punch up your back story.
- Try shapewear with removable pads—the volumizing silicone inserts come in
nine sizes from XS to 5XL. $49; lovemybubbles.com
- Opt for a defining and slimming panty. They’re ideal for high-waisted styles—and ruching lifts and separates. $46; squeem.com
- This seamless thong is supersoft, elastic-free, and the low-rise panty is virtually invisible under jeans. Commando, $22; wearcommando.com
Just as highlighter emphasizes your cheekbones, “notice me” form-fitting jeans play up your frame—they sit on the waist and are full on the hips.
Elira Rodriguez, 27
The problem: Elira is all about embracing her curves, but her waist requires a smaller size than her hips, so finding jeans with top-to-bottom snugness isn’t easy.
The upgrade: Excellent for hourglass shapes, the high rise and lightweight springy fabric of these J Brand jeans make for an excellent fit.
The result: “I’m obsessed,” says Elira. “They don’t make my butt look bigger than it is, but showcase it how it’s supposed to be.”
Jeans: J Brand Leenah, $228; jbrandjeans.com Heels: Aera, $375; aeranewyork.com
Mid Rise Girlfriend Jean Gap gapfactory.com $52.99
This is a good basic—a low stretch and dark wash jean.
Distressed Relaxed Ankle Jean Eloquii eloquii.com $74.95
Relaxed straight leg jean with high-recovery stretch.
Ada Boyfriend Jean Mavi mavi.com $98.00
These jeans have a medium stretch with a nice, slight sheen.
Modern Skinny Jean Ann Taylor anntaylor.com $89.00
The stretchy yet sturdy fabric is made to move with you, whether you’re size 00 or 18.
Mid-rise Flare Jean Midheaven Denim midheavendenim.com $298.00
These jeans, from a brand designed with tall women in mind, have a 33-inch inseam and an uplifting pocket design.
Adam shares advice on how to keep your precious new pair in top shape.
- Folding jeans can create creases. Instead, store them in your closet on hangers with clips.
- Wash your jeans no more than twice a month—and make sure to turn them inside out. Over laundering will fade them and wear out the stretch. To get rid of odors and extend time between washes, put folded jeans in an oven at 300 degrees for 15 minutes, or stick them in your freezer in a sealed bag overnight.
- Whenever possible, it’s best to hand-wash. Use cold water and about a half teaspoon of mild detergent.
- New dark denim needs a little extra TLC. Before the first wear, add a half cup of white vinegar to the load (no soap) to set the dark dye so it doesn’t rub off.
- If you’re a dry-cleaning type of gal, do abstain as it will weaken fabric over time. It’s better to steam jeans and spray on a fabric refresher for a similar effect.
- Always air-dry jeans flat so they retain their shape. If they’re starting to lose it, put them in the dryer inside out for ten minutes.
For more stories like this, sign up for our newsletter.