One of the very first things I discovered about running a fashion store was that trousers are the thing most likely to end up on the sale rail. And why is that? It's because jeans and trousers HAVE to fit properly, otherwise you'll have a completely miserable time wearing them. Who reading this hasn't found that one truly magical pair of denims that actually fitted, only to find out that the brand had stopped making them? It's easy to think that because someone is a size 10 they'll have absolutely no difficulty finding a pair of jeans but it's just not true.
Every size comes in different shapes - for example you can be an rectangular (straight up and down) or curvy (hourglass) size 10 and as such, your perfect fit will look very different. So it's worth your while to spend some time - and a bit of money - to invest in jeans that work for your body shape and are a joy to wear. Interested? Then read on.....
Generally speaking, there's two factors to consider when buying trousers. Your proportions (am I short bodied or long bodied) and your shape (athletic, regular or curvy). Most people will consider their shape but NOT their proportions and that's a mistake. Here's a link to a really helpful article about how to determine your proportions and as a starting point. About now I would have also liked to have inserted a link to help you establish your body shape but every article was SO complicated, therefore here's a quick guide...
Rectangular Body Shape
Lots of natural skinny or slim people fall into this category. However, you don't have to be a small size to have a rectangular body shape. People with this body shape generally feel they don't "have a waist" and you will be prone to put weight on below the waist but above the thigh area. Your shoulders and hips will be in proportion and you can have a bust, although it is not likely to be an overly large one. Most Asian manufacturers base their size ratios on this body shape which is why clothing made there doesn't always translate into UK or European sizes.
Your issues when buying jeans are likely to be finding them tight around the waist and too baggy on the thighs. High rise styles work best on you in general and a fabrication with lots of stretch is good as it will adapt where it needs to but not where it doesn't.
Some great styles that work for your body shape are The Hitzo jean by Ichi which is an amazing value skinny with superb memory stretch. This style is good for sizes 6-12 who love a skinny. Alternatively, the Angela straight leg by Carreli is a wonderful everyday jean and comes in sizes UK 6-24. There are also skinny leg and pull-on versions of this style too.
Famous rectangles: Audrey Hepburn, Kate Moss.
Regular Body Shape (Slightly Curvy)
Generally speaking as this body shape, you will be "in proportion" and this is who most clothing manufacturers cater for in the UK and Europe. You will have a definite waist and again your shoulders will be in proportion with your hips. As per the rectangle you can absolutely have a bust, although it is not likely to be overly large. When you gain weight, it will tend to be "all over".
Although you should find buying jeans slightly easier than most; you will still have issues and should steer clear of very high rise styles and instead choose ones that sit just below the waistline.
Famous regular body shapes: - Liz Hurley, Catherine Zeta Jones, Halle Berry
Styles that work well for you are the Pulz Stacie Slimmie which is available in sizes UK 8-UK 20 and is cut with a curve at the hips but also features clever seaming at the front to slim and lengthen the leg. If you prefer a pull-on, the slim leg Sarah by Carreli is a great everyday jean and comes in UK 6 to UK 30.
Curvy Body Shape
This body shape is the iconic fifties movie star shape with a large bust, small waist and large hips and bottom. Your top half could be a size or two smaller than your bottom half and you will generally put weight on below the waistline.
Your biggest issue buying jeans will be finding the dreaded "gape" at the back and around the waist. This happens because your hip to waist ratio is more pronounced than manufacturers normally cater for. You end up sizing up to get fit through the hips and bottom and end up with too much material at the waistline. You may also find that you don't get enough material through the thigh, so you need a jean cut to suit your shape with a good degree of stretch.
Famous curvy body shapes: Marilyn Monroe, Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez.
But I'm Petite and I always find jeans too long
This doesn't necessarily have to be as big a problem as you think. Provided the style that fits you around the waist and hips is not a bootcut, flared or super skinny style; most jeans can be altered to your desired leg length. Check they're the same width below the knee as they are at the ankle - if so, they can be shortened. This allows for most slim/skinny and straight styles to be adapted. We offer an alteration service on the site for all styles that allow - click here to shop our jeans and trousers collection.
Well I'm tall and I find jeans too short.
Long Bodied/Short Bodied?
If you're long bodied you need jeans with a high rise or that pull on. The Angela straight leg pull on by Carreli is perfect for you. If you're short bodied you need to avoid very high rise jeans and choose styles that sit below the natural waist line such as the Stacie Slimmie by Pulz.
Did you find this article useful? We'd love to hear your feedback around finding jeans that fit and what you struggle with when buying them, so please comment and tell us what you'd like to see jeans wise.