Fashion Friday: Jeans

Brooke wrote: I think maybe Jo-Lynne should do a post on the perfect jeans. You can usually pair a lot of things with a good fitting jean!

I say: Girl, you are SPEAKING my language.  I do love a good piece of denim.  I am of the opinion that if they are the right jeans, you can wear them anywhere, with the possible exception of a wedding.  Orrrrrr . . . maybe a funeral.  But pretty much anything else?  Fair game.

The key to finding a great pair of jeans is to try, try, try.  It’s exhausting.  And frustrating.  And sometimes maddening.  But if you try on enough pairs, you’ll figure out what works for you.

First, decide on your price point.  Old Navy is a great place to go for affordable jeans that are stylish, and they carry a wide variety of sizes and styles and washes. I hear their Diva Skinny is quite flattering.  Of course they have bootcut styles too.

Old Navy Womens The Diva Jeans Rinse Lowest Rise Skinny

Gap will cost a few more pennies, but the quality of their denim is noticeably better, in my opinion.  Their Long and Lean is almost universally flattering.  If you’re in the market for new jeans, I’d definitely give them a try.

And Gap is now offering FREE SHIPPING every day on a purchase of $50 or more — no codes, no hassle. Hooray!  And also, from November 11 to 14, you can Give & Get again!  Kelly tells us how.

For mid-range prices, check out the LOFT, Banana Republic, and JCrew.  You can often find great deals at these stores if you’re willing to comb through the sales and clearance racks.  And don’t forget about Target.  I know people who have found really flattering jeans there too.

If you want a truly fabulous pair of jeans, go designer. But beware: once you go designer, you’ll never want to wear anything else. I don’t really care about the brand name; I just love they way designer denim fits and feels. My favorite brands are Paige, Joe’s and 7 For All Mankind. They just tend to fit me better. Curvier girls tend to like Citizens of Humanity.

Now, don’t click away just yet. If the thought of shelling out upwards of $150 makes you want to hurl (or laugh), don’t automatically assume you can’t do designer denim.  You can often score a pair for cheap on ebay (of course you would have to go to a department store and try them on to figure out your size.)  And many off-price stores like TJMaxx, Marshalls, and Nordstrom Rack carry designer jeans that are still in style. There are also outlet stores cropping up for designer brands. I have a Joe’s Jeans and a True Religion in the outlet mall near me.

Okay, so what about fit?

No matter where you buy your jeans, you are looking for a few main things.

First of all, want them to be comfortable. Bend, squat, sit. Be sure you can move around in them comfortably.

Second, make sure the waist fits without causing the dreaded muffin top. The hardest thing about finding a jean is finding one where both the waist and the hips fit nicely. Often the waist is too big or too small. Try several brands, styles, rises, until you find the right pair. This takes some experimentation, so be patient.  Many brands make a “curvy fit” now, for those of you who have the gappage issue.

Third, look at the rear view.

The pocket placement is key. If they are too high, they look like mom jeans, if they are too close together or too far apart, they can add unwanted pounds. Make sure they flatter your tushy. Ladies with junk in the trunk should avoid flap pockets that only add volume. On the other hand, if you, like me, need a little help back there, a nicely placed flap pocket can do wonders. My very favorite jeans have fold over pockets.

Finally, length. Do not buy your jeans too short. Remember that they will shrink 1/4 to 1/2 an inch when you wash them, so take that into consideration. You may have to have them hemmed. This will only cost $10 or $20 and is well worth it. Your jeans should almost touch the ground. I have some hemmed for flats and some hemmed for heels.

Remember, that jeans tend to stretch out as you wear them, so you may want to size down. A good sales associate who knows her brands can usually advise you on this.

What do YOU say? What are your best tips for finding the perfect jeans?  Do you have a brand you recommend?