It’s taken most of my adult life to find women’s jeans I love. For years working in our men’s shop, men & women asked me what jeans I wore, and I was pretty embarrassed to admit I didn’t have jeans I loved (even though I spent my days helping men find their dream denim). So, a couple of years ago, I got busy searching for great jeans for myself. I never imagined I’d be sitting here today writing a guide for ladies on how to find your dream jeans.
This has always been our mantra. The right fit is what will make you reach for those jeans every day. It’s what will make you want to invest in better quality, longer-lasting jeans that you’ll keep in rotation long after the trends are telling you to throw them out. Great-fitting jeans that truly fit YOUR body shape and type never go out of style, never betray you, and are never the wrong choice.
When determining what fit is best for you, consider a few things…
How do you want your jeans to fit?
What do you do in your jeans?
Do you want them comfy off the rack or are you willing to invest time in break in?
Brittany is wearing Baldwin Karlie High Rise Skinny, a classic black skinny jean with perfect stretch.
Assessing Your Assets
Really I just mean thinking honestly about your body type. Are you curvy? Slender? Athletic? Androgynous?
Here’s why this is important…Let’s say you are on the curvy side and want a snug fitting jean that hits at your natural waistline and hugs your body from hip to ankle. With this in mind, you might want to consider jeans with stretch OR be okay with a bit of a waist gap in 100% cotton jeans since ladies with fuller hips tend to need to size up in all-cotton jeans. Even 1% can help prevent that waist gap. Or tailoring the waist is also a great way to get that customized dream fit in all-cotton (or not very stretchy) jeans.
Dorothy is wearing Levi's Wedgie Icon Fit, a curve-hugging 100% cotton selvedge denim jean with a light wash.
Clearly, more than a few factors go into how jeans fit, but one of the biggest is the material. Both fiber content and washes play an important role in finding fits. Like we mentioned above, even 1% stretch can make a difference! But what are the options? And what is best for you?
If you're looking for a jean that hugs you in all the right places straight off the rack, fabrics with a little stretch will be your best friend. If you're looking for something to mould to your body over time (essentially custom jeans? Yes please), consider going with jeans with less stretch or raw denim. Raw denim is an unwashed, untreated denim that feels very crispy when purchased, but over time will soften to your body shape and develop a natural wear patina.
Sam is wearing A.P.C. High Standard, an Indigo raw denim jean that will age gracefully and develop a unique patina.
One woman can easily wear 3 different sizes in jeans. That all varies by brand. Some brands run small, others large. All styles will differ depending on the type of denim used. At the end of the day, don’t get hung up on tag size—it’s only a number. The ultimate determining factor should be if something fits you well (or will with a little break in). So, what I’m saying is, don’t let a tag size (that means nothing) make you emotionally unavailable to find your new best jeans love. While there is no substitute for being able to try on IRL, we’re pretty damn good at helping size ladies over the phone, via email, or through Instagram. Don’t be afraid to ASK!