According to style expert and What Not to Wear alum Clinton Kelly, the average woman should expect to try on up to 20 pairs of jeans before finally finding the right fit. That’s right… 20. Of course, this number isn’t entirely surprising given that most women can relate to squeezing themselves into low-rise skinny jeans beneath the unforgiving glare of fluorescent lights. It’s a universally accepted fact that shopping for jeans is no easy task, especially when it comes to finding jeans for curvy figures. Fortunately, a few simple guidelines can make all the difference. We’ve rounded up some basic tips for finding the perfect pair of jeans for your enviable hourglass proportions without having to try on 19 ill-fitting contenders. (Ain’t nobody got time for that.)
Good Jeans: A Guide to Finding Your Most Flattering Fit
From saddlebags and “hip dips” to muffin-top madness, we all have features that give us grief; but the good news is that the right apparel can transform and flatter these so-called “problem” areas. Below are some of the more common challenges that arise when dressing curvy physiques, along with easy solutions for each one:
- Wide hips: Dark washes are your best friend, so stock up on deep blues, charcoal grays, and classic black designs. Avoid whiskered details, which can make your hips appear wider, and pay close attention to pocket placement. Back pockets should be close together and angled inward to enhance your hourglass shape, while front pockets should lie flat without puckering out at your sides. Dark jeggings with a mid- to high-rise waist are a closet must-have, while bootcut jeans are a smart way to balance the width of your lower half.
- A big butt: Again, dark washes are the most flattering choice for a curvy bum. Look for jeans that are constructed with built-in shaping panels that lift and smooth your backside, and choose designs that are made with stretchy fabrics like spandex and elastane for a more accommodating and comfortable fit. Also, go for simple designs over embellished ones — bedazzled pockets or bright stitching can draw unwanted attention to your, ahem, assets.
- The tummy pooch: High-rise jeans are the best solution for your shape, because they cinch your waistline and prevent muffin top while flattening your entire midsection.
- Petite or tall figures: No need to call your tailor — just shop in the petite and tall sections to find a length that’s suited to your height. Measure your inseam for an exact match, and you’ll never have to deal with high waters or (gasp!) camel toe again.
- Long or short torsos: High-rise jeans are an excellent choice for curvier figures with long torsos, because they smooth and contour the stomach area while making legs look miles long in comparison. If your torso is on the shorter side, however, you may prefer a slightly lower rise to visually lengthen the space between your hips and your bust.
Hello, Bombshell: 5 Perfect Jeans for Curvy Figures
Who needs a fitting room, anyway? The following styles are guaranteed winners for enhancing your curves and streamlining your silhouette:
1. H&M Straight Cropped High Jeans, $9.99
Full-length jeans are a great way to elongate the look of your stems, but a cropped version can actually work wonders in this department, as well. These dark, straight-leg jeans from H&M hit right above the ankle and offer a subtle kick at the hem. Even better, this on-trend style features a high waist and is made with 1% spandex for ease of movement.
Just don’t go shorter than ankle length. (Calf-length jeans don’t do anyone any favors.)
J.Crew’s popular “Lookout” jean is made with premium Japanese denim and features a slim silhouette, a higher rise with a nipped-in waist, and plenty of elastane stretch to accommodate wider hips and thighs. Plus, these jeans are regularly included in the brand’s 40%-off sales, so you can get them at a sweet price.
New York & Company is one of several brands that carry denim lines specifically made for curvy physiques. (Old Navy, LOFT, and Ann Taylor are other great options.) This design’s bootcut silhouette instantly balances curves, while a hidden interior panel helps to smooth your hips, thighs, and butt. These sit a little lower at the waistline, and the no-gap waistband is a dream for curvy waist-to-hip ratios. Just be sure to pair bootcut designs with high-heel boots or platform shoes to lengthen the appearance of your legs.
Velvet by Graham & Spencer is known for its collection of well-made denim for men and women, and the brand’s apparel is manufactured almost entirely in the USA. This boyfriend style pairs a high waistline with a slightly looser thigh, and the slouchy fit and dark wash both help to flatter a curvy bottom half.
New York & Company calls these jeans “the LBD of your denim collection,” which pretty much says it all. Much like the brand’s bootcut offerings, this style sits a little lower on the waist to lengthen shorter torsos. Plus, this pair’s black hue and slim leg make for a winning combination.
What types of jeans do you prefer when it comes to flattering your curves? Do you have a favorite store that’s earned your loyalty, or do you look for specific fits and details across a range of brands instead? Let us know in the comments!