Jeans are a wardrobe staple, and the right pair can work wonders for your appearance. But there are so many options to choose from when it comes to shopping for jeans. What fit, what rise, and what wash do you prefer? Should you go with something polished or something distressed?
To find your next pair of favorite jeans, you need to know your body type and which fit and rise to wear to flatter your body type. You can choose a wash or color according to your preferences, or according to how you plan to style the jeans. Here’s what you need to know.
Find Your Favorite Fit
Discovering the fit or fits that best flatters your figure is probably the hardest part of shopping for jeans. First, you need to know your body type — apple, pear, hourglass, strawberry, or banana — so that you can choose the right fit to flatter your curves.
If you have an hourglass figure, skinny fit is the most flattering, although you can pull off a flare leg or a bootcut if you’re a curvier hourglass with ample hips. If you have a round or apple-shaped body, straight leg is a good fit to balance out your body proportions, but a skinny fit will help you show off your slender legs. If you have a pear shape, bootcut and flare fits will help balance out your hips — but look for styles cut with a smaller waist that will fit your figure. Banana body types will look best in skinny flares and skinny jeans that show off the butt and thighs, or boyfriend jeans that show off your long legs and slim hips. Strawberry bodies should go for wide leg and boyfriend fits, as these will balance your narrow hips with your wider shoulders.
Choose a Rise that Flatters Your Figure
Jeans come in an assortment of rises: ultra-low rise and low rise, medium rise, high rise, and ultra-high rise. If you have larger hips, and especially if you’re trying to hide some extra weight around the belly, high rise and ultra-high rise jeans are where it’s at. High rise jeans will emphasize the curves of an hourglass figure and make her small waist look even slimmer. They can also hide the extra weight apple bodies carry around the middle, or the muffin top that plagues many pear bodies. If you’re short, a high rise jean will make you look taller, and if you’re tall, a high rise jean is a great way to show that off. A high rise jean can accentuate long legs, make short legs look longer, and can accommodate a range of body types, from curvy to athletic, without the dreaded waist gap that can happen if you have curvy or muscular hips and thighs.
However, low rise jeans have their place. If you have a boyish banana shape, low rise jeans will make your hips look curvier. Low rise jeans are also good for showing off a ribbed abdomen if you’re athletic. Mid-rise jeans are usually comfortable for all body types and are high enough to accommodate most tops.
Pick a Wash or Color
You can choose either a dark wash or a light wash, depending on your preference, but dark wash jeans are usually considered more appropriate for formal settings while light wash jeans are usually seen as more casual. The same goes for undistressed versus distressed — you can probably get away with wearing pristine, undistressed jeans to the office on a Friday, but save your distressed and ripped jeans for the punk show Friday night.
These days, you can also buy jeans in a range of colors, from basic black (also good for a more formal look) to bright orange and everything in between. Colorful jeans can add a bit of fun to your wardrobe every day of the week. Choose more neutral colors, like olive and burgundy, in the fall and winter, and get out your bright colors for spring and summer. Don’t be afraid to mix and match with colorful tops and prints.
If you want to find your perfect pair of jeans, you’re going to need to know which fits and rises flatter your body type and make you feel most comfortable and confident. Once you have an idea how different fits look on your body, it’ll be much easier to go into a store, or even log in to a website, and buy a pair of jeans that you’ll love to wear, over and over again.