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How To Choose The Best Jeans For Your Shape

Updated on September 4, 2011

How to choose the best jeans for your shape? Simple. Know what your shape is. Are you petite, pear shaped - or curvy? The shape of your body is less of a problem than you think. Jeans are designed around body shapes. Boot cut, low risers, straight cut, classic denim, boyfriend jeans - you name it, the designers have already sussed out the perfect pair to suit your shape. All you have to do is work out which jeans will suit your shape the best.

Knowing how to choose jeans that flatter your figure depends upon your honesty. Grab a decent sized mirror and give yourself an honest appraisal. Are you carrying a few extra pounds around the waist and thighs? Then you’re a curvy lady. And no – that’s not a bad thing. What’s wrong with curves? Celebrate what you've got … no shame in being a woman that’s curvy in all the right places!

Are you petite ... and wish you were taller? Or maybe you're just full on top to toe curvy? Whatever your size, there is a perfect jean for you. Most of us have insecurities about various parts of our bodies. For me, I'm far from perfect ... but I'm also a long way from being bothered. Many of us have had children, or middle age is creeping in. Some of us were just blessed with curves from the off. But it's worth remembering that real women have real curves.

Curves rock ladies. And our men tend to have a thing about them too ...

Jeans For Curvy Women

Lycra is your friend when it comes to jeans for curvy women. Forget chocolate. Chocolate is for feeling good … Lycra is for looking good. Don’t buy classic cut, rigid denim. Far too restrictive. The jeans need to flex with our bumps – not flatten them or move them elsewhere. And the overall cut that’s best is the fit and flare type. Boot cut. The slight flare at the ankle balances out the hip width and adds to an illusion of a straighter, longer leg length.

And aim for dark jeans – though not black. Black jeans are great until you've washed them a few times. Now let’s talk butts. Curvy butts need pockets that are narrowly aligned – not hugging the side seams. That just adds width where there is none. A good yoke – that’s the bit between the waist band and the pockets. A triangular yoke is best – prevents gaping and hugs the lower back a lot better.

Curvy women jeans checklist:

  1. Dark denim
  2. Lycra
  3. Fit ‘n flare style
  4. Narrow placed butt pockets
  5. A wide yoke

Top Tip: If you find a fantastic pair of jeans that fit perfectly yet they’re too long … buy them. The hem can be shortened very easily. The cut can’t.

Now you know the design that fits you the best – which brand? Money no object: True Religion jeans. On a budget: Gap or House of Dereon.

Petite Jeans

Now petite jeans are something else. Being petite alone is more do do with height – not just shape. So saying, if you’re petite and curvy, you need to combine some of the tips for curvy women, and then adapt them to incorporate with your petite fit jeans. First off – never buy Capri length anything. That just shortens you even more – it only serves to cut a few more inches from the leg length. You need to aim for long, clean lines – a well cut straight leg pair of jeans is perfect.

Do not buy baggy styles – another ‘shortener’. They will only add width, further reducing length and height. Buy jeans that have a neat, straight cut hem – no turn-ups or cuffs. The same goes for jeans that have a wide kick-flare. Remember, you’re aiming for clean cut lines, anything that adds the illusion of height without swamping your frame.

Petite jeans checklist:

  1. Straight cut lines
  2. No Capri lengths
  3. No turn-ups or cuffs
  4. Nothing baggy or wide legged

Top tip for petite jeans: if you find a designer or brand that already produces an excellent line in petite clothing, then the chances are that they've got petite jeans down to a fine art.

Money no object: Not Your Daughters Jeans, Levis or True Religion jeans. Budget brands: Gap and House of Dereon.

Plus Size Jeans

Plus size jeans for larger ladies are just as easy to find as any other size, providing you know what to look for. First – make sure you buy the correct size. Don’t squeeze yourself into a smaller size. As with jeans for curvy women, make sure that there’s an adequate yoke piece. They really do make the difference where gaping is concerned. Don’t buy wide spaced rear pockets and make sure they’re the type of denim that have Lycra or spandex woven into the fabric.

Avoid low risers – they’re simply not flattering. However, don’t go for high waisters either. You’re much better to buy a pair that sit nicely around the waist, that don’t sag when you’re sitting or ride up or down when you’re on the go. Choose jeans that are made from dark denim and avoid anything that’s faded or faded in strategic places – like across the seat. This just adds width. Pockets should be close together and minimal in detail. The cut needs to be either straight or boot cut. A slight flare will balance out the hips/thighs/butt area.

Plus size jeans checklist:

  1. Lycra or spandex – jeans with flex
  2. Straight of boot cut
  3. The correct fit
  4. Avoid low risers

Top tip: don’t worry about the size on the tag. If you find a great pair of plus size jeans that fit – buy them.

Money no object: Abby Z at Nordstrom. Budget brands: Old Navy or Gap

Whatever your size.
Whatever your size.
Real Women Have Curves!
Real Women Have Curves!

The Best Jeans - What To Avoid

Finding the best jeans for your shape is do-able. However, many of us struggle to avoid old habits ... tapered legs for example - a truly awful cut and to be avoided like the plague, even if you're blessed with the body of Venus.

Here's a final checklist of what not to do when buying new jeans - irrespective of whether you're slim, petite or you're carrying a little extra junk in your trunk:

  1. don't buy old fashioned high on the waist styles - and I'm not talking about the modern high-waist styles. I'm talking about the old fashioned version. Avoid them.
  2. If you find a great pair that suits you in every way - resist tucking your top into your jeans then adding a belt and pulling it tight. Sack of potatoes anyone?
  3. Don't buy a size smaller in order to feel better. A muffin top is not a great look.
  4. Shop around - there are plenty of great brands and designs on the market. Shop smart, not hard.
  5. If you buy online - try them on the same as you would in the store. If they don't fit - return them. Online selling caters for returns, it's the nature of distance selling. And if you don't suit what you've ordered and need a different cut, simply re-order.
  6. When you've found a great pair of jeans, don't ruin the look with a shapeless, baggy tee.
  7. Avoid pleats on jeans. They're just plain wrong.

Remember - a well cut, great fitting pair of jeans can help you look and feel fantastic, whatever your size and shape. Teamed with the right accessories, a great top and you're good to go go go ...


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    • profile image

      Kenny 5 years ago

      I totally agree with Mr jones !

      BBW do not i repeat do not look good in Tight jeans ! Sorry

      I guess the only blame goes to the jeans makers themselves. They should stop producing super super stretch jeans that are more than double the size of a fit sexy women . They have to be loosing money charger the same money for double the material and sometimes even triple ! But i guess that's why some of the hot jeans cost 200 bucks ! making up the the material loss on the size 18 20 22 etc etc

    • profile image

      mr jones 5 years ago

      I Think women look sexy in jeans up to size 12 , Once you pass size 12 I think you should not be wearing tight jeans ! Especially the ones that have all the Bling on the back . I think it looks terrible .

      TO all the sexy moms , and women who are parading around in sexy jeans that are size 12 and under Thank you I love seeing you !

      Ladies jeans size 12 and up Stay out of the jeans and yoga pants ! you look silly with all the rolls ! You can look pretty in a dress .

    • Nicole S profile image

      Nicole S Hanson 5 years ago from Minnesota

      Very helpful. I've seen a lot of these articles on Pinterest as well, it's a useful topic!

    • frogdropping profile image

      Andria 6 years ago

      @ tarasfarve - I'm afraid not. What you can do is to try and balance out the top and bottom half of your figure. Skinny kick-flare jeans are a good start :)

    • profile image

      toots 6 years ago

      I am a miniature person. That is - I am perfectly proportioned from head to toe. Petite clothes rarely fit my 5', 95lb frame. Pants are too short in stride and baggy in butt and thigh area; shirts/blouses are too right across bust, dresses too short-waisted. This is a dilemma for many small women because clothing manufacturers do not understand the difference in petite and short. A petite person is petite all over, not just short.

      The very idea of a 16 petite is comical to me. It may be a shortened version of something, but it is not petite. Clothing should be labeled short or regular past size 4. There should only be “petite” sizes up to a 4 and the cuts whould be designed to accommodate the truly small

    • profile image 6 years ago

      i have a dd chest large ribs then im straight no hips no there a jean that will make my frame look more even?

    • Water Damage profile image

      Water Damage 7 years ago

      Very nice hub frogdropping

    • mysisters profile image

      mysisters 7 years ago

      Nice Hub. This is very useful jean guide.

    • profile image

      7 years ago

      Being curvy does not mean plus-size. I'm a size 4, and I'm an hourglass. I don't have extra pounds around my waist or hips or backside; I just have curves. You can be plus-size with a natural curvy figure, or you can be plus-size because you're fat. Curvy does not mean extra weight.

    • frogdropping profile image

      Andria 8 years ago

      adorababy - you're quite right about that! With a little thought and care we can certainly improve how we look when out and about :)

    • adorababy profile image

      adorababy 8 years ago from Syracuse, NY

      Awesome! I think women should be particular what jeans to choose because this could either flatter or bring ou the worst in their figure.

    • frogdropping profile image

      Andria 8 years ago

      Lamme - the best jeans for your butt are out there ... you just gotta go find 'em ;)

    • Lamme profile image

      Lamme 8 years ago

      Wonderful hub. This is definitely information many of us ladies need!

    • FashionFame profile image

      FashionFame 8 years ago from California

      Great hub.Good choice of topic. Would like to read more of your writings. Joining your fan's club and would like to invite you to join my fan's club. Keep up the good work.

    • Subhradipa Basu profile image

      Subhradipa Basu 8 years ago from kolkata

      i have one question...i'm short but thin so what sort of jeans do you suggest?

    • frogdropping profile image

      Andria 8 years ago

      Dolores - thankyou thankyou :) being funny AND cool rocks lol!

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 8 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Frog - I didn't wear jeans for years. They were just too stiff and uncomfortable. I love the stretchy jeans and I hate to admit, jeans without zippers. But if they have elastic waistbands, are they really jeans anymore? Who cares! You hit a certain age and it's to hell with zippers!

      Congratulations on being the funniest hubber PLUS the coolest hubber name. 2 awards! Wow!

    • profile image

      Michellcat 8 years ago

      If you are a bit overweight, and apple-shaped instead of pear-shaped, a muffin top is simply unavoidable in jeans. Jeans are not for everyone. If you are fat but have small hips, you're never going to look good in jeans. If you have to wear them anyway, (like I do at work,) make sure you wear a BIG baggy sweatshirt or a jacket or something over your offensive middle.

    • Sa Toya profile image

      Sa Toya 8 years ago from England

      Love this...I'm not reading all your jeans hubs...I've never been a lover of jeans and that's because I could never find the right one.

      I'm curvy and short 5'4. Big boobs,small waist,wide hips and a biggish bum.

    • hisham2020 profile image

      hisham2020 8 years ago

      that good

    • frogdropping profile image

      Andria 8 years ago

      Lew - You're not wrong about jeans etiquette. I have to say that I've seen some pretty dire sights where I live ;)

    • profile image

      LEWJ 8 years ago

      Hubs like this are needed, cause I've seen some terrible jean-etiquette in my day. Us men are surely watching, so...

    • frogdropping profile image

      Andria 8 years ago

      Nakojua - Hopefully you'll find a pair that give you you're desired behind ;)

    • profile image

      Nakojua 8 years ago

      Great Hub! this was very helpful! I am always trying to find jeans that will fit me just right. I'm short with no booty and its always hard to find jeans that will look good on me!

    • frogdropping profile image

      Andria 8 years ago

      Lissa - real women DO have curves. That's a fact of life. Staying slim is not easy after having a family. For some it comes naturally. Usually it has to be worked at. And between running a home, raising children, working, holding down a marriage or relationship, friends and other family, it's hard to find the time to devote to 'you'.

      And when we do have the time, it's nice to relax. Not go for a five mile run ...

    • Lissa Lynn profile image

      Lissa Lynn 8 years ago from upstate NY

      Another great hub! I especially loved the "real women have curves". Mostly because it's true, society puts too much pressure on women to have that perfect size and shape. I learned a long time ago, there's no such thing as perfect and now I celebrate my curves! :)

    • frogdropping profile image

      Andria 8 years ago

      Heu Helen - thankyou very much :) For us in the UK - Gap and Levis. I'm also a big fan of David Bitton jeans, though they can be pricey.

    • Helen Cater profile image

      Helen Cater 8 years ago from UK

      frogdropping you have hit a very good subject here. The times I have spent deciding which jeans flatter me most. You are spot on with your hub.

    • frogdropping profile image

      Andria 8 years ago

      Keira - hey hey :) We are all gorgeous girls!

      Trudy - just get a mirror and be honest. I bet you're gorgeous :)

    • frogdropping profile image

      Andria 8 years ago

      Feline - now you're armed ... go buy the correct fit and be dangerous!

      Chin - old habits die hard and many of us, once extra weight has crept on, are unsure. Plus we feel better when we squeeze into smaller sizes. Really, we look much better when we acknowledge and accept our size and dress to suit.

    • profile image

      TrudyVan 8 years ago

      wow really nice. I still need to think about what shape I am. So cool ty

    • profile image

      Keira7 8 years ago

      Hello Frogdropping, thanks for all this good info for how to look good and feel good. Nice hub my dear. Tanks. See you soon. God Bless.

    • Chin chin profile image

      Chin chin 8 years ago from Philippines

      This is very helpful. There's a lot of info here that I didn't know when it comes to finding the best jeans. I think I made most of the silly mistakes you mentioned here. Thanks for a practical hub here!

    • profile image

      Feline Prophet 8 years ago

      How timely is this! I need a new pair of jeans and voila - good advice!! Thanks Froggie. :)

    • frogdropping profile image

      Andria 8 years ago

      FML - I think I need to say something like ... congratulations! And I love Gap jeans! Big up you and big up you and your curves!!

      *shake that booty!*

    • ForgotMyLine profile image

      ForgotMyLine 8 years ago from Pennsylvania

      This is spectacular. And I'd just like to say hip hip hooray for Gap jeans that fit my small waist but don't eat my big butt.


    • frogdropping profile image

      Andria 8 years ago

      Hey hey Candie! I loved it too. It's real :) We do have curves for the main and we've gotta put 'em somewhere! May as well make the best of what we've got. That's my opinion anyway - I've earned every one of my bumps and I'm sticking with what I've got ;)

    • Candie V profile image

      Candie V 8 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

      Great hub!!! Love this! I wish more women/teens paid more attention to the 'muffin tops aren't sexy' thinking. Should be on the label somewhere!!! Thanks FD!


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