Last week, I spoke about my 2 realizations that allowed me to enjoy jeans (if you missed that post, click here to dive in now). Now, I want to get into the practical part: how to ACTually pick and find that unicorn pair.
I started to wear jeans a lot after I graduated college. My closet was stocked with different cuts, denim compositions and brands. I thought I had it covered.
But i didn’t!
Jeans STILL made me mad. Spending my mornings rolling on the ground, wiggling into them. 10 minutes later there’d be a heap in the corner of the room that I would dramatically chuck as I ripped them off with an UGHHHH.
But these were jeans that sometimes could look and feel great, right? (i mean, obviously, I bought them) How could they be perfect one moment, and the next I want to BURN them?!!?
My heart is LITERALLY racing now just from thinking of it.
I remember one morning, I went to daily mass with my mom. In my morning zombie mode, I slipped on some red skinnies with a chambray button-down.
Okay, so here comes the embarrassing part...
I… could NOT focus at mass because of my jeans. I sat in the pew, fuming with frustration, staring down at my red legs. While I may have looked contemplative in prayer, I really wanted to burn these jeans at the stake. They were saggy and tight in the wrong places, and the inseam was driving me NUTS.
Thankfully, there was a bag to Salvation Army bag of donation clothes in the back seat of my mom’s car. (Yes, I did make a wardrobe change while my mom was speaking with a woman in the parking lot.) (And yes, that woman did come to the car to say ‘hi’ and asked if I was wearing something else).
So what got me to this point? Well, I didn’t know what COMPONENTS make up the perfect jean, and this is everything when it comes to finding the perfect jeans.
I want to introduce you to my perfect pair of jeans: a coated pair of J Brand skinnies. I've had them for a few years, and they are my absolute, no-fail, feel-good jean. Why do I say that? Let's break them apart.
Here are the 5 categories for why these jeans are an A+.
1. Pockets: Look at pocket placement. Do they carry extra bulk? Where do they fall on your backside? Pockets will create the illusion of a bigger, smaller, rounder, flatter keister… Use these pockets to your advantage! Go in with a positive mindset as to how they can be an asset.
2. Rise: Rise can really make the difference. If, you carry weight in your girth, go for a lower rise. If you’re a “pear” or hourglass, highlight that tiny waist with a high-rise or medium-rise. If you’re a straight frame, luck you, because any rise will look great. If you’re short, go high-rise and if you’re super tall, stick to a mid-rise.
3. Denim Comp: Denim today has a lot of stretch to them, which is comfortable for fit, however there is downside that is often unnoticed. Stretch can result in being too baggy is some places and too tight in others! If you’re a pear or hourglass, this stretch will be advantageous for you (check the tag for a small percent of elastane or lycra.) However, in this, you’re going to want to invest in a higher quality denim brand. This jean will guarantee “stretch memory”. It’s a real thing! This makes sure you won’t feel it getting saggy throughout the day, and more so, your jeans will still give you a great cut and structure to your frame. IMPORTANT NOTE: If you go for a stretchier jean… buy it in your size! Don’t try to get the size down just because you can button it. This will actually make you LOOK BIGGER. You're the only one reading that smaller number, while your legs are squeezed like sausages (and this is coming from personal experience... guilty!).
Cut: Do you have larger thighs and are above 5”6? Try going for a wide leg, flare jean in a dark wash. If you’re under 5”4, I recommend a skinny or cigarette jean. You’ll also want to consider your “go-to” shoes when buying your cut. (More to come on this at a later date.) Make sure the jeans and shoes pair well together, meaning don’t buy flared jeans if you never wear wedges.
Style: Does the style not only ‘go’ with the rest of your wardrobe (i.e. matches the color of my blouses, jackets, blazers, shoes), but does it MOVE YOU FORWARD to where you want to be with your closet.
This seriously is a no-fail way to buy your jeans. I will never, EVER again buy jeans, if these 5 categories aren’t met.
I really hope these are helpful!
Question: How many of your jeans score an A+ in all of these categories? How willing are you to donate the ones that don’t?