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The best jeans for your body type

Sep 12, 2023

Knowing your body type is the MOST IMPORTANT step in getting dressed. Once you know that, and which styles of clothing- pants, dresses, tops, jackets, swimsuits and so on- work best for your shape, getting dressed and feeling confident gets much easier!

Jeans can be a real challenge, and no one size or style fits all. Read on to find the best styles for you, and it’s also a smart idea to have the name of a tailor handy- yes, you definitely can and you need to alter jeans to fit correctly- no one should be able to look down your jeans when you lean over because they are too big at the waist! Getting the length just right is super important too. Wondering how to dress for your body type? Get the scoop here.

Best jean style for an hourglass figure

Look for jeans that highlight your curves and create a balanced look. Consider high-waisted jeans with a slight flare or wide leg to accentuate your waist and hips. Bootcut jeans can also work well by providing balance to your proportions. Look for jeans with stretch for a comfortable fit, and ensure they fit snugly at the waist WITHOUT being too tight. For jeans to fit in the hip and backside, you may find that the waist is too big (if you can slide your arm inside the waist you need to have the waist taken in).

Bootcut jeans for hourglass body type

Best jean style for an pear figure

For a pear-shaped body, you’ll want jeans that balance your proportions by emphasizing your waist and providing room for your hips and thighs. Try Bootcut or Flare Jeans for this. High-rise jeans can accentuate your waist and prevent any muffin top issues. For pear shape, the rule of thumb is to wear darker colors on the bottom half of your body. Dark wash jeans have a slimming effect and give you “legs for miles” in longer lengths. Jeans with a bit of stretch work well, and wide-leg jeans (in a darker wash) are modern and chic.

Stylist tip:

Stay away from jeans with pockets on the hips and thighs, as they can make you look wider.

Bootcut jeans for pear body type

Flare jeans for pear body type

Best jean style for an apple figure

Look for high-rise jeans that sit at your natural waist to help define your waistline and prevent muffin top issues. Bootcut or wide-leg jeans work well also. Keep in mind that darker colors are generally more flattering and slimming. They create a sleeker look. Look for jeans with some stretch to ensure comfort and a snug fit around your midsection. Some jeans have built-in tummy control features to provide extra support.

Bootcut jeans for apple body type

Wide-leg jeans for apple body type

Best jean style for a “Boyish Figure” or Rectangular shape

If you have a “Boyish Figure” or Rectangular shape (no defined waist or curves): jeans with a mid-rise or high-rise waist can create the illusion of curves. Bootcut or wide-leg jeans can also add shape. Low rise jeans work as well. Skinny and straight jeans are also a great option.

Straight leg denim for rectangular body type

Bootcut jeans for rectangular body type

Wide-leg jeans for rectangular body type

Flare jeans for rectangular body type

Best jean style for a “V” shape or Inverted triangle

If you have a “V” shape or Inverted triangle (wider shoulders and hips): Looser silhouettes will balance out your top half (tight skinny jeans emphasize the difference between your broad shoulder and your narrow lower body). Look for wide-leg, straight-leg, or boyfriend jeans.

Wide-leg jeans can create a balanced look by adding volume to your lower body. Bootcut or Flared Jeans help create balance by adding volume to your lower half. High-rise jeans can elongate your legs and provide a flattering silhouette.

While bootcut or flared jeans are great, straight-leg jeans can also work well for inverted triangle shape.

Straight leg denim for “V” body type

Bootcut jeans for “V” body type

Wide-leg jeans for “V” body type

Flare jeans for “V” body type

F.Y.I.: Denim 101

In women’s jeans, the term “rise” refers to the measurement from the crotch seam to the top of the waistband. It indicates where the waistband of the jeans sits on a woman’s body. Different types of rises are used to describe jean styles:

  1. Low Rise: These jeans have a shorter measurement from the crotch to the waistband, so they sit lower on the hips, often around the hip bones.
    1. Mid Rise: Mid-rise jeans have a waistband that typically sits around the natural waistline, which is around the navel area.
    2. High Rise: High-rise jeans have a longer measurement from the crotch to the waistband, so they sit higher on the waist, often above the navel.

The choice of rise can significantly affect the fit and style of the jeans on different body shapes. For example, if you have a short waist, wearing high-rise jeans may visually shorten your torso even more. You might consider mid-rise jeans, which can help create the illusion of a longer torso.

The “inseam” measurement in women’s jeans refers to the length of the inner seam of the jeans, running from the crotch area to the bottom of the leg. It is the measurement for determining the length and fit of the jeans, particularly with regards to how they’ll fall on a person’s legs. Inseam length varies between different jean styles, and it’s important to choose the right inseam length to ensure that the jeans are the appropriate length for your height and the style you desire, whether it’s cropped, regular, or long. The shorter the inseam, the shorter the length of the jean.

“Wash” refers to the process of treating denim fabric to achieve a certain color, texture, or finish.

Dark colors are more slimming, so if you’re worried about how your thighs look in a pair of jeans, opting for a solid indigo or black denim will be your best bet. Another idea is to look for a jean that is Iighter on the front of the thigh, and gradually gets darker on the outer and inner thigh. This is what I look for, because it contours the leg, slenderizes the thigh and gives the legs a really nice shape. Your eye is drawn to the lighter part down the middle, which gives the illusion that the leg is longer and more slender.

“Whiskering” is a term to describe the technique that creates thin fading lines similar to those formed from creases that are usually found on the front pocket area of jeans. This technique can be really flattering if you find the right placement of the whiskering. You can experiment with several pair to see which looks best on you.

You probably had no idea about all the work that goes into creating that distressed look and wash of jeans. All that work can add up to a more expensive pair of jeans, so beware of that.

Wondering about which back pockets work best for you? To minimize the look of your seat, pay attention to the size of your back pockets. The size of the pockets should be proportionate to the size of your jeans, and the pockets should be about the same length and width in shape. If pockets are too wide or too narrow, your behind will look wider. If they are too low, your behind will look droopy! If you have a small or “flat” backside, look for jeans that have pockets in the back with flaps.

Here’s an abbreviated version of the history of blue jeans:

Blue jeans originated in the 19th century in the United States. Levi Strauss, a Bavarian immigrant, and Jacob Davis, a tailor, are credited with inventing jeans in 1873! The early jeans were made from durable denim fabric, which was originally dyed with indigo to achieve the iconic blue color. They were designed as sturdy work pants for miners and laborers due to denim’s durability. Levi’s patented the use of metal rivets at stress points, reinforcing the strength of the jeans.

Jeans gained popularity among laborers, cowboys, and later, as casual wear. By the mid-20th century, jeans transitioned from workwear to fashion attire, symbolizing rebellion and youth culture. Over the years, jeans evolved into various styles, including bootcut, skinny, and distressed, wide leg, barrel etc., catering to diverse fashion trends.

Jeans became a global fashion staple, and are now worn by people of all ages and backgrounds. If you are close to my age, you remember the 1980’s and 1990’s designer jeans, like those by Calvin Klein and Guess. Even Gloria Vanderbilt had a jeans brand!

Today thankfully there is a growing focus on sustainable denim production due to environmental concerns. It turns out the dye used was a horrible pollutant of rivers. There were a number of toxic chemicals involved in the process, including formaldehyde. This created an enormous amount of pollution; in some parts of the world, rivers near denim mills run blue, contaminating and killing fish and affecting the health of workers and residents- pretty serious stuff.

Today, blue jeans are a timeless and versatile wardrobe item, deeply ingrained in fashion history. They are incredibly chic, super comfortable and durable. It makes more sense to think of jeans as an investment piece in your wardrobe, rather than spending a huge amount on an evening gown that you might wear it once, or twice. It’s also important to remember that personal style and comfort are essential no matter your body type, so we suggest trying on different styles to see what works best for you and makes you feel the most confident.

Stylist tip:

Turn your jeans inside out, especially if they are black, when washing, to preserve the color. Hang your jeans to dry rather than throwing them in the dryer if you want them to stay the same size and length.

The Style That Binds Us




  1. Denise Kidd says:

    What about a tall thin body shape of natural proportions?

you said:

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