How to Select the Right Size Jeans

Updated on January 25, 2013
Shopping for Jeans
Shopping for Jeans | Source

How Can I Find Jeans That Fit?

It's a vexing question many denim lovers have probably asked themselves at some point. Some people don't mind spending a good amount of their time to shop around or slip in and out of the fitting room until they find a perfect pair of jeans. But unfortunately, not everyone has time for that. Many people now prefer buying jeans online, whether it's due to convenience or irresistible discount offers. One obvious downside of online jean shopping, however, is that you don't get to try them on. True, most people know what their size is, but jean sizing tends to run differently among designers. Those who normally wear a size 8 Ann Taylor may sometimes have to opt for a size 6 when buying from Banana Republic. Even within the same brand, the sizing among various styles may differ slightly. Don't let this inconsistency perplex you, though. Here is how to correctly determine your jean size, regardless of what brand or style you're buying.

Measure Your Body for Jean Fitting

Some of you may think your waist size is all you need to know. Well, it's not that simple. There are a few other measurements you'll also need to make. Now get your measuring tape ready!

Waist - Around the narrowest part of your torso, slightly above the belly button

Hips - Around the widest part of your lower hips

Rise - From the waist to the crotch

Inseam - From the crotch to the bottom of your foot

Finding a Perfect Pair of Jeans

When purchasing jeans online, don't just choose them by their numerical size and assume they will fit perfectly like other pants you already have in your closet. First, look at the rise measurement or the length between the crotch and the waistband. The shorter the length, the lower the jeans will sit on your waist.

Jean Rise Guide

Rise
Length
Waistband Position
High Rise
more than 12"
Above the natural waist
Classic Rise
11" - 12"
At the natural waist
Mid Rise
9" - 10"
Slightly below the natural waist
Low Rise
7" - 8"
2" - 3" below the navel
Ultra Low Rise
less than 7"
4" - 5" below the navel

Once you know where exactly the jeans will sit on your waist, measure your waist at that position and compare it to the waistband size of the jeans. Then finally, consider the hip and inseam measurements of the jeans you want to buy.

Best Jean Styles for Different Body Types

Body Type
Description
Flattering Jean Styles
V Shape
Small hips and thighs with a wide mid-section
Mid-rise, tummy-control slim leg, tapered boyfriend style
Pear & Hourglass
Tyra Bank's waist, Oprah's hips
Curvy, bootcut, trouser, stretchy slim jeans
Round
A lot of love handles in both the waist and hips
Trouser, relaxed fit, wide-leg
Stick
Slim and virtually curveless
Skinny, low-rise, flare leg, bootcut
Tapered Boyfriend Jeans
Tapered Boyfriend Jeans | Source

Best Jeans for V-Shaped Bodies

Go with a mid rise or classic waist if you want to rock your jeans! Low-rise jeans can cause the "muffin top" effect, whereas the high-rise style may draw a bit too much attention to your large midriff. Finding jeans that fit right at the waist but not too unshapely on the hip and thigh area can also be challenging for this body type. To emphasize your slim hips and thighs while concealing the love handles, opt for tummy-control jeans with straight or slim legs. Plus, accessorize your wardrobe with a couple pairs of tapered boyfriend jeans. These relaxed-fit jeans are nice-and-easy on the waist and hips but not too baggy in appearance overall. Any jeans that give you the leggy look and shift the focus away from the tummy are your best friends.

Curvy Bootcut Jeans
Curvy Bootcut Jeans | Source

Best Jeans for Pear and Hourglass Figures

Curviness is a lovely aspect of femininity. A lot of women with other body shapes are secretly jealous of you. However, that doesn't mean your life is that much easier than theirs when it comes to finding perfect jeans. Curviness does come with a curse. Some jeans that have the correct waist measurement may turn out to be too small for your hips, while those that fit the hips quite nicely tend to have a huge gap at the waist, ride way down when you're seated and reveal a little more than you want to show. Fortunately, though, many designers have been creating special lines of jeans with the pear and hourglass figures in mind. Curvy jeans is what they're called. In addition to having a larger waist-hip ratio than those of regular jeans, they also better contour to your natural curves! Also, try to avoid low-rise jeans with all your might; large-hipped women do need extra coverage down there. Tapered slim jeans may be a flattering option for hourglass-shaped gals with slender legs. For the pear body type with thunder thighs, however, it's better to stick to styles that create the long, steamlined look, such as bootcut and trouser jeans.

Trouser Jeans
Trouser Jeans | Source

Best Jeans for Round Figures

Some say overweight women shouldn't wear jeans at all. That is downright untrue. There are certain styles of jeans that can look amazing on round figures. Classic-rise trousers and relaxed-fit jeans with straight legs are some favorable choices. They make your legs appear slimmer while not accentuating your waist and hips too much. Wide-leg jeans, although continuously going in and out of trends, should also be wardrobe essentials for full-figured women. Fitted at the hips, they won't add undesirable bulk to your behind like baggy jeans do. The billowing leg openings also provide perfect coverage to some thigh flab you might want to hide. Avoid low-rise and super tapered jeans; they will only draw bad attention!

Skinny Jeans
Skinny Jeans | Source

Best Jeans for the Stick Body Type

Stick-thin women can rock pretty much any style of jeans. It's the reason why most jean models have this body type! There are a few styles, though, that tend to be more flattering on your not-so-curvy shape than the others. Low-rise skinny jeans, of course, are many slender women's number one choice. They add visual curves to your behind and hips while accentuating your slim legs. If you want to give some dimension to your straight silhouette, go with bootcut or flare-leg jeans. For those of you who are ultra thin, don't wear loose-fit or baggy boyfriend jeans. They don't make you look fuller at all but emphasize your thinness in an unflattering way. Some people might want to offer you a cheeseburger or direct you to the nearest soup kitchen if they saw you in those oversized jeans!

Questions & Answers

    Comments

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    • Om Paramapoonya profile image
      Author

      Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago

      @Jonny Carroll - Well put, Jonny! Thanks for dropping by :)

    • Jonny  Carroll profile image

      jonnydonut 5 years ago from Arlington, Texas

      Seriously, more people should read this. Just because it's denim and looks good on someone else, doesn't mean it will look good on you.

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image
      Author

      Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago

      Thanks so much for your positive and kind feedback, everyone! So glad to hear from y'all! :)

    • viveresperando profile image

      viveresperando 5 years ago from A Place Where Nothing Is Real

      Enjoyed reading this! I am very picky about what jeans I buy. :) Found this quite helpful!

    • greatstuff profile image

      Mazlan 5 years ago from Malaysia

      Om, congrats on another HOTD, you have earned quite a few already. You certainly know the secret to writing articles that will earn the HOTD award. This article is very informative & a good guide to a difficult issue for most people. Voted up for this awesome hub.

    • dghbrh profile image

      deergha 5 years ago from ...... a place beyond now and beyond here !!!

      Very detailed information here. Congratulation for the HOTD and its most deserving. Thank you for sharing this one. Voted up and shared.

    • KenWu profile image

      KenWu 5 years ago from Malaysia

      Very detailed and well-written hub. This is surely very helpful for denim lover especially the ladies.

    • pinto2011 profile image

      Subhas 5 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Millions of people are left undecided when buying a pair of jeans; this piece of info would really help them ease out.

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Very informative hub. I think we must read this hub before buy the jeans, especially for women. I love your tips and the pictures as well. Thanks for writing and share with us. Voted up!

      Prasetio

    • Bake Like a Pro profile image

      Bake Like a Pro 5 years ago

      Congrats for earning HOTD, yay :).

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 5 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      This is a great article. Congrats on HOTD, I can see why you won it!

      I like the input on what the different styles are like, and what types of jeans are best for the different body types.

      I always have to try on jeans, because the different styles, and even different brands, can be drastically different. But it is amazing how the "right" kind of jeans can be especially flattering! Thank you for sharing this with us.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

      Congratulations on a well-deserved Hub of the Day! What a detailed and useful hub. I'll definitely use these guidelines next time I shop for jeans. Thanks!

    • Nancy Owens profile image

      Nancy Owens 5 years ago from USA

      Hi Om!

      Congratulations on Hub of the Day! I really enjoyed this hub. It is jam-packed full of useful information, and I liked that you included so much detail about the various rises, which always seems to confuse me when shopping. Now I have the information I need to make good choices.

      Thank You!

      Nancy

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 5 years ago from Western NC

      Fantastic hub - I LOVE the way you approached this topic and so many women will thank you. Voted up and shared!~

    • Mark Johann profile image

      Mark Johann 5 years ago from Italy

      Good hub and I agree that some sizes differ depending on the brands. I got four jeans of same size but one jeans does not fit like the others.

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 5 years ago from South Carolina

      Congrats for earning HOTD for this well written and useful hub.

      I love the tables and the fact that you included info for all figure types.

    • Simba73 profile image

      Jon 5 years ago from UK

      Hey Om !!

      love this hub I could not help thinking of something I wrote on the subject ages ago and think you might find it funny !!

      Check this out

      https://hubpages.com/literature/Fly-Jeans

      Bye

      Simba

      Great hub btw

    • divacratus profile image

      Kalpana Iyer 5 years ago from India

      I am still on the lookout for those perfect pair of jeans! This page has helped me a lot and will keep some of the points in mind next time I am out searching for one.

    • cperuzzi profile image

      Christopher Peruzzi 5 years ago from Freehold, NJ

      Good advice... especially for husbands looking to find a good gift in jeans. Thanks.

    • ComfortB profile image

      Comfort Babatola 5 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

      Well written hub on a very real subject. I've seen jeans on people with curves and overflow in all the wrong places. This should help.

      Voted up and useful, and congrats on the HOTD award!

    • renegadetory profile image

      Carolyn Dahl 5 years ago from Ottawa, Ontario

      Great Hub! I don't think people realize that you have to put a little thought into what style of jean looks best on you and to take measurements too. I don't wear jeans much anymore, but now that I'm starting to lose the baby weight I might just reconsider.

    • leahlefler profile image

      Leah Lefler 5 years ago from Western New York

      A long, long time ago, I had a stick body. I wish I had it back! I have had to find a better fit now that I have had two kids and discovered the joy of pastries, haha. I really dislike the low-rise jeans, as they don't work well for someone with wide hips and a smaller waist (I find they tend to slide down), but it is hard to find jeans that sit at the natural waist anymore. Congrats on the HOTD, Om!

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Congrats on HOTD! I like high rise to classic and they have to be a relaxed fit. Hard to find these sometimes.

      Great reference hub!

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 5 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      I figured this would get a HOTD when I first read it. Well deserved. Congratulations!

    • thewritingowl profile image

      Mary Kelly Godley 5 years ago from Ireland

      Great advice. As a very short curvier lady finding jeans can be hard work and I do have some on-line disasters that make me want to stay away from the fridge forever. Like your advice and I will read more, how to dress your age might be my next read. Thanks.

    • skperdon profile image

      skperdon 5 years ago from Canada

      Thank you, this is very helpful. I am one of those people who spends a lot of time in and out of fitting rooms trying to get the best fitting jeans.

    • ktrapp profile image

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      What an incredibly useful guide. I can't wait to try out your sizing tips next time I go jean shopping.

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image
      Author

      Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago

      @rebeccamealey - Thanks for dropping by, Rebecca. Hope this hub makes your jean shopping experience less troublesome! Talbots, Levi's and NYDJ are some good jean brands for large petite women :)

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 5 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      This is a great guide for buying jeans...always a problem for me. I wear "large petite" sizes.

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image
      Author

      Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago

      @lindacee - Good to hear from you, Linda! Mid rise jeans are also my favorite. High rise and classic waist, to me, look kind of mumsy. Low rise jeans are okay but they make me somewhat self-conscious when I sit down, especially when my top is not long enough to cover the upper hips.

    • lindacee profile image

      lindacee 5 years ago from Arizona

      OMG, finding jeans that fit these days is a major hassle for me! I typically go for a bootcut and mid rise, but sometimes that's a difficult combination to find in a budget jean. Right now, I have a couple pair that are low rise and I find I'm constantly trying to pull them up--guess I don't have the hips and derriere to wear them. Sigh. Anyway, I loved this Hub and will def refer to it the next time I'm on the hunt for jeans!

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image
      Author

      Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago

      @akirchner - Yeah, glad you didn't rip your pants or get severely injured. But seriously, try not to fall off the sled ever again!

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 5 years ago from Washington

      Cool--thanks for the tip~ I'd hate to split my pants when I fall off the sled next time--I did fall off once so far...thank goodness I had on stretchy sweats! Didn't do much for my ego though but at least the next time I weathered the storm in my sweats...up on the sidewalk the 2 brats took me screaming WHOA and many other colorful words~ At least I didn't rip my pants but jeans would be nicer when I have to go to the ER~ ha ha HOPING NOT!

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image
      Author

      Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago

      @Bake Like a Pro - Glad you enjoyed this hub. Keep these tips in mind next time you shop for jeans!

      @akirchner - So you'll be your grandson's personal stylist? Hehehe that should be a lot of fun. I always think the most fun part of being with kids is dressing them up! BTW, have you ever heard of NYDJ (Not Your Daughter's Jeans)? I think those might be great slim jeans for mushing.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 5 years ago from Washington

      Interesting info, Om--I know over the years it's become more and more difficult to buy jeans as there are just too many types--without trying them on in my case. Every cut is different but so are the waists these days and they do seem to go a lot for low riders.

      Great picture at the top--I'm wondering though why guys don't seem to have this many choices and consequently trouble finding a pair of dang jeans~

      Even trying to buy jeans though for my little grandson to be, it's insane how many different "looks" there are--I'm doing a hub at the moment on our local mens store (I think no kidding it's been there for 30 years) and since this is ranch country....OMG TABLES of jeans. But where are the old lady stretchy jeans for mushing?

    • Bake Like a Pro profile image

      Bake Like a Pro 5 years ago

      Om what a detailed and informative article wow! I enjoyed reading it. I always have trouble finding the perfect jeans and try about 20 pairs until maybe I get lucky. I learned a lot from your article. Hopefully this time around I can find the perfect fit jeans. Voted up and sharing :)

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