What comes to your mind when I say that word? Have you decided that finding jeans that fit well, hold their shape, and look good after a few washings don’t actually exist? Has jeans shopping become as difficult as bathing suit shopping?
I hear you. Jeans aren’t what they used to be…literally. Let’s talk about why finding good jeans is so difficult, what you need to know when shopping for jeans, and how to care for them when you do find a great pair.
Fit, Fabric, and Baggy Butt Syndrome
First, let’s talk about fit. Have you ever bought a pair of jeans that fit perfectly in the dressing room, but by the end of the first day wearing them you have “baggy butt”? That is super frustrating. Understanding how jeans are made can help you understand why they fit the way they do.
When I was younger, jeans were almost universally made of 100% cotton. This meant that we had to wear them for a while to “break them in”, or get the stiffness out. But today, companies are adding polyester and elastane, both man-made materials, for stretch. So that “breaking in” period has gone away, and in its place, we have baggy butt syndrome. Yay, right?
Man-made materials are not so fabulous if you want jeans that hold their shape and continue to fit well after a long day, or after washing and drying. I know you’ve seen it…the baggy butt, the waistband that stretches more than it should, the hems that don’t keep their shape, the style that just isn’t a great fit for your body.
Now the stretchy fabric can be a blessing, especially on those days that you need a little bit more stretch. So if you deal with monthly bloating or just need a little more “wiggle room”, be sure to choose jeans with more of the stretchy fabric in them. Just remember, the more they stretch, the less they feel like jeans. These jeans will feel more like a trouser or a legging; more comfy, but less consistent in fit.
The other issue with these materials is the way they are affected by heat. Think about how plastic reacts to heat; it may bounce back the first few times you pull at it. But eventually, it will begin to lose its shape and will never bounce back to the original. That’s exactly what happens with these stretchy materials; as soon as you begin to wash them and put them through the dryer, they start to lose their ability to “bounce back.”
Jeans with a higher percentage of polyester, elastane, or other stretchy fabric will lose their shape faster than jeans made from 98% cotton or higher.
2 Pairs of Jeans You Need
If you are ready to go shopping for jeans, what jeans should you buy? I’d like to recommend two types.
- Dark rinse. Trouser, boot-cut, or flare style. Longer inseam for heels, wedges or boots. These jeans can easily go from casual to dressy.
- Medium rinse. Skinny, boot cut, or distressed. Have these hemmed to wear with flip flops or flats. More casual style.
It is important to remember that fit and length matter when you are choosing jeans. Spend the money necessary to have your jeans tailored to fit the shoes you will wear with them. Don’t wear jeans that are too short with a pair of heels. And please don’t think that rolling up jeans that are too long is a good fix. Tailoring is important.
What to Look for When Jeans Shopping
This will vary by brand and by body type. You might try to wear a pair of jeans that fit me perfectly, and find that they don’t fit you at all, even if we have the same body type.
You want to look for a comfy, but snug, waistband, The jeans should rest comfortably on your hips. You should not have to tug at them or pull them up every time you stand or move around. And please…no muffin top. That is not snug; that is too tight, and it is not attractive on anybody.
You also want them snug throughout the thigh area, with no bagging. If they are baggy in the thigh when you put them on, it is only going to get worse as the day goes by.
Pocket placement on the rear is key, along with fit. Again, you want them snug but not tight. Wear new jeans for 6 hours or so before removing tags to check for baggy butt. And they should fit smoothly down to the ankle; no bunching at the knee. This usually means your jeans are too long and need some tailoring.
I hope this has been super helpful for you! Buying jeans doesn’t have to be impossible if you just remember these tips I’ve shared today. Be sure to watch the video to get the rest of my suggestions for buying a pair of jeans that you can love.