Do you know the best jeans for your bod – or just think you do?
I’ve never actually stopped to think about what makes a great pair of jeans. When I go shopping, I tend to focus on my waist size and leg length – both of which are ballpark figures – and once I hit the change room with what I believe to be the best jeans, I freeze… since, you know, I have no idea what it even means.
Have you been wearing the best jeans for your body type? To help you find out, we caught up with Moniqua Plante, top LA fit model, who’s worked with such ah-mazing clients as True Religion, Lucky Brand Jeans, Forever 21 and Bebe Studio. (There are even Tukatech & Alva mannequins of her bod!)
Here’s what you need to keep in mind during your hunt for the best jeans:
1. Enjoy experimenting
“The biggest piece of advice I can give is don’t be afraid of trying on a few different sizes,” says Plante. “We’re socialized to believe that size is everything. Meanwhile, no one’s looking at the label inside your jeans, they’re looking at your cute butt on the outside.” Plus, when jeans are mass-produced, sizing will always vary slightly, so make sure to bring your go-to size, one size up and one size down to the change room.
2. Know what to look for
“When you try on jeans, they should feel a little tight, but not like sausage casing,” says Plante. “Denim will grow as you wear it. I always do a few squats and knee bends in the dressing room to get a feel for how the denim moves and to see how quickly it stretches out.”
Once you’re checking yourself out in the mirror, here are three important areas to pay attention to:
- If the mid-thigh area is too tight (the area between your upper thigh and knee on the back of your leg), you’ll end up with extra fabric above the back knee and serious creases on your back thigh. Plante calls this extra fabric fold behind the knee “knee buckets.”
- If you have a muscular calf area, the stretchier the jean, the better. You don’t want your calves to seem larger, so try a slight boot cut to avoid emphasizing this area. This will help to balance out your figure.
- Are they bootylicious enough? Use the back pockets as your guide: You want to make sure they’re not too big and not too small. If you’ve got a big booty, small pockets will make it look bigger. If it’s small a larger pocket will help fill you out. If your rear’s flatter, look for pockets with a flap or embellishment of some sort to accentuate all you have to offer.
3. Know your body type
“There are a number of body types,” says Plante, “But you probably fall under one of the main five.” Here are her recommendations for each:
Balanced upper + lower body with a slim waist.
“You want to accentuate your awesome curves without making yourself look fuller than you are,” says Plante. Skinny jeans are ah-mazing for this body shape. If you’re not a fan of skinny jeans, try a pair of boot-cut or flared jeans with a low- to mid-rise waist to even out your curvy hips and booty. Wider-legged styles will also look fabulous on you. Go for denim with a bit of stretch for extra comfiness.
Athletic build, straight up and down without a defined waist.
“Lower-rise jeans will create the illusion of a defined wasiteline,” says Plante. The best jeans for this figure are bootcut or slightly flared. Make sure they’re relaxed around the calves and ankles, but fitted around your hips and booty. Steer clear of higher-wasted styles, as they will add too much width to your lower body.
Wider shoulders/larger boobs with a slim booty and thighs.
A wider leg will help balance out your chest so you don’t appear top-heavy. “A lighter wash denim will also draw the eye downward and away from your chest,” says Plante. “Go for low-rise, boot-cut or wide leg jeans to achieve the effect.”
Slim shoulders + hips, wider midsection.
Low-rise jeans will emphasize your fuller middle and give you a muffin top (dun dun dunnn!). “I recommend mid-rise jeans with a boot-cut or slightly flared silhouette,” says Plante. A straight leg style will show off your lean legs, and if you love skinny jeans, go for it! Just make sure you choose a flattering, flowy top that helps hide the tummy.
Wider hips + thighs with narrow shoulders + bust.
“The most important thing is to look for a style that will elongate your legs,” says Plante. “I caution against skinny jeans because they’ll emphasize your fuller lower regions, as well as super high-waisted jeans, which will make your legs look shorter.” Give mid-rise, straight leg or bootcut styles a try – with a dark wash that will flatter your shape.
Have you found the best jeans for your body type?
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Image: John Shortland