Thursday, 20 November 2008

The search for the perfect pair of jeans can be discouraging. To help the mission, we find out about denim and style features that can make the most of your natural assets.

The Basics

  • The best quality denim is soft and almost velvety to the touch, and is often called ring-ring denim or double ring denim. Some brands will list denim type on the label.

  • Japanese and Italian denim is usually the highest quality, which also makes these jeans the most expensive.

  • Cheaper denim is usually stiffer and rougher.

  • Today’s designer jeans are softer, thinner, more processed, and won’t last as long as that old pair from your youth.

  • There is quite a wide range of styles to choose from, including:

    • Boot-cut fit loose through the leg and are wide at the leg opening, a great style for balancing out wider thighs and hips.

    • Flare leg are fun and funky, featuring a wide, flare from calf to ankle, and resembling more of a trouser look.

    • Stonewashed have a lighter, more broken-in appearance.

    • Dark wash are ink blue or deep indigo, making them ideal for a dressier daytime look or a night out. They can also have a slimming effect. Wash them inside out to avoid fading.

    • Distressed jeans have intentional holes, tears, shredding, crosshatching, and crinkles to create a highly-worn appearance. Be aware of placement of the distressed details because they  may focus the eye on areas you’d rather not bring attention to.

    • Low-rise sit low on the waist, providing the perfect opportunity to show off those well-toned abs.

    • Ultra-low-rise sit lower still on the waist, for the ultimate revealing look.This style doesn’t suit 95% of body types, but if you’re one of the lucky few, work it!

  • Don’t be afraid to choose a snug fit since denim often stretches.

  • When trying on jeans, bend and sit down in the changing room. With low rise, check the back for gape. Many styles gape a lot and reveal more than you want or should.

  • Check the pocket placement: Too high and your rear can look bigger. Too low and your butt looks like it’s sliding down your legs.

  • Pocketless styles look best on women with smaller bums.

Other Considerations

  • A little bit of stretch in jeans can be good, as the denim will have memory and won’t bag out over multiple wears. Look for a pair with one or two percent Lycra. More Lycra than that will feel (and look) like you’re wearing leggings. 
  • Thinner denim with 2% Lycra will seem much stretchier than thicker denim with the same amount. 

  • Embellishments like rhinestones, embroidery and fancy patchwork may have a funky look at the time, but their appeal can dull quickly, and the detail may not survive a few washes. 

  • If the jeans are a little too big in the waist, you can alter them, but only about an inch or they’ll pucker.


We went on a shopping mission with a few friends to find out which designer jeans suited our styles and shapes. We modeled these brands for a panel of very discerning judges (husbands and friends):

  • 7 For All Mankind: $210
  • Paige Premium Denim: $245
  • True Religion: $375
  • Moto: $39

Fit Test

  • The Motos were very comfortable, given all the stretch. But that was also their biggest downfall – literally – because they slid down with every step.

  • One tester liked the simplicity and comfortable fabric of the Paige jeans.

  • Another tester was hooked on the funky design of the True Religion pair – even with the high price tag.

  • The most popular choice was the 7 for All Mankind for their classic style and comfortable fit.


While we have more than a few pairs of jeans, and we know that everyone’s body shape is different, we’re always content with 7 for All Mankind for their reliable style, comfort and overall versatility.

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