Honest, Practical, Style Advice

Perfect jeans – how many sizes are you?

How to overcome variation in sizes when shopping for jeans –










I’m sure you’ve gone on a quest for your ‘perfect jeans’ only to be disappointed that that your normal size doesn’t really fit. There seems to be very little standardization in jean sizing these days (and other garments for that matter). Even if you visit a retailer that you’ve bought from before you can still find size variation. Grrr, it can be so frustrating and you have to end up taking a whole range of sizes into the fitting rooms. When you multiply this to take account of all those cuts and styles you can easily feel overwhelmed.

The good news is that it’s not just you – you are not alone, it’s a universal problem that the retailers need to get better at addressing. Interestingly, Next will be trialling in-between jean sizes: 11, 13, 15 and 17 – yay.

But how much will this really help? I have to say, if you consider what you get for your money, Next jeans are quite good, and I have a lot of success with this brand when shopping with my clients. But they are at the cheaper price point and I believe it’s true that “you only get what you pay for”, so sometimes it’s worth investing a little bit more for the perfect jeans – because yes, they are out there, they just might take a little bit of finding.

Coming in at a different price point, NMDJ (‘Not My Daughter’s Jeans’) are great for the more mature figure but if you don’t want to fork out a hundred odd quid on one pair of jeans then shop around.

So, what should you do when planning to buy a new pair of jeans?

  1. Firstly, go to the shops, don’t fall back on the convenience of online ordering because you definitely need to try your jeans on.


  1. I suggest making jeans the sole focus of a shopping trip – look for jeans and only jeans. The search can sap enough of your energy without being distracted by other things.


  1. Wear something that is easy to take on and off because you’ll be trying lots on. So, no lace up shoes and you won’t need as many layers on as you think, this is hot work!


  1. If you find a pair that are a close fit but just a bit too snug or big don’t necessarily go up or down a size just try another pair on in the same size – you will never get 2 pairs of jeans exactly the same and often different colours in the same style can vary in size too. This is due to the dying processes used to create different effects.


  1. Think about style – not what’s on trend – what will suit your body shape best. High waisted jeans on some people would be normal waisted on others depending how deep your rise is (the distance between your waist, the smallest part, and the break of your leg at your groin).


  1. When choosing which retailer to use, think about their target market – does your body shape fit this? Retailers will cut their patterns to create different styling effects for different shapes.


  1. Don’t always think stretch is your best friend – sometimes jeans can have too much stretch in them, so they lose their shape easily and don’t hold yours. It can be best to go for a more structured jean with less stretch but again, this will depend on your body shape.


So, the answer is perseverance. Make sure you give retailers your feedback to encourage them to listen. Some retailers like NextNew Look and River Island have already pledged to help implement standardized sizes in the UK. Hopefully, things might start to slowly change, but in the meantime, if you need any help finding that perfect pair of perfect jeans don’t hesitate to get in touch.

You can also listen out for me on Helen Blaby’s BBC Radio Northampton monthly lunchtime show on Wednesday’s at 1:05pm.

Or for more helpful styling tips why not follow me  https://www.facebook.com/LesleyClarkeStyleAdvisor
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