Shopping for jeans is like shopping for a bathing suit. No one really likes it, but it is a necessity of life. Jean shopping CAN be a reasonably pleasant experience. First, get real about your body type – the fabulous parts and the flaws. Find a store with knowledgeable salespeople and ask for the resident denim expert. In fact, Dallas is home to several specialty jean purveyors, such as Jean Connection, The Blues Jeans Bar, Octane, Sheke and 7 For All Mankind (opening in at NorthPark Center in November), just to name a few. Here’s a little advice to get you going.
Nancy’ Denim Cheat Sheet
• Long torso/short legs/full thigh: You need a jean with a higher rise to make your legs look longer. A short, low rise will only elongate your already long torso. A darker, more even, wash is the most flattering to a fuller thigh. Try this: The Muse from Joe’s Jeans at Anthropologie; McKenna trouser jeans available at Kacky & Carl and Melanie Gayle in Dallas.
• Long legs, short waisted: You need just the opposite – a jean with a shorter rise to make your torso look longer. Try this: Citizens of Humanity “Helena Kelly” bootcut or AG Jeans “The Kiss” straight leg. Available at Neiman Marcus.
• Curvy, full figured: Opt for a cut that accommodates a small waist and fuller seat. Try this: The “Blanc” jean from White House/Black Market. It is made specifically for curvy girls. If you opt to purchase a jean not made for a small waist, ask the tailor to take the waistband off and then feed the excess fabric back into the waistband or put two darts on either side.
• You are a woman’s size 6-20 and cannot find a designer denim to fit you. Try this: Paige Premium Denim has designed three jeans that actually are made for a woman’s body. They come size 4-16 and 14W to 22W. There are three different washes and they run small, so be sure to size up. Only available at Nordstrom.
• Just looking for a mid-rise: Try the Flirt jean at Old Navy.
• How tight should I buy my jeans? I do not believe you should buy your jeans one size too small. They will stretch, but they still need to look elegant and appropriate. If you are wrapped up like a sausage, then move to the next size. One laundering will put them back into shape. I recommend cold water, inside out and line dry.
Jean shopping CAN be fun. Just pretend you are Goldilocks: one will be too small, one will be too big and one will be just right.
Nancy Klompus, owner of Buy Request, a personal shopping service, is the secret weapon to many well-dressed Dallas women. Got a burning fashion question? Shoot it: firstname.lastname@example.org.