My personal taste in jeans may not necessarily reflect the general population’s. Ideally, I want a pair of jeans tight enough to render my nether regions infertile.
Think of it as an unconventional vasectomy, if you will.
However, there are a couple of blanket rules that’ll help anyone to snag a pair of jeans that feel Goldilocks-level good. It can get incredibly confusing given the mindboggling array of cuts – mum jeans, boyfriend fit, straight, skinny, wide-leg, bootcut etc – so I, with my 20-odd years of jean-buying expertise (coupled with tips from the internet because I can’t do this by myself), am here to help.
1. Suss out your size
There’s a vast difference between an incredibly tight pair of jeans and an incredibly ill-fitting pair of jeans.
You see, some jeans are simply designed to cut off the circulation to your feet. It’s a tried and tested look and I can attest that I have both tried, and tested, said look.
But – but – you still have to get your bottoms in the right size. Primarily, the waistline and the inseam.
Have a gander at the tips above, courtesy of Universal Store’s size guide, to suss out whether you’ve been trying to squeeze into the wrong size your entire adult life.
My general rule of thumb is to buy a pair that are slightly too snug fresh off the rack (and that are at least 2% elastane), so that after a few washes when they’ve loosened up a bit, they fit like a glove. So to speak.
Don’t be too scared if the size you land on in-store isn’t what you think is your normal size either. It’s about the actual fit itself, not the number on the waistband.
2. Request a helping hand
Sometimes I do the occasional google search to see if there are any jobs going for a professional hypocrite – although I suspect I’m overqualified.
Do I fucking hate physically going into shops? You bet. Is it a necessity when you’re buying items like jeans? Yes. You can deny it all you want, but you need to physically try on a pair of jeans before you buy them.
And as daunting as it may seem, speaking to staff at clothing stores can be a handy tool when sussing out what fits and what doesn’t. They’re also pretty clued in when it comes to what people are buying at the moment, so, if you’ve been eyeing a pair of jeans that aren’t your usual cut, give them a holla.
For example (and I only just found this out so don’t feel bad if you’re out of the loop too), skinny jeans are being worn less and less among women (but still remain a top fave among men), so if you’ve been eyeing off a pair of mum jeans, now’s the time to experiment.
If you’ve noticed your mate wearing a pair of jeans you froth, ask them where they got them or if you can take a photo to give the staff. Visual aids can be incredibly helpful.
Remember that it’s part of the staff’s job to help you look good and to give you insider knowledge on new trends (I for one am only learning now that tapered jeans are becoming more popular) so don’t be a Stubborn Steve and get off thy ass and into a store.
3. Have faith in your friend
Regardless of whether you don’t really like them as people, it’s always convenient to have a straight-shooter in your group of mates.
Someone who’s ready to destroy your self-esteem in five seconds flat. Someone who will break bad news to you with no tact. Someone who is yet to learn normal social cues.
The reason for this is that when you bring those type of friends along with you on a shop, they’ll be more inclined to tell you if a pair of jeans look stunning, or whether you look like this:
4. Determine how comfortable you want to be
As previously stated, comfort doesn’t rank high on my list of essentials, so I tend to go for a close-fitting pair of jeans.
For others, though, comfort is priority numero uno. So, after you’ve figured out your waist and inseam size, start narrowing down the different cuts – are you about that straight-leg life? Perhaps a jaunty wide-leg?
There are almost an infinite number of material/cut/size combinations to work with, which is why I still stand behind my suggestion of talking to a professional.
Pro tip: usually you’ll find that the more comfortable you feel, the more confidence you’ll have.
5. Have confidence in your style choices
Do you know how many times strangers have made a jab at me for what I wear? Yeah, me neither, I usually run away before they get to the punchline.
The point is that everyone has their own version of what they think looks fly (Schmick? Cool? What’s a hip term now? Is ‘hip’ even cool? My god I’m having a meltdown), so just wear what you bloody feel good in.
I know I’m biased, but the jeans above are my ideal fit in every sense of the word. Not everyone will agree with me, but that’s half the fun.Image: Instagram / @lizzobeeating