How to Find the Perfect Pair of Denim Jeans for Your Body Type

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Finding the perfect pair of denim jeans is nearly impossible for everyone, and while denim has been around since almost the beginning of time (invented 1871), we continue to see an increase in impact. A good [fitting] pair of jeans is something we count on—they easily transition with anything and can last you years if they are of quality. I've purchased my fair share of denim jeans at various price points and found regardless of price; it's the hardest article of clothing to buy. To help you find your perfect pair, I'm sharing with you, my three-step checklist on how to find the perfect pair of denim jeans for your body type. 

Related: How to Build a Stylish Wardrobe on a Budget

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Identify body type

Many think it's easier for us [men] to identify our body type because we don't have to hide unwanted curves, but I'd say it's just as difficult. Like women, we have things we'd like to hide and camouflage, and if you [correctly] identify the type of body you have, it will be much easier to find a [good] fitting jean. Here's how you can identify your body type. 

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Average Build

• Average height (5'7 - 5'10)
• Broad shoulders
• Lean legs
• Defined muscle, but not athletic

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Inverted Triangle

• Athletic
• Moderate to heavy muscle definition
• Narrow, defined waist
• Muscular arms and legs
• Broad chest

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Rectangle

• Skinny
• Narrow Build
• No muscle definition
•Straight up and down

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Triangle

• Large Midsection
• Narrow Shoulders
• Slimmer leg than upper body
• Light to no muscle definition

Fit

I can not express how important fit is with anything you're wearing, particularly jeans. An oversized jean or one that is too tight can kill your entire look—giving you bulk in the wrong areas. Knowing your body type will assist you in determining if straight or slim fit is right for you (I tend to avoid any other fit). Also, think about the occasion—straight fit can lend itself to relaxed activities while a slim fit can be dressed up for more sophisticated events.

Regular

Straight leg that falls from the knee to hem with a fairly large leg opening—straight through hip and thigh. 

Relaxed

A loose fit from the waist to the leg opening; this cut denim is not going to hug any part of your body.

Skinny

Tighter fit with a tapered leg opening; low mid-rise with a zipper fly—skinny from hip to hem.

Slim

Not as tight as skinny. Mid-rise with zipper fly; straight through the hip, slim through the thigh with a narrower leg opening.

Loose

Baggy fit, the roomiest fit of all denim styles. Space in thighs, legs, and butt.

Wash/Fabric/Details

Lastly, the wash and detail on jeans can make-or-break your look. I [generally] opt for a clean or lightly distressed pair but always think about the occasion before deciding. Too much detail can draw attention to "problematic" areas (i.e. butt and gut). Also, think about the pocket detail and length; clean thread patterns tend to a more sophisticated look, and pockets that are too long or too short give the illusion of a saggy backside. Denim can be stiff and uncomfortable, but it doesn't have to be; avoid raw denim and look for styles that have a slight blend (98% cotton; 2% elastic is my preference). In most styles, you'll find lycra or elastic in them which allows for stretch and comfort. If you're looking to wear your jeans all day, opt for styles that have some elasticity—it will give your jeans longevity and allow for extra movement.

So, with all of this information, which style is best for your body type? It's a matter of trying on every style and picking your preference, and what looks best on you, but here's what you should wear and avoid by body type.

Average Build

What to wear

  • Straight leg jeans with a high rise
  • Relaxed fit
  • Loose jeans with a wide leg

What to avoid

  • Skinny fit
  • Low rise

Inverted Triangle

What to wear

  • Regular fit with wide leg

What to avoid

  • Skinny

Rectangle

What to wear

  • Straight leg with a low rise

What to avoid

  • Wide leg
  • Skinny
  • High rise

Triangle

What to wear

  • Relaxed fit
  • Straight leg with high rise
  • Loose fit

What to avoid

  • Skinny
  • Low rise

Don't be discouraged if you have a difficult time finding a pair of jeans that's perfect for your body, it take times and effort, but it's out there!


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