Back to Basics: Denim

Shopping for jeans is challenging for everyone. Below are some of the best tips and ticks to keep in mind when navigating the denim jungle.

Mind your wash: It may seem boring and you might have heard it a million times, but there is a good reason that magazines always suggest having at least one pair of dark wash denim in your closet. Dark denim makes your body appear leaner and it looks more polished and modern than lighter washes. Selecting a pair of jeans that are faded in the thigh, booty or hips attracts the eye to those places, making lighter areas appear larger.

Watch your rise: The rise of a pant refers to area from your crotch to where your waistband sits on your waist. The most universally flatering rise is a mid rise jean which should fall at the top of your hip, across your stomach (or right below your belly button). A low rise jean is cut to sit below your hip bone. A high rise sits at or above your belly button and the top of your hip. A mid rise jean is a good option if you are trying camouflage a little extra tummy (a wide band will help with this too) and you want some insurance that your thong won't be showing during a PTA meeting. Just saying, that might not scream appropriate. A high wasted jean looks amazing if your are wearing a trouser cut jean and you want to show off a small waist.

What's your style?: Most women can bet on a straight, trouser, or a subtle bootcut to flatter their body. When looking for the right pair of jeans the goal is to create a straight, unbroken line from the top of your thigh to the bottom of your hem. A straight leg or a bootcut jean that doesn't hug the thigh and flare dramatically below the knee looks best because it elongates the lower body.

Skinny jeans were not created to make your body look good. They were created to show off a good body. There are ways, however, to make a skinny jean flatter most body shapes. Balance your body's proportions by wearing a loose top with a fitted jacket or a belt. Pair a skinny jean with a heel to elongate the leg (making it look thinner) or a ballet flat. If you are not comfortable wearing a tight jean, it's probably best not to invest a lot of money in this style. That said, if you feel good in skinny jeans, rock it.

Last, get your jeans hemmed. It's always better to buy jeans that fit your everywhere except the length than to buy a pair that is too short (making you look wider and shorter). When you go to the tailor (or do your own tailoring) always wear the type of shoe you intend to wear with that pair of jeans so the tailor can hem the pant to the top of your shoe. If you are wearing a heel, the hem will be a good inch or more longer than if you are wearing a flat so bringing your shoes to the tailor is a must. If you don't want to lose the look of the hem your pants came with, ask the tailor to attach the original hem back on the jean.

A few other tips and tricks to get the most out of your jeans:
*When buying jeans it's true that spending more money pays off in the end. The cut of high end jeans tends to be better and the fabric is thicker, making it less likely to lose shape and stretch out.
* Never wash denim in hot or warm water and ALWAYS let jeans air dry. Putting your jeans in the dryer wears away the elastic fibers that allow your jeans to stretch and return to their original shape.
*To avoid the "mom jeans" look, pay attention to where the back pockets of your jeans fall on your booty. Ideally, pockets should fall in the smack middle of your butt and be (about) the size of your hand. Pockets that sit higher will give you the mom jeans look and lower will make your butt look droopy. Small pockets will make your behind look bigger and any embellishments or volume will add junk to your trunk. Keep it simple.

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