I can’t believe I’m writing this post today – and putting so many pictures of ill fitting jeans on me out into cyberspace. My goal with this is to help show you how to identify some fit issues in jeans, and then later this month hopefully we can address those issues with alterations to patterns (and maybe even some existing jeans – I have one pair I’m going to try) so that you can hopefully find a pair that fits your unique body like a glove.
I also want to say upfront, that thanks to our media and culture I have my own body image hangups (as I’m sure you do too) and it’s kind of scary to put these out there, even though I know my size puts me on the smaller end of the size spectrum. I’m not as small as I was before kids, and things aren’t in the same places. And I think we all have some of those hangups. What I want to do here is to emphasize that we can all have clothes that fit OUR bodies, our beautiful bodies that have carried us through our lives and (if you’ve given birth) made whole other human beings and deserve all the respect and adoration those things bring. And I want to say that I know we as women are SO MUCH MORE than the bodies the world sees us in. But also, I think finding/making clothes that fit is one of the highest forms of respect I can show myself and my body.
So (deep breath) here I am in a bunch of store bought jeans, each pair with fit issues that I’ll point out and like I said, issues I plan to address when I sew up my own jeans.
I’m starting with a few pairs I own. This is probably my favorite new pair, as the issues they have are fairly minor. Excuse the mug shot face; this was the last of 13 pairs I tried on for the camera.
These were my favorite jeans pre-baby. Now they are too tight through the hips, thighs and waist. But I can still button them! But remember, just because you CAN wear a pair of jeans doesn’t mean you SHOULD.
This is a pair of $2 jeans I got at the thrift store, and for $2 I think they’re pretty good. The pockets could be a little lower, and the seat is a little too tight, but otherwise this is a decent pair.
Coming in at slightly more expensive at $15 is this pair of H&M jeans I bought out of desperation. I can’t wear anything tucked into them and I have to wear a belt or constantly hike them up due to the too large waistband, but in a pinch and with a long shirt…
This pair I picked up not realizing the size recently, and they’re too big. Everywhere except the hips. I guess you could say I’m pear shaped because they fit there. But the thighs are a little loose and the waistband is waaaaay too big. I’m going to try altering these later this month and we’ll see if they can be salvaged.
Okay, onto the jeans from the store I tried on. First up a pair of Levi’s “Flatters and Flaunts” skinnys. These have an interesting two part yoke and nice pocket detailing, and I actually did like how they fit in the waist and most of the seat, but as you can see from the rear view we’ve got a rise not shaped for my booty and that is leading to wrinkling issues.
This is another pair that has me convinced that I need to photograph every pair of jeans before I buy them and pull the tags. From the front and even from what I could see of the side/rear in the mirror I liked these Calvin Kleins. But notice how the pockets being set wide makes my rear look wider and flatter? Yeah, couldn’t see that in the mirror.
On the other hand these Guess jeans were all wrong from the moment I stepped into them. The rise is too low for me, those pockets are unflattering and these are just generally bad.
Funny thing – these Guess jeans are the exact same size as the pair above, but made with a denim with a higher spandex content. Which leads to them being huuuuuge in the waist.
On to another pair – these are Inc “Curvy” Bootcut jeans. The Curvy part should help a lot with fit, right?
Wrong. Apparently I’m only curvy through the hip, not the thigh and what’s up with those super big pockets anyway? Plus why would the rise on a “curvy” jean not be longer? These were just bad.
Same rise problem with these Inc jeans – compounded by a too-large waistband and now a too narrow seat.
These Tommy Hilfiger jeans came the closest to being purchased and kept, but alas, the waist issue is still there. The thigh wrinkling, however, is minimal, and so it looks like the seat is the right size.
And this is where I decided it was time to sew my own. Because if I can get a hip/seat that fits, the waist doesn’t, and if I get a waist that fits the hip doesn’t, and neither of those things is an easy alteration.
Another pair illustrating my point – the seat on these Two by Vince Camuto jeans actually fits. But the waist and the too loose thighs just make them look sad overall.
Now, I know I’m showing wrinkles below the seat on just about every pair of these jeans. And really, there should be a wrinkle below the rear when your jeans fit properly. Just not lots of them. And here’s how you can begin to tell the difference between the types of wrinkles.
It helps to look at whether the wrinkles are going into your body (something is too tight) or folding out (something is too loose). Also look at the shape of the wrinkles. Smile shaped ones often indicate a length issue somewhere – rise too short or even thigh too long. Wrinkles that point at a certain area are pointing at the area that needs more room.
Okay, hope this identification of jeans issues helps. The first step to fixing a problem is admitting there is one, then figuring out what it is. Later this month I’ll be covering how I altered a pattern to address my own fit issues on display here. But if you’re impatient, this tutorial is a start.
Want to see all the jeans posts we’ve done? Click on any picture to go to the post.