One of my friends started a dialogue the other day about jean frustration. She confessed to having tried on over 30 pairs of jeans the other day in order to find one that fit. She ended up with 2 pairs of jeans--a Charter Club and a Tommy pair. The plus sized diva I'm talking about is not alone.
Just a couple days before, I was talking to a dear friend/family member who is a plus sized petite. She's petite in that she is a tad under 5' tall, but she is a curvy gal. She discussed her frustration when it comes to shopping for bottoms--that plus designers don't seem to care about those in need of a petite length. Yes, she can find her share of petite plus items in stores, but they aren't cut properly.
The friend I mentioned first shares the shopping woes I experience--being different sizes at the wait and hip. While I need a 12 or 14 bottom, this size tends to make my waist area swim. There's that big gap at the back of the waist.
Short of custom ordering (which is rare for jeans) or tailoring each and every item (which gets costly), what's a denim lover to do?
- Try on many pairs of jeans. I know we're all strapped for time, but this is imperative. Sit, walk, and bend in them while in the fitting room.
- It might sound silly, but do not go if you're feeling bad due to PMS or if you and your hubby just got into an argument. It is amazing how different that mirror seems when we are feeling blue.
- Know that stretch can be your best friend--spandex in jeans can be a lifesaver. That said, there's a hitch to this--after wearing for an hour or two, your pants may actually look and feel up to a size larger. When I buy jeans with lots of stretch, I always size down.
- Take an honest friend with you--someone who will be honest about how they look. We are our own toughest critics and sometimes we pick at every little thing.
- If you do not feel comfortable in a certain style or fit, don't buy. If you're not comfortable, that lack of confidence will show.
- As always, forget about that size tag! Sizes vary so much from brand to brand or style to style. In my closet, I have jeans ranging from a 12 to a 16. That one pair with a 16 is actually smaller than the 12....you just have to be open minded and try, try, try.
- Think about the shoes you'll wear with the outfit. I remember trying on a pair of jeggings a day that I happened to be wearing shoes that do not look right with jeggings. I just had to envision what they'd look like with my pointy flats or leopard heels....and they do look fierce!
- If you find a pair you love that makes you feel good about yourself, buy more than one pair. You never know if they'll be discontinued.
I have to admit that the last suggestion is because I learned the hard way. I found the perfect pair of jeans last year at Marshall's. The brand is Duplex by Tyte and I just love them so. They were $14.99 and rivaled any $100 pair of jeans in terms of quality, style, and fit. They were made for those of us with hourglass shapes. I can't find them anymore. Their website lists several stores where it says they are available, but when I search the websites, they're not there. I've checked all over without success, so I am trying to make mine last as long as I can. I am going to contact the company and ask about them.
I also have had really good luck with Not Your Daughter's Jeans. They fit perfectly in a size 12 and are really wonderful. They are pricey, but I have found some at discounters and my mom found me a pair for $4 at her local thrift shop.
I also really was excited about the ones I found at Avenue by their Art 2 Wear line. Unfortunately, they stretch so much that their smallest size (14) no longer fits once they are worn for more than a few hours. These stretch at least a size bigger.
Fashion to Figure jeans work pretty well for me too.
Another brand I have success with is Seven7 in a size 14. They are great and fit well. I only get mine at TJ Maxx and Marshall's because I refuse to pay $60-90 for my jeans!
Not Your Daughter's Jeans
What are YOUR favorite jeans to enhance your curves? Let me know. I know you all want some helpful suggestions, too. One of my readers has mentioned Maurice's before. A friend of mine swears by the Simply Vera Wang at Kohl's. Another likes the Right Fit at Lane Bryant. How about you? I'd love to hear what works for you based on your shape. I know that what might look great on someone with an apple shape won't necessarily work on someone with an hourglass or pear body shape.