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  4. > A Buyer's Guide to Women's Denim

How to find your perfect fitting jeans

How to find your perfect fitting jeans

Womens Denim

There are few things the usually eager shopper dreads more than finding that perfect jean. There’s something about jean shopping that fills even the most experienced of shoppers with dread; what is usually an exciting, euphoric experience turns into depressing, self deprecating drag. But fear not! Here at House of Fraser we believe that everyone is capable of finding the perfect fit. Believe it or not there truly is a perfect fit for every figure and investing in the right one can take you from season to season effortlessly.

Get familiar with fits

The fashionista’s favourite. Not only does it look sexy and smart but always ensures you feel your most fashionable. The skinny is perfect with both boots and heels; making it one of the most versatile jean shapes.

Skinny facts:

  • The skinny jean stays tight to the leg all the way down to the ankle
  • A high rise is ultra flattering as it banishes muffin tops
  • For a super skinny fit opt for a pair with ankle zips
  • Black skinny jeans are a wardrobe staple

The ultimate leg lengtheners, straight jeans have a wonderfully androgynous appeal. They look sexy without being too sexy, and they can be worn casually without being too casual. Yes straight jeans are great look, particularly if you’re scared of skinnies and bored of bootcuts.

Straight facts:

  • The straight leg runs straight down the length of the leg from hip to ankle.
  • Because the straight cut skims the legs it automatically slims thighs and calves
  • If you’re planning on wearing heels opt for a slightly longer length
  • Straight legs work really well with a low rise

The original jean; the bootcut has been loved and adored by cowboys and fashionistas alike for decades. Whilst other jean styles may fall in and out of fashion, the bootcut always remains a classic.

Bootcut facts:

  • The bootcut fit follows the thigh but flares slightly from the knee.
  • A mid rise bootcut is the most flattering jean around
  • Dress up your look with pocket detailing
  • A bootcut in an indigo wash is a true style icon

Flared jeans are back, dominating the spring catwalks flares are the jean and trouser shape of the season. They’re super flattering and surprisingly easy to wear so we tip flares to be the new ‘It’ shape.

Flare facts:

  • A flared jean is tight on the thighs and then widens from the knee to the foot
  • A kick flare is where the jean flares out from the ankle rather than the knee
  • Wear yours with a chiffon blouse and towering wedges for a '70s vibe
  • A pale flare is very on trend, but an indigo wash is the most forgiving

Still a fairly new jean style, the boyfriend is the marmite of the denim world. You either love these or hate them completely. It’s definitely worth trying a pair as you may surprise yourself, die-hard skinny fans have been known to dabble with the boyfriend shape.

Boyfriend facts:

  • It’s a baggy style that fits loosely down the leg
  • Seated low on the hips gives the boyfriend a sexy edge
  • Rips and grazing also give this jean a sexier look
  • You still want the jean to follow the contours of your legs

Shop for your shape

If your figure is pretty straight up and down you need your jeans to give the appearance of curves.

The cut
Definitely work the skinny jeans look, your body was made for this, and the tighter the better. Boyfriend styles are also great, you’ll show off your slim figure whilst giving you a bit more shape. Wider legs will need to be tighter and shapely around the bum otherwise the fabric will drown you.

The rise
High waists are great for your shape, they will nip you in giving you a more hourglass silhouette. Equally you can pull of low rises beautifully.

The tip
Opt for styles with detailing on the back pockets to give the illusion of curves.

If you carry your waist on your hips and bum, buying jeans can feel like a bit of a nightmare. But never fear there’s a cut perfect for you.

The cut
Don’t think that baggy is more slimming, as baggy styles will just exaggerate your curves and are best avoided. Instead a bootcut or straight leg is ideal. Choose your wash carefully; indigo is perfect, and those with whiskering and faded detail will help slim the legs down and elongate them.

The rise
A mid to high rise is ideal for your shape, a high rise will give you a more hourglass shape. Look for jeans which are slightly higher at the back these will give you a better fit and prevent any embarrassing leaning over moments.

The tip
Don’t go for heavily detailed jeans, these will only make you seem curvier.

With your naturally curvy frame you may struggle in finding the perfect jeans. You need a pair which show off your tiny waist and keep that balance between the hips and bust.

The cut
You are lucky that you can pull off almost all styles of jeans. We recommend a skinny to show off your figure, and whilst you can get away with boyfriend jeans you may find your figure looks bulkier in them. A slim straight leg should be your wardrobe staple.

The rise
Definitely a high waist for you, this will really show off a tiny waist. Make sure you get a pair with elastane in so you can get the perfect fit over the waist and hips.

The tip
Dark washes will slim you down and show off a fabulous figure.

Finding the right length can be really tricky, you will probably find that you need to take up most styles or opt for very large heels. Don’t forget rolled up jeans look great with heels or flats.

The cut
A petite shape can carry off most styles. Skinny jeans are perfect for you and will lengthen your legs, equally bootcut and straight look great. Be wary of wide leg jeans as this style may swamp your figure.

The rise
A higher rise will lengthen the legs, but a lower rise with lengthen the body; look at your figure and choose accordingly.

The tip
Straight leg jeans are the easiest style to take up without loosing the look of the jeans.

The brands you need to know

J Brand

The brand
J Brand was created by fashion veteran Jeff Rudes and super stylist Susie Crippen, this partnership has led to the creation of a high fashion denim line that has a superb fit.

The signature style
The simple lines and range of waist lines have made these cult classics, the Love Story jean has become a wardrobe staple of fashionistas everywhere.

Look out for
The 811 coloured skinny jean as seen on Kim Kardashian and Sarah Jessica Parker is this season’s must have.

7 for all mankind

The brand
Since 2000 7 for all Mankind has revolutionised the denim world with jeans that fit like a glove, they are often referred to as ‘Sevens’. The label was founded by denim designers Michael Glassser, Jerome Dahan and Peter Koral and has gained a legion of fans.

The signature style
The mid rise bootcut jean is the perfect fit for any body shape. The mid blue wash has gained a loyal following thanks to how flattering it is.

Look out for
The Gwen skinny stretch jean. The clever weave in the fabric makes this style super stretchy yet super comfortable.


The brand
Despite the Union Jack label Hudson jeans are actually American, created in 2002 the brand symbolises American style with a British attitude. These jeans have a cool laidback feel.

The signature style
The distressed denim has become a firm favourite, whilst the straight leg is incredibly flattering.

Look out for
The super skinny denim jeggings are a must for anyone who likes their denim tight.


The brand
A true heritage brand, Levi’s were created in 1853 by Levi Strauss, who created denim overalls for workers. In the 1920s Levi’s started to produce commercial jeans but it wasn’t until the 1950s when they became fashion items thanks to film stars such as Marilyn Monroe pioneering the denim look.

The signature style
The 501 is of course Levi’s most famous style, and the reason is simple, they’re an amazing fit, never date and always look good.

Look out for
The Curve ID collection. Find your perfect fit, whether it be a slight, demi or bold curve this clever measuring technique promises to solve all your denim problems.


The brand
The must-have cult denim brand. Founded in the 1960s this British brand has been favoured by celebs from Farrah Fawcett to Claudia Schiffer. It continues to grow by creating iconic styles including the Marrakesh and the Paris.

The signature style
Classic styles bought bang up to date with a modern twist. The Marrakesh has become a style staple for denim addicts all over the globe.

Look out for
The Paris. This versatile cropped jean that will look great season after season.

The perfect fit

The waistline
Every pair of jeans is measured in inches, so when you read 26, that means that it is a 26 inch waist. 26W32L would be a 26 inch waist with a 32 inch leg length. To measure your waist, take a tape measure and measure around the narrowest part of your natural waist. This will sit above the hips and below the ribcage.

The hips
To get your hip measurement, measure the widest part of your body at the top of the legs. The waist measurement counts even in low rise jeans, for example if the jeans are low rise (sit on your hips) and your hips measure 35 inches but your waist measures 26 inches, then you will still purchase a size 26.

The rise
This will be how far the jeans sit on the body, a low rise will sit directly on the hips, a high rise will usually be about 10 inches from the crotch to the waistband and sit directly on the waist line, where as a mid rise will hit between the two, at approximately 7 inches. To find the rise of a jean measure from the crotch to the waistband.

The inside leg
The leg length which you will see written on the tag, is the inside leg length, to measure this you need to measure the distance from your crotch to your ankle. Bear in mind that if you plan to wear heels you will need a longer leg length.

Don’t forget: Every brand of jeans differs in cut and sizes, so when you find the perfect fit take note of the brand and size, otherwise we recommend always trying two sizes in the same brand just to compare.

Tip: If you can do the jeans up then it’s a good fit, jeans always stretch so a little tightness at the beginning is no bad thing.

5 top tips for denim buying

  • Tip: If you want a bit of give, go for styles that have elastane in them. This will help keep the shape after washing as well adding comfort.
  • Tip: Always go for a size or two smaller. This may seem daunting but denim can give up to two sizes and you’ll avoid that post wash baggy effect.
  • Tip: Petites, want to get a booty like Beyonce? Help enhance your derriere by going for a style with pocket detailing; a flap pocket and buttons can add inches in seconds!
  • Tip: Got a little too much derriere? Go for darker washes or fading on the thighs to create a longer silhouette. Look out for curved seams around the thigh, specifically on flares and bootcuts, this gives a great slimming effect.
  • Tip: Escape the post wash crunchy effect by washing your jeans with baby softener.
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