Thursday, August 30, 2012

Denim – An Insider’s Guide!

Jeans.  They are a big part of my life.  I absolutely LOVE wearing them.  I love helping people find their perfect pair.  Basically, I spend most of my time being around and doing something I love.  Pretty cool, huh?! 

However, not everyone loves jeans, or, at least, not everyone loves shopping for jeans.  It can be more stressful than shopping for a bathing suit for many people.  I have talked many people off the ledge when denim shopping and a good denim education is the thing which seems to help the most.  Well, that and the customer actually trusting that after doing this for the past year and a half for forty hours a week (approximately 3100 hours), I just might know how a pair of jeans are supposed to fit better than they do (I don’t go into your work and tell you now to do your job, do I?).  So if YOU feel you can trust me, here are some tips to make your denim shopping experience easier! AG - Piper


Go tight or go home! Most denim stretches, so when trying them on, go for a snug fit.  If they fit perfectly right out of the gate, they will bag out, creating the dreaded “Diaper Butt” we all fear.  If you can grab a handful of fabric in the butt or crotch of the jeans, they are too big. If your jeans are touching your skin, that does not mean they are necessarily too tight.  If your jeans require you to literally jump up and down to get into them, they are not necessarily too tight.  If you can’t button them (at all), zip them, or sit down in them, THEN they are too tight.  Some jeans relax and conform to your body more than others, so trust the wisdom of the stylist you are working with who advises you to try a different size.  I have several pairs of jeans that I jump up and down like a fool to get into but relax like crazy after getting them on.  My kids think Mom getting her jeans on is hilarious.  It is always fun to jump around with an audience.

AG - Piper

When buying denim, I tell all my customers to wear the denim around for an hour before cutting the tags off.  Make sure they do not over or under relax on you.  You can also try your denim on first when shopping and keep wearing them around while you try on tops.  This will also give them a chance to relax and for you to see how they will fit in the long run. 

Be prepared to pay up!  If you wear denim every day, it's a small price to pay for a great fit.  So what makes that great fit cost so much?  Premium denim brands often retain their fit models (can you imagine being paid a retainer to put on jeans?  Sweet!).  These same brands also bring in better fabrics and focus on details such as distressing, which is usually done by hand, not by a machine.  It is details like this which may raise the cost of the jean, not just the name.  In my own experience, I have found my premium denim lasts longer, creating a better cost per wear than lower priced brands.  I recently consigned my first pair of premium denim, 7 for All Mankind, and they were still in mint condition after 8 years. 


Look in your rearview mirror!  Most people will see you from behind and that is where most people will judge how your denim looks.  Make sure you check out how your butt looks in a 3-way mirror. Ask a friend, a stylist, or a nearby shopper for help.  Make sure you look at where the pockets are placed, is there any sagging underneath, are they riding too low or too high. Ask yourself, does that tushie look like a cute little peach (YAY), a flat pancake (nay), or two pigs fighting under a blanket (nay).

Nip, tuck! No piece of clothing is meant to fit you specifically.  It is designed to fit a general body type.  With that being said, it is normal to get alterations on your denim. Most denim is meant to be hemmed (unless you are blessed with super long legs, which I was not).  Do you have a juicy booty and tiny waist?  Take it in and avoid gapping in back.  These are easy fixes for any tailor worth their salt.  If you are going to have the perfect pair of jeans, why wouldn’t you want to ensure the perfect fit for your body?


Try all kinds! When trying on denim, try all kinds of denim on. You may discover that you love boyfriend jeans.  Or skinny jeans.  Or boot cut.  There is a plethora of options when it comes to denim, colors, cuts, fabrics.  How do you know what you will work if you do not try things on?  Often, there is more than one option which will fit and flatter.  Try them all and find out which you love the most.  Be open minded with fit and fabric. Remember, the right fitting pair of jeans will make you look slimmer, the wrong pair of jeans will do the opposite or worse!

To bling or not to bling?  I get asked this question a lot.  Well, this one is a personal choice.  Since it is my blog, I am going to share my own opinion on this one, but you make your own decision.  I do not wear blingy jeans.  It is my belief that if you need to put diamonds and heavy decorative stitching across your rear, your trying to cover something up.  I prefer my ass to speak for itself in a pair of jeans.  Also, it is something a high school girl wears, not a grown woman.  Again, just my opinion.


So there you have it!  Some easy tips and tricks to remember when you are buying your next pair of jeans.  Hopefully, this will help to take some of the stress out of looking fabulous in your jeans.

*Special thanks to my booty-licious models, Emily and Lisa, who were kind enough to let me take pictures of their frontal and rear regions for my blog.*

*Denim featured above:  Nico Skinny by Hudson and Piper by AG via Hot Mama*


  1. Heidi - I need your help. My jeans are from 2007. I am in serious need of a person to get me in the right pair. Let to my own - I will not buy them. I will continue to wear faded sweat pants, worn out workout clothing, and baggie t-shirts - making myself look even bigger. HELP! Hoping by the end of October I can come shopping - join me?

    1. Always! We can make it an evil styling session.

  2. Oh I LOVE this Heidi!! I am convinced I need to come in so you can help me buy some jeans. Also I love that you don't go for the blingy kind. I was on-edge worried you would be in support of them, I would seriously have to question our friendship if you had. ;)

    1. Nope, no bling for me. At least not across my rear....

  3. I will be the third to say I think I need to come see you to get some help getting some better fitting jeans! Great post with useful tips!! :)

  4. Since you convinced me to try on (and I bought) the skin tight jeans I can honestly say I LOVE THEM! It's funny because I am wearing the infamous jeans today and as I was putting them I was thinking how perfect they will feel this afternoon, after I've worn them in a bit! Then I read your blog!! You hit it on the mark, you definately know jeans!! Mine are KUT skinny boyfriend jeans and I jump and slither in them, but shortly after, wow....I feel HOT! :)

  5. Thinking I need to make a road trip to Woodbury sometime soon!