How to choose the right pair of jeans, plus win a jeans consultation with a styist

August 28, 2013

Finding the right pair of jeans is about as elusive as negotiating successfully with a toddler. For me, there’s a lot of pain, irritation and cluelessness when it comes to finding denims that don’t make me look like a sausage squeezed into a casing, or someone drowning in bulky mom-type pants.

I asked Pippa Leenstra, a Twitter friend, and personal stylist who helps “normal” women find what suits them the best, for some tips on choosing jeans (I asked her mainly for my own benefit, I admit, but also because I know how many other women battle with finding the “right pair”).

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And over to the expert, Pippa:

To prefix any tips that I share with you I’m going to make an emphatic statement: JEANS NEED TO BE FITTED! Loose-fitting jeans will only make you look bigger than what you are. You have to admit that boyfriend jeans are only flattering on about 5% of the population.

The first and biggest tip I can share with you is this:

  1. Higher-waisted jeans are more flattering.

Now when I say higher-waisted I don’t mean granny-style-above-your-belly-button-nerdy vibes. I just mean that the closer your pants sit to your belly button, as opposed to your hips, the more flattering they will be; for two crucial reasons

  1. Your legs will look longer
  2. The higher waist helps to eliminate any muffin top from happening, as so many 30 – 40 something women can relate to, particularly any who have carried a baby/babies through pregnancy!

** The only time higher-waisted jeans might not suit you is if you are particularly square in shape and are also slim, hipster jeans will probably be more flattering for you then.

(Obviously if you’re 21 and your body is still supple and toned and all the bits are where they’re supposed to be then go for the hipsters as they’re super sexy, but I’m talking to a more mature woman here!)

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Higher-waisted jeans are often referred to as ‘mid-rise’.  A good go-to place for higher-waisted jeans is Country Road for their ‘Regular Straight’ range. Trenery jeans are also always higher in the waist. They’re not the most hip but they suit almost every single client of mine that has ever tried them on. They’re priced at around the R600 mark so they’re affordable too.

2. The second tip concerns embellishment, detail and the colour wash of your jeans.

If you’re trying to minimise your bum and streamline your silhouette, then oversized and contrasting stitching; fade detail; embroidery; beading; bling and pocket detail should all be kept to a minimum.

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Opt for a darker wash as this is more slimming than a light wash, and go for something as plain as possible.

If you’re not very curvy or you’ve got a great bum that you’re looking to accentuate, then feel free to go all out on the embellishment and detail.

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3 The third tip is about length

If you’re wearing boot leg, wide leg or straight leg jeans you absolutely have to make sure that they skim the floor in whatever shoes you wear i.e. you’ll need 2 pairs of the same jeans if you want to wear them with both heels and flats. Bootleg, wide leg or straight leg jeans that are too short will make you look dumpy.

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Conversely, skinny jeans will never really touch the floor as they are too skinny to sit over your ankle. So the same pair can be worn with both flats and heels.

Remember these are just guidelines, just because you may have some junk in your trunk and a darker wash is more slimming, doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun with your jeans and wear an animal print pair if you want to. I’m not a big fan of rules. At the end of the day, if you’re confident enough to rock whatever you’re wearing, it will look great on you regardless of whether it actually suits you perfectly or not.

Here’s my list of fave go-to stores and websites for investment jeans:



Pippa is offering me and one other blog reader in Joburg (dor anyone who can come to Joburg) a consultation on what will suit you best, and we’ll all go shopping to find the best fit, with Pippa on hand to help us. If you’d like to join me, then comment below and you’ll be entered into the draw. Please note that you don’t have to be a mom to enter.

The competition closes on Wednesday 4 September at 9am, and the winner will be announced shortly thereafter.

To book a consult with Pippa, you can e-mail her for more information  or call on +27 82 868 4981.


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