I feel like I’m on a constant search for that perfect pair of skinny jeans. Which in my eyes, must meet the following criteria: soft, skinny and stretchy. Usually it’s two out of three of those things and the thing that is hardest to find for me is a pair that is skinny enough for my ankles. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve bought denim online only to discover they are straight leg or they are not a perfect skinny jean fit AKA they pool around my ankles. So I decided to stop being lazy and actually go into the store to try denim on; every single pair I liked until I found the right one. Genius idea right? And the results — I actually found the perfect pair and it wasn’t as awful as I thought. Why is denim shopping so distressing? Well, it shouldn’t be. While I was putting myself through the denim ringer, I realized there are some key things that can help when looking for denim:
1. Know your fit. In most cases, there are three different fits of denim: low rise, mid rise and high rise. For my very long torso, I’ve learned that mid-rise and high-rise are my best bets. Low rise hasn’t worked on me ever — which was hard for this 00s teen, you guys. Low rise was the shit but my body was not having it. I was so sad that I had to stick with my uncool mid-rises until I realized that dressing for my body isn’t so bad after all. (And as I get older high rise is the shit.)
2. Be flexible. Denim sizing can be tricky because typically it varies from brand to brand and fit to fit. I am pretty true to size in a mid-rise or a high-rise fit, but give me a low rise and I will hand it right back to you and ask for two sizes up. But if that is the jean that I want, then I’ve learned that being flexible with that number on your jeans is pertinent to find the perfect pair. Sometimes you get to go up and sometimes you go down on the number scale, depending on the brand, fit, wash and whatever the moon is doing that day. (Moon cycles and denim, it’s my next post.) So my best advice? Go with what looks and feels best. Sizes are an assignment of numbers, not a definition.
3. Surprise yourself. When it comes to denim, I can be a bit bias to what I think I want (AKA super skinny jeans) but sometimes when I get tunnel vision, I miss a lot of great styles. Or perhaps you don’t think something will look good on you so you don’t even try. (This happens all the time in the shop and it drives me crazy! You have to try!) It never hurts to try something new — if you are only skinny jeans, try a flare. New to boyfriend? Distressed? It could even be different rinse or shade. Don’t be shy because the fitting room does not care. You might just open your mind and your closet to your new favorite pair.
(I would also like to add that you should bring a snack. Denim try-ons are no small feat.)
While I tried on half of the denim department, I ended up purchasing these AG high-rise skinny jeans because they met everyone of my criteria above, but loved a few others (especially these flares) and have catalogued them for later. Because let’s be honest, when are you never in need of denim?
A few of my favorites:
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*Special thank you to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post.