Tips for shopping for jeans and other ways to torment yourself for fun

Lisa Lehmann

Posted on November 13 2013

Face it. Shopping for jeans. UGH.
We love them. Once we have "that" pair. But finding the perfect piece of denim is not an easy task. Can I hear an amen?
I liken it to bra shopping. Bathing suit shopping. And even possibly even as painful as waxing. Need I say more?
Let's make it even more "fun".
Add in two teenagers and a tween. Ahh…that's better. Now it's a hormone denim fest.
Here are my tips…and rules…and thoughts to make this a semi enjoyable, if not successful, trip to denim land.
  1. Breathe. Find your zen before you even enter the store.
  2. Even if you "think" you know your size, grab a size or two up. Jeans are funny. Sizes are funny. Numbers do NOT count. No really. They don't. If your jeans fit great people will think, "hey, those look great on her!"…not…"hmmm, I wonder what size her jeans are?" So ignore the numbers and go for the fit.
  3. Try different styles. If skinny isn't your thing, try straight jeans…maybe a flair, or boot cut.
  4. Check the rise. Ultra low rise should just be banned…period. Or instead should be labeled "show me your butt crack and your thong". Ewww. Just ewww. Mid to low rise is great for all ages. High rise is back in style. And although I wouldn't be caught dead in them - think the 80's - my Isabel rocks them! Perfect for her body shape.
  5. Bring someone with you who will be honest. And be ok with honest. You want them to look good. Not skin over bologna. No muffin tops.
  6. Do a little gymnastics routine in the dressing room. Bend down touch your toes. Bend at the knee. Sit down. Move in them. That's real life. Not sucking it in and standing in front of the mirror. Capicé?
  7. Try different washes. The darker the wash the more forgiving / thinning. Think of it as the "black effect".
  8. More expensive jeans do fit better. But I refuse to pay a ton for denim. So find a middle ground. My favorites? Levi's. Tried and true. Not cheap…but definitely not Citizens of Humanity or rag & bone.
Those tips are my starting point. If you are shopping with teens for jeans - hey look, I rhymed! - be prepared to battle a little. Be prepared for too tight and too low. Be prepared to say no. And be prepared to give her a multitude of pairs to try on. Isabel tried on what seemed like a million pairs. We found three. I think those are pretty good odds.
At the Levi's store the sweet little sales girl fit me for MY "curve style" - she is also my new favorite because she could not imagine that I was in my 40's! Digressing. Levi's has different styles for different bodies. Brilliant. I managed to find my new favorites…Demi Curve, Classic Slim, Dark Wash, LONG! They were made for me! Original price $64. Outlet price $49.00. On sale 3 pairs for $38.99. YES! Isabel got a pair of High Rise Skinnies in a Light Wash. Same price. Super cute. And a pair identical to mine.
And just to PROVE my point about size. I also tried on a pair of white denim skinnies. Something I really-really-really want. I don't know why, I just do! This pair was even a size larger than the pair I bought. Needless to say, I could hardly get my legs in, let alone buttoned! Hello confidence shatter-er! But NO! Because I know my rules about size and stuff…right? Whew.
If I can go jean shopping for me…AND my girls. AND come home successfully with everyone smiling - you can too! See…smiles. And this is when we were leaving!
Miscellaneous jean tips from my years of experience….and many loads of laundry.
  • Jeans do NOT need to be washed after one wear. In fact….they look better worn in (aka dirty). Try 3-5 wears. Or even more if they don't stink. Even then..there is Febreeze!
  • Wash them inside out. Unless you are going for a fade. The goal? Preserve your color as long as possible.
  • Dryer? Uhuh. Hang those babies up. And when they are almost dry, give them a spin with a dryer sheet. Jean perfection.
Do you have a favorite pair of jeans? What are they? I'd love to know!
And hey, by the way, you are looking FINE!
xoxoxoooxoxo
lisa

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