How to buy the right jeans

Shopping for jeans has to be up there with being as scary as trying to find the perfect swimwear. The idea of having to try on countless brands, styles, cuts and washes while in a fitting room, which most likely has unforgiving light, is daunting to even the most savvy shopper.

Anyway, enough of the bad news. The good news is that we’re here to make the process of finding the perfect jeans as painless as possible with these helpful do’s and don’ts.


1. Research

Before you hit the shops, jump on Google and have a look at what’s out there. Look at what different brands are doing in terms of cuts and washes, and their various price points. While you won’t necessarily know if they’re right for you unless you try them, this process will arm you with a shortlist of shops to visit and in which styles you’re interested to try.

2. Keep an open mind

While you may have your heart set on a pair of light denim jeans for everyday or weekend styling, be prepared to be surprised at what looks best on once you try them.

Experiment with different fits and washes, and ask the sales assistants for help. They are trained on their denim ranges and should be able to quickly point you in the right direction. I know you may want to avoid asking for help, but trust me on this one. I’ve had over seven years experience in retail, and we know our product. We’ve seen how each item looks on a person and we can help customers with which one will most likely be best suited to their needs.

3. Shop for your shape

This is a big one. The temptation when buying jeans is to follow the current trends. However, ultimately the goal is to look as good as possible, and the current trend may not be what suits your body best.

Generally speaking, dark washes are the most slimming while washed jeans can help to create a curvier figure. In terms of shapes, high rise are good if you have a ‘booty’, and pockets can help to add volume and dimension if you have a flatter backside. If you’re worried about love handles, opt for a mid-rise style, and if you’re petite, a cropped ankle is a great option.

4. Befriend a good tailor

Good tailors are few and far between, but they make all the difference when it comes to fixing that almost-perfect pair of jeans.

Don’t worry if the length of jeans is too long – it’s nothing a good tailor can’t fix!


1. Wear the wrong shoes

It’s easy to underestimate the importance of the outfit you wear when shopping for jeans. Make sure you plan ahead and bring or wear the main shoes you’ll pair with the style of jeans you’re looking to purchase.

If you’re hunting for boyfriend jeans, bring along a pair of heels to avoid passing up the perfect pair, because you looked boxy with sneakers on.

2. Only focus on the front

A lot of shoppers stand in front of the mirror judging how their jeans look face on. But don’t forget about the flip side. It’s just as crucial that your jeans fit well and look good from the back. You never know who may be walking behind you.

3. Size up

If you’re buying skinny or slim jeans they should start out on the tighter side. Once you get them home they will stretch out.

Make sure you ask the sales assistants if you’re unsure. While it’s tempting to go for immediate comfort, most denim will give a half to full size leaving them bigger than you expected, and there’s nothing worse than having to constantly pull up your pants.

4. Stick to the same

You’ve probably forgotten that it took effort to find your now favourite pair of jeans way back then too. While they may have served you well, don’t just stick to the same style or wash because it seems safe.

Make sure you try some different and new cuts and washes too. You never know, they could potentially become your new favourite pair!

One final tip: After all this hard work, if you find a pair that fit you well, take two of them. Either choose a different wash or colour, or just double up with the same. That way you’ll never be caught short when it comes time to wash them, or if you’ve worn the first pair to death. Your future self will thank you.

Written by YourLifeChoices Writers

YourLifeChoices' team of writers specialise in content that helps Australian over-50s make better decisions about wealth, health, travel and life. It's all in the name. For 22 years, we've been helping older Australians live their best lives.

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