Finding Jeans that Actually Fit Is Like Trying To Find Meaning In a Pauly Shore Movie

Yes that is a Clueless quote, and yes it was necessary and completely perfect for what I'm about to tell you: Finding jeans is hard. When it comes to jeans you either have your favorites that you buy in bulk (in case they ever stop making them or change the "formula") or you're still on the search for the perfect fit. Everyone promises the best fit for your body, but since no one is made alike, this process is harder and more frustrating than it should be. For the first time in years, I found myself without a trusty pair and I realized I would have to start over. I'd have to go jean shopping because my favorite pair of J Brand jeans have undergone a formula change. They can no longer be trusted. Ugh, annoying.

But let's face it, buying a new brand is risky. The process goes like this: Before you go to the store you do a little research, scouring reviews and photos of "real" people wearing the jeans you intend to try. Then you escalate the process: you go to the store and try them on. You have about 20 minutes in the fitting room —less depending on how busy it is — and proceed to make the best of that time by moving around in strange ways. You pity those who can see the bottom half of your knees, gyrating, and moving about in the room in questionable positions. This is the Test Phase, and it is very important. I personally put a pair of jeans in consideration through mini barrage of stress tests; These jeans look nice standing up, but I work in an office, can these jeans handle me sitting? Squatting even? This is critical, friends. Most jeans drop off of consideration at this point due to the sheer lack of ability to handle some curves. You'll be amazed what a little stretch woven into cotton can do to hold you in and make you feel as safe and sound as a swaddled newborn. Too much and you'll feel like a sausage in extra tight casing.  Sometimes the results are horrendous in the fitting room, where either muffin tops form, or buttons threaten to pop out of seams. So you size up, but those don't quite fit either because they billow at the top and give you an all around dumpy feeling. This is where the real frustration kicks in and becomes imperative that you do not take this out on yourself. You are not built incorrectly  and you are not fat. Let's say that again: it's not you, it's the jeans. Always. If that brand of jeans doesn't make you feel fantastic, move on. That brand is not for you. Not for your body type in that style, at least.

This is what I know: I am a bit of a pear shape, where my tops are always going to be smaller than my larger bottom, and if you're anything like me, buying bikini's from shops that sells them in one size "sets" is just about the dumbest thing on the planet — the nerve of them to sell the tops and bottoms in the same size! as if we are cast from a Barbie mold! Most of my teen years were me trying to dress around my bottom, which is not uncommon at that growing age of hormones and awareness of such hormones. The frustration of buying jeans with a typical Mexican figure then is the same frustration now, except now, I don't seek to dress around my form, I just leave it be. This is me. And all I ask if for the fabric of my pants to stretch a little so I can zip them without giving me a complex or pools of fabric at the small of my back. This is why I pay good money for the AG jeans pictured above. (Notice the squatting pose and how they pass that test even with all those distressed patches that a lesser jean would have taken as a way out.) I also love the denim from Madewell. These two brands are my favorites right now. They come at a pretty steep price, particularly the AG pair, but they just fit perfectly. And after all we've described, isn't relief and a pair of pants that are a sure thing worth investing in? Buy them here: AG Stevie Ankle Distressed Jean / Madewell Skinny Skinny Ankle High Riser Jean (here too)


  1. I also have the pear shape problem :) And I've actually found the high-rise jeans by BDG for Urban outfitters to be the perfect fit, no pooling of fabric, just the right amount of stretch and no plumbers crack while squatting.

  2. Or, you just get my husband to go with you. We were dating for 3 weeks when we walked past a Banana Republic window and he said "that pair on the front" - we went inside and I tried on the jeans . . . best fit ever. Didn't even need to hem it. I call him my "personal Tim Gunn", he's also taken some of my girlfriends shopping because he's really that good :D

  3. Have you seen the episode of 30 Rock in which Liz Lemon finds the perfect pair of jeans? No doubt this is a universal female experience...