The Diva's Guide to Denim

High-waters. Mom jeans. That annoying gap at the waistband. You've had it with jeans that don't fit or flatter, and we've heard you loud and clear. It took seven women, several trips to the fitting room and numerous pairs of jeans to find what we all deserve: the perfect pair for our bodies and budgets—for as little as $30!
ESSENCE.COM Sep, 02, 2009

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High-waters. Mom jeans. That annoying gap at the waistband. You’ve had it with jeans that don’t fit or flatter, and we’ve heard you loud and clear. It took seven women, several trips to the fitting room, and numerous pairs of jeans to find what we all deserve: the perfect pair for our bodies and budgets—for as little as $30!

By Jessica C. Andrews

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Kalyea Moss, 28 Plus-size model

• To balance out your frame, look for jeans that are boot-cut or slightly flared. A pair of sexy high heels add to the slimming effect.

• Show off your shape. Jeans that hug, not hide, your curves are ideal for your frame. Baggy jeans will only exaggerate your size and conceal your beautiful figure.

Just for My Size: Denim 24/7 jeans, $30, onestopplus.com.

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Chasity Saunders, 24, Entrepreneur

• For a comfortable, customized fit, try brands that incorporate a bit of stretch like CJ by Cookie Johnson, Miraclebody by miraclesuit and Joe’s Jeans.

• A high rise and a fitted waistline will eliminate gapping at the waist-band. And choose jeans with an outseam close to the front of the thigh. This gives the illusion of thinner thighs.

Just for My Size: Ashley Stewart jeans, $49, Ashley Stewart stores nationwide.

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Fold jeans instead of storing them on hangers. Pant hangers cause the waist and hem to wear out faster.

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Jasmine Harvey, 29 Marketing coordinator

• A low rise gives the illusion of a longer torso and adds enviable curves to your frame.

• Avoid cuffing. It actually makes your legs look shorter. Instead, go for ankle-length cuts. A bonus: You get to show off fabulous shoes!

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Felisha Noel, 22 Boutique owner

• Back pockets that slant inward are your secret weapon. They draw the eye up to lift and enhance your backside. Fading in the thighs and just under the behind also gives the illusion of a curvy shape.

• High-waisted jeans create curves in the waist and hips while emphasizing your naturally long and lean silhouette.

Just for My Size: Old Navy wide-leg jeans, $35, 800-OLDNAVY for stores.

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• To complement a shapely frame, opt for jeans with stretch (4 to 5 percent spandex will do). They contour beautifully to every curve.

• Stay away from jeans with overly embellished back pockets, which draw unwanted attention to your backside. Add a pair without pockets to your wardrobe too. They also help minimize that rear view.

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“No more butt cleavage! These are superlong and high-rise, but still sexy,” says Jan Quammie-Taylor, 26 Merchandise assistant.

• To achieve the best fit, try jeans with at least a 36-inch inseam. Gap even carries a few styles in XL that have a 37-inch inseam.

Just for My Size: Gap long and lean jeans, $60, Gap stores nationwide.

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Tia D. Rudd, 27 Television production worker

• Try brands like Gap, Calvin Klein and Banana Republic that offer petite lengths.

• A trouser-cut style works wonders for a petite, curvy frame. The pleats streamline and elongate your figure.

Just for My Size: Coldwater Creek Classic Waist ShapeMe jeans, $60, coldwatercreek.com.

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As denim tends to shrink slightly in the wash, be sure to launder your jeans before having them hemmed.

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