Denim Dilemma: Finding Jeans that Fit


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Jeans… A word that can strike fear and trepidation in the hearts of women. Second only to “swimsuit season”, the very idea of jeans shopping is something few look forward to*.

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you likely have seen my recent posts about shopping for both jeans and swimsuits. Surprisingly, I found a swimsuit that both fit and flattered before I found denim.

There’s no getting around it, I’m a pear-shaped person. On top of that, my waist is significantly smaller than my hips. Put in perspective – “curvy” jeans allow for a 10 to 12 inch difference between your hip and waist measurements. One “ideal” for a corseted figure is a 14 inch difference.

My natural difference is 16 inches. But it’s not just wide hips. Nope. I’ve got the added bonus of a bubble butt.

In these days of Kim Kardashian, Nicki Minaj, J Lo, etc, it’s easy to think of that as a blessing. And don’t get me wrong, it is. Sometimes. Until you want to find jeans that fit. And don’t look like Mom Jeans.

So… after reading through umpteen comments and suggestions from “curvy” folks, I embarked on a journey to try on every single bit of denim I could find in my size. For the record, I’m at the top of the “standard” size range, but not large enough for most “plus” sizes. But that’s another rant.

I tried on over 50 pairs of jeans representing brands ranging from bargain (Old Navy and Kohls) to moderate (Lucky and Guess), to high end jeans (Diesel) – the list is mind boggling. Some brands did not come in my size. Some did, but did not carry them in the stores.

The average hip:waist difference was 9 inches. What killed me? One brand that came highly recommended by several self-identifying “curvy” women had the lowest difference of only 7.5 inches. Um… ladies… not to be bitchy here, but… I think your idea of “curvy” and mine are very different.

After an entire day spent trying on denim, I was mentally and physically exhausted. And still did not have jeans that fit.

One friend laughed at my plight and told me to do what (and I quote) “any sister has to do” and get a size to fit my ass and have them tailored. Yeah, I know that. I’m just grumpy that I can’t just go pick a pair of jeans and be done with it.

Bottom line (pun totally intended) – this is nothing new. I actually had an easier time finding jeans when I got to my heaviest weight. At that point, I had enough extra around the middle to offset the enormous butt nature blessed me with. Once I started losing weight, however, it – of course – came off my waistline first. I’ve faced this struggle pretty much from the moment I hit puberty.

The hubby suggested I look at Columbian or Brazilian brands. Ummm… hmmm… The size range on those brands is very limited, and I’d been too big for them before. But… hope springs eternal, and I looked. Lo and behold, I’m well within the size range (in fact, not even at the top of the size chart – yay me!) I was however, between sizes.

Fingers crossed, I ordered two pair in slightly different cuts, one in the larger size and one in the smaller. And I waited.

When they arrived… The smaller size fits, but is a tiny bit too tight. The larger size?

The Holy Grail of Denim (in my world) – fit and flatter!

The heavens opened up. Angels sang. They went up over my hips. Buttoned at my waist. And almost zero waist gap. No back scoop. And the things they did for my butt? Oh yeah!

Apparently the answer to my denim dilemma was: start shopping where folks who celebrate big booty shop.

And that right there leads me to Part 2 of this little humorous rant… The shopping experience.

*If you are one of those rare folks who can walk into a store and pick up a pair of size whatever denims and have them fit perfectly, I’m happy for you. This article is not for you.