When I want to know anything about jeans, I ask my sister, Jen. She's a denim guru who now works for Calvin Klein as Director of Denim Development. She's taken me to factories where I saw people stone blasting and I realized how much went into making the pants all of us wear so often.
When her 16-month-old daughter Tennessee was spending some time with her grandparents, Jen had some time to give us the scoop on denim—from fit to style and which jeans are best for your shape.
What are the best jeans for a curvy figure?
If you're curvy, you are better off with a boot cut because it gives you balance. It will draw attention away from your thighs and to the boot cut at the bottom.
What's up with skinny jeans?
Anyone can wear them, but those who don't like to accentuate the thigh should stay away from a skinny...unless you are going to wear them tucked into boots. Straight leg and skinny jeans work well for a straight body.
What's a rise?
A rise is the front measurement from your crotch to the center of your waistband. Lower rises tend to be more flattering. If you are curvy try a lower rise. A higher rise will accentuate an hour glass shape because it sits high on your waist, so avoid a high rise if you want to a straighter silhouette. A great rise is when the jean sits three fingers down from your belly button.
How can I avoid showing butt crack with a low rise?
The front rise can be low, but it's more comfortable if the back rise is still high. That helps keeps the love handles in. This is called a pitch. A good pair of jeans should have the right rise and pitch.
My favorite photo of Jen & Tennessee
My favorite photo of Jen & Tennessee
My signature look is a skinny jean tucked into boots with a tank top and a long cardigan. I add a light scarf and bold earrings and I'm good to go.
What's a great jean that looks good on everyone?
Dark washes are always easy to match and flattering for everyone. It's best if the denim has no process...meaning no dye patches, just a deep, dark indigo.
I also love the trouser jean with a standard button front, flat trouser pockets, and a center pressed seam down the legs. It's very flattering in a dark wash and can be dressy with a blouse and heels or fancy flats.
What about jeans that are distressed or with a lot of dye or bleach patches or embellishments?
If you are wearing jeans that are distressed make it subtle. For example, if you don't want attention drawn to your backside, avoid a heavy blast on your rear because that will accentuate it more.
What are the best back pockets if you want your butt to appear smaller or bigger?
Pockets that are closer to the center back seam makes your rear appear smaller. If the pockets are spread out, it makes your butt appear bigger.
Stretch or non-stretch jeans?
Stretch is always more comfortable. I'm thankful for my stretch jeans when I was pregnant even when I couldn't button them anymore. A hair tie and a long shirt were my saviors!
How often are you really supposed to wash your jeans?
You shouldn't wash a dark wash that often...unless you get a lot of spit-up or your kid's food all over you. I've also had worse...diaper changing gone wrong! But usually every fourth or fifth wear. And it's best to wash your jeans inside out
Any exciting things to look out for in the future?
We're working on a butt-enhancing jean and a high-waisted jean that has a built in control top. It's not in production yet, but we're always looking for ways to help every woman feel great in a pair of our jeans.
Going to baseball games
Riding bike rides in the nice weather
Playing outside after work/school
Going for walks outside