I Hate Shopping For Jeans – A Jeans Primer

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Jeans are an every day staple in my wardrobe, but I still can’t help but hate shopping for them.  There are so many choices; cut, wash, distressed, stretch, designer or cheap.  It can be completely overwhelming so I’m going to share with you why I like certain cuts compared to others, my take on designer jeans, and my favorite denim wash in the hope that I can help you make an informed decision.  I’m also going to give you some ideas on how to style them. 


The cuts are called something different at every store, but they all fall somewhere in the 7 below:   



Mom Jeans (aka high waisted)

Cropped/Kick Crop


Straight leg

Wide Leg

Jeans in front of Lips

What’s the difference between skinny and jegging I can hear you asking.  Skinny is tight with some give if you get a pair that has a percentage of spandex in them, which is what I prefer.  Jeggings are leggings that are jeans.  They’re very stretchy and usually more lightweight than a normal pair.  I have also found that they tend to get holes in them more easily than a skinny or normal pair due to their fabric that makes them legging-like. 

My jeans of choice are skinny ones because they show off my figure better.  Ladies, I know that we always think baggier is better to hide our ‘chunky monkey’ as I call it, but that’s not true, it actually makes one look even bigger. 


Levi’s – 721 Ripped High Waist Skinny Jeans | Amazon – Maggie Tang Short Sleeve Trendy Fitted Off Shoulder Modal Blouse Top T-Shirt | H&M – Flounced Tunic | Nordstrom – Thread and Supply – Brandon Fleece Jacket | Nordstrom – Something Navy – Low Neckline Slouchy Pullover | AG Jeans – The Farrah Ankle Skinny Jeans | Dolce Vita- Karsen Bootie | Ann Taylor – Lantern Sleeve Mock Neck Top | Vince Camuto – Kochelda Over the Knee Boot | H&M – Loafers

I love pairing skinny denim and jeggings with a knee-high or over-the-knee boot.  It’s a trendy, cool, and somewhat sexy look.  When wearing a jegging, you can get away with wearing a tunic and boots – that’s a very cool look.  A bootie would also look great with this.  The newest thing is to roll up denim to show off the shoes… this is a good jean to try out this new trend.  It would also look great rolled up with sneakers. 


Old Navy – Mid-Rise Black Rockstar Jeggings for Women| Nordstrom – We the Free by Free People January Tee White House Black Market – Faux Pearl-Strap Over-The-Knee Boots |
Sam Edelman – Niomi Bootie | Impo – Norris Wide Calf Boot | Loft – Mixed Stripe Puff Sleeve Blouse | Ann Taylor – Lantern Sleeve Mock Neck Top | Old Navy – Super Skinny Pull-On Jeggings for Women | White House Black Market – Pleated Tunic | Nordstrom – Wildfox – Sweet Stitch Road Trip Pullover


“Mom jeans” also known as high waisted jeans are gaining in popularity.  To be able to wear these, it’s best if you have a long torso.  I have a very short torso and having anything up beneath my boobs is not comfortable for me.  However, another short person could have a longer torso and love that the pants comes up higher on their stomach.  It’s all about how it feels when you try it on.  Yep, you always have to try on jeans… there are just too many different factors that could go wrong.  In fact, you could try on two sized ten jeans in the same style, possibly even in the same wash, and find out that they fit you differently!  How can that be?  When denim is being cut, it’s usually cut in bulk – so on the top level, it’s the right size, but then when you get down to the bottom level, it could be two sizes too small.  Crazy, right? 


Urban Outfitters – BDG Mom Jean – Light Wash | Nordstrom – Madewell – Faux Wrap Velvet Bodysuit | Free People – We The Free Heather TeeNordstrom – TopShop – Pointelle Crop Sweater | Nordstrom – GOOD AMERICAN Sweetheart Bodysuit | Nike – Air Max 270 Premium Sneaker | Franco Sarto – Century Wingtip OxfordChicWish – Appealing Sweet Frilling Crop Top in Pink

Mom jeans look great with bodysuits and crop tops because it shows off the high waist.  You got these for that specific purpose, why wouldn’t you show it off?  A button down shirt, tucked in, or with the half-tuck, can also look great.  The point with these jeans is to show off how high waisted they are.  Loafers, oxfords, booties, and heels are a great addition.  With all of these, rolling them up can look awesome.  Just a regular roll of the jeans, nothing fancy. 


Crop Jean – 1822 Denim – Distressed Ankle Straight Leg Crop Jeans | White House Black Market – Silk-Tie Neck BlouseNordstrom – Treasure and Bond – Mini Gingham Puff Sleeve TopShein – Self Tie Snake Print BlouseShein – Plus Waterfall Collar Leopard Print Coat | Everlane – The Kick Crop Jean | Lively – The Long-Lined Lace BraletteJCrew – Slim stretch perfect shirt in leopard print |
Reef – Cushion Bounce Stargazer Flip FlopBanana Republic – Demi Penny Loafer |
DSW – Kelly & Katie – Adeelah Bootie  

Cropped jeans are made to hit way above your ankle. Kick crop are slightly different in that they are slightly flared and ‘kick’ out from above your ankle.  To be honest, I will buy cropped jeans because they tend to hit me perfectly at my ankle because I’m short.  It’s one of my favorite hacks.  For a taller gal, these can look incredibly cool, mainly in summer.  (I don’t think one wants their ankles to be freezing in the winter!)  These look great with flip flops, mules, and of course heels.  Heels make any jean look cool and are a great way to make them work and date appropriate. 


Gap – High Rise Best Girlfriend Jeans in Distressed | Revolve – Daydreamer – Def Leppard Too Late For Love Tee | Madewell – Faux Wrap Velvet Bodysuit | Loft – Floral Pintucked Yoke Blouse |
SheIn – Star Patch Lace Up Splice Sneakers | Nordstrom – 1901 – Original Wool Blazer | Gap – Mid Rise Best Girlfriend JeansNordstrom – Something Navy – Utopia Kitten Heel Mule | Franco Sarto – Century Wingtip Oxford

Girlfriend/Boyfriend jeans are another of my favorite jeans because I like the relaxed fit.  These don’t usually come with much stretch at all, so I usually size up so I have enough  room to move around and that they don’t get too tight after eating.  You know what I’m talking about.  😉  These look great with t-shirts tucked in and a belt.  A tailored shirt with a bralette peeking out is also a fun look.  I love wearing my Chloe Susanna dupes with these, rolled up.  A heel or block heel also look great, as does a low sneaker.  Mules would also be a good choice. 


White House Black Market – Embellished Sweater JacketMadewell – Distressed Button Front High Waist Slim Straight JeansStradivarius – High neck top | Bershka – Top with contrast topstitching | BDG – Wide Leg Jean | Banana Republic – Luxespun Wrap-Front T-Shirt Top | Bershka – Leopard print camisole top | DSW – Coconuts – Nash Cowboy Boot | Stradivarius – Striped polo neck sweater |
Steve Madden – Bardo Blush | ChicWish – Daydream Lover Beads Trim Sheer Top in Black

Straight leg jeans are very cool – but they usually don’t have much stretch to them, so I tend to stay away from them.  Even if I size up, there’s not enough room for me to feel comfortable in them.  I’d style them like I do skinny denim, since they are very similar.  These can also be rolled up if you have enough room to do so.  Sometimes they’re a bit tapered at the ankle and hard to roll up.  These would be great to wear with knee-boots and over-the-knee boots.  I would also rock these with a pretty blouse or a sweater and be all feminine.

Wide Leg jeans are bringing the 90s to 2018.  I can’t say that I’m thrilled, but they are ‘of the moment’ so I’m including them in this roundup.  I like the look of mules with a kitten heel paired with this jean in order to offset the wideness of them.  A tighter shirt, crop, or even peplum top look cute.  If you are going to wear sneaker with them, really do up the 90s vibe of it all, I’d go with a platform sneaker. 


Depending on where you shop and what brand of jeans you like, there can be a multitude of washes.  When we say “wash” we’re talking about the color of the jeans.  It’s called ‘wash’ because they wash the jeans with enzymes, dyes, peroxide, bleach, sand or stone to get the specific colors of the denim. 

Overall the colors of washes are somewhat simple – light, dark, and acid (yep, it’s coming back!).  Then you have your colored jeans, like black.  In fact, some places have different washes of black.  I like a lighter black that almost errs on the grey side.  My favorite wash is a darker one with little to no whiskering.  Whiskering is those white lines across the front.  Sometimes you can’t get away from it, but I will usually try to get ones without that.  It’s not my favorite thing and tends to make my thighs look wider than they are. 

Designer Or Not

I have changed my mind on the designer jean trend.  I’m on board with some caveats – if I’m looking for a pair of jeans I could sleep in, I’m getting designer brand jeans.  The fit is sublime – they’re comfy, soft, and fit better than a pair from Old Navy.  However, if I’m in between sizes, unhappy with my current weight, or want a fun pair of pants, perhaps like the wide leg jeans, I’m going for the cheap jeans.  Then I won’t be upset when they fall apart on me.  I will say while I love the designer jeans I have, I’m a little peeved they are wearing in the crotch area.  I do know this is due to not having thigh gap so I’m ok with it, but it tends to get annoying.  I am going to follow this tutorial on how to mend jeans with that problem.  This article gives more reasons why one should buy designer jeans, specifically AG jeans.  However, a lot of these designers are starting to dabble in cheaper jeans that are separate from their designer lines, so you’re still getting the quality, but not having to pay the price.  I was surprised to find out that Adriano Goldschmied, the creator of the AG jeans, also designs jeans for – the “Hale” line.  Now that I know this, I’ve added these jeans to my list of buy next! 


As you all know, jeans are that item of clothing that you always have to try on, even if you’ve been in the same size for years.  With all the different cuts, washes, designer, or not, the choices are endless.  I hope this short guide has helped you out a bit.  If you have any more questions, leave them below and I’ll help ya out! 


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