Stacy London on Oprah: Getting the right jeans to fit

This is an age old problem for me. Nothing fits me. I have to look for mid-rise, dark even wash (no distressing), straight-legged (not tapered), or slightly boot-cut (not flared) jean with small, high pockets to give me a boost in the butt.

So you can imagine my frustration when low-rise jeans came in, and distressing hit its peak.. I avoided all jean shops (that is the ONE area of my wardrobe that is seriously lacking), and wore my jeans until they literally fell apart.

But now, I need to look for a new pair. My Tommy Hilfiger ($89-and-the-most-I’ve-ever-spent-on-a-pair-of-jeans), is about to fall apart. The wash is really getting bad, it’s at its perfect peak of distressing, it’s a straight leg, sort of skinny, but not overly so, and I need another pair. Maybe not QUITE as skinny as this one though…

I went Googling, and came across Stacy London on Oprah and her DON’Ts on buying jeans. I agreed with every single one of them so wholeheartedly, that I’m going to repost it on here…

Excerpts (aw hell it’s the whole thing)…:”

What’s the first jean hazard to watch out for? The dreaded “muffin top” or, as Oprah calls it, “dunlap” syndrome. “That’s when your stomach done lap over your jeans,” she jokes.

The “muffin top” is caused by a waistband that’s too low and too tight. When your tummy spills over the sides of your jeans, you know you’re a member of the muffin club.

But, there’s good news for muffins everywhere, Stacy says. Waistlines are rising! The ultra-low rise fad is fading fast, and the new mid-rise styles will keep your belly from bulging.

FB: You won’t believe how many times I see this on girls/women/ladies. It’s entirely disheartening and makes you look thicker than you really are. Even skinny people get dunlaps…!

Unless you have a tool belt strapped to your waist, there’s no excuse for plumber’s crack. Women who wear low-rise jeans are often guilty of this obscene offense, Stacy says.

Before you crouch, be sure to pull down your shirt and hike up your pants. Otherwise, a full moon may be rising in the grocery store aisles—for everyone to see!

FB: ‘Nuff said.

If you have thin ankles and you want to show them off, by all means, buy a tapered jean. But, keep in mind, tapered denim only accentuates the width of the hips. Plus, Stacy says, the tapered effect often leaves women looking like ice cream cones. Trust Stacy, go for the 31 flares—not flavors.

If the waistband of your jeans could double as a push-up bra or your backside looks flatter than a flapjack, you’re guilty of wearing “mom jeans.” Stacy thinks these high-waisted horrors are cardinal sins of fashion.

While moms may not want to wear their daughters’ trendy, low-rise jeans, there are plenty of brands out there that cater to mature women with good fashion sense.

FB: PLEASE! Tell me where to get a pair! I’ll buy 2 pairs this time! I promise…!

If you go for jeans that have a lot of bells and whistles, you may fall into the “fashion victim” category, Stacy warns. Don’t fall for every new trend—skinny jeans and blue jeans tucked into boots may look good on your favorite celebrity, but not everyone can pull it off.

Stacy says patience—not fashion magazines—is the key to finding the perfect pair of jeans. “I feel terrible because women get so frustrated,” she says. “They try on two pairs of jeans, and they say nothing fits me and they leave the store. You’ve got to try. And even if you don’t get lucky after seven, if you get lucky after 20, it is worth it.”

Now that you know what jeans to avoid, Stacy wants to make sure every woman goes into the store armed with accurate information. She’s here to set the record straight about common denim myths.

Myth 1: Boot cut is flattering on everyone. False, Stacy says. Petite women, in particular, should avoid boot-cut jeans, and wear jeans with a straighter leg. Stacy says if you’re shorter than 5’4”, a boot cut may make your thighs look heavier by hugging the knees too tightly before flaring at the bottom. Boot-cut jeans can also make your legs look shorter.

The ideal body type for boot-cut pants is a woman taller than 5’4” who has long legs.

FB: Hmm I guess that’s me.. I’m around 5’4″, and I do have long legs for 5’4″… But maybe I should avoid them just in case.

Myth 2: Stretch denim is always better.

“Well, not always,” Stacy says. “Sometimes [stretch denim] can make your legs look like sausage in casing if it’s too tight.”

What’s another reason to avoid stretchy fabric? Stacy says the skin-tight fit can give women “dimples” right below the tush. Her advice is to try on nonstretch, as well as stretch, to find the best fit.

Myth 3: Distressing always makes you look thinner.

Oprah learned this lesson the hard way. Her old jeans are distressed along the leg, which Stacy says creates a “spotlight” on her thighs. “Unfortunately, in the wrong place, whiskering, bleaching or distressing can actually accent a wide hip, a larger booty or a heavier thigh,” Stacy says.

Distressed jeans also look more casual than darker denim, Stacy says. She suggests dark-wash jeans paired with heels and a sequined top for a great evening look!

And there you have it! Go forth and shop with confidence.

About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.