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How to Know if My Jeans Fit?

Oct 08, 2015
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Jeans are an everyday staple, whether you work in a casual environment or just live for your off-duty weekend wardrobe. Either way, they’re man’s best friend, and with the overwhelming number of options out there, you should be wearing something that fits and flatters you. Here are a few tips, tools, and words of wisdom from CEO Corey Epstein on how to know if your jeans fit you.

What are some signs my jeans don’t fit properly?

Listen to what your jeans are telling you. There are a few tell-tale signs that you might need to go up or down a size, or try a different style of jeans. Some of these indicators are: 

  • Excessive bagginess
  • Extra bunching at the ankles 
  • Pulling seams
  • A flattened backside
  • Constantly fidgeting with them 

Is there a difference in how guys jeans should fit compared to girls jeans?

Fit largely depends on body type, with a bit of personal preference mixed in. Obviously a man/woman with a slender frame is going to have different fit priorities than an athletic or more full figured body. Overall, jeans should feel comfortable around the waist, flatter your backside, and have light natural bunching around the ankle. 

How to tell if your jeans are too tight 

If you feel like you want to unbutton your jeans every time you sit down because you're uncomfortable... that's not a good sign! Beware of extreme tightness in the thighs or waist, pulling seams, a folding waistband or slipping zipper. Additionally, if the jeans make your butt look flat or create unflattering creases, think about trying a different size. Jeans should always lift, sculpt, and flatter your backside! 

Why do my jeans make a "pop" sound when I walk?

If your jeans make a tick or popping sound when you walk, your jeans might be too tight and don't fit well. When your jeans are too tight around your thighs, the crotch tends to droop down a little bit to compensate for the lack of room. This causes friction of the bunchier fabric surrounding by the jean tightness, and makes a popping noise when you step. 

Why do my jeans stretch out? 

With some brands, jeans stretch out throughout the day. Should you buy jeans smaller so that eventually throughout the day, they fit the way you desire?

Jeans shouldn't stretch out and lose their shape (unless they're 100% cotton, then that's hard to avoid). If they do, it probably means the yarns are old, damaged, or not a high quality. It might also mean that the fabric has lost its elasticity from being thrown in the dryer too many times in order to regain the jeans' original shape. Buying a smaller size can cause the jeans to stretch out even more over time, and you also run the risk of them not looking very flattering. It's a vicious cycle! Look for denim that uses dual ring spun fibers, like DSTLD. Our specially milled fabric is composed of two layers - an inner layer with stretch and recovery, and an outer cotton layer for a soft hand. 

How to tell if your jeans are too big 

if you need a belt to keep them on or can slip in and out of them without unbuttoning/zipping them, it's time to size down. If you do wear a belt, make sure that it doesn't pull the waistband together in a way that creates bulky wrinkling in the crotch area. Be mindful of your inseam as well - your jeans shouldn't drag, over bunch, or billow. Even if you don't like to wear a fitted jean, you can still find a nicely tailored straight leg style that doesn't look overly baggy. 

Why are my jeans baggy in the knees?

Your jeans will naturally stretch out at the knees from constant wear. However, there are a few tricks that can prevent baggy-knee jeans from happening - or getting worse. 

1. Get stretchier jeans. If your jeans' weave contains spandex, like DSTLD's Powerstretch denim, the change of your knees getting baggy from wear lessons.

2. Pull them up when you sit down. If your jean's knees are already stretched out and baggy, try pulling up your pant leg before you sit down. This lets the baggy part of the knee not take any more wear and tea. 

Why do my jeans bunch up at the crotch? 

If your jeans are bulging or bunching at the crotch, chances are your jeans are too big, or you are wearing the wrong jean rise for your body. Try crossing different styles, waist rises, and sizes to see if the bunching persists with other jeans. 

What if my jeans fit great in one area, but are too big or too small in other areas?

This could indicate a few things. For one, perhaps it's a fluke. Try to find another jean in the szme size to determine if it's a one-off. Another thing you might do is try a different cut - jeans come in many different rises, washes, fabrics, and silhouettes now. Just because you think you think you hate a high waisted jean doesn't mean that it won't fit you like a glove. Some fixes are easy - you can bring jeans to the tailor if you'd like a bit more tapering around your ankle, or need tot ake in a bit around the waist - but if you end up needing to change the whole jean, it's probably best to move on from it. It could really just come down to a poorly constructed garment. 

At DSTLD, our number one piece of customer feedback is out fit -

With some brands, jeans stretch out throughout the day. Should you buy jeans smaller so that eventually throughout the day, they fit the way they desire?
Jeans shouldn’t stretch out and loose their shape (unless they’re 100% cotton, then that’s hard to avoid). If they do, it probably means the yarns are old, damaged, or not a high quality. It might also mean that the fabric has lost its elasticity from being thrown in the dryer too many times in order to regain the jeans’ original shape. Buying a smaller size can cause the jeans to stretch out even more over time, and you also run the risk of them not looking very flattering. It’s a vicious cycle! Look for denim that uses dual ring spun fibers, like DSTLD. Our specially milled fabric is composed of two layers – an inner layer with stretch and recovery, and an outer cotton layer for a soft hand.

What are signs that your jeans are too tight?
If you feel like you want to unbutton your jeans every time you sit down because you’re uncomfortable…that’s not a good sign! Beware of extreme tightness in the thighs or waist, pulling seams, a folding waistband or slipping zipper. Additionally, if the jeans make your butt look flat or create unflattering creases, think about trying a different size. Jeans should always lift, sculpt, and flatter your backside!

What are signs that your jeans are too big?
If you need a belt to keep them on or can slip in and out of them without unbuttoning/zipping them, it’s time to size down. If you do wear a belt, make sure that it doesn’t pull the waistband together in a way that creates bulky wrinkling in the crotch area. Be mindful of your inseam as well – your jeans shouldn’t drag, over bunch, or billow. Even if you don’t like to wear a fitted jean, you can still find a nicely tailored straight leg style that doesn’t look overly baggy.

Is there a difference in how guys jeans should fit compared to girls jeans?
Fit largely depends on body type, with a bit of personal preference mixed in. Obviously a man/woman with a slender frame is going to have different fit priorities than an athletic or more full figured body. Overall, jeans should feel comfortable around the waist, flatter your backside, and have light natural bunching around the ankle.

What do you suggest doing if jeans fit great in one area, but are too big or too small in other areas?
This could indicate a few things. For one, perhaps it’s a fluke. Try to find another jean in the same size to determine if it’s a one-off. Another thing you might do is try a different cut – jeans come in many different rises, washes, fabrics, and silhouettes now. Just because you think you hate a high waisted jean doesn’t mean that it won’t fit you like a glove. Some fixes are easy – you can bring jeans to the tailor if you’d like a bit more tapering around your ankle, or need to take in a bit around the waist – but if you end up needing to change the whole jean, it’s probably best to move on from it. It could really just come down to a poorly constructed garment.

At DSTLD, our number one piece of customer feedback is our fit – we’re known for getting it right, in all the right areas. If you’re unsure what to try, I always recommend the Women’s High Waisted Skinny Jeans in Black Powerstretch and the Men’s Slim Jeans in 12.75 oz. Raw Denim.

Can you tell if your jeans fit only by looking at the wrinkles?

Wrinkles are a good indicator, but not the only factor (see above). You want your jeans to appear smooth all around; wrinkles that crease inward mean the jeans are too tight, while wrinkles that bulge outward indicate they're too big.

Could the front or back pockets indicate improper fit?

Absolutely (and they can also indicate poor construction). Your back pockets should be centered and cover the middle third of your backside. The pockets should not extend lower than your bum's natural curve, and should also be slightly angled so they embrace your backside's shape. If your jean has front pockets, you don't want the pocket bag to peek out or to see the outline of it against your leg. 

How could jeans that fit properly actually be a boost to self-confidence, even if it means going up a size?

So many shoppers get tunnel vision, and will write off a product if it's in their "size" and it doesn't look right or feel right. The truth is, size varies across brands, and it's definitely not about the size you're wearing, but how you feel when you're wearing something that fits well. While you run true to size, it's impossible to please everybody. A well fitting garment is the best confidence booster. There's nothing worse than worrying if you have a muffin top or feeling like you can't move in your jeans. Don't be afraid to go up in a size, it will smooth your silhouette, contour your curves, and be overall more comfortable. 

Want to learn more about jean fabrics, weaves, and washes? Check out DSTLD's Premium Denim Dictionary to answer your denim questions. 

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