Don't Give Yourself a Bum Deal
So, the inspiration behind writing this particular post came to me after visiting a good friend and colleague to discuss our Capture Confidence experience over her home made lemon drizzle and a strong Italian..(coffee that is, not a man... mores the pity).
Anyhoo, after I'd got up to leave and headed towards the door... I heard a sudden gush of words behind me of "ooh I love those jeans, your bum looks great in them"...
Obviously, I said thank you graciously but also smiled smugly, because despite having some jeans that are fairly dear, these bad boys were an absolute steal after busting the zip on my last pair whilst en-route to a client.
Needless to say, a spilling of flesh rich lower tum and a showing of bright pink "pantage" had not been a good look, so, I had gone into panic mode and dashed into the nearest supermarket (Asda in this case) to find and pick up the nearest pair resembling the ones in current distress.
I kid you not, they were £14 at the time and had a pretty good fit for the price (go a size smaller for future fit), with no knee bagging to report (as of yet). So you can imagine that my current mood resembles that of the model wearing them below...... that's my face there... #SmugAs
By the way, this is not an affiliate link and I'm not suggesting cheap is always best , just happy to share a good budget gem.
Image ref: George Straight Leg Jeans
To cut to the chase then, I felt it prompted me to further discuss, plus hopefully kill two birds with one stone, honouring the bum and also the holy grail...a good fitting pair of jeans to cup those cheeks beautifully.
SO LET'S EMBRACE THAT BOOTY
Your bottom makes up your body's most powerful group of muscles, which includes the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. Hang on are they gladiators?
It’s your in built cushion for a comfy sit and its peachy anthropological evolution allowed us to become upright, walk the shops and run for the bus.
The fleshy distribution may have something to do with particular hormones etc. which is why we gals tend to have more junk in our trunk than the chaps and I’m pretty sure I read in some scientific type magazine, that they found bigger bottoms to be conducive to a higher intellect... Or have I just made that up?
Anyhoo, whatever butt type you’re sporting, know that it is just the right one for you and has no need for liposuction, a Brazilian lift here or an implant there and no amount of twerking will make it any more attractive than it already is.
So, let's get straight in with the nitty gritty with the help of my practical knowledge and that of my friend, fellow stylista and my go to 'Jeans Queen' Sally Longden from Stick & Ribbon in Nottingham.
TOP BUM FLATTERY TIPS
Dark hues are considered to be more flattering as well as being more versatile but don’t just choose black, instead consider any deeper matte coloured fabric or print. Black jeans go with lots of things, but also consider the indigo wash if you feel you want a little streamlining.
Look for brands that use clever lift, shape or sculpt technology in their designs if you want to add oomph to your behind, some even help with your tummy area too. Check out NYDJ, Salsa Jeans or Shape & Sculpt at JD Williams.
High sitting back pockets are a great stylist tip for optically drawing the eye-line up and inwards, which makes for a perkier looking bottom. The size of the pocket is determined by the scale of your bum, so a juicier bum will benefit from a larger pocket than a smaller derriere and if the pockets are set at an angle, even better.
Sally also adds here that "if you have wider hips than shoulders..Beware of small pockets, pocket-less jeans and pockets placed too wide apart. All of these will make your hips look wider".
It’s all in the yoke...
The yoke is the seam that sits below the waistband but above the pockets and the type of yoke on the jeans can make a major difference in the bum flattery department. For instance, see this handy Pin from the experts at WhoWhatWear
Sally also confirms that "finding the right back yoke can create illusions, which used on the right body, does enhance the appearance of your bum! Plus, the " V-shape yoke" is the most widely used and the most flattering and to "beware of a straight yoke as this will make your waist appear wider and minimise your curves".
A JEAN-IUS GUIDE
The good ole jean is over 200 years old and their versatility is second to none, with such a myriad of styles and colours, they can be dressed up or down in many ways. They really are a wardrobe staple and can be enjoyed by young and old.
Jean sizing is not universal, different brands offer different fits and the sizing can vary dramatically but it doesn't have to be a mind field....
Sally wisely suggests here that "if you have a pair of jeans which fits you well, take all the key measurements - that's the inside leg, the rise (from crotch to waistband) and the waist measurement. Keep these handy and take your tape measure with you when you are out jeans shopping. That way you can try and get the closest measurements to your favourite pair"!
A few more pointers I'd recommend are:-
When you’re trying on jeans, there shouldn’t be any MC Hammer crotches going on. Any grab room means they’re no good and aren’t a good fit. Remember, jeans loosen with wear.
The same snug fit applies to the waistband, if you can fit two fingers firmly down the back that’s a good sign, whereas your whole hand is flippin not.
A looser fit all round, may feel appealing in the comfort stakes but this is a big no-no when shopping for jeans because they should fit snugly when new. Also, if they’re a bit generous when you try them on in the changing room, chances are they will become way too big when you’ve been wearing and washing them a bit.
When it comes to the stretchy more curve loving denims, you’re going to want a jean that snaps back into shape and doesn’t bag behind the knees after a few wears, so I’ve always tended to look for anything with a bit of Elastane in them. On researching the ideal mix it seems to be anything between 2-5% Elastane is favoured amongst the jean enthusiasts.
When buying jeans with super stretch, make sure they are firm but not overly tight. If you have ‘seam strain’ down the legs, chances are they are too tight and they’ll wear out quicker.
On the other hand a 100% cotton denim will be stiffer and hold you in and will need a good breaking in to loosen them up a bit, but they will serve as a good investment and future fit.
This is probably why vintage jeans are so sought after for a comfier fit and provide that funky lived in look because the previous owner has done the hard work for you, plus your helping the environment.
If you are buying premium denim, it’s always best to buy the snuggest fit you can from new, as once they wear in they will expand to fit you lovingly.
Inclusive Jean Fitting Tips
If you’re a woman who always finds jeans to be too big around the waist but fit your thighs and hips fine, then chances are you’re a ‘Shaped Body’. So for you, I suggest looking for a nice deep yoke where you can. If you're a flesh rich lovely as well, Levi 310's can give you a flattering fit.
Sally also suggested too that "whiskering, this is where pigment is removed in areas where natural wear would occur due to creasing, is best to avoid if you have wide hips as they will make you look wider. However, if you have narrow hips, this will help to create a bit of shape".
I would generally recommend, that if you’re on the petite size (5ft 2 and under), avoid very baggy and boxy-cut jeans as they will play havoc with your proportions. A slim-fitting (tapered) or straight-leg pair are flattering for shorter women, whether they're cropped, ankle, or standard length.
Some good petite brands are J Brand, Seven For All Mankind, Wit and Wisdom @ Nordstrom.
If you're a taller lovely or have long legs, make sure the waist of your jeans are sitting in the right part of y our waist. If you don a higher waist style your legs will look even longer and your torso will look really short. Instead, stick to mid and low-rise styles in a longer length.
Check out these brands if you haven't before, Hudson @ John Lewis, J Crew. Long Tall Sally and also check out The Tall Collective for stockists.
On the flipside, a shorter leg will benefit a higher rise because it optically lengthens the leg if you team it with a shorter top.
The jeans above I would say have a higher rise and fit just under or on your belly button and are great for holding your tum in with more confidence.
A low rise pair of jeans is great for small frames and short waists and usually sits just below your hips for a cooler look but they usually do require a trimmer tum to work them properly.
The mid-rise is considered to be the most universally flattering style, as well as the most comfortable. It usually sits on the hip bone but of course, as with all clothes, it varies from brand to brand and midriff to midriff so best to try out a few to your personal liking.
JEAN STYLES 101
I would say that the straight leg cut is a great all-rounder for creating sleek leg flattering lines and proportions because the fit sits firmly on your hips and flows vertically like a dart through to your ankles, offering a leg-skimming design that lengthens your body and balances out your booty. If you’re wider at the shoulder than the hip, then this style will work especially well for you. It’s also great for a fuller tum and a shapelier hip if there’s a teensy bit of stretch in their too.
This casual design is relaxed and looks quite trendy if worn low on the hips. If you’re looking to add a bit of volume and shape to your frame then this is for you, whereas if you want a more streamlined look then a more fitted or tapered cut with a higher waist will be better.
The boot-cut has always been a fan for the denim die-hards because of its flattering effect with any heel whether a boot or not. It usually fits snugly from the waist down to about your thighs and then gently kicks out a bit, thus highlighting your legs. It’s a great style to even up and flatter fuller hips and thighs with its magical elongating optical powers.
The infamous skinny jean has become an absolute go-to favourite over the past decade. Whether you wear them with high-heeled boots, a pair of posh trainers or stiletto heels, this style can be dressed up or down and flatters so many body types. You can find them with both high and low-rise waistlines and they tend to come in varying degrees of stretch making them super comfy and uber versatile.
I think the jegging has become the nations’ favourite layering piece because it offers up more of a generous fit around the tum without the digging in of a rigid waistband or the sprayed on starchy feel of a skinnier fitting jean. What’s more they usually slip nicely under layers, even dresses, without seeing any buttons or zips sticking out underneath if they’re the simple pull on version.
To be honest we all got a bit fed up of the “see through stretch” and “shiny knees”, seen on its cheaper cousin, the legging.
JEAN CARE TIPS
· Wash your jeans inside-out to avoid fading.
· You can freeze jeans to kill bacteria rather than wash. Google it.
· Wash on a cold-water spin cycle to deter shrinking.
· Don’t wash jeans too much as the colour will fade faster, so only wash when dirty.
· Avoid tumble drying. Instead, hang jeans upside down to dry away from direct sunlight.
· Avoid fabric softener if you have stretchy jeans, it messes with their elasticity.
There are of course many brands with varying levels of quality and price so it's always best to check their washing labels.
Whether you buy from a specialist denim brand or within a department store or online, my advice would be to not get disheartened… there is a pair out there made just for you. I do like the brands NYDJ and am hearing good things about Wranglers Body Bespoke line.
One last tip from the fabulous Jeans Queen Sally, is "Don't be afraid to spend more on your jeans. There has been lots of technological advances in denim over recent years and it's worth paying a bit more for this. Remember, cost-per-wear! We wear our jeans more regularly than most items in our wardrobe and you'll look and feel amazing in a great fitting pair".
Sally recommends her favourite investment jean brand at the moment is DL1961. "It's such a great brand, they are environmentally friendly in their production and their denim is second to none. They also have so many shapes and fits to suit everyone. The one which is always a winner for curvy ladies is their Coco Curvy Straight".
So that’s me done for now and a big thank you to Sally Longden for her pro advices too… Don’t forget to heart this post and feel free to leave any helpful comments below.
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