Jeans, jeans, jeans!
We love wearing them, but hate shopping for them. They’re a staple of almost every wardrobe, but finding the right pair of jeans is a quest many of us have been on for years.
Most women, yours truly included, consider shopping for jeans to be just as difficult as shopping for a swimsuit.
But before you resign yourself to saggy knees and muffin-tops, read on! Last week I sat down with
Denim Diva Jen Coppock to answer all of your denim dilemmas.
First, let’s get to know the expert: Jen Coppock of Vault Denim started in the beauty business in 1993, where she discovered her love of making women look and feel beautiful. A self-described jeans-addict and clothes hoarder, Jen used to buy designer jeans from expensive mall stores until she discovered Vault Denim. Vault Denim is an at-home jean party company where the stylist brings tons of designer jeans to your house for you and your friends to try on at a substantial discount—more on that later! After she moved to Northern Virginia in 2011, she was invited to every kind of at-home party under the sun—except for Vault Denim. Worried she’d have to return to the mall and spend twice as much for her beloved jeans, Jen decided to become a Denim Diva herself. Two years and hundreds of booties later, she’s seen amazing transformations in the
women who come to the parties. Not only how they (and their rear-ends) look, but how they feel. When she hears a woman say “I don’t feel like such a Mom in my new jeans”, or has a woman buy her first pair of jeans in over 30 years, she’s reminded of how lucky she is to do what she loves. Jen’s mission is to get women out of their Mom jeans and high-waters, and into jeans that look (and fit) fabulous, and make her clients feel great about themselves!
Jen and I covered all of your questions, and she shared with me the 4 pairs of jeans every woman needs in her closet right now!
According to Jen, the most important thing to remember about finding the perfect jean is that jeans are an investment-an investment of time as well as money. When you go out to find the perfect jeans, try different stores, different brands, different cuts and different washes. Bring a friend, preferably a close one who will be honest with you! Bringing a friend means not only will you get feedback, but you’ll have someone to grab a different size or style for you while you’re in the fitting room—you’ll be less likely to give up and buy a pair that isn’t perfect if you can try as many as
you need to without getting re-dressed a million times.
I asked Jen about what kind of jean each body type should look for, and while there are some basic guidelines (boot-cuts balance out hips or a tummy, for example), she believes any shape can wear any style of jean. She says that you have to look at jeans as part of a whole package. Pears can wear skinnies, but should pair them with a longer top and boots. Rectangles can wear baggy boyfriend jeans, but should balance with a more fitted top. Jeans alone aren’t as important as what you wear with them.
The question most asked on my Facebook page had
to do with the gap in the back, and what to do about it.
Jen’s advice was to find a pair of jeans that fit you well in the hip and rear, and then have the waist taken in a little. “There’s not much a tailor can do about the fit in the hips or crotch,” Jen says, “but having the waist taken in is the easiest way to get a good-fitting jean”. However, if the gap is really big, chances are you need to size down. Jeans should be a little uncomfortable when you first try them on, but should give a bit within 30 minutes or so. Buying jeans that are too comfortable when you buy them is just asking for a droopy butt, she says.
Readers also wanted to know about the muffin top issue. Jen’s advice is to “Embrace the Bakery!” and cover up the muffin top with a long tank and flowy shirt. She recommends also looking for a slightly higher-rise jean or one with a wider waistband that holds everything in. If you feel like you need a higher-rise jean to hold in a mommy tummy, go for it, but wear a longer shirt, as high-rise jeans make your butt look longer and bigger. She advises to do what you need to get the right fit, and then cover it up.
“What you can’t see doesn’t matter”, she says. She even recommends that women who carry weight around the middle, like I do, go for maternity jeans. That way, they can get a better fit in the hips, butt and thigh, and not have to worry about a tight waistband.
I asked what was up with saggy knees an hour after wearing a pair of jeans, and I was told it’s all about denim quality. “Just like there are different grades of diamonds, there are different grades of denim”, and low-quality denim will always stretch out. If designer denim seems out of your price range, find a fit that works for you and then hit ebay, she recommends. Another tip Jen gives is to keep the tags on after you’ve bought a pair of jeans, and wear them around the house for an hour. If they stretch too much, take them back. Once you have them worn in to how you
like them, you can freshen them up without washing, provided there’s no visible dirt. She says to place folded
jeans into a ziplock bag-don’t close it- and stick it in the freezer for a few hours. Your jeans will be fresh and ready to wear again!
My tall readers wanted to know where to find the best jeans for long legs. If you’re on a budget, Jen says, stick to stores that “let you shop like a man”. Gap, Old Navy, etc…offer jeans in long lengths that may give you the extra inches you need. However, for the best fit, Jen recommends looking for designer denim. High-end jeans are designed for people with model proportions, she says, including super long legs.
That got us talking about how long jeans should be.
We both agreed that too-short jeans are a common misstep we see often. Ideally, Jen says, the hem should go almost to the bottom of your heel, but definitely no shorter than the top of your foot. A little bit of shoe can peek out, but you shouldn’t be able to see the whole shoe.
We also discussed pockets, which are crucial, but often overlooked. Jen says the most flattering pockets are big (small pockets make objects in mirror appear bigger), placed low (higher pockets give you a longer booty), and somewhat close together (far apart pockets gives the illusion of a wider rear view). If you need a booty-boost, look for flap pockets that add volume. Embellishments on the pocket can make your rear look bigger or smaller—it
all depends, she says. This is a case where you just have to try a bunch of different styles to find the ones that work for you.
Another fit issue Jen solved was the baggy crotch syndrome. Extra material in that area is a result of a too-high rise. Shorten the rise, she suggests, and go up a size if you need to.
I asked Jen what curvy girls should do now that boot-season is gone, but skinny, colored, and printed jeans are still here. She suggests pears look for straight or slim leg jeans, and wear them double rolled at the ankle with ballet flats to avoid the tapered-leg look. Anyone can wear colored jeans, but those with bigger hips should stick to darker colors, like plum instead of lavender, she recommends. “When buying prints, women really need to consider their shape”, she adds, and choose tone-on-tone prints that don’t add too much focus to the lower half. On the other hand, apples can go for bold prints that do add volume below the waist.
Our last reader question was about trouser jeans, where to find the best ones. Jen recommends Gap 1969, Seven Dojo, Not Your Daughter’s Jeans Gretta, Jag Jeans Pearl, and Hudson Gwen.
Finally, Jen told us what denim should be in our closets right
1) Dark boot-cuts
2) Mid-wash straight legs
3) Dark skinnies
A big thanks to Jen Coppock for taking the time to point us all in the right direction! If you have any questions that didn’t get answered, please feel free to leave a comment
and I’ll make sure it gets to Jen. If you’d like to host your own Vault Denim party (and receive 10% of sales in FREE JEANS) you can contact Jen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I had a Vault Denim party last year—it was super fun and the booty transformations were amazing—I highly recommend stocking your closet this way!
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