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Jeans - Leg Lines

Skinny jeans

These offer a cool, retro, chic and the most fashionable take on denim.

  • Skinny jeans suit boyish frames (lean column) and are unforgiving of curvier shapes (e.g. full hourglass, pear, and apple). They will accentuate the top half and make you look more top heavy.

  • Skinny jeans tend to be low- rise. If you are slightly curvy, go for a higher rise to cover lumps and bumps. Also, look for room in the knees - if they are too clingy, they emphasise thighs.

  • The weight of denim can have a big effect on how flattering the jeans will be. Heavyweight denim with just a touch of stretch is best for smoothing out lumps.

  • If you are short in height then avoid longer styles that bunch around your ankles - they will make you look shorter and fuller.

  • If you are a lean column skinny jeans will make you look too straight, so choose some shaded denim to add curves to the hips, butt and thighs. Don't shy away from dramatic styles. Also, panels of slightly contrasting dye are good for adding contours.

  • They look best on long-legged boyish figures. Wear skinny jeans with ballet flats or ankle boots for an edgy look.

  • If you are petite then skinny jeans should be your first choice and wide legs should never find their way into your wardrobe.

  • Skinny jeans should be worn shorter than boot cut or flared jeans. Don't try to squeeze heels under very tight long jeans - it's more flattering to wear them with a pair that stops at the ankle.

  • For a high glam look, skinny jeans over heels make legs appear long and lean. Flats work well in the day, as long as the jeans aren't too long.

  • They are most flattering when teamed with long tops. But tops should finish above your widest point.

  • Choose cropped styles if you want to tuck them into boots.

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Boot-cut jeans

These are problem solvers, the ultimate in versatility, figure fix - the shape that flatters most bodies and should be considered an investment buy.

  • A modern wardrobe classic, the boot-cut is the most universally flattering jeans shape around, minimising hips and bottoms and elongating with its flared lower leg. They also disguise large calves and make legs look leaner.

  • This style of jeans suits most body types but if you are petite, choose a pair that isn't too flared - anything too wide will only legs look shorter.

  • They are great for pear shapes, inverted triangles and full hourglass because the wide leg balances your hips and upper body.

  • The boot-cut can work leg lengthening miracles, but to maximise the effect choose them in dark indigo and you need to create a long, clean line, so avoid all details - pockets, embroidery, embellishments, faded markings - on the hips or thigh area. These features would only add unnecessary bulk to hips and thighs. When paired with high- heeled boots (medium to chunky heel) they will create extra height and as result have a slimming effect.

  • As this style looks fantastic with heels, it's all about getting the length right. Jeans should cover at least half the heel of your shoe, or better still even more, as the longer the hem, the longer your legs will look. Plus jeans worn with heels have a slimming effect.

  • Never turn up boot-cut jeans, they'll end up looking bulky. Stick to straight jeans for cuffing.

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Boyfriend jeans and wide leg Jeans

A mannish shape that's currently in fashion. If baggy isn't for you, a seventies style pair of wide leg jeans is a sexy way to wear the oversized look.

  • They are perfect for women who are rectangles or inverted triangles. With no waist and a boyish figure, the loose leg, slouchy waist and large pockets are flattering for their shapes but will look good as well on bigger sizes, especially those with bigger bums.

  • Boyfriend jeans look good two ways - either play up the boyish vibe with trainers, or tone down the masculine effect by adding girlie feminine touches with fitted top, belt or blazer.

  • Wide-leg styles need to be made from ultra-soft denim so that they hang well instead of feeling and looking stiff on your body (which will have the effect of adding pounds to your leg line). However, boyfriend styles need thicker denim to look authentic.

  • Retro-style wide-legs are great for evenings. They look fabulous teamed with high heels and sexy tops or bright colour.

Cropped jeans

Cute, quirky and wonderfully versatile.

  • Women who have short legs or are short in height should avoid this style, because it will drastically shorten the look of your legs (the higher the jeans are cropped, the less flattering). So, if you're shorter stick to versions cropped just above the ankle or at mid-calf. Also, keep the cuffs smaller to keep the overall picture in proportion.

  • The wider the cropped leg the more volume it creates on your leg line and especially on your calf. This style is only for women who are tall, leggy and have normal to small calves.

  • To be perfectly honest if you are not tall, leggy, with perfectly shaped calves stay away from this shape. They are not problem solvers but rather trouble makers!

  • If you want to wear boots with your cropped trousers, avoid any gaps between the top of the boots and the bottom of the jeans.

Loose fit women's jeans

They come in different shapes and forms - tailored, flared, slouchy or wide leg.

Some clarifications on fits in general:

  • Slim fit jeans/skinny: Close fit through the seat and thigh, usually accentuated by a tapered leg cut.

  • Easy fit jeans: Similar to relaxed fit with a lower rise and more room in the seat and thigh.

  • Natural fit jeans: Slightly fuller fit through hips and thighs.

  • Petite or short or full figures e.g. pears, full hourglass should stick to more tailored versions, as baggy styles can swamp the body.

  • With baggier jeans, go for styles that are fitted at the hips, without any excess material in places where you are bigger. A lot of loose fabric can make them look larger.

  • Balance wide-leg jeans with more body-conscious tops or tailored pieces. This will avoid an overall look that is too shapeless.

Jeans style advice: What you should know


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