How Should Jeans Fit You? The Ultimate Denim Guide

how jeans should fit you

At Back2Basics, we’re all about essential wardrobe pieces you can’t live without but can wear with anything, so a good-fitting pair of jeans is obviously a favorite. There’s nothing like breaking into a new pair of jeans! With so many different styles available, though, it can be challenging to know how to choose the right pair for you and to make sure your jeans fit the right way.

If you’re reading a magazine from the early aughts, they might tell you that your jeans need to fit your body type. While different types of jeans can accentuate different parts of your body, choosing a perfect pair of jeans should be based on your personal preference and comfort. From low-rise and high-rise to flared jeans and slim-fit jeans, there is no shortage of jean styles to play around with.

Let’s talk about the different styles of jeans and how they should fit you! Remember: the perfect-fitting jeans are the ones that feel most comfortable on you. Here is your ultimate guide to jeans you’ll want to wear forever.

Skinny Jeans

bella hadid skinny jeans

Skinny jeans are a popular choice for those who want a tight fit around the legs and ankles and a sleek silhouette from foot to waist. When trying on skinny jeans, it's important to make sure that they are snug around the thighs and calves but not so tight they’re restricting. You should be able to move your legs freely without feeling constricted, and the waistband should sit comfortably at your natural waistline without gaping or digging in.

The best test for a good pair of skinny jeans is to sit down and see how you feel in them! They should be just as comfy standing up as they are sitting down.

Considering body shapes, it's worth noting that skinny jeans and slim pants tend to accentuate the curves of the hips and thighs. However, this can be an advantage for those who want to highlight those curves!

Wear them with sneakers, heels, sandals, or even boots. They look great with pretty much any kind of top, but we especially love a cozy hoodie with skinny jeans.

Bootcut Jeans

boot cut jeans celebrity

Bootcut jeans flare out slightly at the bottom, making them a great choice for those who want a more relaxed fit around the ankle. When trying on bootcut jeans, make sure that they fit snugly around the thighs and hips but are looser around the knee and calf. Bootcut jeans and wide-leg jeans are different — bootcut has a narrower leg.

The hem of bootcut jeans should fall just above the ground when you're wearing shoes, but not so long that they drag on the floor. If they’re too long, they’re going to get soggy in the rain and tear as you step on them. However, you can also find boot-cut cropped jeans now!

If you're looking for a more elongated look, try wearing them with high heels. Regardless of the name, they go with quite a few different shoe styles.

Straight Leg Jeans

kendall jenner straight leg jeans

Straight-leg jeans are sort of a middle-ground choice. They have a simple, straight cut from the hip to the ankle, making them a great choice for those who want a classic look.

When trying on straight-leg jeans, make sure that they fit comfortably around the hips and thighs without being too tight or too loose. The leg should be straight from the knee down but not so tight that it hugs the calf or so baggy that they look sloppy and sag or wrinkle by the afternoon.

Boyfriend Jeans

victoria beckham boyfriend jeans

Boyfriend jeans are a relaxed, casual style that has become increasingly popular in recent years. They are designed to look like you borrowed them from your boyfriend, with a loose fit around the hips and thighs. Back in the day, when women’s jeans were always more fitted than men’s, borrowing your guy’s jeans was the only way to get such a fit.

When trying on boyfriend jeans, make sure that they sit comfortably on your hips without being too loose or too tight. The leg should be straight from the hip to the ankle, with a slight taper towards the bottom.

When you find the right fit of boyfriend jeans, they’re extremely comfortable and look great with low-profile canvas shoes and a cute t-shirt or cardigan.


High-Waisted Jeans

candice swanepoel high waisted jeans

High-waisted jeans come and go in fashion, but they’ve recently seen some staying power. They’re perfect for those who want to elongate their legs and accentuate their waist. They sit at or above the natural waistline, creating a flattering silhouette. They usually come in 5-button styles, which add to the look.

When trying on high-waisted jeans, make sure that they fit comfortably around the waist without being too tight or too loose. The leg should be straight from the hip to the ankle, with a slight taper towards the bottom.

How to Measure Your Jeans Size

How do you know if jeans fit properly? Comfort is key!

No matter what style you like best, an ill-fitting pair of jeans is going to be uncomfortable and less attractive. To ensure that you get the perfect fit, it's very helpful to measure yourself before buying a new pair. Here's how to do it:

  1. Waist: Measure around the narrowest part of your waistline, keeping the tape measure snug but not too tight.

  2. Hips: Measure around the fullest part of your hips, keeping the tape measure level.

  3. Inseam: Measure from the top of your inner thigh to the bottom of your ankle, right where the bone sticks out a bit.

  4. Rise: Measure from the crotch to the top of the waistband.

  5. Thigh: Measure around the widest part of your thigh, keeping the tape measure snug but not too tight. The tape measurer should easily lay flat against your skin for the entire circumference of your thigh. 


How do you know if jeans fit properly?
When putting on a pair of jeans, your stomach and waist should not be bulging at the waistband. Try sitting down and walking around to see if you're comfortable. If you can't tuck in a shirt at all, then your jeans are probably too tight and not the right size. 

Since jeans are such a staple in most of our wardrobes, it’s really important to take the time to find the right styles and fit. A good pair of jeans should also be durable and lasting, so it’s worth investing in the right ones. It’s worth pointing out that sizes can vary greatly from brand to brand and even within a brand’s different lines, and that does not even include vanity sizing! So focus on the fit and feel over the numbers.  How should jeans fit you? You are the best judge of that, as everyone has their own ideal comfort.  With all of the different styles and cuts, you can see how you have to look beyond whether jeans should feel tight or loose.

At Back2Basics, we are very selective about all of the clothing we offer our customers, so you can be sure that any pair of jeans you find in our shop is a high-quality choice.  You can shop all denim here.