When it comes to finding that perfect pair of jeans, the process can be pretty intimidating—a crowded department store, a cramped fitting room, and poor lighting is not what a lot of us want to sign up for on a Saturday afternoon, but in order to highlight those proverbial assets, it’s necessary. Still, there are a few denim hacks to narrow down the bevy of options and look your best in the process. We turned to the experts who gave us the five must-know shopping tips to find the most flattering jeans.
Choose darker washes
This may seem like a no-brainer, but go for dark styles, says AYR Design Director Jac Cameron. "Dark, saturated inky shades always make you look skinnier," she explains. "Also, look for fading on the front of the thighs, which is also slimming. Save your lighter washes for a carefree silhouette, like a boyfriend or a cropped style. A light wash can't be a super tight-fitting jean."
Opt for bigger pockets on the back
"Everyone looks at the butt first," says 3x1 Founder Scott Morrison. "You have to make sure your pockets are proportional—smaller back pockets create a lot of negative space and accentuate the butt, whereas bigger pockets hide the back a little more. A super petite girl might not be able to get away with a large pocket because it would be spilling onto her thigh, but a girl who is a size 31 would look great with bigger pockets on the butt."
Look for outer side seams that run slightly closer to the front
Morrison encourages women to look for styles with outer side seams that run closer to the front of your leg (versus ones that sit directly on the side). "Wrapped side seams with the pockets moved forward makes the hips and the entire front panel look slimmer."
Select an ankle-length jean
Fact: "An ankle-length jean looks good on everyone," Cameron says. "They are easier to wear and you don't have to get them hemmed. If you are petite, especially, a cropped style looks great."
Pick a mid-rise jean
"Low-rise is always tricky," Morrison says, "especially on shorter girls, and high-rise styles are certainly on trend now, but mid-rise is the most flattering on everyone—it elongates the leg, while still creating a waist."