The Perfect Jeans for Your Plus-Size Figure
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The Perfect Jeans for Your Plus-Size Figure

Here's how to find the pair that will enhance your every curve.

Plus-Size Jeans

Plus size Jeans
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Svoboda Renee Jeans

Jeans very well may be the most-worn piece in your wardrobe. Yet finding a great pair that will fit and enhance your curves -- especially if you're plus-size -- can be a daunting task. If you're larger than a size 14 and struggling to find a stylish and sexy pair of jeans, don't fret. We'll help you find the most flattering style for your shapely figure.

Your Best Options

When shopping for a great pair of jeans, keep these four rules in mind:

  1. The darker the wash, the better. Rich blues and blacks are chic and most slimming, and darker denim transitions easily from day to night.
  2. Shy away from baggy and ill-fitting jeans -- they'll only make you look bigger. But also pass on jeans that are so tight they leave nothing to the imagination.
  3. Jeans that stretch are your friend. They'll help you move comfortably throughout the day and will keep their shape better.
  4. Jeans sizing is all over the map. When looking for the perfect pair, be patient and try on many different styles and sizes. No one has to know what size but you.

Figure-Flattering Tricks

When looking for a style that makes the most of your shape, the secret is in the details.

To elongate your legs, look for dark, bootcut, or flared jeans with slit pockets, or without pockets altogether. The continuous line of denim from hip-to-hem tricks the eye into thinking you're taller than you actually are. Also, pair your jeans with heels, making sure the hem hits the bottom of the heel.

To flatten a pudgy tummy, steer clear of low-rise; buy only mid to high-rise jeans.

To minimize larger thighs, look for fitted jeans with a flared or boot-cut leg - they'll create an even line from hip-to-hem. Also, opt for darker jeans. Avoid styles with fading on the thighs; it acts as a spotlight on your problem area.

To make your butt look smaller, try body-skimming, dark boot cut jeans with extra-large pockets. Avoid flaps or any detail that will add more volume to your rear.

To pump up a flat derriere, look for smaller, detailed pockets that sit higher on the seat of your jeans; this makes your bottom look rounder.

Where to Buy

Not sure where to find the best styles? Here's a brief list of a few retailers who carry jeans for the full-figured woman.

Levi's (www.levisstore.com)
Levi's interactive tool JeanFinder helps you select the best jeans for you in a few easy steps. Plus-size jeans are available in sizes 14-28, and you can find trendier versions in the Juniors Plus section, up to a size 24.

Newport News (www.newport-news.com)
This site's Jeanology tool helps you find different types of jeans based on trends or size (14W to 26W) and what's on sale. There's even a fit guide, a color palette (over 23 colors to chose from), and a denim dictionary that explains each wash and finish offered in detail.

Avenue (www.avenue.com)
Over 30 pairs of moderately priced jeans are available in sizes 14-32. Choose from several different cuts: trousers, bootcut, capri, straight, and classic. Shop by category, collection and extended sizes (28-32). Returns are fast and simple if you'd prefer to shop from home.

Designer Plus-Size Denim

If you've been searching for premium jeans to fit your curvaceous figure, look no further. Finally, chic designer jeans are available for you -- in all different styles.

Svoboda

Fed up with the lack of stylish apparel for curvaceous women, Jessica Svoboda started her very own plus-size premium apparel line, Svoboda (pictured on the previous page). "I couldn't find any jeans that were stylish and fit well," says Jessica. "We offer styles that are popular for the misses' size, but modified for the plus-size body."

Svoboda's jeans are generally mid-curved rise, and have a European fitted cut, which means they're cut lower in the front and higher in the back to fit generously across your backside. The waistbands are thicker and higher (2 to 4 inches) to minimize gaping in the waist area and offer extra stability for your tummy. Another great feature? Extra large pockets, which balance out a thicker body.

Shop by size (14-28) and height class (petite, average, tall). Available at www.svobodastyle.com and www.nordstrom.com, as well as select Lord & Taylor stores nationwide.

Seven7

A pricier alternative to their Venezia brand, Seven7 is Lane Bryant's version of couture jeans.

Designed for the ultimate sexy fit, Seven7 features flattering denim capris, gauchos, and trousers that sit lower along the waist with a longer inseam (perfect for wearing with heels). All jeans are made with premium stretch denim, so they'll fit nicely on all plus-size frames. They're available in an array of washes and finishes, and are faded and distressed by hand. The Seven7 logo is embroidered or stitched onto all back pockets, and the legs are fitted and flared slightly below the knee for a more shapely appearance.

Visit the Denim Rules guide online, which breaks down the difference between Lane Bryant's three denim lines, Venezia, Venezia Supreme, and Seven7. Available at www.lanebryant.com and Lane Bryant stores nationwide.

Originally published on LHJ.com, July 2006

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