Finding a denim style to suit is often the biggest challenge for many women and us Personal Stylists, plus with so many styles to choose from in just about every wash, length and shape how do you go about choosing a style which suits you? Understanding and knowing your body shape will help you make much better choices and avoid infuriating returns and changing room drama's!
Here's my guide to which styles suit which body shapes and why...
Straight up and down, little to no discernible waistline, slender arms and legs, small bust, distinct lack of curve. Can wear most styles, can sometimes feel they don’t have much curve/ shape. In proportion shoulder to hip line.
Celebrity athletics: HRH Duchess of Cambridge
In proportion shoulder to hip line, distinct waist often sits quite high, mid to large bust, curvy bottom and hips, curve can often follow through to legs. Good quality fabrics always work best on this shape.
Celebrity hourglass: Holly Willoughby
Smaller top half than bottom half, will often buy a size or more larger to accommodate curvy bottom and hips. Small, distinct waistline often sits high, small to medium bust. Challenge can be finding trousers/skirts to sit nicely on their waist.
Celebrity pear shapes: J-Lo
Strawberry Body Shape
Broad shoulders, large full bust tapering to narrow hips, flat bottom and slender legs. All the curve is in the top half, can often be short in the torso. Often called inverted triangle.
Celebrity strawberry shapes: Meghan Markle
Apple Body Shapes
Curvy top half with large bust, carries all the weight in the stomach area with no discernible waistline. Stunning legs and shapely ankles!
Celebrity Apple shapes: Melissa Mcarthy
Skinny jeans - the might of the skinny jean! There's been a lot of talk that skinny jeans are not a in vogue as they were, but in my opinion are here to stay as they have become such a stalwart of many women's wardrobes. Wearing a skinny fit works well for slender athletic, strawberry and apple shapes as they have naturally slender legs so this style suits and flatters their natural body shape.
Can also suit hourglass body shapes when the top half is balanced to maintain the natural balance and proportions. Often a tricky style for pear shapes particularly curvier women if they feel self conscious of their hips and bottom, as the skinny will exaggerate and widen this area. Of course some women will feel super proud of their derriere and are very happy to show it off, so if that's you go for it!
Straight leg jeans
Suits most body shapes as it creates balance between the top and bottom halves so works particularly well for pear shapes.
If you are petite look for high rise styles for leg lengthening benefits! Works well with tucking in tops as it creates a more streamlined outfit or it can look a little square and shapeless.
Works well for top heavy body shapes such as apple and strawberry as it adds some balance to the bottom half.
Often seen as the most flattering style of denim as the bootcut flare creates balance for top heavy body shapes such as strawberry and apple and also continues the curve for hourglass body shapes to maintain their beautiful proportions.
Will also elongate and lengthen so particularly great for petite women especially in a high waist style as it will add inches to your leg length!
Can be trickier for curvy pear shapes if the top half of the jeans are very tight so tucking in and wearing a high waist will help create length and balance - adding colour and print to the top half will also help create proportion for you.
Wide leg jeans
Really flattering for all body shapes as again it creates balance for top heavy women yet also works beautifully for pear shapes when paired with a top or jacket which creates drama and shape on their top half. This balances the wider hip area.
Very wide leg styles can overwhelm and drown a very slender frame unless the top half is more structured and fitted.
If petite look for a mid to high rise style to lengthen the leg and avoid shorter styles as this will also shorten your leg and overall height.
Depending on the volume of the flare and how comfortable you are wearing this style again suits top heavy body shapes such as strawberry and apple as it creates volume on the bottom half to balance and create proportion.
Really flared styles can overwhelm a very petite and slender frame such as athletic so you will be better looking at a bootcut and/or going for a fitted style on the top half and tucking in to create some shape.
Mid and high rise jeans
Suits body shapes with a natural waistline such as pear and hourglass body shapes. The waist can sit naturally quite high for these shapes so a high waist will work beautifully, plus this style will add length to the leg, so will also be great for petites.
Avoid if top heavy or short in the torso as this will shorten your torso and make your top half look wider. See below for guidance on rises to suit you...
Low rise jeans
If short in the body go for low rise or you will shorten your torso even further. Strawberry body shapes are often short in the body due to their large bust, so much better suited to low rise styles which then gives the bust space. Apple body shapes don't have a natural waistline so can often feel more comfortable in low to mid rise styles and as athletic body shapes have a square torso and very little waistline they are often more comfortable in a low rise style too.
If you have a waistline such as a pear and hourglass body shapes your waist will sit naturally higher so best to avoid this style and look for mid to high - see above.
Hope this has helped create some clarity around which styles will suit you and why - and if it just gets too much or you don't have the time you know where I am!
If you would like to know more about your body shape consider coming along to one of my empowering BODY SHAPE CONFIDENCE WORKSHOPS which have been recently updated with all new content!