My Journey to Finding the Perfect Pair of Denim Jeans

I have never been a denim jeans type of girl. My body type has always been very athletic: my thighs are muscular and bigger than my waist. If I got a size jean that would fit my waist, they rarely ever fit over my thighs and if I got a pair that fit my thighs, they never fit my waist. I think I can speak for most of my female readers when I say, black leggings are just easier and fit all body types.

Last year I found the most perfect pair of denim jeans.

No, I’m not lying. I truly found the most comfortable, buttery, fitting jeans that made my butt look good.. They were from Lulu’s and I wore them pretty much every day because they had the perfect stretch to them. These jeans were the star of my Lulu’s Spring Haul blog but they weren’t the best quality and got all stretched out. Seriously, I should have bought 5 pairs before they ran out.

Anyhow, enough grieving over the past. I decided it was time for a new pair so I took to the ‘gram and asked my lovely community where I could find the best pair of jeans.

Here are some of the community’s answers:

– Fashion Nova

– Big Star

– Universal Thread Denim (Target’s Brand)

– Mother Denim

– Buckle

– Hudson

– American Eagle

– Paige

– Hollister

– Levi’s

– Madewell

I live in Orange County, CA and one of the bigger malls in our area is South Coast Plaza. So I set off to South Coast Plaza on a Jean Journey. At South Coast Plaza, I was able to check out Madewell, Paige, Levi’s, Hudson, Free People, Frame, AG Denim and a few more. This mall is legit huge!

A few tips to make the jean journey a little easier:

1. Accept your body and know what you want. If you go into your jean journey not accepting your body, you’ll never find the perfect pair of jeans. You’ll try on all the wrong fits and none of them will be flattering on you. For example: I have muscular thighs, I won’t try on a pair of skinny jeans because skinny jeans accentuate my thighs and make me look like Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.

2. Give yourself enough time. That might seem like a tough one but if you rush the process, you’re gonna settle for a pair of jeans that were just o.k. I spent 2 hours and tried on 6 pairs of jeans from 4 different stores.

3. Ask for help. The sales associates spend all their time folding the denim and knowing the cutest styles. That’s what they’re there for. To maximize my jean journey, I walked right up to the sales associate and said, “I’m looking for a straight-leg pair of jeans that have some stretch, mid-rise, and are buttery soft.” And just like that, she was off. While she was busy picking her best options, I looked to see if there were any I wanted to try on too.

4. Don’t have a number in mind. By all means, have a price tag in mind but forget what “size” you are. All denim has their own sizing guide. For instance I’m usually a size 26/27 but Madewell runs big so I was a 25 and Free people ran small so I was a 28. When I was in my early 20’s, I had this idea that I would change my body to fit my jeans. I refused to buy a pair of jeans bigger than a size 24/25 because it hurt my ego. So if a pair of jeans didn’t fit at a size 25, I would diet until they did. Super unhealthy, I know. But I’m here to tell you, forget that stigma of sizing.

5. Jean shop while you PMS. Girl, I know that’s the last place you want to be when you’re all bloated and crampy but trust me on this one. If your jeans fit comfortably while you’re all PMS-Y and holding onto 5 pounds of water weight, they will be a dream no matter what. I don’t know about you but when I start PMS-ing, jeans are the last thing I want to wear because I sized them for my non-PMS body.

First I went to Madewell

I tried on a 3-4 pairs of their jeans as recommended by their stylist. The ones in the photo are the 10″ High-Rise Skinny Jeans in Hanna Wash. I really liked how soft they were, the button detail, and the jeans had a great stretch to them. Unfortunately most of their jeans were too high-rise for me. I’m one of those short torso girls, so a 10″ high-rise is pretty much my entire torso.

As I expand my jean wardrobe, I might check these out again because they would be super cute with a crop top.















Then I popped over to Free People

Where I tried on a pair of Levi’s 501. I’ve seen this style all over Instagram and love how it looks on other people but definitely not me! These have zero stretch to them so it made me look even more boxy than I already am.















Then I tried on a pair of Free People ‘Nobody Denim Cult Ankle Skinny Jeans’ that were just an absolute no no on me. The jeans were too high, too stretchy, and of course the ultra skinny look on me turns me into Tweedle Dee.















And then I ended up at Nordstrom as a hail Mary…

I tried on these super cute Frame Denim ‘Le Skinny De Jeanne Jeans’ which I really loved. They were soft, a good mid-rise, and some great stretch. But I was hoping they were a bit darker (all about that toddler mom life) and they were pretty pricey at $199. Had they been the perfect color, I might have bought them. But since writing this blog, I saw that Nordstrom has a few Frame options online that are a darker wash: here’s the distressed option and here’s a similar look to the ones I tried on but dark wash.















Another one I really really liked was the Paige Transcend Vintage Brigitte Boyfriend Denim. These probably would have been the jeans for me except they’re an on purpose crop. I like that look but when I’m paying $219, I want to have the option to cuff them myself, lol.















Leave it to Nordstrom to have the best selection of jeans. I definitely saved Nordies for last because of their huge selection. These are AG Jeans ‘The Legging Ankle Super Skinny’ another pair I really liked for the comfort, stretch, wash, and softness. However, the skinny ankle wasn’t my jam.















Last but not least is Rag & Bone. Great on the wash, comfort level and raw hem…not so much on the ultra high rise.















But you’ll never guess where I found my new favorite pair of jeans…

American Eagle! After being so frustrated with not finding anything (and of course PMS-ing and wanting some carbs), I went online to American Eagle where I saw they have a NE(X)T Level Skinny Jean for $37. For that price, it was worth the risk.  I ordered a size 4 and opted for the cute back patch ‘GRL PWR’ for an additional $5. When they came in the mail, I immediately tried them on and loved them. They were the perfect mid-rise for a short torso girl like myself and made my butt look good. I wear them almost every day and can run around in them seamlessly.

I’ve learned my lesson and will be buying a few more pairs of jeans from American Eagle before they discontinue my favorite style!













Katelynn Ansari

34 thoughts on “My Journey to Finding the Perfect Pair of Denim Jeans

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