Style is a funny thing – part art and part science.
For example… The Art of Accessorizing
The Art of Mixing & Matching Prints.
But when it comes to finding the perfect pants, it’s definitely more science. Balance. Volume. And measurements.
And really, when you think about it… what a relief!
Taking a scientific approach to the process eliminates all the emotion and all of the stress. And even better, no more taking 35 pairs of jeans into the dressing room, only to leave an hour later empty handed.
So, here is my easy peasy 3-Step formula for finding pants that fit and flatter your shape and are super duper comfortable to wear.
Sounds dreamy, right! Then, read on.
Step #1 – Find Your Perfect Rise.
First, what is rise?
It’s the measurement from the crotch to the top of the waistband.
One tiny caveat…
Brands are like special little snowflakes. So, when shopping online, you’ll want to double-check the ‘specs’ or ‘measurement’ tab to ensure their measurements match what you’re looking for.
What are your rise options? And which one is best for you?
Low rise pants come in at 8 inches or less and hits at your hipbones.
True low rise will have two measures – front and back rise. The back will be higher for booty coverage.
Low Rise Is Best for…
Women who are slim in the middle section. Otherwise, it can create the dreaded muffin-top.
Mid or Classic Rise:
Mid-rise measures in at 8-9 inches. Hits above your hipbones but below your waistline.
Mid Rise Is Best For…
This is the most universally flattering rise. It’s also perfect for women who have a little something extra around their mid-section that they’d like to camouflage.
10 inches or more and lands right at your waist.
High Rise Is Best For…
Women with straighter figures who want to create the illusion of a more dramatic waistline. One word of caution – always check the rearview. High rise styles can create a long butt look.
There is also high-waisted (not to be confused with high rise) and those styles will hit at the bottom of your ribcage.
Have you figured out your perfect rise? Excellent! Then, we’re ready to move on.
Step #2 – Leg Cut/Shape
And boy, howdy! There are a plethora of choices.
What It Means = Slim from the waist to the ankle.
Who Skinny Is Best For…
Looks best on two major groups – curvy figures & petites.
What It Means = Straight from the top of the leg to the ankle.
What’s Great About Straight…
A super classic, timeless style. You never need to worry that they’ll look dated next season.
Straight legs look great on straighter, more athletic figures.
What It Means = A subtle flare from the knee to the hem.
Who Will Love It?
This style flatters a ton of body shapes and depending on the length (we’ll talk inseam next) can make your legs look a lot longer and you look slimmer.
What It Means = A more dramatic widening from the knee to the hem than bootcut.
I broke this into two – crop & toe length because with this style length matters. A bunch.
A flared leg shape is perfection on women who want to balance out curvier, wider hips.
Crop length looks great on medium to tall women.
While the toe length flatters petites.
What It Means = A straight, roomy cut from hip to hem.
This style looks amazing on women who want to balance out wider shoulders and/or a bigger bust.
Are you good? You know the perfect rise and leg shape to flatter your figure? Yeah! Then, we’re ready to move on.
Step #3 – Inseam (aka Length)
What is it? The length from the crotch to the hem.
What’s awesome is all the options you have when it comes to inseams. With the rise in popularity of jeans-only brands, there are so many options. You can find the perfect length no matter how small or how tall you are.
If you have a pair of jeans you love in your closet already, you can measure the length of those, and you’ll have your perfect inseam. If not, I popped in a length chart below that’ll give you a starting point.
Something to keep in mind – You’ll remember from the article a couple months ago on Attention Short Girls! These Simple Style Hacks Are For You!, the longer the length the taller and slimmer you’ll look. If you missed it, you can check it out here.
Petites need to shoot for the hem to hit mid-calf or longer – like in this picture.
Medium and Tall girls can go as short as mid-calf.
Another tip for petites, pair with a pair of skin tone-colored heels or espadrilles to create the illusion of longer legs. The hem can give the impression of chopping off your legs, and the heels will balance it out.
Petites = 25” to 27”
Medium = 28” to 30”
Tall = 31” to 34”
Petites = 28” to 30”
Medium = 32” to 34”
Tall = 34” to 36”
Put A Bow On It:
So that’s a wrap, Sunshine!
The 3-Step Formula for finding the perfect pants.
#1 – Find Your Perfect Rise
#2 – Pick Your Most Flattering Leg Shape
#3 – Choose A Length That Fits You Best.
See, I told you it was easy!
If you have any questions, thoughts, epiphanies, or are just bored and want to chat, feel free to leave a comment below or shoot me an email.
‘Til next week.
Hugs & Happy Shopping.