CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to EADT Suffolk today CLICK HERE

Suffolk style: The jean genie

PUBLISHED: 13:44 24 March 2011 | UPDATED: 19:04 20 February 2013

Suffolk style: The jean genie

Suffolk style: The jean genie

Style expert and Ipswich fashion store owner Emma Lloyd talks about getting those vital great-fitting jeans

Style expert and Ipswich fashion store owner Emma Lloyd talks about getting those vital great-fitting jeans




In my day to day business, whether its consulting or retailing, I am always being asked how to successfully buy great fitting jeans, a staple of every womans wardrobe.


I am a firm believer that everyone can have great fitting jeans regardless of size and shape but the key is to remain true to your body shape. It is easy to be swayed by the latest denim trend and indeed I almost fell victim to this with the massively popular Houlihan by the jean geniuses J Brand. Last year. I adored the soft Japanese twill of the Houlihan but the patch pockets on the thighs were monumentally unflattering for anyone larger than a size 12. I tried them on time and time again until I resigned myself to the fact that I must reluctantly walk away from them.


However, as it turned out I was glad I did. They next must have style is never far behind and the new season J Brand called Agnes simply replaced the Houlihans patch pocket with a streamline zip on the thigh. Perfect!


By following my simple style advice it is likely your denim nightmares will become a thing of the past and youll end up with the jeans you have been searching for all your life. You may have to try on a fair few pairs till you get it right, but it will be well worth the effort.


The number one rule when searching for jeans is to get a superb fit. Knowing your body shape is essential and will determine which style of leg suits you. This is the starting point for great fitting jeans and everything else follows on from here. So start off by considering which body shape you are:



  • Apple you hold much of your weight in your upper body and tummy. Your bottom is flat with slim legs.

  • Hourglass/Pear your hips are slightly wider than your shoulders and you have a slim upper body

  • Long and leggy your upper and lower body are in proportion to each other

  • Fuller figure you have a voluptuous figure and tend to gain weight all over.

  • Petite you are under 5ft 3 with a small frame or curvaceous figure.


Once you know your body shape you can then choose a leg style that will suit you. This is where proportions come into play as its all about giving balance to your body shape.



  • Apple straight leg, cropped

  • Hourglass boot cut, wide leg, flare leg, boyfriend

  • Fuller figure boot cut, wide leg

  • Petite skinny, below left, straight leg, cropped

  • Long & Leggy lucky you, you have choices and can wear all leg shapes!


You may hear the term rise when buying jeans and this is simply the distance between the crotch and the waist. Again, knowing which body type you are will be your guide to the correct rise for you.



  • A Low Rise measures 7.5 or under and can be worn well by long & leggy and petite. The waist band usually sits two or more inches lower than the navel.

  • A Mid Rise measures 8 to 9 and the waistband sits just below the navel. Hourglass, fuller figure, long & leggy and apple body shapes can all wear a mid rise jean.

  • A High Rise measures 9.5 up to 12 and can be carried off by an hourglass and long & leggy. The waistband sits either on or above the navel.


If you already have a favourite pair of jeans and want the same rise again, lay the jean flat and measure from the crotch seam to the top of the waistband to get the measurement.


The waistband is always an important factor when shopping for your shape. Many hourglass or pear shape women find it terribly hard to find jeans to fit around their hips so they go up a size and end up with a gape at the back of the waist. There are a number of ways to avoid this either by going for a wider waistband which sits on your hips with a higher back rise or by buying a higher waist jean to give a streamline silhouette to your shape. Alternatively you could try figure fixing jeans specifically created for women who have a smaller middle versus a bigger hip and thigh area. Levis Curve Id offer four fits depending on how curvy you are and Little in the Middle jeans fit on the waist and are one size up on the hips.


The same pair of jeans can rarely be worn with both heels and flats so always take a selection of shoes with different heels to determine which ones you will wear when buying your new jeans. High heels elongate the leg and give confidence when wearing great fitting jeans but look terrible if the jeans are too short.


Some brands have a selection of leg lengths but dont rule out a style just because they are too long as it may be they are a great fit and easy to shorten. If youre going to the trouble of having a pair of jeans shortened then ask for an original hem. Its a great way to keep the original look of the jean if the bottoms are faded or frayed. This can be an expensive alteration (around 15 to 25) as it takes longer than standard hemming (10).


Sizing of denim brands can be tricky as they tend to work to their own sizing. Some brands work on vanity sizing to make the customer feel great about buying a smaller size. If youre trying on jeans in a boutique or department store, be sure to ask if the brand runs true to size. I always encourage my customers to try on the same style in two sizes to check the fit. Also, by checking the Lycra content on the label inside the jean you will get a good idea if the jean will stretch when worn.A higher Lycra content will stretch at least one size bigger, so take the smaller size. Nothing is worse than parting with your hard earned cash on a jean that goes baggy after one wear. Rigid denim (100% cotton) runs small, but will eventually conform to your body and last longer than stretch varieties.


Dont be embarrassed to move around the fitting room and do some denim aerobics to ensure a close fit. Always sit down in the jeans to make sure your backside isnt revealed too much. If both sizes of your chosen jeans dont fit well it is likely the style may not suit your body shape. Often we blame our size when its simply the wrong style for our body shape.


As a stylist I recommend the Trilogy stores in London who understand the needs of different body shapes and have great knowledge of the brands they are selling. More locally Mike who owns Aura in St Nicholas Street in Ipswich is the king of denim and will find the perfect pair for you. And of course theres me at Marianna boutique in St Peters Street who will always guide you through the tricky waters of jeans until we find the right ones for you.


Finally, here are a few denim absolute no-nos:



  • Muffin Top this is when low waisted jeans are too tight for your figure. Choose a mid or high rise style instead to combat this.

  • Bubble Gum Jeans just because you can squeeze your body into them doesnt mean they fit so avoid cheap stretch denim.

  • Distressing streaks, whiskers and obvious bleaching draws attention to wide hips or a bulging thigh so much better to go for a flattering, darker denim.

  • Builders Bum yes, you know exactly what this is and how unattractive it looks!


Good luck in your search and have faith the perfect pair of jeans is out there waiting for you.




Emma Lloyd


Marianna, 33a St Peters Street,


Ipswich IP1 1XF


ww.mariannaboutique.co.uk


Tel 01473 225666


Facebook Marianna boutique


Twitter @MariannaIpswich

0 comments

Shop with us at Great British Life

More from Style

Friday, November 9, 2018

We’re always looking for ways to reverse the signs of ageing, and ways to keep our skin looking fresh and youthful, and the ACCOR Plasma Pen is the new treatment promising to deliver these results. Sue French at French Complexion in Hadleigh answers your questions...

Read more
Tuesday, September 4, 2018

With gorgeous stretches of stunning coastline, wonderful rolling countryside and magnificently historic towns and villages, it’s easy to see why Suffolk is such an attractive place to have your wedding. Here are 6 great venues the county has to offer

Read more
Tuesday, July 10, 2018

When you want to mark a special occasion with a stunning piece of jewellery or simply want to treat a loved one, head to one of these 6 fantastic Suffolk jewellers to see if they can help you out

Read more
Thursday, July 5, 2018

As the weather hots up give your look a modern boho twist

Read more
Wednesday, June 6, 2018

When you feel like you need a day of utter calm and relaxation right here in Suffolk, turn to one of these 6 spas for a massage or treatment in gorgeous surrounds

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

EADT Suffolk Magazine regular newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy


Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search