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Are you buying the right size jeans? Do your new jeans sag after an hour of wearing? Read what to do if you’re unsure when shopping for jeans!

right size jeans

Have you ever had the dilemma of not knowing if you’re buying the right size jeans?

The size 28 is much more comfortable than the size 27 but you know denim can stretch and you like the thought of wearing a size smaller, let’s face it we all do! But which are the right size jeans for you? So how do you buy jeans that fit?

Any good denim expert worth their weight in gold will tell you to “always take the smaller size when you can”. The reason is that denim stretches up to half a size, even if it says otherwise on the label. The waistband and seat is usually the first place to stretch out as that’s where we put most of the pressure on our jeans.

There is nothing worse than spending over $100 /£100 on a pair of jeans that were so comfortable you just had to have them, 3 days later you’re doing the shuffle every time you wear them just to keep them up. If you’re grabbing for a belt you bought them too big, sadly they’re not the right size jeans!

I have lost sales before by telling my clients to go down a size but I do believe honesty is the best policy. Just yesterday we had a lady who asked three of my colleagues which size should she take, we all said the smaller one as we know the brand.

DENIM NEWS FLASH:  Brands launch ‘One Size Fits All Jean Styles – read here!

Wear+ Stretch+Wash+Repeat.

Always check out the fabric content on the label of the jean. It will tell you the percentage of the mix of fabric. So as an example a Paige Transcend jean with 51% Rayon, 33% Cotton, 15% Polyester, 1% Spandex will stretch throughout the day, till you wash it, and then it will snap back. So it’s important to take the size smaller for when that jean stretches out.

Whereas a Current Elliott Fling Slim Boyfriend is 100% cotton. Cotton is a natural fiber that will stretch naturally. Always take the smaller size as cotton tends to grow when it doesn’t have a stretch fabric mixed into the cotton. It will shrink slightly on washing and stretch again when worn.

With Raw Denim the 100% cotton has not been treated at all at the factory. The stretch process is a lot slower as washing should be kept to a minimum of 6 months to get the benefit of breaking in and making these jeans your own. They are a work in progress! Not for the faint-hearted or impulsive.

Never ever put jeans into the tumble dryer it will snap the fibers of the denim and lose its shape.

Here’s what to do:

Still undecided if these are the right size jeans, then purchase the smaller size and when you get them home try them on for 10 to 15 mins ( keep the sales tags on) and then you will see if they will loosen up or not. If not take them back within the returns period and exchange them for a bigger size. Or if you buy online get both sizes and send one back to the retailer and keep the right size jeans.

CLICK+SHOP below: Jeans that stretch!

Let me know how you get on!



  1. Hello! Do you have any knowledge on Abercrombie and Fitch Jeans?
    I bought the ultra 90s high rise in a size 6 short. They were snug the first couple days then stretched a comfortable amount but then they really stretched out and now they feel a bit big. I don’t feel like I need a belt but they’re loose in the back and around my stomach and don’t look or feel as flattering. I’m worried the size 4 will be too small but I don’t want to keep this size and deal with it being too loose. Any suggestions?

    • Hey Erika, Yes I’m familiar with A & F Jeans. the fabric content is 99% Cotton, 1% Elastane on this style. It shouldn’t have stretched so much with just 1% Elastane. You could try washing them and tumble drying low to get them back to their original size. In hindsight, it’s always good to try 2 sizes so you can wear them around the house for 30 mins+ ( with tags on) to see how the jeans behave ie stretch, especially when you sit down. If you have the tags on still I’d send them back and try the size 4. If they’re too tight at the start they should relax and hopefully fit you better. Hope that helps! ✌ Sam x

      • Hi there! What about Agolde jeans? I have them in two sizes – one fits perfectly brand new and the other is slightly more snuff, especially in the crotch and around my thighs. They’re 99% cotton and 1% elastane, but I’ve also heard that Agolde jeans tend to stretch out quite a bit.

        • Hi Annie, thanks for your comment. Agolde are a great premium denim brand that use superior denim so it shouldn’t stretch out too much. Always look at the fabric content, a polyester content means it will snap back to shape. Cotton naturally stretches & elastane gives the comfort stretch. Thanks for visiting Ilovejeans! Sam x

  2. Can You Please Present Pictures Of Women Either Wearing Or Attempting To Fit Into A Pair Of Jeans,That Are Not The Right Size,Perhaps A Result Of Them Gaining Weight?

    • Hi Jack, thanks for your message. The post you commented on is actually about getting the size right and how to make that decision. Have a look at this post if your looking for images of women squeezing into jeans! which is a post about figure fixing jeans. Thanks Sam.

  3. Well I really found your blog amazing. As a stretch denim fan I really love the unique stretch and comfort it offers.
    Spandex is best companion denim fabric
    Reach Inviya for more information

      • Hi there, I purchased Top Shop jeans that claim 100% cotton. I used to be a 26” waist and now it’s 29-30”. I ordered the Topshop size 30×30, and although they fit, I can cinch the waist an extra inch for the placement of fit I wanted at my waist. If I don’t cinch they fit but are loose (but not unflattering) but lay lower near my hips vs my belly button where they semi should be for high waist jeans. I have been stuck between ordering 28 and 29 size since I feel the 30 isn’t the right size. I was recently at Khols and I tried on NineWest high waist and I fit into the size 2 comfortably. I assume it’s got stretch. All other sizes of random brands I tried 2-4 and they fit, despite my waist being bigger these days. My hips are the same, 36” Any help on Topshop jeans that are high waist and claim no stretch would be great!

        • Hi There, Thanks for your comment. Your example of shopping different sizes is exactly why women find jeans shopping so difficult! TopShop is now owned by ASOS.COM, so you’ll see a good selection of Topshop jeans in one place. iconic styles such as the Jamie and Joni jean are still high-waisted styles, it really depends on what style of leg you want? Skinny, Flare, Mom, Baggy? I personally like a flared style – Topshop 90s flare with let down hem in mid blue are a non- stretch but go down a size as they will stretch some even if they don’t have lycra. 100% cotton still stretches and you’ll have to wash them to retain the original size. A way to get around the tummy being bigger than hips, is to look for a pull on style jean, which will have stretch. It will be more comfortable on your waist and hug the hips. Have a look at these styles at Nordstrom. Hope this helps, Sam x

  4. Hi! I recently just got my first pair of jeans. Just cut the tag and wore it for the first time when I realised that the size is too big. I should have listened to the salesperson and got the smaller size. But I can’t exchange it because the tag is already cut and the jeans are washed. Wondering if there is any way to shrink my jeans permanently without damaging them, other than tailoring it?

    • Hi, thanks for your comment! Oh no, I feel your pain. Can I ask where they were purchased? Is there anyway you can sell them and use the proceeds for the smaller size?

      Depending on the fabric content (check the label) a hot wash/dry may shrink them temporarily but they will go back to their size after wear. If they have Lycra / Elastane a hot wash/dry can break the stretch element and will look like a laddered pair of tights.
      Can you message me with the style/ size/ brand and I’ll be able to give you more tailored advice. Thanks, Sam

  5. Do you happen to know if there is a difference in shape retention and durability between the Enigma wash and the other hi-def stretch fabrics? There is a difference in fabric content. Do these fabrics hold up to heavy use, including frequent sitting and bending?
    Also, I was told that I should go with the Caroline instead of the Alana because longer skinny jeans will visually lengthen my legs. Is there any way to style cropped skinnys in such a way that the legs are lengthened even though they are cropped? (please don’t say high heels:)

  6. Thank you for the advice! I noticed you linked to a JBrand jean in a wash called Enigma. It’s hard to decode the JBrand information about the washes. Is enigma in the classification of Hi-def stretch? Do Enigma or Hi-def stretch washes behave like yoga leggings or bag out and shrivel under the seat? Do the photo ready fabrics stretch in all directions? Feel comfortable? Bag out in the seat?


    • Hi Gaia, Thanks for your comment, Enigma is the name of the wash (colour) on this particular jean. Hi-Def is the latest denim technology from J Brand, which stretches 4 ways is the nearest to a yoga pant. The fabric is thicker than a legging or yoga pant so no bagging. Photo Ready is more of a stretch and hold fabric giving an airbrushed look to the wearers legs.
      I hope you got my last reply in your previous comment?

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