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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! 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 fibres 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. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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:)

  5. 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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