18 November 2018Last updated


The denims for your shape

Hate buying jeans? We show you how to pick the right pair for your shape, and dress them for day or night

By Kim Crowley
27 Apr 2015 | 02:10 pm
  • Laura McConnon and Anjali Walker.

    Source:Aiza Castillo-Domingo/ANM

Left: Top Dh59, H&M; Eva girlfriend jeans Dh279, River Island; Flats Dh299, River Island; Necklace Dh99, H&M.

Right: Jacket Dh395, Zara; Top Dh89, H&M; Kick-flare jeans Dh299, River Island; Shoes Dh340, Aldo; Necklace Dh59, H&M.

Laura McConnon

British, 32, full-time mum 

Body shape = Athletic

Having an athletic body shape, Laura often finds jeans to be tight on her thighs, where her muscles are built up. She also finds jeans gape at the back of her waist. We recommend a girlfriend jean, which is a tighter, more feminine version of the boyfriend jean cut.

Stylist’s tip

“Laura’s rectangular shape means she can add curves with her choice of clothing. This girlfriend cut is slim around the lower leg but has more room around the thigh, which makes them so much more comfortable for all-day wear. She can also take the subtle wash down the whole leg, which adds curve.”

Anjali Walker

British, 38, founder and owner of a party business, organising events for people in Dubai

Body shape = Tall

Being tall, Anjali struggles to find jeans that are long enough in the leg. We recommend the kick-flare jean with a mid-rise waist.

Stylist’s tip

The kick-flare-shaped jean works on longer legs as the leg doesn’t get overpowered by the wide hem. The mid-rise style will fit into the small of the back much better than a low-rise one, making them much more comfortable.

Stylist’s tip

“Anjali’s height means she can carry off a loose-fitting jacket, and the green colour is flattering on her skin and makes her eyes pop. Because the jean is so clean, it could take the mix of green prints in the jacket and top. 

Anjali Walker

Jacket Dh355, Zara; Top Dh130, Iconic; Jeans Dh299, River Island; Heels Dh299, River Island; Bag Dh155, Next; Necklace Dh140, Aldo.

Anjali says:

“I love that they hug in all the right places at my waist, and there’s no dreaded muffin top. They are comfortable because of the stretch. I wouldn’t have thought about this kick-flare shape and I love that the length works for both flats and heels.”

Tall types should avoid: Super skinny jeans as they will make the legs look out of proportion.

Anjali Walker's bad jeans

The slanted pocket of these tapered-leg jeans accentuate Anjali’s hips, which is her widest area. Choose curved, flat pockets that sit closer to the body, and ideally jeans with a higher rise.

Stylist’s tip

“The distressed areas make these jeans bang up to date and give anything you wear with them attitude. I wanted to show how ripped jeans can look sassy and glamorous to wear out both in the evening and the daytime.” 

Laura McConnon

Top Dh199, H&M; Jeans Dh279, River Island; Shoes Dh160, Iconic; Clutch Dh115, Miss Selfridge; Black beaded body jewellery Dh325, Freedom at Topshop.

Laura says:

“These jeans are incredibly comfortable as they are roomy around the thigh. I love that they are on trend but still versatile for day and evening and look great with flats, which makes them a go-to pair, every single day. Because they are a slightly looser fit, they are great for fat days!” 

Athletic types should avoid: Any low-rise, skinny jean that will cling to the thigh and pull down the waistband every time you move. Avoid lots of washing on only the thighs, as that will accentuate this area.

Laura McConnon's bad jeans

These straight selvedge jeans make Laura’s hips squarer and fit in all the wrong places.

Victoria Moy and Emma Parvizi

Left: Top Dh59, H&M; Blue denim jeggings Dh119, F+F; Sneakers Dh229, River Island; Necklace Dh39, H&M; Bracelet Dh35, Aldo.

Right: Shirt Dh109, F+F; Perfect boot dark jeans Dh259, Gap; Flats Dh180, Aldo; Bracelet Dh20, Iconic; Belt Dh100, Aldo (part of a set). 

Victoria Moy

37, British. She is a PR and marketing director

Body shape = Petite

Being petite, Victoria struggles to find jeans that are the right leg length for her. She also finds a lot of her jeans gape at the back of her waist. Victoria feels there’s such a limited choice in the petite ranges in stores that they don’t help her at all. We recommend high-waisted skinny jeggings in dark denim.

Stylist’s tip

“Having no wash down the leg gives a continuous line, which is always more flattering on petite bodies. High-waisted jeans are great for mums as they give extra support and means you can bend over without worrying!”

Emma Parvizi

36, British, owner of fashion store My Boutique 

Body shape = Hourglass

Being an hourglass shape, Emma didn’t know what was flattering on her body in terms of shape and denim colour, and she was also looking for something age-appropriate. We suggest a perfect boot-cut jean, in a smart-style denim.

Stylist ‘s tip

“The slim boot-cut balances the hip and thigh, and the dark, clean denim elongates Emma’s leg. Look for a subtle wash on the leg that isn’t too obvious. Straight-cut jeans can work equally well; the trick for hourglass figures is to fit clothes close to the body, without being skin tight.”

Stylist’s tip

“If you are petite like Victoria, wearing The same colour from top to bottom flatters as it doesn’t cut your body in half. Also, shorter, fitted jackets suit you better.” 

Victoria Moy

Jacket Dh249, H&M; Vest Dh95, Gap; Jeggings Dh119, F+F; Stilettos Dh599, Steve Madden; Clutch Dh690, Karen Millen; Necklace Dh49, H&M.

Victoria says:

“These have the perfect amount of elastane and hold me in as they are high-waisted. There are no pockets or zips on the front, so there’s no extra bulk across my tummy, which is great after three kids!” 

Petite types should avoid: Loose boyfriend jeans as they will overwhelm this figure.

Victoria Moy's bad jeans

No matter your body shape, there will always be some jean cuts that just don’t suit you. These mid-rise girlfriend jeans have too much of a wash for Victoria, making her thighs look rounder. The turn-ups are too heavy for her petite frame.

Stylist’s tip

“I love the colour clash between the pink and orange and the leopard shoe is bang on trend.” 

Emma Parvizi

Jacket Dh450, Lavish Alice at My Boutique; Top Dh199, Miss Selfridge; Jeans Dh259, Gap; Shoes Dh419, Steve Madden; Bag Dh250, Zara; Necklace Dh60, Aldo; Bracelet Model’s own.

Emma says:

“I wouldn’t have picked these as the term ‘boot cut’ feels old, but they are so comfortable. Because they are high-rise, they hold my tummy in and I love how they look with heels.” 

Hourglass types should avoid: Kick-flare jeans as they will look too heavy on these figures.

Emma Parvizi's bad jeans

The back pockets of these vintage slim-style jeans are too small and placed too high, making Emma’s bottom look bigger than it is, while the diagonal front seams made her look wider across the top hip.

By Kim Crowley

By Kim Crowley