Great fitting jeans can be as rare as great fitting friends, but when you finally stumble across them, they make your life a lot more pleasurable. The trouble with jeans, though, is that most people don’t really know just how to find a great match for their body. Here are 10 things to keep in mind when you are in search of the perfect pair:

  1. Make it a leisurely shopping trip. They say you can’t rush perfection, and when it comes to finding a great pair of jeans that fit just right, you certainly can’t expect to accomplish the goals on your lunch break. Mark an appointment on your calendar, making sure to reserve a few hours or even an entire afternoon devoted exclusively to getting your hands on the jeans you really want.


  1. Break out the measuring tape. One pair of size eight jeans that fit you to perfection doesn’t mean every size eight will be so flattering: Different designers, especially when from different countries, size their jeans in unique ways. Your best bet is to know the exact circumference of your waist, hips and thighs, and to have a good idea of the length of your legs. Use an online chart to guide you to the closest size in your desired style and brand.


  1. Work your booty in the dressing room. Don’t rely only on how well a pair of jeans looks on you, you’ve got to really move around to ascertain the fit. Bend at the waist, kneel down and have a seat. Keep in mind, too, that off-the-rack fit may be different than fresh out of the dryer fit. Examine the care instructions to see if a particular pair you like may shrink when washed and make your purchase decision accordingly.


  1. Know your hems. Judge the hem of jeans by the shoes or boots that will accompany them. A flared hem, for example, may drag down too far when worn with sandals and other flat-heeled shoes. Boots, on the other hand, complement the wide-bottomed jeans well. A cropped leg style will look great with your favourite low-heeled or canvas-wedge shoes. The key is to buy jeans that will coordinate with shoes you’re comfortable with, and match them up accordingly when you wear them.


  1. Be realistic about the fit. While you may want a pair of pants to slim and flatter your body, you don’t want to force the issue anywhere, particularly around the waist. The proverbial “muffin top” result is anything but attractive and wearing jeans that are too tight may leave you with lower back pain.


  1. Don’t be afraid of colour. Jeans in the classic denim blue are fabulous, and a necessary component of any great wardrobe, however, you might be surprised at what a splash of colour can do for an outfit. From casual to elegant, red, yellow, green or pink jeans give you a lot to work with in terms of style and image.


  1. Be picky with pockets. Even a tailor-made fit is lost when the pockets aren’t placed appropriately, or when there are simply too many of them. While you do want a place to drop your coins or tuck your hands, you don’t need a barrage of pockets plastered all over your derriere.


  1. Shop for tops while you’re there. Unless you’re certain you have the perfect array of shirts to go with your amazing new jeans, try on a few tops, too. A smooth fit in pants should be off-set with a loose-fitting shirt and vice versa: Pair baggy jeans with a snug top.


  1. Experiment with style. Scouring the mall for just the right fit can be so tiresome, not to mention time-consuming. If you’ve never adorned your legs with a pair of trouser jeans, try some on! Different styles can provide your wardrobe with new versatility and you just might discover a new and highly flattering fit.


  1. Be greedy when you finally find what you’re looking for! If a particular designer really strikes your fancy and the store is offering multiple styles in that label, pick up an extra pair. Considering how long and laborious shopping for the ideal pair of jeans can be, there’s really no reason not to stock up on the genuine article, most especially if they’re on sale!

The often elusive “perfect” pair of jeans does, in fact, exist, you just have to know how to look for them and how to make sure they’re the genuine article. While it may take some doing to find them, it will be well worth the rewards.