Several readers have reached out to request recommendations for jeans that suit a figure with a fuller midsection, slim legs and a small butt. And I know exactly why these gals are frustrated and seeking help: Designers and manufacturers of women’s jeans are yet to fully acknowledge the “apple” figure. They’ve always offered styles that suit slim figures with minimal curves. They heard us when we complained about waistband gapping – something that happens when your hips and butt are fuller than your midsection – and created “curvy” styles that nip at the waist. But women with full midsections and slim legs are offered relatively few viable options. Jeans that fit in the waist billow around the legs, and jeans that fit in the legs are too tight in the waist. BOO.
So I’ll start out with the news no one wants to hear: It’s possible that tailoring is your best bet. Buy pants that fit comfortably in the waist and have them taken in at the thighs/rear. (Always easier to take something in than let it out, so buy to fit your largest area.) This is an especially important option if you live in denim and want to have a variety of colors or washes at your disposal. Since jeans can be tough to fit off the rack, you may be unable to find pairs in specialty cuts and washes. If you track down pairs that work in the waist, see about getting them tailored to fit you everywhere else.
Now. In terms of what to look for on the racks, my main tips would be to tinker with mid- and maybe a few high-rises. Mid rises tend to be best since high rises can poof out below the tummy area, but it all depends on how you’re built. Go-to brands for mid-rise jeans include Kut from the Kloth, Lucky Brand, and CJ by Cookie Johnson, all of which offer plus sizes and a few petite lengths. (Also check Amazon for more variety.)
Bootcut jeans often have too much volume in the butt, but skinnies and straight legs may work better. Karen Kane jeans tend to be quite slim in the leg, especially the jeggings if you’re open to those. They also come in a pull-on style with a wide waistband, which adds less bulk to your midsection. Levi’s has some skinny mid-rise styles cut slim in the hips that might work, too. Kut, Lucky, and CJ all have great straight designs.
You can also choose to balance the volume in your top half with a little volume in your bottom – flat-front trouser jeans are an expert favorite since they’re wide but structured.
If you’d like to add volume and shape to your rear, try jeans with flap pockets, curved yokes, or pockets set on a diagonal which create the look of curves.
Another option that makes some women uneasy but might be worth exploring – especially if you’ve tried most of the above options and/or have reached your wit’s end searching for styles that work: Maternity jeans. They’ll have comfortable, non-pinching waistbands and if you go for slim/skinny maternity styles they may fit better in the rear and thighs than standard pairs do. And without tailoring. This Old Navy pair has side panels instead of front, Nordstrom and ASOS also have options.
**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for alreadypretty.com. See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details. Sustainable options are either used, handmade, made in the U.S., artisan made in non-sweatshop conditions, or made using sustainable/fair trade practices.