It feels like there are a million different pairs of jeans out there. Some are good and some are…ugly. A pair that fits perfectly is worth a million bucks, while others that don’t do anything for your shape should be tossed as quickly as you can get your arms moving. And even though we just discovered that most of us have way too many pairs in the closet, there’s no time like the new year to toss what doesn’t work and invest in a pair that’s guaranteed to make you look ah-mazing.
For expert insight on fit, I consulted with Sarah Ahmed, creative director of DL1961, and pestered her about how my legs can look long and lean because, honestly, what girl doesn’t want that?
For length, your best bet is “by far a midrise skinny jean. An 8.5- to 9-inch rise really does miracles for the appearance of both the waist and legs.” As an alternative, try a kick flare (it’s the style on the far left above). It’s more subtle than the mega-bells you might be thinking of and can actually add inches, especially if you get your pair tailored to wear with heels or platforms.
If you want to slim stems, Sarah said to look for styles with longer inseams (ask a sales associate to identify some of their options) and try on the darkest shade possible. “A deep blue or black wash tends to smooth the legs, making them appear much leaner.” I brought up the question of moto ribbing, which I think looks eternally cool but can cut legs in a not-so-flattering way. “You can have too much horizontal detailing,” she warned me, suggesting I shop for “ribbing that’s slanted to not have that dreaded digging-in effect.”