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Donna Ida: Understand your body shape, that is the best place to start. Do you have long or short legs? A long or short torso? If you are tall, where is your length or is it evenly distributed? The most flattering style for you is what suits your body shape. I always love flares and cropped styles but, if you are an apple shape for example, skinny could be the most flattering option for you.
Sarah Dixon: My top tip for finding the perfect pair of jeans is, firstly, you need to be in the right frame of mind for trying on. You also need to be prepared to try several styles and have plenty of time. Consider how you'll be styling them. Denim is such a hardworking and important part of your wardrobe. For example, when I am working, my denim has to be well cut, so that I can team it with a blazer or jacket and feel smart. Back pockets are also key, make sure they are perfectly placed on the bottom to help elongate the leg.
SIZE, FABRIC & LENGTH
Donna: Generally speaking, we always work with at least 1% stretch in the fabrics we use; it is comfortable to wear and the denim drapes nicely. If we use 100% cotton denim, it would be for a very relaxed or boyfriend style, so that it doesn’t feel tight or rigid. As for length, if you have very long legs, a cropped style is too short and will hit you in the wrong place; if you are tall and a bootcut is tight at the calf, that won’t work either. I do a lot of rolling of my jeans as I am short, and I like jeans to finish about two inches above my ankle bone – that is a good rule of thumb.
Sarah: I always advise not to size down. Denim can be quite unattractive when it clings too much, so never worry about an easier fit. If you need to have your jeans shortened, always ask your tailor to reinstate the original hem, that way you can keep all the original detail, otherwise you will have a difference in thread which can make them look cheap. Avoid too much distressing and aim to have a variety of washes in your wardrobe. Finally, always have a beautiful belt to hand.
SHAPES & TRENDS
Donna: Flares, skinnies, straight-legs, cropped – they all work and can look fresh and modern. My advice? Don’t try and buy the same style as a friend. We are all individuals and, as mentioned above, it’s all about understanding your body shape and appreciating your plus points instead of dwelling on the negatives. I know what looks good on me and I wear those shapes on repeat.
Sarah: Eighties styles and a straight-leg is the go-to this season, and we are finding that our clients are ready to move on to this, away from the skinny. If you are looking to ease away from a slim leg but are not quite ready for a full straight leg, the Sarah Slim by Paige is the perfect jean to try – it’s a style that works on everyone. The looser fit of the Leenah by Paige is covering the 90s trend but is slightly tailored for a more sophisticated and flattering take on the trend. A tailored flare is also big this season, and these are always super flattering, but keep them as long as you can and try a high-rise for the ultimate leg lengthener. If you’re looking for a more authentic and of the moment style, Mother and Redone are perfect – both brands’ retro inspired fits and vintage styles are very comfortable to wear, too.